Everyone is dressing down this season. Sharp shoulders and power suits have long gone. The short skirt and the structured jacket look out of place; anachronisms from the 1980s.
The 1980s is not merely history, but ancient history. Mind you, so is last winter. 'Grunge?' Sarajane Hoare, editor-at-large of Harper's Bazaar, said: 'I can't understand why you're asking me about that. It happened ages ago, last November.'
The grunge look - the mix-and-match, dressed down, nouveau pauvre style, based on Camden Market's chic, but given a name by rock musicians in Seattle, is having a longer life than anyone expected. Stir in some touches of 1970s retro-styling and the resulting mix is potent. At the more avant-garde fashion shows, the journalists and buyers in the front rows still hide behind dark glasses and blank smiles, but their clothes are noticeably more casual: long dresses, leather jackets, suede waistcoats, fringed long cardigans, T-shirts, even blue jeans.