Never one to disappoint on trends, River Island’s studding and rivet-saturated offering is in tune with the Balmain-ia of the season, while its ditsy floral-print playsuits and floaty maxi dresses cover the new romantic boho look, and lace shrugs feed into the dominant girly feminine theme.
What River Island also does so well, however, is show it can do more than just interpret catwalk trends in a slavish and naive manner, so spring 10 also sees printed ethnic harem trousers in sci-fi shades of purple and black, leather-panelled Spoc-style jackets, and rose pink appliqué dresses with trails of gauzy fabric dripping down to the floor.
Statement dresses, usually part of the retailer’s mainstay, are left largely on the shelf, as printed shorts, loose trousers – River Island is one of spring 10’s biggest trouser backers – and embellished waistcoats take centre stage.
Mesh and chainmail fabrics add a glam-grunge feel to parts of the collection, while nautical is again a big hitter on beaded navy and white cardigans and yet more skinny-striped T-shirts. The nods to sportswear are there in a grey jersey dress, super low at the back and draped in silver beading across the shoulders and front, and a leather and suede hooded gilet.
- Leather armadillo-panelled jacket in black
- Animal-print drawstring cotton trousers
- Treated black cotton top with silver ribbon-edged cutaways
- Super wide-legged floral-print trousers
Right for the market?
River Island knows its customer likes trends but interpreted in the right way for their sexier wardrobes. The only thing lacking is the girlish fun quality River Island’s clothes usually possess, particularly for spring. Next season this is represented only in the prairie girl theme but not in anything bright or colourful for evening.
With Miss Selfridge trotting out superb thrift store cutesy styles, the light-hearted River Island shopper may be tempted to make a pit stop there first.