a look into 1997

As the turn of the century approaches, many areas of life will become more decadent - and fashion is no exception. Goodbye minimalism and modernism - hello frills, flounces and femininity.
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Indy Lifestyle Online


Big Knickers One of the key trends for 1997, big knickers must be worn to be seen under sheer, wispy dresses. They crop up in the collections of designers including Istante, Ally Capellino, Missoni, and Dolce e Gabbana. Prada's big pants, priced around the pounds 80 mark for a single pair, look set to become big sellers. Most versions are as plain as the proverbial gym knicker, but Dolce e Gabbana's pants are patterned with roses and tigers. The bigger the knicker and the sheerer the dress the better. Beware: it's a look best suited for steamy nightclubs and summer heatwaves



Florals How does your garden grow? After the stark minimalism and simple lines of last year, floral prints look set to shoot up everywhere. For the summer 1997 collections, Milan went flower-crazy, with designers showing a range of revealing, sheer chiffon prints that would horrify the Laura Ashley contingent. Look out for stylised Chinese sprigs at Prada and Miu Miu, English country gardens in full bloom at Anna Molinari and Clements Ribeiro, as well as the restrained bamboo sprouts of Hussein Chalayan. They're strictly not for wallflowers, though



Ruffles And Frills (above and main picture). Women's clothes for next year have become ultra-feminine. If you are romantically inclined, the spring/summer look of 1997 will delight. Frills will circle necklines, cascade down wrap dresses, and continue around hemlines and cuffs. You'll notice them everywhere, from the designs of Nicole Farhi to those of Galliano and Clements Ribeiro. The chances are that by the time the frill hits the high street, you will already have succumbed to its charm, bought a flouncy dress or shirt - and possibly taken up Flamenco dancing



Geometry If the frilly look ruffles your feathers, the perfect antidote to all those florals, ribbons and bows is a clean, sharp geometric pattern. Those with truly modernist aspirations can breathe a sigh of relief as designers as different as Alexander McQueen, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein make stars out of stripes. The geometric look extends not only to bold colour blocks, go-faster stripes and angular patterns, but also to the shape of the clothes, as in asymmetrically- cut dresses, one-shouldered dresses and severely-cut handkerchief hems



Costume Drama Romantic heroines have never had it so good. A spate of slick screen costume dramas over the past 18 months has led to the dizzy renaissance of the empire dress, the corset and the bodice. At this rate, Jane Austen, Daniel Defoe and Thomas Hardy will soon be remembered more for their influence on fashion than for their influence on literature. Designers who are caught up in the drama include John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Lacroix and Antonio Berardi. A look for exhibitionists, drama queens and those who just love dressing up