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Fashion Police Files
Autumn/Winter 2006... 
Sun, 6th Aug 2006
dance detail

AUTUMN / WINTER  2006...
( THE 80s REVISITED !!! )

Alexander McQueen rather likes the Austrian blinds look from the eighties...

and so do rather a lot of the other designers this Autumn !!

Yes, I have, indeed, gone to see what the shops are likely to be giving us this Autumn, and, yes, indeed, the truly bad news is that the eighties are upon us once again !!

However, take heart, all of you lovely ladies who remember the 80s the first time around, ( and not with much affection either )...for you see, it's really not all bad !!
There is much to love about the next Seasons' trends, and this is mostly due to the fact that there is a healthy dose of 1940s mixed in...

For your delectation, I have divided this piece into two sections, for easy reference...
So firstly, here are the ..


According to fashion website ASOS.com, the predominant colours this Autumn are really rather lovely, and the loveliest of all these is going to be 



Other starring colours will be Teal blue, Lime green, and lots of lovely red !!!

Neutrals will be black ( there's a surprise !! ) all shades of grey, and Winter white ( this is a very flattering creamy shade of white, which almost everyone can wear ) No brown ( Boo !! ) and not much navy, thank goodness !!
As for the metallics, they are a story in themselves...


There were a lot of really beautiful suits at the Collections for this Autumn...very 1940s in their shapes, with nipped-in waists and peplums on the jackets...
Armani does what he does best ...FAB tailoring and good shapes !!

For all of you who really dislike the new shapes for Autumn, ( and you will find out what I mean in a mo', ) this skirt shape is actually the most flattering variation on the theme, even though it does resemble one of my pet hates, the Balloon skirt...Called the Tulip skirt, because of its resemblance to an upside down tulip, it is usually gathered or pleated into a waist band, and providing the wearer isn't too skinny, is very pretty...
For fuller and curvier figures, ( over a size UK 14 )it is the best choice for this season...go on try it on somewhere, you may be pleasantly surprised !!! ...and if you are a classic hourglass shape, whatever your size, you will have struck the jackpot !!! Clinch it with a big belt, around your waist instead of slung loosely around your hips, and see what I mean !!


This trend has been coming in for the last four or five months, and is very good for short and curvier than average women...it needs at least a size 34B bust to carry it off well, and has the effect of lengthening the legs by raising the waistline up to under the bust...
Beware of wearing this shape, however, if you are very fat or very thin...on the one hand you will look like very top heavy, ( probably not what you'd want !! ) and on the other you will look like an underfed skeleton...you need to be around a UK size 10 - 16 to wear this successfully, I reckon !! 

Christian Lacroix does Jane Austen...with mutton-chop sleeves !!

Christian Lacroix does the Empire line dress combined with a tulip shaped overlay...very pretty indeed !! All in very rich toffee shade...yum !!!

The other variation on this shape is the Empire-tent dress:-

This is truly a dress to make an entrance in...

Purple crushed silk...and an Empire line...and a very full skirt..Elie Saab manages to incorporate three trends into one fabulous dress !!! 


The metallic fabrics are going to be very popular in evening wear this season...especially gold, gold, and more gold...

Giambattista Valli does gold bling in a big way !!...

Elie Saab does silver...

You will notice, of course, that whatever else may happen, thankfully, the beautiful fishtail shape that we all love is still here...for evening wear anyway !!

Armani does pearly-white metallic organza...

Halternecks are very good for emphasising a tiny bust, especially in a sweetheart neckline shape, a la 1940s...and are flattering for a large bust too, if it is the plunging V-front variety...hence the reason why I love them !!
But...if you are going to wear them, for goodness sake get yourself a really good halterneck bra...there is nothing worse than straps that show !! The one I have is by M & S, and has removeable, and interchangeable, straps - ones that you can switch for a see-through one if the dress straps are tiny...

Gorgeous colour and nice bow detail...both important details this Autumn ...

This beautiful top is by ASOS.com and costs £18...bargain !! 


The bags this season are just lovely...all small, compact and beautiful colours and lots of bows, and gold chain straps

Accessorize does lime green velvet so well...£18

Another from Accessorize, this time £12...gorgeous !!

