Fashion goes global

By Sarah Tankel, February 7, 2008

From Japanese chic to safari glamour, many of the top spring/summer 2008 collections are inspired by trends from all over the world. Whichever you go for, make sure it’s bright and bold

I cannot help but hate this time of year — I am still recovering from the constant overeating, overspending and overindulging that regularly occurred throughout the festive period. The only thing worth smiling about is the inexhaustible number of enticing trends from the spring/summer catwalks — and yes, I want to buy into them all. At a push, though, there are certain few that you will definitely need to watch out for.

Predictable or not, the hippy/boho/Sienna Miller vibe is back, but not as you would expect. Inspired by fashions from around the globe, the catwalks showcased everything from Indian saris, Middle-Eastern turbans and even Japanese kimonos. African and Native American prints were also seen far and wide at shows by designers Matthew Williamson, Etro and Pucci.

This look is not one for the timid, but if you call yourself a fashionista, a printed maxi dress is the way to do it. For maximum impact opt for an embellished maxi, like Wallis’s stunner. All you need now are those gladiator sandals and a whole lot of bangles.

As expected, safari style is still lingering, with belted jackets, neat shorts and nipped-in dresses leading the way at Donna Karan, Hermés and Stella McCartney. Take your pick from delicious fabrics such as linens, chiffons and suede — and don’t be scared of wearing the look head to toe — that is how it should be worn!

Never been on a safari? You can play pretend in Linea at House of Fraser’s glamorous safari suit — perfect to show off that silhouette. Give it some edge with a statement belt.

Once again florals were in full bloom on the spring runways. Designers tempted us with a selection of blossoms in acid colours, oversized shapes as well as the more dainty versions. At Stella McCartney, models paraded in brightly floral jumpsuits, while Ralph Lauren kept things girly with pastel, floaty floor-sweepers. Whatever the design, it is all about keeping things feminine. Pinks and purples not for you? Then opt for florals in deeper tones, such as blues or greys just like Balenciaga and Armani.

Moving on from last summer’s neon shades, this season the designers have been playing with refreshing sunset brights. From bold yellow at Lanvin to garish orange at Versace, these colours are set to be massive this spring. Try the look Valentino-style with a hot pink plunging maxi and pair of brightly coloured heels. Alternatively, you could opt for tad of tie-dye à la Diane Von Furstenberg and wear all your brights at once.

New Look’s dip-dye maxi is a fashion masterpiece. Keep the accessories simple to avoid fashion overkill.

Yep, you guessed it — the classic sailor look is back. Yet there is something quite glamorous going on here — this perennial look has been ramped up a few notches. With super-sized spots at Givenchy and clashing stars and stripes at Chanel, if there is one thing for sure, this look is all about making a statement — and a big one at that.

Thanks to Kate Moss, star-print shirts are what you want to be seen in right now. I love’s super-cute short-sleeved version — it will work wonders with a pair of high-waisted denims. It’s just a shame you will have to wait a while before you can actually wear these clothes.

Sarah Tankel is a GMTV stylist and fashion writer

Last updated: 11:04am, September 25 2009