Oasis neatly ticks all the trend boxes for spring 10, with its soft tailoring, nudes and pastels, and sports luxe stories standing out as key looks. Paper-thin laser-cut silk, lace capped sleeves and chiffon in ivory, peach and dusty pink all nod to next season’s catwalks from the likes of Chloe, Jasper Conran and Alberta Ferretti, while the 1980s-inspired sportswear collection is peppered with Alexandra Wang influences. Harem pant tracksuit bottoms are teamed with light denim jackets and all-in-ones are accessorised with bum bags. “I felt spring 10 would be a lot more casual and softer than last season,” says Oasis head of design Iain Ewing. “In tailoring, there’s an early 90s vibe with a Calvin Klein minimalism and lack of colour. Even on the pagoda-style jackets, we’ve opted for cottons to give a softer look.” Rounding off the tailoring story are shorts, boudoir-inspired tops – as seen on the Parisian catwalks – and peg-leg trousers, which Ewing believes will be the key trouser silhouette next season, despite its presence on the catwalks for the last few seasons. “It takes time for a new shape to filter through to the high street, like skinny jeans did.”
Elsewhere, Oasis gives a new twist to a spring favourite – the tribal trend. In contrast to the minimalism of the previous looks, this story is a clash of bright colours and prints characterised by fringing on denim skirts, all-in-ones and heavy embellished on tops and dresses. But even here, the soft tailoring element is present particularly, with Oasis opting for fitted styles instead of the more common floaty silhouettes associated with this trend.
A pair of peach shorts teamed with a white pagoda-shoulder, long-line jacket shows off Oasis’ interpretation of next season’s softer tailoring and nude tones, backed-up by floaty, floral dresses in silk. An all-in-one turquoise flying suit reflects a new take on previous seasons’ sports luxe styles, while an animal print bandeau jumpsuit accessorised with a clashing print belt and wooden neckline best highlights next season’s tribal look.
Right for the market?
Pricing will be in line with autumn 09 and Ewing insists that higher price points will be justified by better quality fabrics and stronger detailing. “We have to offer as much value as possible – the customer expects that,” he says, adding that while footfall may be down, average transaction values are the up. As a result, floral print silk dresses for £70, a pagoda-style cotton jacket at £80 and a cotton and rayon suit for £150 are all spot on for the Oasis customer. Given that Oasis’ high-fashion product is its best-selling category, according to Ewing, the retailer has expertly interpreted catwalk trends to its customer, without neglecting safer, spring favourites like tribal and nautical.