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Colour and checks lift spring options

Young fashion brands have revived last season’s winning looks in a near-identical line-up of trends for spring 09.

Checks, 1980s influences, lighter denim washes and technical fabrics lead the charge, with further interest from brightly coloured jeans and fruity colours.

Despite a prolific outing on this summer’s high street, brands have continued to back checked shirts. From bold lumberjack plaids at Edwin and Criminal Damage to more intricate patterns from People’s Market and Duck And Cover, the trend takes in diverse reference points including 1950s rockabillies and 1990s grunge.

“Checked shirts will certainly be strong again,” said Firetrap sales director Colin Clarke. “The difference is that for spring 09 there is a greater attention to design details as well as the quality of fabrics.”

Julian Dunkerton, co-founder and managing director of Superdry, was equally confident of the trend’s continuing appeal. “We’ve improved the cut of our checked shirts and this season’s range is our biggest yet. We’re sure they will be huge for spring 09,” he said.

One of the key differentiators on returning trends for spring is the abundant use of colour. Besides checked shirts, colour features prolifically on 1980s-inspired sportswear.
Hooded windcheaters, of the style popularised by Nike in the mid-1980s, get their biggest outing yet, with brands such as Psycho Cowboy, Supremebeing, Gio-Goi and Boxfresh all using contrast panels in bright clashing colours.

Fly53 was one of the earliest revivalists of the trend – having introduced geometric print styles for spring 08 – and has introduced more intricately designed styles for spring 09, adding subtle branding via logoed metal badges and zip tags in an attempt to put some distance between its styles and those of the high street copycats.

Soft fruity shades of lemon, watermelon and mandarin have been reserved for women’s young fashion, mirroring the broad swathe of pastels on spring 09’s contemporary womenswear.

Particular favourites are the bright yellows and orange tones shown virtually across the board, from Fred Perry and People’s Market to Hilfiger Denim and Boxfresh.
The colour trend also extends to jeans, with a broader mix of shades being used compared with the coloured styles seen for spring 08.

Not since the early 1990s has there been such a profusion of coloured jeans, which take in a vivid palette of red, yellow and blue at Chefdeville, powder blue and tangerine at DvB and a rainbow of shades at Monkee Genes.

Lighter indigo washes, mimicking the stonewashed looks that defined the 1980s, are the other headline-grabbing jeans story for spring 09. Again, this is a look that was visible in some spring 08 collections but gets a much bigger outing this season, from brands including Replay, Pepe Jeans and Levi’s.

One denim brand manager said: “There were lots of examples for spring 08 but it was too early for the UK. Southern Europe picked up on it, but that’s more to do with their individual look. In the UK I can see consumers picking up on these lighter washes by next May and June.”

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