Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Giorgio Armani

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In Milan, Giorgio Armani introduced us to a new skirt/trouser hybrid happening. Call it the Skouser, quite simply a wrap-around skirt layered over a pair of slim-fitting trousers, except it wasn’t layered, it was entirely made up of one piece, with the front hemline of the skirt actually morphing into the trouser leg. It was a new one on us, and quite possibly the world.

There were plenty of these Skousers, in all colours – from pastels to black – and they were partnered with everything from furry jackets, to feminine fluttery blouses, and softest funnel-neck flared sleeved sweaters, one, in pretty sea foam proving that they’re nothing if not versatile. Tuxedo trousers and a black velvet dinner suit were other highlights.

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Elsewhere for glittering nights, Armani’s clientele will be looking to one of those boxy organza evening jackets decorated in a colourful mosaic of sequins, and for more formal events, the designer rounded off the collection with a finale of prom dresses boasting fanned boned bustiers, grounded in black patent Chelsea boots for contemporary edge. What to wear over?

Armani suggests a silk shawl streaming in shaggy wool fringing, or, like the last exit here today, a painterly watercolour fur coat.

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Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Donna Karan

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“Power and Poetry” Donna Karan called her autumn/winter 2015 show. She wanted to “transform a woman from day into night, with strength and seduction” – well, doesn’t she always? She has built her brand on dressing the power professional.

Her ideas of power and poetry came together in single pieces – it was noted in the strict lines of a tightly belted tailored jacket, with contrasting billowing lantern sleeves, and elsewhere in a corporate grey midi skirt that gave way to romance via sheer peek-a-boo inserts, revealing a flash of leg with every stride, creating a dance between masculine and feminine. Elevating workwear essentials was the order of the day – right down to a navy city coat richly embroidered in jet bugle beads and coiled ribbon appliqué.

From metallic brocade padded coats (that looked warm enough to brave a New York -15 freeze) to tuxedo jackets and a series of origami gowns crafted from panels of organza and net, neatly cinched at the waist, there were lots of hits, even, right down to the simpler pieces: consider a taffeta turtleneck – just the ticket to seal the deal in the boardroom and dazzle after office hours.

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