The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Couture takes short cut

London, Sept. 21: High-waisted and belted or slouchy and slipped to the hips, they offered a fresh and youthful alternative to all the girls who don’t fancy the idea of stepping out in a dainty dress or a fitted frock next season ' the other key trend emerging from this week’s shows.

Whether safari-style with roomy pockets and worn with waistcoats, as at Topshop Unique’s trail-blazing show in Berkeley Square on Monday night, or as sexy and suggestive as a pair of lacy French knickers, as at Paul Smith, this was the short-cut to fun style next season.

Sequinned “disco” shorts even made a re-appearance.

Smith, head of a '258-million empire, created a boys’ own fantasy, picking up on what Americans call “boyfriend clothes”.

He dressed his models as girlfriends who had snatched comfy, cream cricket sweaters, pastel V-neck vests and granddad bib-front shirts from the masculine wardrobe and teamed them with cute, flared-leg shorts.

Henley-look blazers and lace camisoles came with classic, printed silk boxers, which could have been pilfered from the locker-room. Satin platform ankle-strap shoes and lace shoulder bags added a quirky feminine touch, while delicate cream lace culottes, worn with body-fit shirts were a spin on the underwear-as-outwear theme.

At the show by young designer Emma Cook, the shorts look was translated as all-in-one romper suits, while Peter Jensen showed shorts in a subdued navy, blue and white with puffed-sleeve blouses.

Ashish, an Indian designer, one of the 19 talents sponsored under the New Generation scheme, took the bling route, showing sporty styles in red, black and gold sequins.

At Eley Kishimoto, shorts even made an appearance as a tailored alternative to the trouser suit.

For weekend and holiday, there were shorts in floral-printed silk.

Aquascutum, the British brand that is more than 150 years old, even stepped into the shorts arena.

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