As if studying all the fashion week spring summer 2016 shows wasn’t confusing enough, it’s now October and the summer is hanging on for one final hurrah. Londoners, or perhaps it’s UK dwellers in general, fall into two camps during the two in-between seasons periods. There are those who shun the outgoing season to fully embrace the incoming one – they will not be thrown off course no matter how long an Indian summer may linger. Then there are those, like me, who refuse to give in to autumn until September is safely packed away along with the holiday tan, sun cream and mojitos. I’ll add a jacket or a knit but I will absolutely wear my strappy shoes until my toes are visibly blue, I’m sorry but it’s just too long and painful a wait until next summer to resort to boots when the temperature is still in double figures.
So I enjoy watching those in my neighbourhood from the first tribe sweltering in their scarves and tights on their way home after work while my son and I skip about with bare legs and sunnies while eating ice-creams. My boyfriend reported to my mum last weekend that I had turned up for a “walk in the country in peep-toe heels” and they both laughed at my ridiculousness. For the record, what actually happened was that while I was wearing heels for the breakfast out, when afterwards we decided to go for a stroll, I miraculously produced a pair of Uggs out of the boot of my car. And it was Wimbledon common by the way, which even for the most hard nosed of Londoners, hardly qualifies as the country.
This week I have been chasing evening wear for a magazine feature and have consequently been completely distracted by the autumn winter catwalks with all its possibilities. It’s fair to say there’s a big old mixture of styles this season and hopefully that means something for everyone. So if the seventies vibe isn’t your thing (it’s very much in evidence still – flares, skinny knits and stripes) then you can pull out your pretty lace dress and the suede I warned you against all those months ago, and feel really rather current.
The suit is back in a big way, specifically the trouser suit, but this time it’s slouchy with a hint of the Diane Keatons about it – wide trousers, but no hat and tie please. Also you know that puffy sleeve thing I warned you about last week? Yeah well, I wanted to break it to you gently because it’s started to appear already along with the Victoriana look which pops up every other winter – personally, I blame Downton Abbey.
Hemlines are all over the shop so take your pick, you won’t look out of place no matter how much leg you are or aren’t showing. I for one think the midi length, be it seventies style culottes or fifties style voluminous skirt, might as well be flogged if you’ve bought into it already – which I have – they make great use of long boots and all those tights with ladders you really should have thrown away.
One item I really feel I should put my (slightly cold) foot
down about however is the maxi dress. Floaty, romantic and now available in lots of high street stores, it’s flowery and probably a little impractical if you’re on and off public transport twice a day, but it’s the one piece which will effortlessly transform your AW15 wardrobe. It’s covered up, can be dressed up or down and suits any age. I got the hem of a maxi dress caught in the escalator down to the Gatwick Express. It was a terrifying few moments, not least of which was because the dress was strapless and had it been sucked in, I would have been deposited on the platform in my underwear. Oh you may laugh but it’s a dangerous world out there. My sister suffered a similar thing at the hands of a maxi. Arriving on a friend’s doorstep, she trod on the front hem of her dress pulling it down and exposing her bare chest just as said friend opened the door. I digress – the winter maxis are far safer, some of them even button up to the neck.
I love the high street and shudder to think of the thousands of pounds spent on designer garments when the copies are so darn good nowadays. Just look at this stuff! Why wouldn’t you? Zara is streets ahead when it comes to churning out looks taken straight from the catwalk because they do it so quickly. Frankly how they get away with it beggars belief but until they don’t and get hauled over the coals, let’s fill our wardrobes with the stuff – gather up your billowing skirts and I’ll race you to the Zara ankle boots!