Winter Print

Winter print, it’s a no-brainer really. When it feels cold outside, you should bring warmth and personality into what you wear. And nothing says that better than a spiralling, frenetic pattern or painterly splatters. It’s also a lot more interesting than just the traditional blocks of black, grey, navy and brown colour palettes that so often dominate the season. Even so, if you do prefer a more sombre palette, then this is exactly the time to make sure the pieces you do choose are those that come with some sort of razzle-dazzle too.

But let’s get something straight: winter print is different to summer print. The latter you’ll find spring-fresh or neon-bright in tone and radiating from a wispy-wafting piece of chiffon. Use of black is sparse, if at all, and motifs themselves rightly depict paradise vistas and beyond. Winter print is underpinned by bold graphics, geometric formations and an often slightly jarring (but in a good away) colourway.

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Dries Van Noten did it most memorably this season: spiralling kaleidoscopic lines of magenta and orange, navy and yellow, and monochrome. Sunglasses weren’t worn just for show this time round, they were required. Modern art movements informed collections from Chanel and Burberry to Roksanda and Prada.

The pros for winter print are that you’ll stand out on a grey day – both against the backdrop of a rainy cityscape and the legions of winter-coat-wearers that wander its streets. It’s also a nice reminder that winter isn’t just a month of gloom – getting darker earlier and staying so for longer – and that colour can still reign supreme beyond the realms of July and August.

But the way to wear it is either head-to-toe as one item such as a dress or coat; or select one choice piece and make that your sartorial centrepiece, as it were. Valentino‘s circus-bright skirt in pink, red and black will work with a black roll-neck jumper; Acne’s zingy mini needs only a band-style T-shirt or simply a plain design; while tops will easily bring something new to favourite jeans or faithful smart bottoms.

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Army Green Outerwear Is Still Trending

NYFW is wrapping this week, but the winter chill is just getting started.They’ve been feeling army coats for a while now, and it’s safe to say the olive green trend isn’t going anywhere. But as opposed to the classic army jacket, this Fall the military-inspired color is manifesting itself in chic longline coats and boyish bombers.

An olive green overcoat topped off a layered look during this season’s New York shows.

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The Beckerman twins brought rebellious style to NYFW.

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Olivia Palermo’s military-inspired coat upped its style quota with luxe fur and leather detailing.
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Malaika Firth matched her accessories to her jacket during the F/W ’14 collections in New York.
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Combat boots perfectly complemented an army green longline coat.


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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