If you actually have a waistline, it’s pretty important for your dress (or coat or shirt) to have one too. Designers sometimes forget this but luckily, the Autumn Winter 12/13 shows included plenty of beautifully feminine silhouettes, without going overboard into power dressing meets dominatrix territory.
It starts with a coat, like this Virgin Wool Tailored Top Coat in Bright Chestnut by Burberry (shown here with a separate fur collar and bow belt). The nipped in waist, big buttons and ruched pockets give the appearance of elegant curves.
Dior Ready To Wear combined one of my favourite hues – mauve – with one of my favourite patterns – houndstooth – on a structured stretch wool satin jacket. A surprise grey beanie hat and silk satin organza skirt softened and lightened the jacket’s hard lines.
Almost every look at Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti AW12 was cinched in with an embellished belt or fitted band of some kind – making even outfits with knee length hemlines, collared necklines and capped sleeves look effortlessly sexy.
And in amongst the voluminous carefree dresses at Chloe, there was this silk twill jumpsuit with a billowing bottom half but a tidy band beneath the bow detail sparing the model’s blushes. Show-stopping.
Amongst the swathes of ivory gowns and cream cocktail dresses at the Selfridges white Christmas press preview last week, there was a mens suit that stood out like a straight man at a fashion show (sorry, but it’s basically all gays and girls. Always). This suit was brightest electric blue with black lapels and was made out of velvet. Or so I thought. An email from the Selfridges press officer revealed that the Moschino suit in question (available in store now, if you’re daring enough) was actually 100% cotton, but designed to have a velvet effect. Deceptive eh?
It got me thinking about a trend that started on the catwalk of Dolce and Gabanna during menswear week in January this year, when Stefano and Domenico sent half a dozen velvet tuxedo-clad models out for the final walk through. Mr Porter is clearly a fan, because there are a host of velvet tuxedos, jackets and blazers available on the site now, in a more expansive colour range as well as the black Dolce original. I’ve picked my top three below. Unless you’re going for vintage this is a solely high-end trend at the moment, but it’s sure to filter down to the high street as winter stock comes in. If your budget doesn’t stretch to designer just yet you’ll have to be patient, unless a £175 Lanvin velvet bowtie will sate your sartorial appetite for now?
Paul Smith London slim fit velvet jacket, £470, Mr Porter
Canali cream velvet two button blazer, £640, Mr Porter
Burberry Prorsum blue velvet blazer, £795, Mr Porter
var _gaq = _gaq || ;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’); s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
What do you mean you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet? Don’t you realise there are only 155 shopping days left before 25th December? I know this because last Wednesday Helen and I went down to Selfridges, where the Christmas shopping is encouraged even at the height of Summer. On Wednesday, the Ultralounge (I’m not entirely sure what makes it more ultra than your average lounge) was transformed into an all-white winter wonderland complete with Christmas trees, fake snow scattered on the floor and Mariah Carey warbling ‘all I want for Christmas is yooooou’ in the background. It was all designed to get journalists and bloggers in the mood for the festive season because the Selfridges Christmas shop will be open by the end of July. Yep, you read that right, July – although the exact date is a closely guarded secret. Can’t wait to get started? Here are a few snaps of the sort of goodies you’ll be able to find there, and throughout Selfridges, in the run up to Christmas – from tiny Vivienne Westwood bears to a giant Dior bear in a box, plus possibly the coolest advent calendar I’ve ever seen.
Vivienne Westwood bear charm necklaces
Markus Lupfer pug jumper
Burberry Prorsum white double breasted 'Pattinson' coat
Roland Mouret white strapless dress
Issa white evening dress
Vivienne Westwood white evening dress
Dior bear in a box
The front of a luxury Lancome advent calendar...
...and all the Lancome goodies inside
Helen and I in the Selfridges white winter wonderland