UP ON THE CATWALK

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The Independent Culture
Summer fashion starts with the 'Club Tropicana' look: drinks may be chilled (and free), but the clothes have to be hot, hot, hot. Printed shirts, shorts and dresses that give a passing nod to Asian layering and a relaxed Caribbean vibe clash with modern beachwear, both the skimpy and sensible kind. Book your holiday now to guarantee these clothes their rightful place in the sun.

Wearing white from top to toe will always be a spring/summer essential, and this year is no exception. The difference for '98 lies in the move from crisp and stark cotton to draped, tucked and flowing whites in fluid jersey, silks and linen. Alternatively, opt for full-blown, saturated colour. Hot pink is the official colour for summer '98, followed by turquoise, bright red and yellow.

City-dwellers appreciate the need for slick, neat, sometimes androgynous dressing for work and play - a look personified by Gucci man and Ann Demeulemeester woman. Country-lovers want an unstructured feel to their clothes; lightweight fabrics embroidered with sprigs of flowers, and warm, woolly cardies.

Play safe and go for luxury: classic sportswear pieces in cashmere or fine cotton instead of fleece, worn with wide-legged pants, pedal-pushers or slim skirts. This look is simplicity itself. Or buy into the Wild West revival that has been expected (with dread) for seasons. This is tack with a capital T: garish cowboy boots, stetsons, Western shirts, and lots of fringeing. Yee-ha.

WHAT HE'LL BE BUYING

Nick Foss, fashion-editor-at-large, FHM

"I would love the black leather suit which Gucci showed for spring - it really wowed me out. I also loved a grey Armani suit which had a jacket with eight fly buttons and side pockets like the ones you usually find on trousers. My main must-have, however, is a pair of black Gucci lace- up shoes, with a diamante 'G' on the back of the heel."

WHAT SHE'LL BE BUYING

Tina Gaudoin, editor, Frank

"I rarely rave about anything, but Matthew Williamson's collection for spring/summer '98 was fantastic. He combined all the key looks of the season: the return of the dress, acid brights, delicate femininity and beautiful embroidery. I have already worn the Peacock dress, and I will be buying more - if not all - of the 11 outfits from the collection."

WHAT HE'LL BE BUYING

Iain R Webb, fashion director, Elle

"The biggest change from winter into summer is that I'll leave my socks off - I'll also ditch the black suit in favour of a lightweight silver/grey, single-breasted suit by Sonja Nuttall or Ann Demeulemeester, a new pair of neon-yellow trainers from Office, a windcheater from French Connection, and a cashmere sweater from Clements Ribeiro."

WHAT SHE'LL BE BUYING

Kathryn Brown, editor, Red

"The big looks for spring are going to be hot pink and transparency, but I'll be going for something a little more subtle. There's a wonderful pearly-grey trouser-suit by Ann Demeulemeester, and a cream one by Nicole Farhi. I will also be stocking up on Knickerbox white T-shirts. For parties, I am intending to treat myself to a Tocca dress."

CLUB TROPICANA

GUCCI

GUCCI

MISSONI

KATHARINE HAMNETT

KENZO

RED OR DEAD

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

JUSTIN OH

YOHJI YAMAMOTO

ANNA SUI

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

RIFAT OZBEK

WHITE

SONJA NUTTALL

JOHN GALLIANO

CALVIN KLEIN

COMME DES GARCONS

D-SQUARED

CALVIN KLEIN

COMME DES GARCONS

JUNYA WATANABE

DOLCE & GABBANA

BRIGHT

ANN DEMEULEMEESTER

OZWALD BOATENG

MATTHEW WILLIAMSON

VERSACE

CHLO

W&LT

HUSSEIN CHALAYAN

WHITE

TOWN ...

CHANEL

DONNA KARAN

JIL SANDER

GIORGIO ARMANI

NICOLE FARHI

PRADA

DOLCE & GABBANA

BLUMARINE

CHIC & SIMPLE

RALPH LAUREN

PRADA

MARC JACOBS

JOHN BARTLETT

PRADA

PRADA

PRADA

COWGIRLS & BOYS

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

COPPERWHEAT BLUNDELL

VALENTINO

OSCAR DE LA RENTA

COPPERWHEAT BLUNDELL

GIVENCHY

ANTONIO BERARDI

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