Fashion & Style Predictions: 2008

The Age, a Melbourne newspaper, recently published their fashion predictions for 2008. Their list of “must haves” are in bold, & my thoughts, suggestions & tips are underneath.

Body con
By this, they mean “body contouring garments” — anything which clings tightly to the body or is form-fitting. Of course, the very notion of this sends women across the world into a panic, & rightly so. Very few people can make it work. It’s almost enough to make you put down the truffles & run screaming to the gym. To slither with dignity into the body con trend, I recommend you only wear one piece of close-fitting clothing at a time. If you have a shapely booty, perhaps wear a body con skirt, while if you have arms, a bust & abs to kill for, a slender cut shirt or top is probably your best bet. I also heartily recommend buying yourself at least one piece of shaper underwear. It’s the secret of models & well-dressed fashionistas everywhere.

The waist
Yes, this is from last season. Regardless, the waist is here to stay. If you don’t have a belt that showcases your waist at its best, then it’s time to get one. If belts don’t turn your crank, you can always improvise with a fabric belt, a colourful obi or even a man’s tie. This is all great news for womanly figures & hourglass shapes, & almost… maybe… possibly… summons a shift away from the boyish, androgynous figures women have been starving themselves to achieve for years! Fantastic!

The colour of royalty, homosexuality & Prince is making a comeback in a major way. It’s been blasted all over the catwalks, from Lanvin to Comme des Garcon & all the way to Pucci, in every hue imaginable: violent violet, lascivious lavender, punchy plum & apoplectic amethyst. If the idea of head to toe purple makes you feel a bit batty — though it can be done to fabulous effect — snap up accessories in the aristocratic hue & wear them with neutrals, reds, yellows or greens.

Thanks, Polyvore!Balenciaga blazer, Fred Flare sunglasses, striped sweater by Sonia Rykiel, sequinned beret by Topshop, Baccarat ring, ring by Forever 21, Chanel quilted 2.55 bag, Marni purple gumboots, Jonathan Aston hosiery, Lolita Lempicka fragrance, OPI nailpolish.

Full skirts, leather jackets & lots of plaid are on the cards, too — but as with any other defined style of dress, select a couple of elements only to avoid looking too “costumey”. Since I know that we all secretly wish to be one of the Pink Ladies (or the T-Birds), I suggest watching Grease for a splash of inspiration — & some ideas on what not to do.

Oh, the horror.Scary how times change — & then don’t. Looks like Sandy is wearing American Apparel lamé leggings, Kenickie & Zuko are rocking the quiff & leather jackets, & peep Rizzo’s high-waisted shorts with belt! The horror!

The blazer & tuxedo jacket
Balenciaga brought this back recently & it’s a beautiful thing — especially worn with a colourful scarf tucked in under the front. The tuxedo jacket is more sleek than the blazer, & I’ve seen gorgeous versions in lots of stores around here, especially MNG (aka Mango). Both jackets are fantastically versatile & will make an amazing addition to your wardrobe. I recommend a single-button tuxedo jacket for simplicity’s sake, & for the daring & gender-bending, it is a major component of “Le Smoking“, seen below in this iconic photograph by Helmut Newton.

Le Smoking

Hippie prints & plaids
I really blame Ms Rachel Zoe for this one — as well as the maxi-dress. Not that it’s a bad thing, more that her influence is super-obvious! She is a major fan of long, 70’s-inspired dresses with crazy prints & splashes of colour. The Age advises wearing these all in a huge orgy of colour & pattern madness, but I don’t. It’s really hard to do with panache. I think the best way to make it work is get your hands on a great sleeveless maxi-dress that shows your neck & shoulders to maximum effect. Pair with simple metallic or jewelled sandals, bunches of bracelets, big sunglasses & a headscarf for super casual chic.

Grey Gardens chic
I wrote about this in June, & then started experimenting with the look on July 3rd last year! Stick with me, kid, I’ll show you right! If you haven’t seen Grey Gardens yet, hop to it! It’s one of the most intriguing, creepy & unsettling movies ever, as well as being incredibly aesthetically inspiring. A remake of it is due out this year, with Drew Barrymore starring as Little Edie — & you will need to have seen the original in order to appreciate the remake!

Little Edie

The waistcoat
Yet another trend kicked off by Kate Moss. Waistcoats & vests are ALL over the place at the moment, & a good wardrobe staple. They can be worn over tees & collared shirts, as well as adding an extra layer of interest to a dress or under a coat. Before you rush out & pick one up, however, I strongly suggest reviewing your current wardrobe & thinking about what you could wear it with. I find that a waistcoat works best with trousers, & if you don’t wear trousers often (like me), you might find your options are limited.

Other notable mentions

1940s fit
Thanks, Dita! Look for pronounced shoulders, nipped-in waists, pencil skirts & anything that makes you wiggle while you walk. Bonus points for seamed stockings.

Gladiator sandals
Thanks, Mary-Kate! Since they were seen on her little trotters, gladiator sandals have started appearing in all kinds of shoe shops for all sorts of prices. My money is on “passing fad”, so don’t splurge too much unless you really want to!

Lace-up heels & brogues
If you don’t know that lace-up heels (often called Oxfords) are “in” by now, you must have had your head under a rock… or been in hospital. That’s okay, though! Just to get you up to speed: lace-up heels are “in” & they’re totally sexy. Great worn with black stockings, skater skirts (another trend), pencil skirts, tailored pants & anything with a bit of volume. You can take your pick of styles, too, since every designer & his dog has jumped enthusiastically on the bandwagon. Here — have a look!

High-waisted skirts & trousers
This is a carry-over from 2007, but strangely enough, I’m not seeing a lot of it on the street. Waistlines have risen, definitely — there are far fewer butt-cracks on display these days (hooray!), but I have yet to see anyone in the street rocking an extremely high waist.

Berets, turbans & headscarves
The turban I bought from Sportsgirl some time last year was recently reduced to TWO DOLLARS, so it is safe to assume that in Australia at least, this is a trend for the daring & fashion editors only. I also haven’t seen anyone else in the street wearing a beret, turban or headscarf (except for my friend Nadia, who does berets rather well). It’s okay, but it does sort of make me feel like the only member of the turban fan club.

Flared jeans & trousers
Yay! Yay! Witness my delight! I love a good flared trouser, & believe me, when skinny jeans were the only thing on the denim radar, I couldn’t buy anything with even the slightest flare. Finally, finally the tide is turning & I will once more be able to buy jeans which flatter my figure! It’s a miracle! Celebrate good times, come on!

Shirt dresses
A shirt worn as a dress is pretty much what I wore all last summer. A long bedshirt will do, though they can be hard to get your hands on — a better option is a large man’s business shirt, belted at the waist & accessorised with high heels, a spray tan & relaxed hair.

Dear girls who often bare your décolletage to the world,
Please start applying sunscreen to your chest before going out. Otherwise it will end up wrinkly, & that is one area you do not want to age prematurely.
Love, Gala.

“Rock chic meets nu grave”
I swear to God I am not making this up. I don’t really know what this means. I think I am glad.

Rock the Edie Sedgwick look & wear black tights with everything. It adds instant polish & really helps to pull an outfit together.