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Year ender
TEST See the fashions for 2000
Spring/summer 2000
Post your comments on the new collections
Year Ender

Spring/summer 2000

Greeting the year with femininity in mind

December 27, 1999
Web posted at: 12:45 p.m. EST (1745 GMT)

(CNN) -- Designers head into 2000 with a celebration of women and femininity. Instead of recent minimalism, with its stark lines and neutral shades, key houses of fashion say the mood is one of excitement fun and beauty.

"It's the revival of color, movement, liberty," says Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld. "It's fashion with less intellectual pretension. It's very down-to-earth and not at all up-to-the-moon."

Color is a key. Sometimes it's vibrant; other times it's demure. Tom Ford at Gucci says he's using color as never before. He's showing pale pink trousers glistening with sequins, and animal-print separates turned modern with a turquoise background.

Even designers like Giorgio Armani, known for his neutral shades, is embracing color for spring/summer 2000. "I wanted to take some risks with this collection," he says. "And I think you'll see a collection that's very special and very different from the Armani you normally see on the runway."

Put it into print

Armani also has decided to dabble in prints. The same goes for Miuccia Prada, who was one of the first to define minimalism. She says she has a penchant for classic dots in non-classic colors for the upcoming season.

Ralph Lauren saw her dot theme -- and raised her, with gingham prints. "I happen to be showing gingham this year, which I think is very beautiful," he says. "The gingham look sort of has that delicate, sweet feeling. But it's cut in sexier shapes."

Prints were a signature of the work of the late Gianni Versace. For spring/summer 2000, his sister Donatella has brought them back with a vengeance, sporting big, bright tropical prints.

"I think Versace's very well been known for the prints," she says "But fashion has changed. Fashion has moved from the minimalist period, which was chic and beautiful, but not recognizable. So that's the reason I put back all the Versace key success."

A dress, the issue

Dresses are growing in importance for 2000, but there are no steadfast rules. They can be all lengths and have asymmetrical hemlines as well as mixed fabrics. Donna Karan is embracing the dress - and its femininity - with her new collection. "There's a sweetness to them," she says. "But done in a little sexy way. "

A different silhouette for Y2K is a full, ballerina skirt from Belgian designer Dries Van Noten. "To give extra femininity," he says, "we made full skirts, but not very long, just mid-length, to give big volume.

"And the way people are walking in such a big skirt is completely different. Because for me, walking feminine is not always walking on very high heels with a short skirt. It can be also flat shoes with a very full skirt."

CNN Style Correspondent Elsa Klensch contributed to this report.

Special: Visions of 2000 - A forward-looking round up of fashion, design and art

Jewelry for 2000: Versatile and elegant
December 17, 1999
Van Noten gives women new silhouette and walk
December 16, 1999
Blass bids farewell with signature collection
December 8, 1999
Missoni makes spring bold and graphical
November 16, 1999
Chanel puts spring in Coco-motion
November 16, 1999
Forecast 2000: Trend-watching from New York Fashion Week
September 17, 1999
Kors collection: Pretty in pastels
September 17, 1999
Ralph Lauren's thing for gingham
September 17, 1999
Jacobs keeps in simple for spring
September 16, 1999

Donna Karan
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