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New York collections are a load of Pollocks

Hot off the spring 10 New York catwalks, the collections were often more akin to fine art as designers wielded the paintbrush.

Jackson Pollock-inspired abstract expressionist and pointillist effects are everywhere this season as techniques that blur, streak and splatter create a strong direction for prints. A subtle twist on this message looks to nature as a source of reference, and here the prints have a diffused and mysterious edge, calling into question exactly what inspired them.

The influence of the shape of the body combined with draping defines femininity in a modern and relative way. Softer edges through draping spotlight an interest in the neo-classic as Grecian styles are referenced for this season’s modern goddess. Much of this draping has an off-kilter look about it with plenty of asymmetry. Alabaster white, stone and marble are key colours and keep the Grecian message on trend.

From a different period, but still related to the bigger idea of drape, references to the 1980s play with draping at the hip and highlight the pegged pant as a key item. The look spotlights both the 1980s new wave and ongoing references to uniforms and the safari trend with an exaggerated jodhpur.

Another breakout trend for spring 10 is an interest in the positive energy of colour. Intense, saturated and clear brights are joined by a batch of enlivened, fizzy sherbets and a concentrated focus on orange as a standalone colour.

Certain colours evoke memories of the past, and this season the designers recall the 1980s with a focus on jade and cerise.

  • Chris Gilbert is creative director of FashionEdit, a fashion trend information company specialising in womenswear

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