Shoes are rich in colour and either 1940s wedges with ankle straps...( bad for anyone with short legs )

Or are real 1980s F***-me shoes...at least four inches of spikey heel and a rich colour to die for...from Office for £54.99

If you can't countenence the thought of climbing into either of these beauties, then get yourself some of the other big trend in footwear next season...the flat pump with bow detail...

These are also incorporating another big trend for Autumn...that of the animal print...
Also available in black, these are from Isaac Mizrahi's range for Target ( in the States ) for $30..

If you like a small heel, but really don't like the idea of ankle straps reining you in, either because they cut your legs in half and make you look like a midget, or you just don't like the feel of them, then consider these :-

Patent leather Mary-jane shoes, with the strap across the instep, are only $17.99 from Payless.com...beware they are made of man-made material, and not leather...but the style is perfect for those of us who can't, or won't, wear ankle-straps !! 

Well, all these are the trends that I reckon are ones to look forward to, but there is also plenty coming next season to complain about...the eighties are very definitely revisited where knitwear is concerned for instance...
Here, then, are the...



No, no, no...I hear you cry...

Oh but yes indeedy...

Not only are these leggings, but these are also Lurex leggings !!! Kill me now...

Leopard-print leggings will really flatter your legs...to death probably !!

Don't even think about this trend if you are anything over a size 12...just forget you ever saw these pictures...OK ?!!


The tartan hordes are here again !! Luella Bartley really, really liked it...

as did Alexander McQueen...mad fool !!

Heaven preserve us from this awful stuff...at least I can hope that there will be a lot of purple heathery versions of proper plaid to offset the truly dire Stewart tartan used here...


Everyone who reads this journal on a regular basis will know very well how much I hate this shape, and this season, for my sins, I will be confronted with these horrid skirts everywhere I go...Oh woe is me !!

Jean-Paul Gaultier does the puffball...Boo hiss !!!

The difference between a puffball skirt and a balloon skirt, should you be curious, is this...a puffball is gathered onto a shorter lining, thus curling the hem of the skirt up and under in a full kind of way...works much  better when it is in a soft gauzy fabric...and a balloon skirt is gathered onto a straight, and very visible, band around the knee area, or a flouncy frill, like this :-

...and frankly looks like you have been tied up, when you weren't being over-attentive...

Bubble skirts should just remain a hidden mystery...

A Tulip skirt, on the other hand, is featured at the top of this page, and looks a lot more sexy than either of these other two...


This is a really unflattering shape that has been hi-jacked from the early 60s Balenciaga collections...and every so often it crops up again,...
and every so often I do hope that it will go away soon...
For those who are unfamiliar with the term 'Trapeze coat', let me enlighten you...

Also called a Swagger coat or a Smock coat, it falls from the shoulders in a very full triangular shape and goes all the way down to the knees and then stops....abruptly !! Usually it is accompanied by a matching scarf instead of any sort of a collar...
Sometimes it stops at the waist, and then it becomes a Trapeze jacket...

The Cocoon Coat is, on the other hand, a fairly new innovation, also from the House of Balenciaga, and looks like this :-

Ignoring, for a moment, the riding hat, this is a typical classic Balenciaga shape...this shape has cropped up in a few other collections too, this Autumn:-

Alberta Ferretti does the cape shape..

 and will no doubt be adapted by Top Shop, New Look, and Zara, ad nauseum this Winter !!

The Balenciaga coat is also available in the dress version...


Yes, it's that typical 80s look...what we used to call the 'inverted triangle'...huge on the top half, balanced by a very slim bottom half...an oversize sloppy sweater, perhaps even teamed with the dreaded leggings...

Stella McCartney has done this in a big way this Autumn...

Stella again...Huge Sweater-dress teamed with Trapeze coat, teamed with dark opaque tights and ankle boots....hmmm...where have I seen this look before ?!!!

No 'Autumn Collections 2006 Fashion Report'  would be complete without some madness included within it...and where else to go for an insanity injection then the House of Dior, where Galliano reigns supreme...

John has taken the idea of a balloon skirt and run with it...

John took his holidays in Venice this year...and fell for the Carnival thing..

Dress is lovely...shame about that accident the model had on the way here...never mind, John did all he could in the circumstances, considering the lack of time available...!!

The other injection of insanity comes from Gareth Pugh, of course, without whom we may take it all far too seriously...

Hard to tell whether this is a Man or Woman, but who cares...I love it !!

