The Ethnic Trend for Spring/Summer 2014

For the past six weeks I’ve been attending a fashion journalism taught by the lovely Harriet Worsley at the London Journalism Centre. Last week’s homework was to identify a trend in this year’s fashion weeks and find three outfits that support it. Here is what I found. What do you think?


J.Crew Previews New Collection ahead of its Upcoming UK Opening

I am a great fan of J.Crew, so as soon as I heard that they were having a flash pop-up store event in London on the 24 and 25 May, I immediately put it in my diary. J.Crew’s highly anticipated opening in the UK in autumn 2013 was made even more exciting by the subtle but nonetheless definite hype of this event, which took place at the Western Transit Shed, an eclectically dressed urban warehouse conversion just a stone’s throw from King’s Cross Station,  to sample J.Crew’s new range, take a few snaps and generally be a bit nosey.JCrew 003JCrew 006JCrew 012JCrew 011

On display were a dozen or so key looks from the upcoming Fall/Winter collection. The most prominent new trends were woolly print-on-prints, beautifully intricate gem-filled jewellery, Aztec prints, embroidery on clean-cut heavy-weight blazers, and brocade and geometric patterns. The exquisite wool and cashmere pieces modelled clean and simple lines, and were well complemented by the busy Central American prints. For men, there were work boots, puff coats and furry hoodies.JCrew 010JCrew 001JCrew 002JCrew 009

The only pieces actually available for sale were their classic cashmeres – in a small selection of colours.  They also provided personalised monogramming, which won’t be available on the UK website, and customised, handmade collars to be worn on t-shirts. Sadly, they had run out of my size in the navy cashmere, but I’ll make sure to buy it online and perhaps try my luck and have it monogrammed at the Regent Street shop once it opens in the autumn.JCrew 007JCrew 004JCrew 005JCrew 008

A/W ’11 Trends – She’s a Femme Fatale

This year has seen a rebirth of the Femme Fatale and a sudden rise in the 1940s’ trend. Vamping it up and adding va-va-voom are de rigueur to stand out in the approaching winter months.

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Midi skirts, pretty pussy-bow blouses, cinched-in waists, tailored jackets, hyper-feminine tea dresses, full red lips and flirty hats all appear in the must-have list if you want to follow this lady-like trend.

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Of course this trend spans over 10 years of fashion history, and, as such, it has different influences, particularly originated from the circumstances due to World War II. At the beginning of the decade, with most countries being crippled by the poverty dictated by the international conflict, the hems went up to use less fabric and the shapes became more relaxed as women needed looser, more comfortable clothing in order to move and work. But by the end of the decade, women were tired of the figurative and practical cuts caused by warfare, and in 1947 Christian Dior introduced his New Look Collection (term coined by the American fashion-magazine editor Carmel Snow), which featured extra full skirts, tiny wasp waists and sloping shoulders, in contrast to the squared, military shoulders that were in use at the beginning of the decade. The skirt became longer in contrast to the early ‘40s (twelve inches or less from the ground), sustained by a taffeta petticoat.

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Current designers have put together both sides of the ‘40s and adopted the full skirt as long as the slim-fit one. Built-in support is key to this style, a feature that is still present two decades later, as showcased in Mad Men. This winter, colours are going back to the Forties too, seeing deep burgundy, bottle green, mustard and rich browns on the main palette. At the same time, also other, more daring shades are introduced, such as shocking pink, bright red and lilac, to modernise this vintage look.

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An endless list of designers, including Frida Giannini at Gucci, Miuccia Prada, Jean Paul Gaultier and Donna Karan have dipped into Forties glamour, adding furs, pearls, gloves and shrugs as final touches and, of course, including both styles of midi skirts. This trend is wonderful for complimenting womanly figures and creating curves, and is very flattering on pretty much all shapes and forms. Wear it with chunky, platform Mary Janes, leather inserts in skirts and blouses and long hair falling on your shoulders to keep it fresh and updated.

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