Volume 91, Issue 95

Friday, March 27, 1998



Looks like spring 1998: The new romantic

©Nick Burdan/Gazette
LOOKING FASHION LOVELY. Burnadette of Tabi International is wearing a 100 per cent cotton sweater $55, golf shirt, 100 per cent pique $25 and cotton/spandex cigarette pants $49 (top left). Lydia of Laura is wearing a navy suit; the jacket, $180 and the skirt, $75 (top right). Liz, also of Laura, is wearing a dark blue pantsuit; $69.99 for the pants and the jacket, $99.99 (left).

By Brad Lister
Gazette Staff

The new romantic – what a great way to describe fashion for the spring of 1998. Michael Schaeble, assistant fashion editor of Flare magazine tosses around the term when discussing the latest trends of the season.

"A much softer drape. The biggest trend is the new silhouette," says Schaeble, adding it's a swing of the pendulum, a move away from last fall's '80s stylings of nipped waists and shoulder pads.

Spring is, therefore, an adjustment and the fashion world has reacted with flair. It has come up with soft and beautiful clothing, says Schaeble, adding that not a lot is new – instead, clothing lines are being reinterpreted.

Adrienne Schoom, market editor for Flare magazine, says in women's fashion the pleated skirt is making a comeback, which will carry right out to the fall collections. "For women, the capri style pant is also very big this year," she adds.

"We are seeing a lot of draping, tucking and pleating," Schaeble agrees.

Sue Forster, fashion stylist at FAB magazine, says there is also a large amount of metallic tones in the spring collections.

In terms of colour, Schaeble says there are not a lot of bright colours but more vibrant colours in this year's spring clothing, with cobalt and fuchsia being some of the big ones. Schoom says the combination of fuchsia and grey is definitely stylish this year.

Schaeble agrees, saying grey is a popular colour for the season; not a charcoal, but a lighter shade. "It's the new neutral," he adds.

Another major influence seen in this spring's collections are of Asian origin, Forster says. "A lot of the New York designers have picked up on their simplistic designs."

Included in this trend, is a must-have item: "The one item for spring that women will want is a great dress; the slinky dress looks great this season," Schaeble says.

Schoom couldn't keep her must-have list for spring to just one item: "[You will want] something fuchsia: a sweater, a grey skirt to the knee, pleated skirt, zippered jacket and a pair of capri pants."

In terms of menswear, Schaeble says the story for designers this year is one of fabric. "They are also exploring new fabrics – laminated nylons, so they are shiny and iridescent." In general, there is a return to more natural fabrics like hemp, cotton and linen with some of the fashion designers.

Schaeble continues, saying men's fashion is starting to loosen up a little. The idea of the silhouette is carrying over to the suit, "however it is still fairly body conscious."

He also mentions how white is a hot trend this year, as in an all-white suit. "It would take a certain kind of man to wear that," he says. Another fashionable suit trend for spring is the pinstripe.

On the more casual side, Schoom says sportswear is big this year. "You're finding the look of American sportswear on runways all over the world." The hooded sweatshirt and zippered jacket are the some of the popular looks.

The trend is prominent she says because a lot of the American designers are working in big European fashion houses, such as Louis Vuitton.

Forster adds to the theme, saying sandals are the newest chic item to have – for both men and women. Everyone, including Donna Karan, is doing sandals, Forster says. The chunky heel is in for women and the not-so-chunky style for men.

Looking ahead to fall, Schoom says fabric is going to be important; look for mohair and other textures as well. Grey will still be prominent, she says, as well as pleats.

©Nick Burdan/Gazette
SITTING AROUND LOOKIN' GOOD. Kevin, from Stars in Masonville Place, is wearing a four button non-stuctured summer twill, 100 per cent cotton, Benghal ($169.99) Shirt ($49.99) and hi classic business neat tie ($55.00).

©Nick Burdan/Gazette
SPICING THINGS UP FOR SPRING Here, Lydia is wearing a floral, spice-coloured tank dress $135, with a matching jacket $95.

To Contact The Focus Department: gazfocus@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998