article written by Alicia Luba
Although I’ll inevitably be shunned by those worshipping the soaring temperatures, I must admit to looking forward to winter. As the best of the best set the pace for autumn and the colder months in the latest set of fashion weeks, it seems there is more to be excited about than ever.
Alongside fail-safe tailoring, luxe furs and knee high boots were tucked a few pulse-quickening surprises. Let me start with my standout accessory of the coming season, the Marc Jacobs saucer head-piece with chin straps. Yes, that was chin straps. Splicing together essential elements of the air hostess and the French beret he will be personally responsible for the chin-checking head wear filtering its way down to the high street.
Despite the more sensible brims shown at Gucci, the runways of Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu featured peaked pilot hats and jaunty baseball caps. Yet these frivolous accents serve as the more humorous element in a serious equation. This season will be all about the disparity. The small, svelte feminine waist contrasted with blow-out crescent sleeves, S&M leathers at Vuittton, Givenchy and Christopher Kane offset by sheer cut-outs. Sheer, however, in the hands of the brilliant Chiuri and Piccolo at Valentino, creates an altogether different tone. Here it is all about pared down feminine, a return to a demure yet romantic era. Their models float down the catwalk with a delicate strand of hair teased either side of the face from a simple head band.
As if officially bloated by the summer’s burst of corals, fluorescent tones, bright block panelling and eye-searing prints, the winter season will see a muddier, almost oily palette. Colour has not necessarily receded but is shown to its full advantage as sporadic injections rejuvenate certain collections. While tangerine is everywhere this spring, expect to see a Gucci-led re-discovery of blue for winter. Their 2010/2011 collection will be the go-to inspiration for the high street collections proving that various shades of aquamarine, inky purples and petrol greens can combine and offset each other perfectly. As for prints, expect to see dalmatian, peacock and geometric patterning. Sensible collars make a return with designers showing everything from peter-pan pretty to the serious and powerful polo necks at Marc Jacobs. Layering, too, has undergone a reinvention with dresses and skirts being worn over skin-tight trousers at Chanel alongside their offering of clean, white long sleeves underneath voluminous, layered short ones.