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This year's fashion doesn't depart from past

Jan. 20, 2010

By Racquel Joseph

Few topics are more frivolous, controversial, and light-hearted than fashion trends. Trends have stepped all over pop culture in Manolo Blahniks and created denim social uproars in the form of baggy jeans and super-low hip huggers. However, the fashion trends of dearly departed 2009 were a little more politically correct.

In 2009, designers avoided baring all, depending on one-shouldered dresses and crooked hems for a hint of skin. Looking back to the comforting days of 1980s luxury, bold, strong shoulders and loose harem pants made a comeback boosted by French designer Pierre Balmain.

The one note of unpractical fun was found in shoes where crazy patterns, clashing colors, sculpted heels at Dior and Miu Miu, and thigh-high boots were on all the runways and copied in malls.

In rebellion, the young and fashionable covered themselves in zippers, studs and plaid topped with military jackets in '90s grunge flair.

So, are the fashion dictators breaking out the fresh and innovative for spring 2010? Not quite.

Military style has moved camp to the desert in khakis and canvas, as shown at Chloé. Tan will be perfect to subdue the popular clashing patterns which are easy to love but hard to wear.

The 1990s are hanging on with all-denim ensembles: soft denim work shirts on top of patched up jeans. Even the '70s are making a splash in tie-dyed fabrics and draping hemlines like those at Matthew Williamson.

However, the modernists are finally out to play in the mainstream. Women everywhere can thank Proenza Schouler for surf- and skate-inspired clothes in stores. Other designers showed scuba mini-dresses and neoprene suits. Over skintight Spandex the mannequins will be wearing blazers, boyfriend blazers of course, and men's jeans.

In a new take on underwear as outerwear, designers such as Oscar de la Renta showed skirts with sheer panels and Matthew Williamson displayed transparent-backed shirts.

When looking for the perfect bag to throw on over your spring wardrobe, make a statement: tribal prints, ruffles, bold colors. It is difficult to make a mistake and it should be big enough to carry everything you need across campus.

The most notable trend of 2010 will be the participation of bloggers and street style in the creation of fashion. To truly stay on top of fashion, look to the Internet.

If there is one thing that the Internet will teach you it is that trends should be handled with care. Assistant professor of family and consumer sciences Dr. Jay Yoo suggests investing in "affordable luxury" to balance trends such as "pencil skirts, high-waisted pieces, and lightweight, unstructured handbags" by luxury brands.

As trends flicker in and out of magazines and your closet, you can bet that the women behind blogs such as Coedugly on and Karlascloset are just as reliable as the traditional

If there is one thing that the Internet will teach you it is that trends should be handled with care. Celebrate them by scattering them in your wardrobe in bits and pieces and creating a stir this spring.