The dark arts

Black is back with a vengeance this autumn, with biker jackets and leather accessories centrepieces of the season’s day-to-day looks

Sat, Aug 31, 2013, 00:00

You can never get away from black in fashion and it’s back again for winter, nudging out all those summer colours, reawakening its familiar ability to cut a sharp line and shift pounds from the figure. The winter’s key trends, highlighted here by top designer brands and photographed in Trinity College Dublin, emphasise the season’s day-to-day looks with a nod to the 1940s in the longer lengths, the boyish cropped pants and the new rounded shoulderline in many coats.

Centrepieces are the biker jackets and a lot of black leather accessories to give a masculine assertiveness to a more confident femininity. Celine broke ranks by introducing soft pastels such as cold pink, pale yellow and off-white shades for winter that sit well with grey on her strong silhouettes. Miu Miu also reinforces the trend for below-the-knee pencil skirts while Isabel Marant offers pelmet skirts – minis layered over leggings.

“This season is more about the skirt than the dress and proportions are changing,” says Shelly Corkery, fashion director of Brown Thomas.

“You see volume happening in different places like from the hip rather than the waist and in the longer skirts.”

Alexander McQueen’s overcoats are full skirted with that curvy focus typical of the brand which this season has introduced a “cathedral arch” waist belt in white or black leather to emphasise the point.

New takes on masculine tailoring define the season and are notable in Stella McCartney’s playful and practical use of pinstripe and Dior’s fitted tuxedo jackets and slimfit trousers. But if there’s one item that sums up winter fashion it is the cocoon-shaped coat in black or chequerboard print though the red wool collarless coat by Kenzo is a front runner for Irish taste, being a colour of perennial attraction in this island. And elsewhere, with textural detail in the limelight, Dries Van Noten brings a new look to fake fur.

These clothes may be luxury items, but apart from the standout pieces, many are high-quality daytime work clothes, such as a great black jacket, well-cut black trousers, a sleekly modern skirt and superb white blouses with expensive accessories from biker and over-the-knee boots to satchels and duffel bags anchoring everything with an earthier modern edge.

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