Brand Exclusive reckon the big thing in the fashion world for 2011 can be summed up in two words: Kate Middleton.
Focus will intensify throughout the early part of the year believes Brand Exclusive, as excitement builds for the British Royal Wedding on 29 April, will reach a zenith by the summer and early autumn, and gradually melt away with the colder UK weather.
Ever since the engagement was announced, the followers of fashion haven't been able to get enough of the latest member of the British Royal household. And even those who don't want the complete Kate Middleton look, will find that the fashion is influenced by mini-trends and themes. Like it, or not, much of the fashion world will take its lead from a couple of young British Royals this year.
New Yorkers have already voted with their wallets and Middleton inspired fashion has taken off like a rocket?
So just what is the Kate Middleton look?
Okay, she has youth on her side – which helps – but she also has an openness, a freshness that does not build barriers between her and who she's meeting. Some might say that the future Princess will have the style and grace of her future husband's mother, but that's forgetting that Diana the Princess of Wales was for many years awkward with people and the media. It was only after emerging from her aristocratic shell did she capture the hearts and minds of people.
Middleton is calm and collected; personifying a modern young woman's view on life who is ironically marrying into one of the oldest and most staid families in the world. It's as though Middleton represents the new age and a signal that the age of Charles and Camilla is rapidly on the wane.
Fashion observers noted she more a flattering blue Issa silk dress in which to announce her engagement. The designer dress retails at US$600 and they've been a sell-out ever since that day. The great thing is though, as fashion pundits are quick to point out, that Middleton is not afraid of the common touch and as well as designer labels, she's equally at home with high-street names; and doesn't shy away from the relaxed jeans and jumper look. It is this simple, elegant look, a kind of modern sophistication which will set the trends throughout the year. And although always groomed to perfection, she prefers her hair loose and relaxed, with simple make-up accentuating the relaxed ensemble.
And for those looking for a phrase to sum this all up, a number of fashion watchers are heading for "preppy", and "Chelsea set."
Expect to see those two phrases in use a lot throughout the year says Brand Exclusive.