The Fashion weeks were full of contradictions...exaggerated and slim silhouettes, jewel tones and pastels, colourblocking, metallics and winter whites. There was head-to-toe dressing galore, military looks, minimalist tailoring; and Asian influenced pieces. Designers layered sheer panels with opaque fabrics.As seen at Peter Som, J.Mendel and Vera Wang. Gurung and Schwab incorporated divine head to toe barely there pieces into its looks. Velvets, liquid golds, reds, midnight navys and olives with mad hats,exposed shoulders and thigh splits are a safe bet. We saw the resurgence of the 1990’s mini-backpack on Chanel’s catwalks and the return of the suit at 3.1 Phillip Lim and at J. Crew. Key pieces for a fall wardrobe? Anything with a high neckline like the rolonecks seen at Erdem , Marios Schwab, Acne, Pringle. Statement tapered Trousers in a colourful jacquard or print worn over a pointed courts pair of pumps. Get an animal knit asap, horse, owl, and tiger versions were spotted this month at Altuzarra, Burberry, and Kenzo. Kate Bosworth looked cute in a Burberry owl motif jumper. It’s about accented fur: Fur stoles, fur caplets, fur peplums, fur sleeves in blush and punchy hues like Blumarine, Mulberry, McQueen and Siriano. Finish the looks with big voluminous bouffants reminiscent of the Sixties or sleek low ponytails. As seen at Anna Sui, Carolina Herrera, and Oscar de la Renta. Dewy makeup and Crimson lips will continue from 2011 but incorporate with white eyeshadows to make those eyes pop. Jewels will be in the hair, around the eyes like at Miu Miu and over the eyebrows like at Chanel. So no one obvious trend. One thing’s for sure, in an economic downturn it’s about slow fashion- Quality genderless, timeless and seasonless items. That means either simple staple wardrobe builders or really special pieces. Here’s a few obvious trends, you have 6 months to collect your pieces so hurry up!
Take inspiration from the zig zag originator Missoni. On the runways, House of Holland and Meadham Kirchhoff energized the audience with techni-colour zigs and zags across dresses, cardies, furs and sequins. Miu Miu’s manly jewel toned 1970s suits were drenched in the pattern. At Kenzo zig-zag patterns in autumn hues of army green and burgundy were delicious. I’m sticking to jewellery or relaxed knit accessories accented in ziggadey-zags. What will you do?
EEK! I know what you’re thinking.... (Horrible Flashbacks) puffers are shapeless and too 1990s. And you don’t ski so what’s the need. Yet fitted padded jackets are a next season must have. Now I’m not saying you have to go overboard like Pilotto’s printed jacket (Although the little frilled hems were pretty), Kane’s long lean coat or Roksanda’s exaggerated puffer. But DKNY and Burberry’s cropped jackets were beautifully inspiring. Burberry’s puffer aviator bombers are a piece I’m already fantasising over. Quilted alternatives for the less brave are equally as desirable as seen at Acne and Saunders. See also Marios Schwab, JW Anderson.
Banish those cold winters with a rich luxe fabric. Models sauntered down the catwalks in brocade, especially in Milan. Let the main piece do the talking and keep the rest minimalist. Rebecca Minkoff channelled the brocade look with separates breaking it up with a biker jacket, Carven embraced it with box-pleated miniskirts and there were swirling brocades on a blood red peplum jacket at Lanvin. Then there was Jason Wu’s collection with golden brocade inserts on jackets and illusion dress. They were all beauties. However, you could have more fun with the ornate trend. You could courageously sport head to toe metallic brocades ensembles like Rag and Bone and Proenza Schouler. Brocade would look outstanding on an Investment Trouser next autumn. Check out Michael van der Ham, Temperley, Osman. And Gucci and Balmain for some serious opulence also.
Girls In Glasses
Mmmm Okay I’m a bit done with this one. Ever since men started thinking they were Seth Cohen from the O.C channelling Clark Kent. And then came the boring copycats of Tinie Tempah. But then again why should boys have all the fun? High end nerd models at Marc by Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui and Vivienne Westwood convinced me to dip my toes into this trend. It’ll look best if you incorporate this accessory into your whole look...soo thats buttoned up shirts and preppy layering. If your eyesight is less than perfect, then buy thick rimmed heavy framed glasses. If you have 20/20 vision join in on the fun with some fakes.
Purples in all of its incarnations will be hot. From Prada, Gucci and Erdem’s prints to Peter Pilotto, Fendi , Ferretti and Balenciaga’s tones. Whether you go for a grown-up look ala the amethyst chainmail dress at YSL teamed with a deep berry lip or a younger one like Christopher Kane’s leopard creation. Purple hues will be safe hit. Wine was the standout colour in Alexander Wang’s collection. It was seen on outerwear to leather adorned trousers and skirts at Cynthia Rowley, Richard Chai, Tibi, and Peter Som. What about pastel purples? Lavender.....It may be a shade associated with spring/summer season, but lavender and pink will dominate this autumn. These tones were teamed with blocks of black to blend pastels i.e. Mulberry and Christopher Kane. This is a perfect way to translate spring's pastels into fall. Or you could team with whites like at Jil Sander.
I personally love capes the more dramatic and exaggerated, the better. That’s probably why I liked Galliano’s billowing chiffon capes. There will probably be lots in a military theme but I prefer simple elegant capes like Valentino’s. Zara always do amazing ones....I bought a timeless camel coat one years back. I noticed a fringed caped dress in their SS12 lookbook..sooo grab it when you can. I’m lusting after Vicktor and Rolf’s cape sleeved lapel suit. They took a classic suit and played with its proportions-fantastic. Capes look great at Tom Ford (Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars-a masterpiece), Miu Miu, Comme des Garcons, Givenchy.