I hope you are all getting your pointy hats out of their boxes for that Christmas party...


So you see, this Autumn isn't really all bad news is it...I mean, yes we have the puffball skirt to deal with, and the inverted triangle with the knitwear going on, but the rest is really quite wearable for a change !!

I'd say that, for the first twenty years anyway, if you can remember it the first time around, then you shouldn't be wearing it the second time around...the words 'mutton' and 'lamb' spring to mind...
After about thirty years, you can probably get away with it, on the grounds that you can recycle the originals and get the kudos that way !!

Later on, this Autumn, around September, I will be posting my choices for the best buys that are actually in the shops...and I will be biased heavily in favour of the ( slightly ) older woman !!...

Enjoy this Autumn...



Sun, 6th Aug 2006 (UTC)
How about if you not only remember it from the first time round but some of it is still sitting in the back of one of your wardrobes?
Sun, 6th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Well, you could always see if it still fits...and if it does, then you go girl...bluff your way through the Autumn !!

If it doesn't, then admit defeat gracefully and give it to Charity...then go out and buy it all again one or two sizes bigger ...
Sun, 6th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Wow, what an interesting collection! Quite a variation of styles for different occasions.

My absolute favourite there is the purple empire tent dress (not suitable for the office of course :D) - this would suit any reasonably tall woman of any build, I would say.

Me wants it, precious!!!

Thanks Wendy XXX
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I loved that dress too...if you have a few thousand pounds to spare, it could be yours..
I reckon that we may see that on the red carpet this year, maybe at the Oscars, or the Golden Globes...he's very popular amongst the Hollywood Set, apparently ( I've just read his press releases !! )
Sun, 6th Aug 2006 (UTC)

I don't care how in vogue the 80s look now is. I wore it last time around and I'm never going to wear it again! I'm never going to wear purple, or shoulder-pads, or leggings, again. *nods*
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
I know what you mean...Ghyste commented about the hideousness of the Autumn stuff in her catalogue, a few weeks ago, and the fact that leggings and the oversize sweaters were featuring heavily...

I reckon that when you get to a certain age, you earn the right to wear what suits your shape, and not to follow every trend blindly, like a lot of women who are younger...but the trick is to adapt whatever look is in the shops to suit...
Every season there is at least one look that would suit any particular person, and it's just a matter of finding the right look for you...and actually, the shoulder-pad thing wasn't much in evidence really, thank goodness - any suits were much more 40s in their styling, so you can breathe a sigh of relief there !!

As far as leggings go, I actually don't think we'll see much of them in public...people usually remember them with a shudder, so the possibility of them returning with a vengeance is remote, I think !!
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
I've been a big fan of the 'hippy' look that's been in for the past few years, and I think I shall probably just go on wearing that kind of stuff as it suits me. I am a woman of a certain age (42), and I agree that it's important to wear what suits you!
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
I agree...the Boho look has been in for some time now, and has a lot going for it really...it is very creative and colourful, with lots of surface detail, embroidery, and the like, and it will be hard to give it up...so don't !!
If you like it, then run with it for a little while longer...by the time you are getting fed up with it, it'll be back in fashion again !!!
Sun, 6th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Some fashions should not be allowed to make a comeback when they were hideous the first time around, lol!

The balloon/puff skirts are awful any way I look at them, though I don't mind the leggings, really. The only problem with leggings is that you will see them worn by ladies who are...er...on the ample side and that is just plain wrong.
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Hi Peri,
Yes, the puffball skirt actually isn't too bad IF it is executed in a very soft draped fabric, like layers of chiffon or silk...but the balloon shape is just awful !! It looks like a sack, because it is sometimes designed to hang from the shoulders instead of the Empire-line level or the waist, and then it looks about as awful as you can possibly imagine...

Leggings can look good, but you have to be quite tall and slim to carry that look off, and the shame of it the last time around, was that it became THE ubiquitous Look for the Eighties...for just about everybody, regardless whether it suited or not...and it usually didn't !!
Often it was worn by ladies who were far too fat to look good in such an unforgiving style, but they wore them anyway, because they were so comfortable...that seemed to excuse almost anything !!
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Oh my, it's going to be a long year! Well, I do like the color pallette, especially those purples. And I like the empire waist - that would look good on me. My favorite item, though, is the lime green velvet handbag! I could it eat it with a spoon!

