HURRAH FOR HERITAGE
Smart plaids, subtle tweeds, tartans and checks galore – heritage fabrics are back, giving substance and history to AW style. The trend arches over the avant-gardeto powerhouse brands and through to emerging talent, as designers, both new and established, fall in love with the charms of noble fabrics. The weaves and patterns are potent with storytelling, but above all they look characterful, smart and substantial.
Make your first discovery a sports jacket. Try Gucci for tartan and Burberry for its house check and keep your eyes out for Glencheck wools and soft-touch tweeds. Look for outsize overcoats and jaunty caps to team with corduroy trousers. Add a silk shirt and Oxford shoes and the look is beautifully ‘to the manor born’, and, in homage to Stella Tennant, throw a big coat over an evening dress and storm trooper boots. These highly crafted fabrics are made to last, so choose items you want to befriend for the long haul.
Our stalwart LBD has a new contender this season: enter the LRD. The L can be translated as ‘little’ or ‘long’, but it is the hue of red that makes the statement. There are many shades and tones with as many connotations. A purple or blue-toned red suggests a brooding, sultry demeanour, while a fuchsia red appears vibrant and youthful. The middle ground is a cherry red that spells pure delight, as sweet as the name suggests.
The red dress is a signature for Valentino, yet there are numerous other designers who excel at the LRD, including McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana. Look for voluminous styles with tiers, ruffles and long slender sleeves finished with intricate detailing, including covered buttons and lace trims. And re-think your annual black boot purchase – red boots have the energy and attitude we need for now and are ideal material for first dates.
In uneasy times fashion is a resilient force and disco is one way of expressing our right to dance, party and shine. Designers turned their focus onto the birth of disco in underground communities in NYC in the 1970s, as well as in the high-glam years of Studio 54, Chez Castel and Les Bains Douches in Paris and Annabel’s and Raffles in London. Halpern, an emerging talent in London, seized the moment with a Bill Blass-inspired collection of rainbow-sequined gowns and matching platforms and socks. The exuberance ran through Saint Laurent in Paris with mini glittering cocktail dresses, Philip Plein’s crystal-studded leathers and Balmain’s feather patchwork miniskirts.
Disco is about anything that makes your heart jump and your feet move to the beat. Lamé gowns, feather trims, sequins and metallic accents … tinsel finishes are all made to move and reflect the dazzling dancefloor lights. Marry with spindly sandals and look out for the number-one accessory: glitter socks.
THE TRIUMPH OF TAILORING
After what seems like an aeon of street-influenced cool, style is smartening up and the tailored trouser suit is taking centre stage. The shift appeals directly to legions of working women who want an elegant solution that performs all day long. Who rang in the change? Raf Simons at Calvin Klein augured the trend in New York in his debut collection of Prince of Wales check suits with long, lean double-breasted jackets and slender trousers. Céline and Stella McCartney are also go-tos for incredible cuts in the finest lightweight wools.
Whereas the power suits of the 90s were all about soft structure, the new version has a strong crisp silhouette and panache. Tall, athletic frames will look dashing in the masculine outsize cuts with strong shoulders and long exaggerated lines. Petite figures should lean towards cropped jackets and slender trousers. Team the new suit with those stripy shirts and silk blouses we loved this summer or with thin fine-gauge knits. Add mismatched costume earrings and a clutch bag and that suit will transition to evening in the time that it takes to call an Uber.