Preview 2008 - Fashion

None more black

Kirstin Innes comes over all gothic as she previews the key fashion trends for 2008

Is it just me, or has it got dark in here? Spring/summer fashions usually burst out in bright colours, but this year most designers haven’t managed to shake the winter blues (and purples and greens). Klaxons, who led 2007’s tooth-jangling Technicolor revolution, have chucked the glowsticks in favour of Mad Max-inspired black leather. And most of this season’s fashion icons have something of the night about them.

As ever, menswear trends are hugely influenced by Hollywood. Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd is your model for this season, gents, although we suggest approaching this look with caution: say yes to the dishevelled waistcoats and the air of haunted Victorian melancholy, and no to the blood-stained butcher’s apron. Keep hold of those waistcoats for summer, too – Ben Whishaw, who plays the velvet-clad, foppish Dylan in I’m Not Here will be starring as the equally foppish, teddy bear-sooking Sebastian Flyte in the upcoming Brideshead Revisited remake. Rejoice, frustrated dandies, and bin your trainers!

Women, meanwhile, can look to smoky-eyed chanteuses like Charlotte ‘daughter-of-Serge-’n’-Jane’ Gainsbourg and Natalie Portman, smouldering in Marc Jacobs’ masculine tailoring at the start of The Darjeeling Limited. If that sounds a bit serious, girls who just wanna have fun can try pouring themselves into leather this season, too. Keep the hair sharp, though: the ideal is Joan Jett, not post-makeover Sandy fae Grease.

Start rummaging for those Tuxedo jackets. Men and women can wear them oversized over jumpers and layers. Girls can also squeeze shrunken numbers over a frock. Also making a return are slouchy cardigans for both sexes – again, throw them over button-down shirts or dresses. Be sure and hold onto last year’s biker jackets. And boots. All things leathery rock and roll are good.

Belts should be fastened over dresses, cardigans, shirts and jackets. They are getting slimmer again, though; oversized elasticated waist cinches will probably look dated by March, and look uncomfortable in the present.

Now is the time to ditch anything nu-rave. Stop it now. You’re giving us a headache. And those leggings. Could everyone just calm down and cover up their crotches? Thanks. Keffiyeh scarves reached a nadir of bad taste this year when Jenna Bush slung one round her neck. Not appropriate unless you understand the cultural significance, okay?

And while we’re here . . . turbans. The only woman who can work that look is Joan Collins. And jumpsuits. The only woman who can work that look is Joan Collins. And orthopaedic-style stilettoes. They’ll break your bank balance, make your feet look ugly, and be out again before June. And the only woman who can work them is Joan Collins. Hey, we’ve spotted a trend!

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