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Trends Word On The Street


Post New Year sales and the High Street enticed us with a chic spring mood. Pretty pastel 50’s pieces dressed up windows and filled up stock rooms across the country, as retailers felt confident that 1950’s style was the major trend of the season. Fast-forward to May and while the 50’s inspiration is still around retailers are shifting their attentions to other key trends. All the High Street players from TopShop to M&S bought into the 50’s look and by February 50’s style could be seen everywhere. Four months on and it’s all looking a bit tired, some retailers think it was a case of ‘too much too soon’, while others feel the trend only appealed to a limited market.

Another major factor in the mix is the weather; unpredictable and rainy climes do not really evoke a prom dress-buying mood. Personally, I think the trend would have been more appreciated later in the year, just in time for all those summer weddings and garden parties. Right now, women are buying into the jeans and pretty top combo, as it’s still not quite warm enough for all those flimsy skirts and dresses.


What key looks are retailers out there banking on now? Jo Iles took to the streets of London to find out:

The Pretty Top and Jeans Combo At Miss Sixty it’s all about tops and jeans.
Taking on elements of the 50’s look – bright patterned tops featuring tie-up bow details dresses-up denim, while retro printed tee’s cater to a more casual style. Denims are plain and lean and arrive in a variety of shades. River Island have also gone the top and jeans route dressing-up their key store windows with denim clad mannequins combined with colourful little vests and fitted jackets. It was the same story at Miss Selfridge and Gap where they prettied up denim with floral wrap-over and wafty-tiered tops.

River Island

Riviera A key look for Next, Dorothy Perkins, H&M and M&S with classic styles that borrow from the 50’s and 60’s. Shift dresses, cropped trousers, dirndl skirts in plain summery tones or classic two-tone stripes. (As an aside: M&S on Oxford Street now features the much debated Per Una Due range in their windows. It’s young and street led with denim mini skirts and tight-cropped jeans worn under gathered and belted dresses. Somehow the classic M&S store logo and interior was at odds with this range, but we shall have to wait and see how it affects business for the troubled store.) Taking their cue directly from Prada – Dorothy Perkins have created their own version of the touristy-painted-print skirt, and this along with simple separates and colourful accessories forms their in-store mood at the moment. 

M&S - Viva la Med

Tropical In the hope of some hot sunshine and the start of the holiday season retailers have started to stock pieces covered in tropical prints. Check out Morgan, Kookai, Monsoon plus a few pieces at Zara to get a taste of the vivid tropics. Bright exotic florals, swirly prints and Hawaiian motifs have made their way onto a variety of garments from tops to bikinis, looks like there will be more of this theme to come though-out the summer season.


Floaty Chiffon Every summer floaty chiffon wafts its way into stores and with an abundance of it on the international catwalks it returns for another innings. Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Blumarine and Strenesse Gabriele Strehle were just a handful of designers big on romantic chiffon. On the High Street pretty chiffon tops and delicate summer dresses could be found at Zara, Top Shop and Oasis. So far sales look good with chiffon tops being teamed up with denim jeans and skirts, more chiffon style dresses are expected in stores over the coming weeks.


Bold Floral Prints This season sees yet more choice when it comes to prints. Most popular are floral and fruity designs, followed by geometric patterns. Striking and bold, retailers have been cautious by offering print covered separates and accessories while balancing stock with plain classics. New Look have introduced a fine range of printed garments from design duo – Eley Kishimoto, elsewhere H&M offered plenty of florals and Morgan presented bright Pucci-esque designs.

Miss Selfridge

Other influences creeping in store:

+ Eastern styling details

+Neutral tones

+Crochet ponchos


+Arts & Crafts details

+Lace-trimmed pieces

+ Shorts

Jo Iles

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