Summer’s best looks

Copious levels of air kisses are standard. Frantic Blackberry emailing that’s made all the more difficult by perfectly manicured talons could be heard at every show. 

And a ubiquitous Emma Watson, who had clearly left her school uniform precisely folded away at Hogwarts, snuggled neatly into her front row seat. 

All this and more was to be seen across the fashion capitals of the world as the Spring/Summer 2009 collections were debuted. 

Sneaking in somewhere behind the schmoozing and stargazing,  though, were the looks that are to shape your wardrobe for the coming months were on show. 

Here we take a look at three key trends that will soon have you feeling weak at the knees. 

Asymmetry was the order of the day as the kings of couture Gucci, Versace and Valentino all sent their girls down the runway. 

Calvin Klein’s dove-grey satin shift with origami folds that stopped just above the knee made a demure and elegant shape as it trailed down the catwalk.  

Gucci laid on the drama, accessorising theirs with huge jewels at the shoulder. 

This brought a modern slant to their ankle length one-sleeved gown suitable for a modern day goddess. 

Meanwhile over at the show of Alice Temperley, lengths were micro-mini and cuts were loose. 

But yards of material piled high up on the shoulder of her cream coloured dress created a romantic cascade of pretty femininity.
This look is made for statement dresses. 

What with grad balls fast approaching and the dilemma over what to wear creeping into the minds of many, this trend could be ideal. 

Make a break from the foolproof  strapless satin dresses that have become a mainstay of balls for the unimaginative everywhere. 

Try something elegant yet sexy, revealing in a way but still perfectly formal. And be the undoubted envy of spaghetti strap wearers. 

Fringing has been around for a little while now, but watch out as it comes into its own this season. 

This is a trend that is easy to make as subtle or extreme as you dare to go. 

Don’t limit yourself to thinking in terms of leather tassels and cowboys; a variety of materials can be used to create movement.
Jil Sander pushed the look to the edge with strings of shoulder-to-knee fringing on a sheer black evening dress. 

Stunning to look at as it sways with your every movement, the practicality of something like this could be debatable. 

But maybe that just doesn’t matter when you look that elegant.
Beaded flapper dresses are also on trend, with row upon row of beads shimmering from modernist party dresses. 

Feathers are also being used too for unusual layering.
Louis Vuitton have sewed hundreds of bright yellow ostrich feathers onto an otherwise unassuming short sleeved top which makes a bold statement, but leaves your dignity intact.  

But if none of that sounds appealing to you, fringing can be embraced through accessories. 

Christian Louboutin has platform calf-length boots this season with rows of suede fringes that cover the leg, and you can dance merrily away with every step you take in the warm spring air. 

Bags with foot long fringes dangling from the edges and even long beaded necklaces were out in abundance, and mean that it is impossible not to find something to suit your personal taste. 

But one thing that pulled all the collections together for this summer was a pallet of vivid colour. 

This is not a look for shrinking violets. 

Solid blocks of acid brights in Day-Glo pink, orange and yellow were seen in the shows of new designers, right through to the faithful older houses of Dior and Valentino. 

Orange seemed to be the colour that cropped up the most frequently.  

John Galliano took co-ordination to the max when he combined his orange with pink. The ruffled hot pink jacket was matched with sky high heels with a multitude of straps, while the orange mini was complemented by his model’s matching wig. 

Orange was also married happily with vivid purple at Luella. 

New boy designer Josh Goot blocked unthinkable colour combinations in a dress with green shoulders, orange mid-section, and ankle length pink skirt. 

The 29-year-old Australian used the bold blocks of colour in light-weight jersey dresses, perfect for the spring weather and fantastically on trend. 

Designs this strong are sure to see him become a recognised name in the future. If you’re not brave enough to clash your hues, take a tip from Lanvin. 

They ticked off two trends when they dressed Lily Donaldson in asymmetric canary yellow, with a pared down dark skirt. 

The result is still stunning, and a little less of a visual headache.
With this trend it seems that the colours themselves don’t seem to matter too much, just as long as you keep them in large, defined chunks. 

Subtle flesh tones in shoes compliment this well.
Most designers seemed to favour muted pinks and metallics to work with this look. 

Just make sure they boost your height by another five inches.
Regardless of what outfit you decide on the message about footwear is still clear; the bigger the heel, the better. 

Trying to keep your feet petite and lady-like is not the way for this season. 

Heavy platforms, frills and embellishments, and even sculptured stiletto heels – as championed by Basso & Brooke and Dior – are what your feet are crying out for. 

So this all just leaves me wondering: how much of this can I afford with my student loan?


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