A contemporary romantic mood informs many women’s collections for spring 09.
Vivid colours, oversized floral prints and volume have been used by brands to create bold statements, while feminine details, sheer fabrics and a delicate colour palette offer a softer look.
Style influences span from the 1950s to the 1980s, with long full skirts, flared jeans and boyfriend blazers in the mix.
Women’s young fashion label Almost Famous epitomises the trend, focusing on vivid prints, vibrant colours and feminine touches.
“We have a mix of floral prints, including small patterns and 1960s-inspired big blooms,” said Almost Famous sales executive Emma McConnell.
“A palette of fruity summer hues includes lime green, berry, lavender, blush pink and indigo blue. Tying up the collection we focus on romantic neutrals.”
Colour and print are also essential to bridge brand Sara Berman’s look for the season. Creative director Aimee Berman said the brand had introduced a fun and young look, with easy-to-wear cuts and styles.
“For spring 09 there is a big focus on light, floaty looks, like a flower fairy. We have heavy crepes and crepe de Chine and have used tulle to lighten things up with an airy feel.”
Floral prints are used throughout the collection on short, flirtatious dresses, while vivid colours such as hot pink feature on boyfriend blazers.
Contemporary German brand Passport also champions a more vibrant look for spring 09. “The collection has strong colours and lots of different prints,” said Elisa Zaninetti, Passport’s UK and Republic of Ireland brand manager.
“There is a touch of romanticism in Passport’s floral prints and the soft fabrics and silks,” she added.
“Green is a key colour, with a mix of bright green and khaki. Yellow is coming through for high summer and candy pink is strong. There are also lots of graphic black and white looks.”
In a softer take on the romantic theme, directional London label Mauvette Philips has opted for a pretty, vintage-inspired look. “The colours are muted and feminine,” said designer Winnie Lee.
“Floral prints are still strong. However, last season we went for large-scale daisy florals, while this year we’ve used mini prints. I’ve used coral pink, lavenders, mints and ecru tones.”
She added: “Silhouettes are quite loose. Short skirts have been done in a cute way with fuller shapes and we’ve also produced some playsuits which I think will be strong for the season.”
Daryane Tadd, owner of womenswear indie The Dressing Room in St Albans, Hertfordshire, said that while romantic looks would be important, buyers would need to update them with sexy styles. “Women like to buy into feminine and pretty shapes so they will be part of our buy,” she said.
“But the wide-leg shapes have worked for us this autumn, and in spring that 1970s-style fit-and-flare silhouette will add a touch of sexiness. Similarly, fitted belts and accessories will make the look more body-conscious.”