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Classic Styles Are in Fashion this Winter (November 9, 2005)

This girl has paired a Victorian-style jacket with a purple bag.
Victorian-inspired fashions trimmed with lace and frills are all the rage this fall and winter as Japanese women look to achieve a classic, feminine look. Combinations of black items of different materials and textures are proving particularly popular. And purple is showing up a lot, too, both as a way to accent the black-on-black layered look and as a color for accessories and cosmetics.

Elegant Frills
Lace, frills, and ribbons bedeck many of the ornate fashions coming out this fall and winter. Inspired by the distinctive fashions that took root in Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria in the late nineteenth century, the new Victorian style is characterized by corset-cinched waistlines, high-necked frilly blouses with lavishly ornamented sleeves, and voluminous long skirts.

A lace-trimmed purple top

Blouses in soft, sheer fabrics decorated with sumptuous frills across the chest and up to the neckline have found favor among women seeking an easy way to incorporate the Victorian trend into their wardrobes. The dainty detailing extends to the lacy, beribboned sleeves. These blouses can be paired with velour jackets for a weightier but equally feminine look. A different approach is to offset the exaggerated girlishness of the blouse with a cropped military-style jacket. The juxtaposition of two very different but equally classic elements - the epaulettes on the jacket and the lace on the blouse - makes for a particularly high-impact statement. Other popular pairings include a short-sleeved bolero or jacket with a blouse that has puffy chiffon sleeves or lacy see-through sleeves.

An example of the "black on black" look

Black on Black
Although black has always been a baseline color for fall and winter fashions, it is especially popular this year. A particularly noteworthy trend is the pairing and layering of black items of different materials and textures to create a "black-on-black" look. Sparkling fabrics, knits, and sheer fabrics are among the textures women are playfully blending together. Even the old rule on combining different shades of the same color has been discarded, as evidenced by pairings of brown-tinged black with a black that is just a hint away from navy-blue. This variation enables women to wear black from head to toe yet keep a casual rather than formal or businesslike look.

Victorian-style frills

The other big color this season is purple. The "in" way to wear it is as an accent to a black-on-black look. The new crop of purples spans a rich variety from bluish to reddish to claret, making it easy to choose the right shade for any complexion. Many style-conscious women are embracing purple in their accessories and cosmetics as well, choosing the shades that best match their skin tone. The ideal complement to this season's blouses is a long, chunky necklace of amethysts or garnets that can hold its own against all those frills. And a bit of purple on the nails or around the eyes lends a sexy note to the neo-Victorian look.

Victorian fashion is just the latest example of classic fashions being adapted and updated for the modern age by discerning Japanese women.

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Copyright (c) 2005 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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