My 10-year-old daughter just walked in, and I thought you might be interested in her perspective on things. She largely agrees with you on the Trends to Love, although she feels the metallic dresses are a bit much and the last one looks more like a wedding gown than an evening gown.

As for the Trends to Hate, here is her perspective:

In re: the same velvet bag I loved: "Gag! - It would go well with your sweater, Mom" (which believe me, is NOT a compliment - she hates that sweater).

She agrees with you on the white Balenciaga coat, but is rather partial to the riding hat.

As for the charcoal grey Ferretti coat with the fur on top, she says it "looks like she's wearing a barrel without a bottom or a top."

We both loved Stella McCartney's sapphire blue trapeze coat: "You can tell it's made from good quality fabric," quoth The Girl.

She was beside herself at the John Galliano frilly clown balloon dress: There was no comment, other than the sound of her small body hitting the floor in a dead faint.

As for the last photo of the pointy-hatted woman, she says, "Who would want to wear that in public!"
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
How funny !!!
Tell the Girl that she has very good taste in the making, and the Galliano Balloon dress is quite excusable because John Galliano is our biggest nutter - practically completely barking...just like Gareth Pugh, his Couture Show is guaranteed to entertain and amuse every time !! His RTW stuff however is quite wearable, believe it or not !!

The little green velvet bag is in Monsoon now - I saw it the other day - and I will be buying that at the next oportunity...tell your daughter that Monsoon/Accessorize is one of our most popular shops on the High Street, and they have styles to suit everybody, so the little green bag is just one of many different things they sell...and it wouldn't do at all if everybody loved the same things...we'd all look the same, and that day is gone forever, I think !!

Stella's blue Trapeze coat just serves to prove my point about a shape depending on what you make it out of...in a stiff wool, it sticks out from the body in an unnatural shape, and looks quite daft, but make it in a very good quality soft wool fabric - actually it looks like it may be a beautiful wool/angora mix - and it flows as you move and that makes it into a thing of beauty !!
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
The next time we come to London, The Girl and I are going to meet up with you for sure, for a tour of the fashion haunts of London. The Girl is becoming quite the fashionista, and she'd have a ball!
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Oh what a FAB idea !!!

The Girl would LOVE to see Topshop...an absolute emporium, there's no other word that would do it justice...it's quite famous all over the World, even getting regular mentions in Vogue magazine, and its customers include Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, and many other fashion icons of this World !! If you don't find anything to suit there, just pop back next week...it'll all be different !!

You would probably love 'Monsoon', and it's other incarnation as the 'Place to Be' for bags etc, 'Accessorize'...their stuff is very wearable if you are anywhere from the mid-twenties to the mid-fifties really, and they always have the most beautiful colours and fabrics ...

Then there is Jigsaw, Kew, Wallis, Oasis, Vestry, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Per Una at M & S, and Marks & Spencer itself, of course, and about a gazillion other names that I can reel off...
I must say the best thing about our High Street shops here, ( although they do tend to make every High St. look very samey ), is the fact that we have SO many multiples...shops that have lots and lots of small branches all over the country...and they all cater for different ages, tastes, and shapes...a diversity of choice makes our shopping trips very exciting !! I don't know what America is like, but Canada tends to be stuck with Pile 'em High, Sell 'em Cheap warehouse-type shops, or hugely exclusive Department Stores that only seem to sell designer stuff for very expensive prices !! Precious little in the middle-price range...only maybe one or two shops per town...not nearly enough for me, I'm afraid !!

Thu, 10th Aug 2006 (UTC)
I don't know enough about clothes shopping to make a value judgment about our shopping choices here. At our local upscale mall Ann Taylor , Talbots , and J. Jill , Coldwater Creek are located all in a row, and are pretty much where I shop exclusively. However, I do tend to dress a lot like a bag lady.

I need to spend a whole summer in the U.K., just visiting my LJ friends. It would be so much fun! I'd trade everyone expert garden tours in their local area for accommodations. And I would definitely bring The Girl. What larks! We just found the Monsoon site and spent several happy minutes just looking at the purse department!
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
O-M-G... Austrian blinds with an Elizabethan collar to boot. :o It doesn't even suit the model.

