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Spring 08 preview: high street womenswear

For spring 08, high street retailers have focused on a few well-defined themes to make it easier for women to buy into the season’s trends
After last year’s lack of big trends, high street retailers have narrowed the field to present more easily identifiable commercial themes for spring 08. The result is a directional offer to excite younger shoppers, with more classic stories for mature customers.

Prominent at a number of stores, particularly Kew and Miss Selfridge, is a romantic, feminine theme, captured through floral prints, waist-accentuating chiffon dresses and delicate detailing such as ruffles, bows, rose corsages and beading.

Tribal elements inform part of H&M and Kookaï’s ranges. The trend is driven by nature-inspired prints in brick, brown and mustard, with bold necklines, macramé knits and bead embellishments.

Strong across all age groups is a 1970s-style safari story, with Karen Millen providing fashion-forward options and George at Asda offering a more conventional interpretation. The look features khaki, white and beige with animal print highlights – think cuffed shorts, rolled sleeves and belted dresses.

The 1950s makes a comeback for spring, with retailers including Topshop offering prom-style full-circle dresses with cinched waists. Debenhams injects a rock ’n’ roll edge with edgier interpretations of dresses in hot pink, yellow, black and white.

Nautical looks are also popular, with a red, blue and white palette on fitted jackets, classic trousers, cropped shorts and striped tops.
Maritime-themed details adorn basics such as T-shirts. CC includes nautical basics, while New Look opts for seagull print dresses and anchor embellishments.

An eclectic luxe look featuring clashing bright colours, jewelled embellishments, beads, colourful footwear and bags is particularly prevalent at New Look and River Island. In contrast, peasant tops and embroidered dresses in neutral tones offer a folkloric alternative, again at River Island and Kookaï.

After seasons of grey tones, a softer palette of lemon, mauve, khaki, ivory and putty offers a feminine alternative with white, yellow, hot pink and watermelon injecting a dose of summer fun. Dip dyeing or ombré techniques are used to accentuate colour at retailers including New Look and Matalan.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Looks like a bit of everything then??

    Mmmmmm, what's left for us? Plain white shapes with key accessory highlights then??

    Next season is going to be HARD.......
    PS; what are the Primark key looks?? They are the new price benchmark, afterall!

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