Summer's florals were continuing to bloom on the winter runways... even on shoes. In a contrast to spring, blooms will be darker and edgier like Kane’s deep purple leather trimmed dress. Keep it graphic, bold and in moody autumn hues like Peter Pilotto. Giles and Erdem wowed with dreamy florals on demure ladylike silhouettes or find pieces with flower detailing like the fuchsia floral appliqué at Temperley London. Choose your shape and fabric wisely. Opt for plush materials and below the knee hemlines to remind people its winter season. Check out Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane, Suno, Maarten Van Der Horst and Michael van der Ham.
Don’t skirt the around the issue
Now 2012 is all about investing in trousers but there’s still room for the skirt. Skater Skirts: Just about flattering on everyone.....so embrace with woollen ribbed tights, cozy knits and humungous snoods. Layer it up. As seen at Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. Big umbrella Skirts aka the Mad Men Skirt/Ballerina length skirts...keep it fun flirty and feminine. ASOS already have a few. Where else? Roksanda Ilincic, Giles,Mary Katrantzou and McCartney. The Longer Skirt: I’m talking really long...to the ankle like Saunders, Topshop, JW Anderson. If you're tall and slender follow this look. Otherwise it may swamp your body.
Dip Dyed Hair
Ombre hair has been popular for years. I rock this look myself as I lazily don’t want to dye my roots but I also love the subtle blend of blonde and brown...it just looks effortless. Forget SJP, Drew Barrymore and Nicola Roberts’ lush red and blonde ombre hair, in 2012 two tone hair will reach a whole new level. Well last season Thakoon turned heads with painted hair, as did Julien MacDonald where hair was slicked back in red and white paint. But Prada brought the trend back with extreme dye jobs, fading from deep brown to bleached blonde. Pringle, Kirchhoff, Haider Ackermann, and Jean Paul Gaultier all went for rainbow shades. Just how far are you willing to go?
Hips don’t lie.
Huge exaggerated hip lines to narrow that waist, without the exercise, will carry on from spring. From Katrantzou and Holland’s stiff fit and flare dresses to David Koma and Nicole Fahri jackets it’s all about accentuating that hourglass figure. The peplum was affixed to the hip, waist and even sculptural suiting was seen at Berardi. You don’t have to sport peplums in dark winter shades. J. Mendel created winter-white jackets with peplum pops and Jil Stuart had light hued ruffled trimmed tops. Mix up textures also: the Fur-enhanced peplum vest from Jason Wu (double trend) or Burberry Prorsum’s tweed oversized hip pockets. I’m digging them all. Following Zac Posen and rocking retro peplum dresses is a little safe. Keep it fresh like Peter Som and pair a peplum top with cigarette. Where else? Marni, McCartney, Diesel Black Gold, Lanvin, Bottega Veneta (divine petal peplum velvet gowns) and McQueen.
March in Military
This masculine trend invaded the catwalks in London. A range of designers were referencing this look: MCQ, Max Mara, Moschino and Burberry. Hilfiger took military jackets and paired with matching green skirts, skinny pants and leather caps. Victoria Beckham constructed body conscious khaki dresses and python-lined trench coats. A. Wang incorporated military aspects into leather trench coats. It looked stunning on Gisele....but I’m sceptical it would suit the average joe. You risk looking like Morpheus from the Matrix. I loved the mature sexed up interpretations from Topshop Unique and Max Mara-especially Topshop’s green overcoat with a bra and cap. I’m not a massive fan of the military trend but that’s because high street versions are sometimes too literal. Keep it to the detailing with brass bold buttons or the colour palette. Thats army green, mushrooms, stoney greys and browns. Or wear a military coat with a frilly ruffle neck collar to femininise the look.
It’s all about wearing leather but not all over leather. If you buy one type of trouser next autumn make it leather. From Pringle‘s caramel coloured, Aquascutum’s mustard hued, Topshop’s olive trousers or Proenza Schouler‘s wide leg pants...there’s something for everyone. At Acne, Derek Lam and Helmut Lang they came in coloured crops. J.W. Anderson showed shiny patent leather suits. If you’re not daring enough maybe try elbow long leather gloves or leather sleeved coats. Or wear black leather bondage belts and harnesses-they popped up at Monique Lhuillier and Herve Leger. They were crazy great. Avoid being overtly sexy, show the world you mean serious business and keep the look mysterious with high necklines and leather bottoms.
My favourite silhouette, over-sized, was ridiculously chic this season. Fabrics were loosened up on many catwalks just like Fall 2011. Many even topped Stella McCartney’s Fall 2011 collection. Moschino and Jil Sander’s cocoon shapes in various degrees of pouf were sooo graceful. The Celine collection features an abundance of oversized silhouettes with exaggerated proportions. Topshop Unique followed suit with oversized dungarees and exaggerated sleeves at Som and Schouler. Roomy bell-shaped dresses and coats at Marchesa and Calvin Klein were also charming. And Comme des Garcons? No, it isn't wearable, but was an astonishing collection. I adored neoprene stiff cocoon pieces like Lanvin. I would wear every cocoon piece I could find, if I could. Zara has a lush cocooned white coat in stores now. Think big over small look. So the key is to add a waist belt to a cocoon coat or contrast voluminous pieces with a tight separate to avoid looking like a blob.