TREND WATCH: A/W ’13
Suggestions for On-the-go Style this Autumn and Winter
By Lizi Woolgar.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll start each fashion season (which awkwardly work on a different time-scale to normal earth-orbit seasons) flicking through the likes of Vogue, Wonderland and other fashionable paraphernalia. Only the more mags I flick through, the more and more trends seem to be ‘in this season’, until pretty much everything is apparently in fashion. Then I give up and go back to my uniform of comfortable-but-not-necessarily-on-trend.
To save you from ending up in this hopeless cycle of confusion, I have trawled through countless magazines to pull out the most commonly occurring trends for you, that are both accessible and highly wearable (if you do fancy getting ahead of the crowd). Also, highly un-scientifically, I’ve suggested which of the trends you should channel into your city breaks this Autumn, to ensure on-the-go style.
[DISCLAIMER: I’m no fashion expert. Wear whichever trend tickles your fancy wherever the hell ya like.]
The London Staple: Statement Coats
In the UK, there always comes a point where, no matter how carefully you plan your outfit underneath, all that can be seen is that big lumpy coat on top. “The cold ruins my outfits!” you say? This need no longer be the case. For you see, your coat really is now the focus of your outfit. The star of the show, if you like. Popular choices this Autumn (or should I say Fall for y’all) include a faded checked print, fuzzy autumn pastels, oversized shapes, the classic duffel and (my personal favourite) glamorous, colourful faux fur. Although designer-led, the trends have filtered down to the high street, so it’s perfectly easy to get your mitts on an affordable version this month. Head to Topshop for the boyish beige number, Mango for the Navy pinstripe coat, and check out Asos for the pastel pink and multicoloured fur designs (all pictured above).
The Tokyo Taster: Art as Fashion
Tokyo streets have always been home to the bravest, boldest and brightest fashionistas out there. Harajuku girls have the fearless nature that makes them well-suited to stretching garish designs across their bods without so much as a shrug of care. This artistic trend is not for shrinking violets. Whether you prefer Commes Des Garҫons’ in-your-face prints (pictured, far left) or Vivienne Westwood’s religious manuscript-inspired embroidered dress (pictured, centre-right) , you can be sure to find a way to slip in an element of art. Can’t handle the trend full-on? Be inspired by a little artistic make-up. Add a dash of colour pop eye-shadow or lipstick if you like; I would advise against going the full Lady Gaga though. Alternatively, try getting creative and stitch on your favourite pop art to a pair of battered old jeans. Not to be taken as fixed rules, I would advise interpreting this trend in any way you please, as after all, fashion should only ever be about doing you.
The L.A. ‘Lax: Punk/Tartan Cool
Nod back to the anarchic 70s phenomenon that was Punk this A/W. The main elements to pull from this period – pioneered by the one and only Viv W. – are plaid shirts, tartan skirts and chunky boots. Don’t bother too much with the spikes and chokers of the initial movement; focus on more of a 21st-century revamp. The trick to radiating punky vibes is to not look too put-together. Tie a scruffy jacket round your waste, keep those ladders in your tights; hell, maybe even do your buttons up wrongly on your shirt LOL! (Don’t. Your OCD ticks will be going mad all day to straighten ‘em up.) But seriously, it wasn’t known as the period of rebellion for no reason now, was it? Hugely popular on the high street; purchasing punk couldn’t be simpler. Grab a cute daisy plaid shirt from Urban Outfitters (pictured, bottom left), chunky boots from Asos (pictured, at the bottom) or kill two trends with one stone with the tartan midi skirt (the new fave hemline) also from Asos (pictured, centre).
And the rest…
Like I said, there’s always so so SO many different trends it’s easy to get caught up with everything on offer. I’ve narrowed the rest down to a few that 1) will be great for back-to-school-buys and 2) are quite simply my absolute favourites.
1) PRACTICAL BUYS
#Snore. I know. But it really is useful having a few wardrobe essentials that will take you from the first leaf-droppings of Autumn right through to the bitter depths of Winter. Firstly, as aforementioned, the midi-skirt hemline is favoured this season, so snatch up one. It can be worn with woolly ankle socks or thick-knit tights depending on the ole’ thermometer reading. The little denim number pictured can be found in Topshop right now.
Secondly, such a feminine shape should surely be paired with a juxtaposing mannish brogue; the flat shoe of choice this A/W (featured from Asos).
Finally – now this could be a love or hate situation – but I’m such a fan of pastels I couldn’t be more pleased to see their return for Autumn. All the rage last S/S, the sugary tones have make a comeback in A/W shapes and weights; particularly in the form of felty-fuzz overcoats. You’ll be glad to hear that this sky blue jacket (top left) is available at Topshop, although I reckon the colour to watch this season will be an amazing mint green shade.
2) MA FAVES
This is purely a self-indulgent paragraph for upcoming looks that have no sensible justification apart from I LOVE ‘EM! Firstly, the influence of religion was prominent across the A/W 2013 catwalks, but this mainly came in the form of elaborate, totally un-wearable designs. Nodding to the recurring Baroque trend (but with much simpler shapes), designers such as Emilio Pucci, Giles and D&G were big fans of religious symbolism. I haven’t seen all that much evidence of this on the high street as of yet, but I’m hoping it will worm its’ way on down.
I’ve labelled it “THE EYE” because that is all that pops into my head when I see it. This mysterious third-eye seemed to endlessly pop up throughout my browsing, eerily gazing deep into my soul. Something about this eye really caught my, er, eye, and I would recommend it as a great focal piece for a relaxed night-time outfit build.
First I hated it, now I love it. This vinyl shine sweater manages to look high-fashion despite its definite affordability. The brown and purple little numbers featured above are both from Asos, but I think (the brown in particular) paired with an all-black bottom half could look seriously, effortlessly, co-ool.
Finally, thigh-high boots. Something I know I will never ever wear, but can truly appreciate on others. Unless you have the legs of a model or the courage of Rihanna, I bet you won’t wear them either. Having said that, from the street style photos featured above (all from Vogue), I can safely say that they suit all shapes, styles and attitudes. The slouchy boots look way more effective, so consider sizing up (and buying an insole if needed) to get that desired crinkling around your knees.
So hopefully that’s broken the essentials down into easily-digestible chunks of this season’s fashion for you. There’s really no need to wear a piece from every single trend just to meet the socially-determined pass mark of ‘fashionable’. You’ll end up looking like a total train wreck. Pick a look that’s closest to your natural style, and experiment with substituting in new season pieces here and there. Or even just take notice of the shapes available. Opt for a midi-length hemline rather than mini to change things up. Who knows, you might end up finding something that suits you far more than you’d ever expect.