S/S ’09 Colour Trends – Finding a Balance

It was always a bit like keeping dry hay away from fire, or raw chicken away from finger food. We spent decades looking away in horror and pulling faces at the sight of the two styles matched, as if we knew best (and indeed, we thought we did). But this year a revolution is happening – a revolution that is changing the concept of colour. The nude shades are back, but this time they are matched with fluorescent colours. Yes, we can!

Out goes the black, that was always considered lime yellow and shock pink’s best friend, in come the beige, dust pink, khaki, delicate lilac, pale ecru and any other soft shade in the natural palette. No more white and shocking pink, way too safe for us 2009ers.

This new trend is intended to highlight the juxtaposition between sharp colourful florals and soft natural shades. And surprisingly enough, it works. Neon colours and natural shades really are a match made in Heaven.

In fact, this trend has been showcased for quite a while now, going through ’07 Versace clingy yellow dresses with a grey lining, or ’08 Dries Van Noten soft peach parkas and bright pink sweaters on the men’s catwalk shows. No one has been brave enough to sport such an idea in the ‘real world’ so far. But finally, here we go. Gucci has presented its latest collection with beige and bright pink and yellow traveller’s bags, and khaki jackets with superimposed bright yellow and orange flowers; suddenly everyone is wearing brights and pales like there’s no tomorrow.

You can find it on TV, in various advertisements on the back of magazines, and absolutely everywhere in the shop windows on the high street, starting from Topshop, all the way down to H&M passing through GAP and the ever-growing, ever developing Uniqlo. Even Susie has showed herself on her Stylebubble blog in different outfits showcasing the eye-catching mismatching.


There may be several reasons why this trend has occurred. Most likely, the high fashion stylists and designers saw a need to mix the still strong influences of the ‘80s with one of the biggest staples of the upcoming ‘90s style revival. Hence the fluoro colours have become matched with nude tones and earthy, natural, soft shades.

Another reason why this could have happened is because we saw the exponential growth of the “charity shop” style, where everything is mixed and matched together in a seemingly careless manner, placing different fashion decades together in the same outfit, and therefore again obtaining the same ‘80s and ‘90s look, so the high end of the market has once again had to follow what the new trendy masses are wearing just to keep apace.

In a word, we could describe this trend as finding a balance, and this is why it looks so alluring. It is the freshness of it that attracts us, especially with the new sunny season beckoning from not so afar. We have seen more than enough English-liquorice outfits out there, and on the other hand we have now come across one too many different-shades-of-mushroom getup. Fluorescent colours and natural shades create an unexpected ensemble which delights the tired eye.

The final question is: will this trend last? We don’t know, and of course we can’t tell. But what I can state for sure is that, like everything else in fashion, it is bound to come back!

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