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Gem tones add lustre to spring eveningwear

Jewelled tones, liquid fabrics and exotic prints are frontline trends on spring 09 eveningwear, leaving behind the metallic shades and heavy embellishment of autumn’s collections.

Shift and column-style dresses are replaced by draped styles and concertina pleating on satins, silks and chiffons, while oyster and champagne hues will move to the back of consumers’ wardrobes in favour of sapphire, ruby and amethyst tones.

Alex Bernshaw, director of evening and occasionwear brand Bernshaw, said vivid colour was a key aspect of the label’s spring 09 collection, with blazing reds and oranges, neon yellow, hot pink and turquoise.

“We’ve gone for a more refined and feminine look, and we have a 1960s-inspired party range that features neon colours and offers a real flower power, hippy vibe,” he said.

Silk satin and chiffon add a luxurious touch, while gathered and flared shapes reflect spring 09’s more playful silhouettes.
A bold palette is also used in Frank Usher’s spring range, in which turquoise and zesty lime shades are juxtaposed with pale lilac, duck-egg blue and linen tones.

Bright silk dresses, exotic floral prints and draped dresses all reflect the opulent look that is characteristic of this season.
Pleats and prints form the basis of Ralph & Russo’s collection. Head designer Tamara Ralph has opted for an Oriental theme, with Japanese-inspired floral prints on full-length pleated gowns.

“The main colours are gold and black, with cornflower blue, fuchsia and red, and animal prints” said Ralph. “Fabrics include lots of silk satins and satin chiffons, silk crepe and silk jersey.”

Pleating and draping are also integral to the first ready-to-wear collection from bridalwear designer Ian Stuart.

Stuart has played with asymmetric cuts, bunched fabrics and ruffle and bow trimmings in his spring 09 range, focusing on tactile fabrics such as silks and metallic yarn taffetas.

“There is a move towards more play with fabrics rather than added embellishment,” explained Stuart.

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