Style with substance: New season's 'wow factor' comes to town
“YOU NEED to have the wow factor; these are hand-picked pieces for the lifestyles of our customers. The most dangerous thing you can do is buy safe,” said Brown Thomas managing director Stephen Sealy at the autumn-winter fashion show yesterday.
Looking at a flame-red Tom Ford dress artfully undone at the back with a gold zip, it wasn’t hard to imagine the lifestyle it suggested, nor the glamorous cream cape and gown that closed the show in red carpet style.
Few in everyday life can afford show-stoppers like these, but for the woman of style looking for city wardrobe essentials, many desirable items caught the eye.
Handsome coats in exquisite fabrics stood out, such as Dries Van Noten’s close-fitting military styles, Stella McCartney’s shapely tweeds updated with sporty knit collars or McQ’s flamboyant caped and flared black number.
The focus however was mainly on dresses where the print revolution continues to reflect a mood of modern femininity. Bold and bright distorted graphics were notable in collections by such British designers as Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou and Erdem.
The latter’s overlay of black lace on a black and blue print hourglass dress toned down the visual effects in a subtle and wearable way, while Diane Von Furstenburg’s prints in New York cab colours of black, yellow and white worn with sequined separates were a cheery combination for winter.
The new tweeds are anything but country. Dolce Gabbana and newcomers Alice Olivia (from the US) put sparkle into tweed skirts and jackets worn with chunky jewelled stilettos.
Victoria Beckham’s skintight khaki dresses counterbalanced Roksanda Ilincic’s bold colour blocked tent shapes, but it was Helmut Lang’s black leather jackets, printed skinnies and ankle boots, an easy to copy look, that ultimately nailed what is bound to be winter’s main street trend.