Fancy the rustic look? Peasant trend will dominate this year, and it costs a mere £1,700

It's been actress Sienna Miller's trademark style for the past 18 months and it had its heyday more than 30 years ago. The peasant look, despite being a major trend for the current spring season, now looks set to dominate fashion right into next winter, according to the latest collections seen on designer catwalks last week in London.

However, there is potentially bad news for slender fashion followers such as Miller. In the wake of sheepskin boots, kaftans and flouncy gypsy-style skirts - all deemed must-have items over the past year - the latest garment to be borrowed from the bohemians is the billowing a-line smock.

Last week, the designer Jessica Ogden showed patchwork artists' smocks in her autumn/winter 2005 collection, with suitably rustic inspiration from the artisan quiltmakers of Gee's Bend, Mississippi, while Danish-born designer Peter Jensen also presented smocks, this time with traditional Scandinavian embroidery. The youngest designers at London Fashion Week also fell in line with the peasant look, with Central Saint Martins student Sophia Amanzi-George wowing onlookers with her eastern European style dresses.

A move towards more elaborate folkloric styles also began at New York fashion week, where traditional Russian dress has emerged a major winter trend for designers Anna Sui, Matthew Williamson and Proenza Schouler.

"I think that the whole Russian and eastern European look is really strong for next winter," said Iain R Webb, a fashion editor at Vogue Russia. "People in the fast lane yearn for something remote and idyllic. Folkloric clothes are part of a fantasy of pastoral life. It's the Marie Antoinette syndrome.

"The peasant look is a proven success. With minimum advertising, labels such as Dries Van Noten and Marni have over the years built up a loyal client base by emphasising the handcraft-style elements of their clothing," Webb said.

The trend's continued success can also be attributed to its patent obviousness. "This is not a difficult trend. Gone are the days when women can think about their wardrobes 24/7," says Richard Gray of Harvey Nichols. "They know that they can put on a great yoked Matthew Williamson top with a pair of jeans and it will look great."

Despite 30 years passing since Yves Saint Laurent first put haute couture folkloric fashion on the Paris catwalks, some might blanche at the idea of designers borrowing ideas from rustic sources for their highly priced clothing.

Gray points to British high street fashion chains as the levelling factor that makes any moral outrages now outdated. "There's an egalitarian feel to the peasant look, because you can do it either with a fabulous £1,700 smock from Dries Van Noten or a £17 top from Topshop," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas