Velvet glow

Velvet glow

Colder weather equals more clothing– and that’s not always a bad thing.  Rebekah Kendal decodes some of this season’s coolest trends

This winter, staying toasty warm and looking fabulous are not mutually exclusive. So extricate yourself from the couch, shed those comfy but completely unflattering tracksuit pants, and give your inner diva free rein. Opulent velvet vies with fanciful fur, lace and leather for your attention, and the emphasis put on layering means you can choose them all. The resurgence of Eighties glamour guarantees you can get away with big hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and statement colour lips. And the plethora of gorgeous capes, coats and jackets ensures you will never go cold.

Less is no longer more ‘If fashion is a language, our means of speaking is becoming bigger and bolder by the day,’ affirms Alia Motani, image consultant and creative director at Brands Luv U. ‘Less is no longer more. The fashion runways are challenging you to be bigger, bolder and braver. It’s not about being flamboyant for Instagram likes; it’s about turning up the volume on who you are.’ While the 1970s held sway over last year’s spring and summer collections, it is the 1980s – a decade of exaggerated glamour – that has inspired the latest autumn/winter collections.

Fashion during the 1980s had an unapologetically garish and crass feeling to it,’ says style curator Catherine Bowen. ‘It was over the top, and I see that same style of handwriting coming through very strongly in the latest collections, such as those from designer Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy Couture. ‘It is a return to everything big and ostentatious and opulent. Think oversized clothing details such as collars, frills and voluminous harem pants; sheer stockings; statement Baroque-inspired prints and patterns; pearl accessories; clashing and dramatic colour combinations; and lots of velvet. It’s incredibly evocative of 1980s It designer Gianni Versace.’

Va-va-velvet, va-va-voom!

Rich, warm and always luxurious, velvet has found its proper place on runways this season. From simple cuts to prints and embroidery, this plush fabric was seen everywhere. Motani suggests the secret to Italy’s latest street-style look is a draped velvet dress, clever cut-outs and a super-long coat. Bowen recommends updating your wardrobe with a velvet shift dress (which can be dressed up or down for day or night) and a tuxedo jacket (to be worn with basic jeans and a camisole). A timeless work staple, the pantsuit– another popular trend this season –can also be given the velvet treatment. ‘Think cuffed, velvet, bomber-style pantsuits and safari-style pants that have a leisurewear look to them,’ says Bowen. ‘They are quite masculine, but can be made more traditionally feminine by pairing them with a pair of killer heels or choosing a pair in a fabric such as velvet.’

More layers than parfait

The colder months naturally lend themselves to a degree of layering, but this year, the layers are purposeful and
at times ridiculous. Throw a summer dress over a knitted turtleneck or layer a short-sleeved blouse over a fine-knit long-sleeved top. Don’t be shy to mix up textures and colours, with pinks and yellows sneaking into the more sombre winter palette. ‘Embroidery and lace are a vital part of the upcoming season,’ points out Motani. ‘Fashion loves contrast, so mix textures just as you clashed prints a few seasons back: smooth and shiny with matt and shaggy, or sweet and lacy with rough and leathery. Think dressed-up for the day: cashmere, ruffles and glittering heels – make ‘luxe’ your watchword this winter.’ Long coats and luxe capes Longer-length coats are on-trend this season. While dramatic navy-inspired overcoats speak to a sombre masculine aesthetic, colourful faux fur, leather and suede make a more daring statement. Shearling coats – both long and short– featured at almost every runway show from New York to Paris. Statement capes are a refreshing alternative to a more structured jacket. ‘Capes add a fantastic air of panache and flair for both day and evening outfits; they’ve got that period feel that will elevate an outfit from good to great,’ says Bowen. ‘For daytime, choose a structured felt-wool cape that sits mid-thigh – if it is trimmed in leather or has an oversized bow detail, all the better. These capes will work with just about any outfit combination, from jeans to dresses and even pantsuits. For the evening, either a shorter or a floor-length velvet cape will provide Eighties gothic flair – perfect for layering over a shift or evening gown.

Suit up!

Women aren’t the only ones who get to luxuriate in plush fabrics and Eighties glam this season. We chatted to Steph Gilda, senior stylist at Just Cavalli, about trends for men for the autumn/winter season.

Let’s talk fabrics and colours: What’s hot right now? This season, expect luxe fabrics and bold colours with a luxurious feel. In the case of Just Cavalli suits, you can expect an edge of animal print — think iconic rock stars’ wardrobes.

Have any of the popular spring/summer trends been carried through into the colder months? One that definitely has is the bomber jacket, which can be worn smart or casual in different colours and textures, such as silk, leather, quilted and vivid brocade.

Any must-have accessories to pair with your suit this season?

Nothing beats a pair of exquisite genuine- leather shoes. For a more conservative look, opt for a classic toned-down leather belt, or embrace your inner rock star with one of our bold skull-emblem belts.

When the chill sets in, what are your options for keeping warm while still looking stylish? We have the perfect outerwear to mix with our suit collection, from a black leather mid-coat with faux-fur inside to our gold-and-brocade overcoat.

Photography: trunk archive, fashionwire press

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