The Pleated Skirt

There’s something so seasonally right about pleated skirts for the autumn/winter season – they’re so very back-to-school (that’s September for you). But, thankfully, when they crop up in our wardrobes again now, there’s no longer the fear of double maths to accompany them.

Instead, they’ve received an upgrade – in luxe leather, shimmer, spliced with sequins and rendered in box or knife varieties that sway sexily around the knee as they go ( Christian Dior and Guy Laroche did these styles best).

Traversing wardrobe opportunities, this season sees them dressed up (a razzle-dazzle miniskirt from Marco de Vincenzo), dressed down (a slouchy jumper at Valentino) and everywhere in between. There was an elegant durability to Dior’s swishy take and a toughness at Guy Laroche. Of course there was that Eighties Lurex appeal at Loewe and those billowing splays at Balmain. Who knew pleats could look quite so good?

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The thing to note with the pleated skirt now though is where at school it blended into a background of navy or black (or green or red or grey depending on what your school uniform was), here it steals all of the outfit action. You’ll look forward to wearing it.

And directions for doing so? Strands of stealth should be worn with something neat and uncluttered up top – a shirt or simple T-shirt; while sparkly or sheer variations should have the luxe and polish factor amped up with a structured, gently oversized blazer, or an enveloping jumper. Be careful to keep the silhouette clean and not overload yourself with angles and layers, and of course be sure to leave fashion’s current penchant for backpacks right at home.

Remember, we are not going back to school.

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The Pussy-Bow Blouse

Clear out your misconceptions that the pussy-bow blouse belonged only to the Thatcher era, teamed neatly with a prim pencil skirt. No longer simply a byword for ladylike, it’s been rekindled as an emblem of bohemia for the autumn/winter 2015 season – a movement spearheaded on the Gucci catwalk, when Alessandro Michele made romance and whimsy relevant again.

Think the Bloomsbury group; carefree and liberated over its previous confrontational, stiff and buttoned-up incarnations (which came teamed with tweed and traditionally “heritage” looks circa 2004 and 2005). The new season suggests sheer and lace is the way forward, flamboyance combined with the ethereal.

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This new rendition of the pussy-bow blouse will bring a lightness and ease to your standard jeans, making even the tomboys among us embrace a dose of femininity. And that was the point at Gucci. But where you can, you should opt for wide-leg trouser or a midi-pleated skirt – because this makes quite the difference. And those aforementioned pencil skirts should stay right out of sight – they simply don’t allow for wafting into the new season, nor do they hint at whiling away the afternoon reading a book in the quiet corner of a library.

Ease yourself in gently with a skinny scarf and get used to having a knot at your neck – Chloe, Bottega Veneta, Paul Smith and Haider Ackermann showed you how. And if a blouse just isn’t your go-to garment, then opt instead for one of the season’s folkloric autumn dresses, their penchant to unravel at the throat with slinky little laces are most alluring.

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Christian Louboutin Lip Colour

When Christian Louboutin ventured into beauty, we weren’t shocked to see stiletto-like spikes atop bottles of shiny lacquer—the pièce de résistance being a blood-red polish the color of his legendary soles. Adding to the famed designer’s lineup of polishes—his Scarabée collection was one of our must-buy beauty picks for fall—are lipsticks intended to make a statement. “When a woman carries a handbag, we look at her shoulders. When she slips on a pair of heels, we observe her walk. If she applies lacquer to her nails, we admire her hands,” said Louboutin, in a release from the company. “An object that embellishes the lips—the beacon of sensuality and organ of communication—has to be fairly amazing. The object should inspire a beautiful gesture.”

Amazing is an understatement: Resembling a delicate vial Queen Nefertiti might have treasured, this tube-meets-objet d’art takes inspiration from Babylonian antiquities with a turret-like crown cap and pointed gold base. Available in three finishes—Silky Satin, Velvet Matte, and Sheer Voile—the 38 colors in the range are derived from the house’s most iconic shoes and handbags. (Think borderline-black burgundies, delicate nudes, and of course, iconic crimson.) While some may say that applying lipstick in public is a beauty taboo, this bullet is meant to be worn around your neck as a pendant after you swipe it across your mouth—making for easy access should you need a touch-up.

Christian Louboutin Lip Colour available in September at christianlouboutin.com

In the meantime while we wait shop the Louboutin nail polish before its too late…


Top Campaigns of A/W 2015-16

Fashion has hit refresh and cast a number of new faces in many of its most impacting advertising campaigns for Autumn/Winter 2015. This time last year, Edie Campbell appeared in three of the top five campaigns but this season, it was a proliferation of under-the-radar models that fronted some of best campaigns. In contrast, the traditional practice of casting high-wattage celebrities and supermodels read as a tired formula that failed to break through the clutter.

What’s more, for those fashion houses that cast lesser-known models, it was their brands — not the faces that represent them — that truly took centre stage. This is especially significant as the industry finds itself in a period of significant flux. In recent months, we have seen the first moves in the wholesale reinvention of Gucci, while the once mighty commercial powerhouse Prada has experienced a dip in sales and profitability. At LVMH, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton both continue to revamp their creative strategies to reenergise their brands and product offerings. The best of this season’s campaigns offered thoughtful and thought-provoking lenses through which to see these brands in evolution.

1. Gucci

Starring Antonia Wilson, Emmy Rappe, Lia Pavlova, Roos Abels, Sven de Vries, Tessa Bruinsma, Tobias Lundh, by Glen Luchford

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2. Alexander McQueen 

Starring Ruth Bell, Julia van Os, Jamilla Hoogenboom by David Sims

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3. Marc Jacobs 

 Starring Winona Ryder, Julia Nobis, Cher, Aamito Lagum, Cierra Skye, Grace Simmons, Hanne Gaby Odiele, Issa Lish, Molly Blair, Riley Montana, Sally Jonsson, Varya Shutova, Anthony Kiedis, Willow Smith, Debir Mazar, Steve Mackey, Marley Mackey, Sofia Coppola by David Sims

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4. Céline 

 Starring Karly Loyce, Marland Backus, Agnes Nieske, Lisa Helen Kramer, Frederikke Sofie, Irina Djuranovic by Juergen Teller

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5. J W Anderson 

 Unknown, by Jamie Hawkesworth

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6. Prada

Starring Avery Blanchard, Estella Boersma, Inga Dezhina, Lineisy Montero, Ine Neefs, Greta Varlese, Maartje Verhoef by Steven Meisel

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7. Bottega Veneta

Starring Anna Cleveland, Freddy Drabble by Juergen Teller

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8. Loewe

Starring Marc André Turgeon by Steven Meisel

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9. Miu Miu

Starring Hailey Gates, Mia Goth, Stacy Martin, Maddison Brown by Steven Meisel

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10. Louis Vuitton

Starring Rianne van Rompaey, Angel Rutledge, Fernanda Ly, Liya Kebede, Julia Merkelbach, Freja Beha Erichsen, Jennifer Connelly, Alicia Vikander by Bruce Weber,  Juergen Teller

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Whats your favorite campaign this season? Comment below and let me know…