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Designers play it safe for spring

With the gloomy economic news hanging over their heads, designers took an uncertain step forward with their spring 09 collections shown in New York, London, Milan and Paris.

While there were a number of distinct trends which came through, some labels were more focused on offering personality-led collections in a bid to consolidate their brand handwriting.

Among the biggest trends which looks likely to migrate to shoppers on the high street was the all-in-one.

Spotted by Drapers in Copenhagen at womenswear shows CPH Vision and Gallery, jumpsuits ranged from short and flirty playsuits to sports luxe drawstring boiler suits, and evolved into embellished figure-hugging catsuits for evening.

All-in-ones to look out for next season came courtesy of Diane von Furstenberg with a glamorous take on the look, Proenza Schouler for a rock chick-inspired leather look and Marc by Marc Jacobs for lightweight wool versions.

The 1980s look was out in force across the board. In terms of colour, designers were pairing fluoro orange with hot pink for a colour clash reminiscent of the kids from Fame.
Architectural shoulder shapes were prominent with structured fabrics, pagoda styles and panelling shown at Calvin Klein, Chloé and Dolce & Gabbana.

There was less focus on trends for some designers and emphasis on strengthening brand personality. This was particularly relevant for the young Brit designers, who were keen to prove their worth in what is set to be a competitive place next spring.

Christopher Kane kept his collection rich in surface interest, swapping autumn 08’s oversized sequins for semicircular discs of fabric in leather, plastic and organza, while Louise Goldin produced a futuristically-inspired collection to cement her place as a frontrunner in directional knitwear.

Luxe fabrics will be important for spring 09, with glossy satins and barely-there sheers coming through, as well as gold crunchy and ruched fabrics on corrugated capes at D&G and cropped baggy trousers at Vivienne Westwood Red Label. Other looks to watch out for include an emphasis on the waist courtesy of oriental-inspired obi belts, draping on dresses and tops and floral appliqué and rosettes.

Watch Laura Jackson's spring 09 catwalk round-up here.

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