And leggings! I remember the first time around my mother-in-law saying they suited no-one, a conclusion she reached after walking behind my tall, skinny next-door-neighbour. I think (for once!) she was right.

Well at least purple and lime green suit me - some consolation!

The shoes and bags are attractive (bags are a big weakness of mine). I do love the Mary-Jane shoes especially - right up my street, though I only wear heals for evening dos these days.

Believe it or not I bought that lime green velvet bag from Accessorize last winter. I guess it's been popular for them to keep it this long. I absolutely adore it but I have only used it a few times so far as I usually need a bigger bag for day use and only get it out for evenings.

I noticed that animal prints were rather prevalent in the shops. At Christmas I sold on e-bay two animal print evening dresses, both with an overlay of black voile. I liked them but thought the animal print a little out of date! Also they were shapeless, which I realised did me no favours.

It's a mistake I used to make, being a larger lady, wearing over-sized
jumpers and T-shirts or shapeless dresses. It's a mistake I see many larger women make, though the likes of Evans don't help because they produce these shapeless wonders. So you won't see me in the large sweater or Balenciaga style dresses!

Well, at least my older daughter (UK size 8/10) will like the empire line - she loves Jane Austen and made that style dress for her textiles GCSE several years back. My other daughter would probably look fabulous in most of those clothes - she's tall and slim and has the most amazingly long legs. But usually she can be seen in tatty, baggy jeans and a T-shirt. There's no justice!

Thanks for the sneaky peaky Wendy. I'm sure once the High Street gets hold of it, it won't be nearly as depressing!
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Yes, your Ma-in-Law is perfectly correct, I reckon...leggings are intrinsically a Bad Thing, precisely because they don't tell any lies...they are brutally honest about leg shape and bottom shape, and just about every other shape that you would want to lie about !! If you are very skinny, then you look positively skeletal, and...let's just not go there if you weigh anything over nine stone !!

Actually, the Empire-line style is very good for slightly Larger than Life ladies, as it is very flattering for just about any figure...makes your bosom the best thing ever, and skims over the rest...what more could you want ?!!

The Collections this season were actually quite wearable, but as usual, critics like me have cherry-picked the worst of the repeating trends, and have written all sorts of stuff about how bad the coming season is going to be...but really and truly, I reckon you will find plenty to love in the shops this Autumn...as I said up there, I will be investigating just exactly what is Good and what is Bad, in the shops, come about September or thereabouts...
Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for this interesting post and the super pics, Wendy.

The puffball thingy and the Balloon Skirts reminded me very much of one Monty Python's episode, titled "The Golden Age of Ballooning" :-D

I love love love the Empire-line dresses - especially the two Lacroix robes are fantastic! *kisses Monsieur Lacroix's feet, Edina Monsoon style* And Armani's dream in pearly-white organza... mmhhmmm.

Leggings... I confess I wore them myself, about 20 years ago. *blush* But I was young and... well, you know. :-p
It won't happen again. Honour bright!
Tue, 8th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Hi Whiteling...
Yes, Monsieur Lacroix is a genius where evening wear is concerned...and always has been !! I'm always surprised that he isn't more well known than he is really...and Armani, I always think of as being exceptionally good for tailoring...suits and the like, and this Collection is no exception, but his evening-dresses are just sublime !!

The name I don't know at all is the Turkish designer Elie Saab...but I reckon we will get to know his dresses more and more...Hollywood seems to adore his work !!

Mon, 7th Aug 2006 (UTC)
The summer fashions are just coming out here now, Wendy, and you're dead right about the return both to the 80s and to the 40s.

Erk, the puffball dress. And leggings. Here's hoping 80s hairdos don't make a comeback as well.
Tue, 8th Aug 2006 (UTC)
Oh but I just LOVED my bubble perm...didn't you?!!
I am glad to see that the Southern Hemisphere is going mad just like the rest of us...
Tue, 8th Aug 2006 (UTC)
I agreed with Bagendbabe. I most preferred the "Purple crushed silk...and an Empire line...and a very full skirt..Elie Saab manages to incorporate three trends into one fabulous dress !!!" Gorgeous; and it looked great on the model.
Tue, 8th Aug 2006 (UTC)
yes, that dress has been universally loved by all so far...it IS FAB, isn't it ?!!...
Sat, 26th Jan 2008 (UTC)

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