Fashion: New season's greetings

If the Seventies was the decade that style forgot, the Noughties, well, only history can judge a decade wherein leggings and Ugg boots were firm style staples.

What were the most memorable fashion moments of the past ten years?

Gisele making her catwalk debut, perhaps? Scotland's Christopher Kane sending out his now-legendary first collection? Skinny jeans, silly heels, Suri Cruise, Agyness Deyn and anything anyone wore on Sex and the City?

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Whatever defined style in the last decade, the fashion world has probably already forgotten. This is an industry that's constantly looking forward after all, and those on the inside already know exactly what we'll all be wearing in 2010 (and, indeed, in 2019).

So, as you indulge in the annual January de-cluttering of your life, don't forget to apply similar principles to your wardrobe. There's no time like the beginning of a new decade to clear out those fashion mistakes to make way for ten years' worth of new trends.

So what exactly will those new trends be? Having taken a financial battering in 2008 and 2009, many of us are entering a new decade with a sort of cautious optimism, and the fashion world is no different.

Fashion can act as an economic barometer. Case in point; the gaudy opulence of the economically buoyant late-Eighties and the inevitable pared-down minimalism of the early Nineties, the last time the economy saw a serious downturn.

A similar pattern has been identified over the past 18 months, during which classic pieces with longevity have featured heavily on the catwalks alongside a more sombre colour palette and a focus on style over flash-in-the-pan trends.

However, as we strut into 2010 a number of designers have been showing pieces that stick two fingers up to pared-down fashion. The recession may have marked the end for Parisian couturier Christian Lacroix, but luxury within ready-to-wear is looking buoyant.

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For spring/summer 2010 (SS10), Alexander McQueen showed one of his most eccentric collections to date, including the Armadillo shoe – an expensive homage to style over practicality – which has been worn by Lady Gaga and couture collector Daphne Guinness. And Victoria Beckham's stint as a designer is proving highly lucrative. Her body-con dresses are an undeniable hit, and now she's branched out for her SS10 collection into dresses costing thousands of pounds.

Where caution ruled in the early Nineties and big names such as Calvin Klein responded to the economic slump with minimal creations, designers are no longer willing to be quite so tightly defined by the money markets.

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And so, 2010 will have its fair share of the kind of eccentric trends that will look terribly dated come Christmas. Statement bras on show were seen everywhere from Dolce & Gabbana to Marc Jacobs while epaulettes – an extension of 2009's trend for bold shoulders – came as horns on the shoulders at Todd Lynn, fur at Roland Mouret and guitars at Karl Lagerfeld.

Even those most unflattering, unwearable of garments – cycling shorts – were seen in abundance on some of the most chic catwalks for SS10, including Louis Vuitton, Prada and Emporio Armani. We'll be clashing our prints a la Dries Van Noten and wearing leather and suede in the height of summer as at Celine.

As always, however, for every kooky micro-trend there will be plenty of (relatively) wearable fashions this year. The jumpsuit remains popular, but in very grown-up form at Lanvin, Stella McCartney and Ralph Lauren, and colour-wise we'll all be feeling mellow in yellow, as at Zac Posen and Ferragamo.

Our favourite news in trends has to be that this year the lower heel will finally make a return. After three years of silly statement shoes with increasingly high heels, this is great news for ankles.

The single biggest trend in fashion for 2010, however, has to be for underwear as outerwear. This is not as daunting as it sounds, and it's got nothing to do with having your greying Sloggis on show. Rather, this trend – seen absolutely everywhere at every fashion week – is about layering lace and silk.

"Colour is really big for spring/summer 2010, especially after we had such dark, muted winter collections," says Kevin Stewart of Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh. "There's a sense of optimism which is really uplifting. It's also the season for the smaller designer – people like Thakoon and Christopher Kane will do really well – so all in all I think fashion's taking itself a bit less seriously this season."

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So what does this all mean for the high street? Neil Hendy, head of design for womenswear at Marks & Spencer, says that a number of key catwalk trends will be seen in shops.

"Suede will be the new leather in 2010," he says. "This works across all ages and is a really accessible trend for all. The jumpsuit gets all grown up in 2010. Updated with a flowing, draped silhouette, it has a more discerning and sophisticated look."

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So now that you've got your wardrobe sorted, what's going on in beauty? As with fashion, beauty trends are often an accurate indicator of the economic climate. We all know, for example, that as the economy plummets, sales of expensive lipsticks rise as women look to treat themselves to small luxuries, a trend known as the "lipstick index".

In 2009, "austerity chic" was the biggest trend in the beauty industry, but 2010 is looking a little more optimistic. "While 2009 brought its challenges for the industry, beauty brands have continued to seek creative new ways to merge science, nature and sustainability for better results and more eco-friendly formulas and packaging," says Nica Lewis, Director of Beauty Innovation at Mintel. "In 2010 we will see more consolidation in the beauty industry and the evolution of old trends as well as new ones as consumer confidence returns."

So what does this mean in terms of lotions and potions? Well, it's all getting a bit futuristic, with a growth in the use of ingredients from "extreme" environments like the Arctic, desert and deep sea. In addition, traditional packaging is getting a makeover, with glass, plastic and cardboard being ditched in favour of such materials as neoprene and even concrete.

Mintel have identified a number of key trends for 2010, with perhaps the most innovative being "mood beauty". While women have long used make-up to make themselves feel better, we're talking products that will actually enhance your mood, "imbuing beauty products with psychological benefits and ingredients that act on neurotransmitters".

If that sounds a little too bizarre for your tastes, you'll be a fan of the "Nu Natural" trend, an extension of the current fad for everything organic. In 2010 products will be even more focused on organic ingredients, but this awareness will extend to local production and sustainability. In make-up, look out for bright red lips with minimal eye make-up, as seen at Prada, eye make-up in sorbet shades, and bronze and copper nail varnish.

"One of the biggest trends that we've identified for SS10 is theatrical make-up, as seen on the Marc Jacobs catwalk," says Sadie Jean Sloss, the owner of DollyLeo Apothecary in Edinburgh. "2010 will be all about a high-maintenance look – very precise, elegant and matte. We'll also be seeing white faces, glittery eyes for spring and patterned transfers on nails."

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So to summarise, this year you'll be pairing your banana yellow cycling shorts with clashing prints and low heels, keeping your bra on show and topping off the lot with Eighties make-up and leopard-print fingernails. Crazy? Of course, but that's fashion, dahling.

• This article was first published in The Scotsman on Saturday 09 January, 2010.