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When in the red, wear black

Friday, 5 August 2011

A mid the credit crunch crisis and bleak talk of a slide into global recession, coupled with the news that house prices have suffered their worst decline in over a decade, the extravagance and excess of high fashion might have been expected to provide a little light relief.
But the mood of the autumn/winter 2008 collections mirrored the economic gloom all too closely. Black is everywhere, and shapes are decidedly buttoned-up and puritanical. If you thought Carla Bruni in sombre dark grey up to the neck was bad, wait until August, when – even though Britain may still be experiencing sunny weather – the new season's clothes will be in the shops. The colourful displays of floral prints currently to be found on department store racks will be replaced by severe black dresses, sharply tailored suits and other clothes emphasising sobriety and practicality.
The return to black started in February, when the new fashion collections were unveiled before the world's press. From the models at the YSL show, who matched their black clothes with black lipstick and pudding-bowl wigs, to Lanvin's endless variations on cocktail dresses, again all in black, there was barely a bright spot to be found.

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