Fashion Focuses On Decoration

Early predictions of spring-summer ready-to-wear fashion indicate the key pieces to have for the season will be a white shirt, a pleated skirt, Capri pants, skinny knit dresses, scarves, personalized jewelry, flat sandals, metallic shoes and goddess-like evening wear. Makeup gains punch and hair is straight, neat and sleek, with ears showing.

The fascination with see-through continues by layering sheers to create a shadow effect or putting a flesh-colored lining under a sheer overlayer. Jackets loosen up, but overall the silhouette remains neat and trim. The most important thing to note, however, is the varied treatment given to fabrics.

This spring will be a season of decorative opulence in fabrics. Prints, patterns and texture are very important, especially devoré velvets, other burnouts and open work like crochet, cutouts and eyelets. Beaded trims and embroidery add texture to plain fabrics, and new-old touches like ruching and smocking are making a comeback. Prints will be based on nature, in floral, fruit, vegetable, vine or animal motifs; patterns will be either geometrics, gentle washes inspired by painterly painters like Monet, or exotics like Balinese motifs. Colorwise, blue is gaining strength.

Scarves are poised for a comeback, especially big oblongs with Gypsy-like trims such as dangling coins or fringe. Small neckerchiefs remain a popular alternative to necklaces.

To maintain a balance, accessory trends tend to run opposite to ready-to-wear trends. So when ready-to-wear comes up with prints, scarf-makers take a breather. When minimalism is de rigueur for apparel, accessory makers can go out on a limb.

Despite this spring’s emphasis on fabric detail, jewelry will be an important accessory, as long as it is carefully chosen to enhance, not compete. Predicted to be successful are either romantic, ultra-modern or exotic looks.

  • Romantic looks include cultured pearls, diamonds, crystals, and waterfalls of colored stones, chokers or charm bracelets with a delicate ’40s and ’50s feel, or pieces with opulent Victorian or Baroque touches. Crosses are still hot, coral and gold will draw renewed interest, as will geometric gold designs or cool sterling silver with colored stones, especially in blues.

  • Ultra-modern jewelry will incorporate strong bold gold, sculptural hang-offs, medallions, enlarged horse bits, gold meshes, wide cuffs and silver combined with neutral colors like brown and gray.

  • Exotic, Oriental motifs are expected to be important, following the Chinese influences in fashion. Look also for Masai-like gold coins.

See next month’s JCK for a fuller forecast of coming trends in clothing and jewelry.