Fashion: Juicy fruits

In this season of high camp, choosing a wardrobe for next summer requires a careful eye

What is a girl to wear next summer? Ask some of the designers who have been showing at London Fashion Week over the past five days and the answer may be a fur stole, dyed red and green, worn with shoes so high and spiky you would be incapacitated (Tristan Webber); an organza skirt and a pair of customised ice-skating boots (Boudicca); a leather neck-brace (Alexander McQueen), a dress so short it reveals your sequined knickers (Matthew Williamson), a suffocating, crudely printed bustier so short you'd catch a chill around your nether regions and would need to be waxed from your toes to your belly-button (Sean McGowan), or a tinsel bikini (Julien Macdonald).

If you don't like those answers - and why should you? - you could look elsewhere. But many of the offerings on the catwalks over the past five days have been nothing more than camp twaddle - clothes made by self-indulgent designers who should know by now that no woman wants to look like a) a sci-fi superhero, b) a drag queen, c) a freak. Girl power does not mean women want to wear ugly clothes. None that I know, anyway. But there were also clothes here for intelligent, fashion-conscious women to salivate over.

My own shopping list would include a modern and graphic dress in red by Mulligan. The designer Tracy Mulligan made a welcome comeback to the catwalks and her collection was clean, simple and easy to wear. My list would also include a lemon yellow dress with an elasticated waist and ribbons at the shoulders, by Sonja Nuttall. As Suzanne Clements of Clements Ribeiro recently told me, the dress is the answer to most women's wardrobe problems. It pulls you together and skims over the lumps and bumps. And although lemon yellow may sound a peculiar colour, it looked bright, fresh and sunny. For evening wear, I would go along with Clements Ribeiro's suggestion of light, lacy dresses that looked feminine without being fussy. Not surprisingly, it is the women of Fashion Week who are providing the most wearable, most desirable clothes.

Hard-edged, aggressive fashion has - it would appear - had its day. Even Alexander McQueen softened his shoulders and made flattering cocktail dresses in softly draped jersey, while Hussein Chalayan's simple, modern pieces, including jackets and skirts with geometric shaping, were a must- have.

From Paul Smith - London's answer to Ralph Lauren - there were sumptuous satin duster coats in baby pink, and ice-blue satin shoes for evening, or simply jeans and a relaxed tailored jacket for everyday wear. Thankfully, there is an end in sight to the stranglehold the colour grey has had over fashion for the past three seasons. Summer 1999 promises to be one of juicy fruit colours.

Finally, my list would have to include a pair of 24-carat gold shoes by Manolo Blahnik for Antonio Berardi - the newest alternative to jewellery and, at pounds 10,000 a pair, best kept locked up in a jewellery box - to wear with a batik print chiffon summer dress, or a soft and lightweight, floor- length, knitted angora dress. Practical? Not in the least, but fine and precious all the same.

Arts and Entertainment
Loading individual letters on to an original Heidelberg printing press
Arts and Entertainment
Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'