Professional Jeweler Archive: Rough Trade

October 2000

Professional Insider/Trend Spotting


Rough Trade

Ladylike uptown dressing is back, but so is its opposite -- punky, edgy and downtown. Sometimes the two mix it up


With the vaunted return of the dressy good-girl suits and luxurious excesses of the 1980s comes a look that coexisted then too – think punky, flashy, trashy and slightly soiled. Bad girls just wanna have fun again.

Tough-Chick Chic

Without question, the fashion focus is on leather and other skins for fall and winter. Gucci’s motocross-inspired outfit includes padded leather pants, skinny jacket and some sort of biker-inspired do-rag. Fashion house Bottega Veneta shows a lizard-skin blazer, visor and handbag on a barely clad model. Beyond basic black and brown, leather and other skins are shown in hot red, buttery tan, cobalt blue and multicolored patchworks. The newest finish for leather is a shiny lacquer. Jackets are a given in these fabrics, but pants are now ubiquitous, and shirts are shown also. This leather obsession drenches both genders, and that other bastion of ’80s edge, androgyny, also looks to be making a comeback in opposition to ladylike dressing.

Mixing it Up

Stylemakers are also borrowing a byproduct of Prada and other designers’ reinterpretation of 1940s suits – the fishnet stocking, with all of its slightly sinister and darkly sexual connotations. Also notice the heavy use of black eyeliner on models, and soon in real life, this season, with even the most tailored and upstanding clothing. These touches and others – like bedhead-y hairstyles – add a raw edge to ladylike fashions.

To help your customers, take your cue from Elle, which shows how to strike a middle ground between all these trends. The model wears leather over chiffon, and tempers a large steel men’s watch (look out for that androgyny thing) with two tiny tennis (oops, diamond line) bracelets. Show your customer that contrasts – a men’s Rolex with a Chanel-inspired suit or lacy necklace with a glossy leather motorcycle jacket – individualize fashion.

– by Liz Smutko

Tough chicks take on the fashion world, kicking the ladylike look back uptown where it belongs.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications