Thursday 11th May, 2006


Fashion conscious go back to the 80's

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Zen Dionne Jarrette takes a light look at the current trends

The fashion motto for summer 2006 is: less is bore!

Trends are the new slavery and almost everyone is being obedient. The trick is to try wearing as many of the “it” styles as you possibly can.

“Trendslaves,” as followers of this fashion are called, are walking around dressed in a fusion of the 1960s Twiggy mod era, and the Debbie Gibson/Madonna heyday of the 1980s.

Grown women are all over Manhattan dressed in “shin-busters,” (or calf-length “Lambada tights” as we called them locally) with ballet tutus and Converse sneakers (known as Chuck Taylors). It looks as if they got evicted from their homes and had to put on all their clothes at once.

Officially out for 2006 are shiny metallic bags, Ali Baba shoes and bootcut pants.

In now are skinny jeans, or as we say in Trinidad “gunmouth pants,” cowboy boots and giant ski-slope shades. Big belts are also in and may be the only really useful trend out now. They help to create the appearance of an hourglass figure and also encourage good posture.

The Vans brand “palletman” sneaks with no laces is also very now.

The scruffy Bohemian look, of which Mary Kate Olsen is the patron saint, is now starting to fade. “Boho,” as it was called, now stands for “Bo-homeless.”

Floor-length cotton skirts and clothes that are shapeless and look like they came out of the Labasse are passé. Flirty skirts that stop at the shins and fall low on the hip are in and the micromini is back.

Unfortunately, the giant handbags and granny bags worn on the forearm have carried over from Bo-ho. The monochrome look (dressing in several shades of a single color) is in and to do it right, you have to remember three things: shoes and shades and belt. Wearing white shoes, a la the 80s, with white sunglasses and white belt is the most popular, but orange, green and red are the other key colours in this style.

For guys, girls’ clothing is not off limits this year.

While the average Trini man may balk at this, in New York they take it all in stride.

Men are now wearing the Jackie O or bumblebee-style sunglasses. The faux-hawk (a Mohawk made with gel, not scissors) has had a surprising resurgence. Also hot for the Y chromosome set is the nameplate chain, which was previously almost always worn by women—but the male version is as big as a license plate.

“Manbags” and “mandals,” or the male equivalent of handbags and sandals, are flying off the shelves at the men’s stores.

Even hip hop icon Diddy is wearing this trend. As he advised in a recent interview, “Just make sure the bag is big enough so it doesn’t look like a purse.”

The “Brad Pitt,” or slouch sock hat, looks good on some but is not for everyone. It pretty much looks like the Cat in the Hat with no starch. If a man has something that limp hanging on him it makes one wonder: what else is limp?

Ramon Baynes, a choreographer who has been on tour shaking his stuff with the likes of Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey, has recently added “stylist” to his resume. He offers his own spin on the current crazy trends.

“It’s all about owning your look and wearing what you feel good in. Opinions are out!”

At the time of interview, he was in Union Square helping a female friend get herself outfitted. He was wearing a slouch sock hat, skinny jeans, cowboy boots, ski slope glasses, nameplate chain and giant sling bag.

His parting words were: “The theme of fashion this year is: no fear! Live life lovely!”

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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