Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

River Island sets the scene for A/W 2012

River Island has really launched itself into A/W 2012 with something approaching religious fervour, and with one of the most talked-about ranged of any high-street brand: its “blogger” collection  (above). To the layperson, this basically translates to a host of …

Tue, Jul 17, 2012, 17:23

   

River Island has really launched itself into A/W 2012 with something approaching religious fervour, and with one of the most talked-about ranged of any high-street brand: its “blogger” collection  (above). To the layperson, this basically translates to a host of mix’n'match colours and textures, a distinct lack of reverence for any kind of coherence or “style”, and a real “more is more” attitude. In short, it’s the kind of thing River Island imagines Tommy Ton looks out for.

See? Mixum gatherum

But the buck doesn’t stop with the blogger; as well as this slightly gimmicky story, River Island is going with Maggie, a Thatcher-brought-to-the-noughties vibe with very ladylike tweeds and skirt shapes; futuristic goth, which contains a lot of  metallics and some luscious faux fur; Downtown, a kind of Andy Warhol / Edith Wharton type of vibe, with more tweeds and the juxtaposition of houndstooth and check; Scandi (which, let’s face it, every high-street brand worth its salt is doing a variation on, thank you Acne); and Baroque.

As usual, there were some distinct highlights, firstly in the form of these DVF-style handbags. I love that River Island has really toned down its hardware and cut down on the bag branding; there’s nothing I hate more than wearing a bag with “River Island” (or “Karen Millen”, “Chanel”, “Céline” etc) emblazoned on it.

This grape-coloured backpack (I think grape is going to be big next season, you heard it here first) from the menswear collection is on my lust list: gorge and so much better than my bubblegum-coloured Eastpak shame.

These mafia-style slippers are going nowhere fast, and River Island’s selection is great. Metal toe-cap detailing, studs . . . ticking so many of my boxes (wink wink).

This dress was  from the Baroque collection, and that neckpiece is separate. It won’t beat my Joanne Hynes collar for oomph, but it is pretty lovely and would transform an otherwise meh dress.

From Downtown, a black blazer with a gorgeous faux leather lapel. It’s pu, rather than leather, which means it won’t cost a bomb, but it’s still durable and looks almost as good as the real thing.

This faux fur was one of the most convincing I’ve seen – really soft and plush. They say that either you should wear fur, or not wear fur, regardless of whether it’s faux, because you’re perpetuating a trend. So, if you’re anti-fur, don’t kid yourself that wearing faux lets you off the hook.

This trophy jacket was by far one of the standout pieces of the collection, from Baroque. Seriously amazing – and how good would this look with a simple black tee and a pair of skinnies?

This cap instantly reminded me of Sandra from 5inchandup, possibly the only person I think could pull it off. I have the world’s biggest head (literally as well as figuratively) so I doubt this will go near me, but I’m damn sure gonna try. How slick (read: ridiculous) will this look over my curly mop?

Lastly, kidswear – how adorably mini-me is this?

Are you a River Island fan? (And how do you feel about the news that Rihanna is to collaborate with the British-owned brand?)

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