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FASHION: LET'S GO FOR GAUDY!; TIME FOR BRIGHT IDEAS AS SPRING BURSTS OUT IN FULL COLOUR.

Byline: CLARE McVEY

LET'S face it. The muted colours and unusually understated clothes on show at London Fashion Week have been, well, drab. But Lifestyle Editor CLARE McVEY discovers there's plenty of colour available on the high street - and it's positively GAUDY.

EARN YOUR STRIPES... team a leaf ochre and tangerine slash-neck top (pounds 79) with a lime and coffee skirt from Anne Storey, or try a russet printed chiffon tunic (pounds 199) from the same designer (right)

POPULAR... a sage and pink belted tunic (pounds 14.99) is teamed with a knee-length skirt (pounds 14.99) from New Look

CHIC... black trousers (pounds 45) set off a Gharani Strok keyhole top (pounds 28) from Debenhams

FLYING HIGH... Country Casuals' peacock silk print jacket (pounds 159) brightens black silk trousers (pounds 79)

IN THE PINK... pay pounds 99 from an abstract print silk dress from Country Casuals

MIX AND MATCH... Next's purple printed dress (pounds 49.99) contrasts with designer Antonio Pernas' creation (left)

HAVING spent the 1990s chanting a fashion mantra of demure, pared-down and simple, it's with some trepidation that we see those vivid, luminous colours and busy patterns making a comeback.

Trying to encourage us to go crazy with colours and prints once again could be an uphill struggle.

We can't help thinking that, once we've been persuaded of the charms of this look, it'll be time to climb back down that hill again.

The problem with fashion that screams out to be noticed is that when it starts to look dated it stands out like sore thumb.

Think about the classic loud '70s shirt. The only way it would have made an outing in the past two decades is as part of a fancy dress costume.

Are they really expecting us to embrace a trend we have spent the past 20 years ridiculing? Well, yes. Part of the current rage for '80s excess is the use of lots of clashing colours and gaudy patterns - some of them drawing more from the 70s-style psychedelic wardrobe.

If you really want to go to town with this look, Next has a multi-coloured printed polyester dress with an eye-catching swirly pattern.

And if you're not too shy to stand out from the crowd, preen yourself in a peacock feather print jacket by Country Casuals.

Also from Country Casuals, not usually known for its riotous colour schemes, is a navy silk dress with a lurid geometric print top.

Or mix it all up by teaming a tangerine stripy top with a lime and coffee-print wrap skirt from Anne Storey.

But if you don't want to end up with an expensive fashion faux pas on your hands in six months' time, it might be wise to head for the value end of the high street.

New Look has lots in store including tunic tops and skirts in 70s-inspired prints for less than pounds 15.

No-one said it would have to last until 2020.

Anne Storey, Leaf Ochre and tangerine striped slash-neck top, Anne Storey pounds 79 .

Debenhams, Gharani Strok Red paisley keyhole top pounds 28 and Black trousers pounds 45 .

Anne Storey, Russet printed chiffon tunic, Anne Storey pounds 199.00 .

Episode, Black knitted top pounds 89, Black and white floral silk skirt pounds 139 .

Country Casuals, Black peacock silk print jacket pounds 159, Black silk trousers pounds 79, Necklace available from a selection .

Country Casuals, Navy abstract print silk dress pounds 99 , Earrings available from a selection

Newlook, Sage and pink belted tunic top pounds 14.99 with Knee length skirt pounds 14.99 from Newlook .

Next, Purple Printed Dress, Next pounds 49.99 .

London Fashion Week

A MODEL DISPLAYS A DESIGN FROM CLEMENTS RIBEIRO'S 2001 WINTER COLLECTION AT LONDON FASHION WEEK...A model displays a design from Clements Ribeiro's 2001 Winter collection at London Fashon Week February 20, 2001.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Feb 25, 2001
Words:639
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