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.
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.
Phillip Lim is a designer who does wearable in a way you don’t even ever really realise.
Even to the point that random strapping on skirts, trench coats and cardigans, jackets and bustier additions seem just fine. Of course, there was a utility edge as only Lim does – but it played out with a grunge vibe and that feeling that you wanted to be in whatever fashion gang his girl is in. Dishevelled jumpers layered upon shirts and jackets hiding beneath great coats (I’ve got my eye on the monochrome plaid number especially), there were lots of layers.
They looked good together but will look just as good apart if you can only manage to make one a part of your wardrobe this season.
There’s an irresistibly indulgent air to this season’s outerwear – all creamy hues, sumptuous padding and high-impact Hollywood glamour. Less functional, more fabulous – it captures the season’s sartorial shift, as designers trade practical simplicity for luxury, drama and opulence.
Impractical it may be, but the white coat stakes its claim to hero status this season, with a blizzard of choices blanketing the catwalks. Supremely feminine – the palette is delicate, the fabrics luxe, the silhouettes soft and sinuous. Even the details (waist-cinching belts, broad fluffy collars and brooch-like buttons) boast a ladylike charm
Duvet days take on a stylish new spin, with plumped-up silhouettes, cushiony furs and quilting. Serious bed-heads should look to Céline, where Phoebe Philo dispensed with the coat concept entirely in favour of a silken eiderdown slung lazily over the shoulders.
Conjuring the golden age of Forties and Fifties Hollywood, designers crafted coats fit for a whole casting call of starlets. Think trapeze cuts, chic cocktail coats with princess sleeves, and supple duster coats, clasped with dressing down belts. Each one worthy of a starring role in this season’s costume drama.