Ready To Wear
If the London collections were, for the most part, characterised by their diversity, at least one thing rang out loud and clear.
Pink looks set to become the colour of the spring/summer 2008 season. Shades of Groundhog Day? It is true that pink is the colour of pretty much any spring/summer catwalk season one might care to mention, as much a part of the balmy, blue-skied picture as white must always be. Pink is more interesting, however, as it allows designers to play with feminine stereotypes and to twist them in ever more interesting a way.
Less usually, pink is also the colour of the autumn/winter season - the hard, uncompromising magenta reminiscent of the type the sirens who inhabited the world of Dallas and Dynasty used to wear. It can be seen everywhere from Lanvin to Dior and any self-respecting boutique is currently featuring a fuchsia cashmere sweater lifting the decidedly uninspiring appearance of the best-selling black and grey variety displayed alongside. Less ubiquitous, is the slightly milky, rose pink centre stage at Comme des Garçons most notably gracing a pair of ultra stretchy harem pants which come complete with appliqued padded hands at the waistband. These are nasty to the nth degree (in a good way, of course), coming as they do in a shade more readily associated with the nursery than a grown woman and in a fabric so scratchy it might bring out the faint-hearted in a fashion-induced rash. Although their creator suggests that this collection is inspired simply by "curiosity" the sexual curiosity of the adolescent girl on the cusp of womanhood springs to mind, and all the more provocative for that.
Six months down the line and it is perhaps this type of pink that has proved the most influential. Witness the sugar-pink stretch catsuit worn in a decidedly un-sugary way with oversized masculine overcoat and stuffed with visible knee, elbow and shoulder-pads at Ann-Sofie Back. Pink doesn't have to be overly strange to resist crossing over to the girlish, however, as Richard Nicoll's accomplished putty-coloured tailoring juxtaposed with raspberry pink chiffon went to show.
For Giles Deacon, pink was so integral to the summer season that even the invitation was coloured that way. It came printed on pink latex and pink latex leaves and flowers were a slightly sinister flourish. Finally, pink was also the colour of prom dresses, fashionably askew at Peter Jensen, and of fringed shoppers, also courtesy of this designer, which will no doubt give the Louis Vuitton tote a run for its money - on the streets of Hoxton, East London at least.