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The Warsaw Voice » Other » February 20, 2008
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Elegance and Extravagance
February 20, 2008   
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Springtime is calling on fashionistas to embrace a new aesthetic that reaches for the future while remaining rooted in the past.

Marella harks back to the 1960s and 80s with suits and formal costumes that give a professional look with their high, figure-flattering waistlines made from hi-tech glossy fabrics. Intense colors are another throwback to the 80s with garish orange and shocking pink slugging it out with the grays and blacks. Marella offers an array of trench coats and evening wear adorned with graphic lines. These are made from "masculine" materials, like linen matting, glossy diagonals, and elastic gabardine. The collection also features skirts, trousers, and jeans. These are usually close-fitting and are characterized by high waistlines and fine details such as zippers and tight stitching. But dresses are the key to the collection. Marella's dresses give off a haute couture vibe whether they be silken and sequined or stretch fabric. Abstract patterns speckled with yellow and black, and shantung silk and floaty empire-waist polka dot dresses are among the other standouts. Crisp, colorful floral patterns have been reserved for the most romantic frocks. Class and casualness rule.

The Francesco Biasia spring/summer collection for 2008 combines functionality and refinement with its oversized bags and their many and spacious pockets and drawstring closures. The label contrasts smooth forms with sharp corners. The collection derives its classy look from cool metals as well as leather and natural fabrics. Each line has its own color scheme. Futuristic Vintage offers a 1970s look with a touch of the theatrical. Synthetic fabrics predominate and brown and flagrant pink stand out against a backdrop and white and gray.

All the energy, power and color that Africa can muster is brought to bear on Africa Remix. Prints and linings feature multicolored giraffe motifs and geometrical patterns give off the overall mood while quilted effects and metallics lend a sporty character. Handbags made from straw-like materials evoke the ethnic spirit and ooze sensual charm. The collection features earthen hues with fluorescent tinges such as lime and fuchsia. The Funky Lady blends her romantic nature with a restless, adventurous spirit. Sophisticated elements, such as embroidery, Jacquard ribbons and leather adornments are the highlights of this line. The prevailing colors are natural although blue, saturated yellow and warm purple also make an appearance.

Hexeline projects the image of an elegant woman who likes to splurge out occasionally. The label has whipped up a deceptively simple spring collection of jackets and dresses with just a hint of the trench coat about them. Safari blouses and trapezoid colonial jackets with loose stand-up collars look as if they have jumped out of sepia-toned photographs.

Hexeline has been revisiting those 1930s men's trousers that made Oxford famous. Their wide flares, high waistlines and tucks go well with a white, classic blouse or, if that does not take your fancy, glossy drainpipe trousers are an alternative currently in vogue. Toned down, yet shimmering whites, beiges and browns predominate. Oversized bags, especially bucket bags, accentuate the flowing, smooth silhouette of the pieces. Contrast is all the rage, be it fabrics or effects. Matt meets gleam and the diaphanous is coupled with the dense in a way that brings to mind vintage poplin with a faint sheen.

Max Mara goes for modern balance, focusing on slimming tailleur and denim. The lineup includes cotton trench coats, bubble cellophane blousons and baggy tuxedos. Wide and deconstructed skirts run through the entire collection. The pieces mainly feature soft hues such as pink and baby blue plain although black and white make an occasional appearance. Sparkling embroidery anglaise and Japanese motifs all make for great embellishments this spring.

The Coccinelle spring collection features simple lines with a touch of elegance and sophistication. The designs are functional and delicate, yet chic. Elegance Glam is the last word in handbags, footwear and accessories with pearly details, smooth cuts and glossy trimmings. Coccinelle also has quilted bags with chain straps and handles. This season's colors are cobalt gray, pastel shades of lilac, and a soothing watery green known as "spa," and old rose, a new natural hue of tremulous pink.

Sport Chic has opted for a more functional look. Metallic and pearly nylons, and ornamented fabric with metal finishing ooze comfort and practicality. Subdued colors blend in with sunny yellows and vivid brick reds. Wedge sandals in natural tones have been designed for the more daring. Hats and scarves have been patterned with the themes of the collection.

Bata's latest 1960s and 80s-inspired collection draws on blossom colors and slick cuts. The eminently feminine Neon Light line features vivid hues with a distinct preference for reds, yellows, intense blues and greens although the timeless and ever-reliable black and white combination is never far away. Glossy materials and simple graphic ornamentation overarch this line.

The Futurist line, on the other hand, is all about silver, synthetic fibers, transparent fabrics and the counterpoint of black and white. The Wood line combines modern urban style with natural elements like bulky, wooden heels. This is a place where canvas, denim and leather hold sway. The newly released masculine Style line incorporates sporty chic with an excellent cut and bold finishing. The "dandy" style, for example, features bright colors tinged with white and beige in bas relief against black and navy blue with silver details.

Pennyblack is sticking with flowing, airy dresses, tunics, shirts and thin tops, white dresses, and vibrant colors redolent of a garden in full bloom. Black has been despatched to make more room for light blues, yellows, oranges, greens, reds and purples. The collection's flagship outfits include mini dresses, shirts, raincoats, striped jerseys and anoraks. Colorful knitwear has made a comeback with long-sleeved and sleeveless cardigans, and kimono-style garments with bat sleeves and thick and thin stripes. Accessories include patent leather and large ornamented leather bags and ever-fashionable amber and mother pearl bracelets.

Konrad Bagiński
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