Brit-style rules in back-to-school trends

Italian kids go retro for autumn

Brit-style rules in back-to-school trends

(By Sandra Cordon) Florence, September 12 - This fall, Italian kids are heading back to school with styles influenced by British prep schools, along with some retro American television thrown into the mix. Students are sporting colourful tartan for fun during recess, reminiscent of school uniforms in Britain with a bit of country-chic favoured by mothers everywhere. Harry Potter and his mates might enjoy some of the classic uniforms presented with a modern twist by fashion outlets such as Bon Chic, Fun & Fun, Il Gufo, and H & M, produced in a range of fall colours including the classic red, green and navy blue. But these are given a fresh appeal through the addition of such colour zingers as orange, lime green and cream, in tartans that are showing up on jackets and coats in insets into the garment providing flashes of colour and design. Traditional fall fabrics including cotton fleece, shaved wool, and stretch jersey are being fattened up with alpaca and other kinds of soft wool aimed at providing comfort and warmth against children's skin. Parents are searching out "green" products that won't irritate or harm their kids, even splashing out on 100% pure merino wool, baby alpaca wools, silk, cashmere, and ultra-soft organic cottons. The British influence continues in the fine details on jackets, shirts and T-shirts with such traditional references as the Union Jack appearing alongside diamond-patterned cardigans and slacks, corduroy suits and blazers, and even coats of arms from historic families in Scotland. In short, the preppy style – so named for high-end and often expensive prep schools – is back. But at the same time, hip students are turning to popular American television programs for some fashion inspiration. For these fashion-conscious kids, Happy Days has never gone out of style; nor has Dawson's Creek, while the more contemporary TV hit Gossip Girl remains a source of fashion inspiration. Blended with this is a bit of London punk-style through T-shirts that are coupled with a serious motorcycle theme, with biker-style denim as well as the classic jean jacket adding some punch to wardrobes. When the school bell rings, watch out for a few rebellious kids imitating Fonzie (aka television creation Arthur Fonzarelli from Happy Days) lounging by his motorcycle in a leather bomber jacket and suitably worn and distressed jeans.

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