When I’m trying to figure out what the hell to wear every morning, I fix a person whose style I admire in my head and use that to guide me. It doesn’t mean copying an outfit stitch for stitch, it’s more about taking the soul of that person’s style (like a vampire!) – a silhouette, the way they scrunch their jacket sleeves – and blending it with my own look to create something fresh.
The same principle applies to a new season – we’re surrounded by shiny catwalk images and adverts in magazines and I find it all completely seductive and utterly confusing in equal measure. Of course 'trends' aren't as definitive as they used to be; gone are the days when designers efficiently captured the zeitgeist with a single slash of their scissors and consumers obediently trooped out and bought into the look (albeit the high street version) wholesale. However there are prevailing winds on the catwalk that evoke a certain mood or reflect the times and even if we're not buying into specific trends like we used to, they're still fun to play with.
The clothes we see on the catwalk might be outrageous, shocking, even ugly (and always expensive!) but they contain ideas. Ideas that you can take and twist and make your own. I’ve picked three from the AW/12 catwalks and broken them down into their composite parts – each represents an attitude rather than a distinctive ‘look’ so you can take what you want from them.
A bruise/pristine look from Christopher Kane's A/W12 collection
“And the sky was made of amethyst...” I don’t know why that just popped into my head, but it seems to evoke the gloomy, sullen teen-grunge-goth vibe that appeared on many of the A/W catwalks. At Christopher Kane the colour palette was dominated by bruised purple, blood red, indigo and black and the lines were clean, slick and sexy ensuring the clothes didn't feel remotely retro or 'fancy dress'. As for inspirational icons, think Melissa Auf der Maur and PJ Harvey and you’ve got it.
Take your pick from PJ's album covers for A/W inspiration
I'm choosing to interpret this as lots of leather (a classic below-the-knee pencil skirt is a classy option, or trousers - Rebecca's considering in investing in some of these) worn with a big, grungy jumper or a slouchy T-shirt. If you were smart enough to hoard your teenage wardrobe in the attic, unearth that old velvet blazer, dust it down and wear it smugly with cropped trousers and spiked heels or chunky flatforms - whichever takes your fancy. And try Lina's glossy, winestained lip to really pay tribute to The Craft. Asos have really nailed this look - here's a few highlights:
Glossy goth at Asos
My current style crush: Megan Draper. Zou Bisous Bisous!
Clean lines and shapes (the cocoon coat) and boldly contrasting, poppy Mondrian shades of red, mustard and cobalt blue feel chic and new – like Megan Draper looking all sleek and modern in her kitten heels, capris, tunics and polo necks compared to Betty’s fussy florals. Sorry Birdie, but my allegiances lie firmly with the new Mrs Draper on this one.
And the high street store that's bought into this trend in a big way is none other than good ol' H&M. I'm impressed by their preppy twinsets, tweed jackets and tunics.
Pixie Geldof meets Megan Draper in H&M's autumn campaign and I thoroughly approve
And so is Boden...
Boden's doing the '60s thing in style... boden.co.uk
Chloe Sevigny rocking one of Miu Miu's groovy trouser suits
Oh hey gender-bending, cross-dressing garconnes of the ‘20s, how lovely to see you again! From Paul Smith’s printed silk pyjamas to the psychedelic suits at Miu Miu, girls are once more invited to dress as boys. The trouser suit counter-inuitively appeals to my stingy side – sure, it might be a pricey purchase, but you can wear it in so many ways; as the full suit (with assorted tees, shirts and sweaters underneath) and separately – the trousers without the jacket, and the jacket thrown over a dress or with jeans. I just took delivery of Jaeger Boutique's ditsy-print navy needlecord trouser suit and I LOVE it.
Where do you find inspiration when you're putting an outfit together - the catwalk, films, books? Let me know what's shaping your style this season!
Picture Credit: Rex Features