Fashion: Back gain to the future

Embroidered top, was �55 now �40 from Miss Selfridge.
Embroidered top, was �55 now �40 from Miss Selfridge.
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Next season fashion is looking back to the ‘70s and ‘80s. Stephanie Smith has tips on what to buy now in the sales.

What goes around comes around, as they say, and boy, is that true of fashion.

In fact, sometimes it seems to me that it’s two steps forward, punctuated by plenty of steps back in time.

Take this coming season of autumn/winter as an example. For a start, the Seventies’ revival, which was bubbling nicely for a few seasons until it finally exploded into bloom for this summer, is all set to continue to be chestnut-roasting hot for quite a while yet, so hold on to those platforms, flares, A-line skirts and paisley peasant blouses, because you are going to be needing them.

And if you haven’t invested in some ‘70s-inspired pieces yet, worry not, because there’s plenty going on in the current sales, so you can pick up some retro-cool clobber at half the price it will be come the autumn (which sort of starts officially next month).

Look out especially for anything that reminds of Joni Mitchell, as in floral prairie blouses and dresses, to wear with fringed waistcoats. Look out too for skinny scarves and anything uptown-funk fabulous, like bright flares with tight tailored shirts and jackets, and think colour-blocking.

But then – oh, wait for it – competing with the ‘70s for attention, there will be a massive ‘80s revival (again) so start thinking Bananarama and early Madge with ruched mini prom skirts and huge bows – and big straggly hair and Dynasty shoulders. Seriously.

Actually, I am being a bit unfair because these are new interpretations of the Seventies and Eighties and, like all good revisits, multiple inspirations layer to come up with a beautiful new vision.So there’s a gorgeously opulent new play with brocades and gleaming patterned fabrics that wouldn’t look out of place in a stately home. Handy with a machine? Hit the fabric departments.

Another major trend is new layering, playing with proportion and texture, like a huge parka over tailoring, a crisp shirt under your tea dress. So snap up anything you think might work for this and style like you mean it.