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Spring into summer trends

Banish your winter wear and stock up on this season's looks with a round-up of the hottest trends for spring and summer 2008.

Now's the time to free ourselves from winter woollies and embrace some long-awaited summertime chic. Sunbeams may still be in hiding, but the high street has stepped into spring/summer fashions, leaving jumper dresses and cocoon coats looking like wardrobe have - beens.

This season's trends appeal to all tastes, whether you want to fall in love with ethereal romantic floaty fashions or fall back on practical safari styles. It's also action-packed on the print front ‒ floral blooms, nautical stripes or ethnic embroidery, they're the easy way to instantly refresh your wardrobe for the new season.

Wondering what to buy for a style-packed summer? Here's the S/S 08 low-down. Get temperatures rising in this season's hottest trends.




NATTY NAUTICALS

Nautical may be revived every summer season but this classic trend is still as fresh as sea air. The sight of red, white and blue along with sailor stripes has us all reaching for our buckets and spades.

The bolder the stripes, the better this season. Vertical, horizontal or diagonal, Nicole Farhi, Biba and Jean Paul Gaultier all paraded zebra crossing-style bands down the runway. Give the look an unexpected American flag twist by pairing stripes with clashing star prints.

ESSENTIAL ITEMS: Bold striped tee/dress, sailor-style wide-leg trousers, nautical swishy skirt, navy piped blazer.




GLOBAL TRAVELLER

Itchy feet? Take your fashion inspiration far and wide this season. Native-American embroidery, African tribal prints, Indian saris... designers took their style cue from first-class global travel.

British designer Matthew Williamson delighted the London Fashion Week crowd with his collection dubbed "global fashion-gypsy". The high street has followed suit with a fabulous clash of bright colour, print, and embroidery.

ESSENTIAL ITEMS: Ethnic scarf, tribal print dress, bright kaftan, suede fringe bag or boots.




ROMANTIC LIAISONS

Fall head-over-heels with this season's romantic trend. Designers such as Chloe, Giles, Prada and Alberta Ferretti all sent frothy layered creations down the catwalks that looked as light as air.

Expect ruffles, ribbons and corsage detailing on light gauzy fabrics. Don't panic! Sheer barely-there clothing doesn't have to mean exposing all ‒ the right undergarments are key to carrying off the look. Protect your modesty and toughen up the feminine look by layering with a different coloured top or bodysuit.

ESSENTIAL ITEMS: Ruffle blouse, sheer dress, chic undergarments.




SULTRY LOOKS

Refresh your make-up bag and check out this season's upcoming beauty looks with our round-up of the hottest trends for spring and summer 2008.

Forget the spring cleaning. Put your feather duster to one side and concentrate on brushing up your make-up routines instead, with the new season's hottest hair and beauty trends. From barely-there beauty to ultra-bright shock colour, glamorous groomed hair to laid-back gypsy locks ‒ there's a look we can all adopt from the spring/summer 08 catwalks.

The industry experts reveal what's new and fresh for hair, make-up and nails this season. Our beauty forecast for this summer is certainly bright and sunny.




HAIR

Is the towering Winehouse beehive look starting to bore you? Lose the backcombing and excessive hairspray, this season marks a more relaxed vibe to hair, whether up or down.

There's not one key hair trend this season. In keeping with the eclectic bunch of fashion trends hair looks are just as disparate, from the "gorgeously groomed" look at Versace and Matthew Williamson where hair looks expensive, glossy and very feminine to the "modern gypsy" look at Etro, Giles and Chloe, where texture plays a key part of the overall look.

To go with the glossy approach, hair either needs to be long and full of body and shiny, or tied in a glamorous low ponytail with a slick wave ‒ ideal for warmer summer months.

For relaxed bohemian style locks, hair is teased, twisted or even crimped. This look is all about individuality.




SAFARI CHIC

Stock up on safari style gear by the jeep-load. This classic look is made for fans of neutrals with a colour palette of muddy brown, khaki and beige.

Safari chic swept down the catwalks at Versace, Donna Karan, Jasper Conran and Michael Kors. Forget about bulky shoulder pads and stiff linen, this season's safari has a definite softness ‒ with body-skimming belted jackets mixed with silks and chiffons. Think A-list African holiday and you're on the right track to walking on the wild side.

ESSENTIAL ITEMS: Belted jacket, tailored linen essentials, tan leather belt, wooden bangles.




FLORAL FEVER

Poppies, daisies, peonies and roses... this isn't a scene from Chelsea Flower Show but our summer wardrobes in full bloom. It's a mixed bouquet this season ‒ from spriggy florals to super-bold blossoms, there's a bloom for you.

Flowers spread like wildfire over the catwalks at Gucci, Luella and Stella McCartney to name just a few. McCartney said of her floral-clad collection: "I didn't want to do a cutesy, girly floral print. I knew from day one that I wanted it to be strong, energetic and striking."

ESSENTIAL ITEMS: Floral dress, floral corsage, chunky accessories.
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