From Goth Glam to Punk Princess………..decoding A/W 2012!

Baroque Belle at Dolce and Gabanna

Fashion has been a little princess-perfect for a while. Call it the Kate effect but we have all been running around in our pastels and florals, and for those of us who thought they could take it on, sports luxe. I didn’t try sport luxe as I am rubbish at casual clothes – I just don’t get them. I am an all-or-nothing kind of girl. This season really has taken on a dark and sultry feel, with lots of black, tons of embellishment and more leather than a Whitesnake convention. The good bit? It means a change of pace and a chance to experiment. I might be hooked on classics but I may go for something purple, and I might ditch the neutral lipstick for a midnight damsel shade. The looks on show for Autumn/Winter are powerful and, to be honest, might not be the types of looks that boyfriends/husbands/whatevers across the nation will be lusting after, unless you go for those patent leather thigh-high boots. However, if you are like me, then you look at the trends, pick what works for you, and add the trends where you feel they are applicable. So I am not going for black leather trousers but you can bet I will be reaching for black full length gloves. The look I am after? Well it’s kind of Jackie Onassis meets Morticia Adams – classic but with with a dramatic edge. And I may even try nail art. Sometimes resistance is just futile………………..

Plum Park Avenue Princess at DVF

This has to be my favourite look of the season and Diane’s theme for the show was glamour-on-the-go, and she achieved it perfectly here. The palette is every shade of wine, the red polo neck adding a colour pop, and the darkly embellished dress is just perfect for daytime chic. Add the perfect accessories (the gloves, bag and sunglasses cannot be bettered) and well, I am sold, sold, sold. The devil is in the detail here and the way the outfit is assembled, but all of the pieces would get star billing in your wardrobe. And that, quite simply, is fashion genius.

Monochrome Miss at Valentino

Valentino’s take on glam never goes out of style. It is the not the brand that screams street-style, it is the label to go for when you want to indulge in sheer luxury. A white blouse and black skirt is hardly an earth-shattering combination, but these two pieces are so beautiful that they cannot be ignored. The white silk pannelled shirt is a revelation, and the black leather on-the-knee skirt adds a touch of va-va-voom without being skintight and well, a bit barmaid at the Rover’s Return. In a world of glitter and sequins and baubles sometimes simplicity in all of its stark beauty cannot be beaten. The world’s very best in investment dressing.

Haute Heritage at Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren makes clothes that you want to wear, and he is an expert when it comes to preppy and heritage collections. This season sees the return of the trouser suit and this one is simply sublime. The body fitting jacket and wide legged trousers make a change from big blazers and skinny pants, and the accessories are, as always, spot on style-wise. Of course, you don’t have to go for the whole look if it feels too over-styled, but separate the pieces out and you have some wonderful additions to your new season wardrobe.

Pastel Princess at Jil Sander

With so many dark romantic looks around Jil Sander bucked the trend and went for sheer ladylike, and without a doubt, is my favourite collection of the season. The look is still contemporary, as the slightly larger coats hint at the new trend for oversizing, and the pink Jil Sander coat is the one every fashion editor is clamouring over this season. Sometimes styles and looks come and go but to me, simple, classic chic with a nod to the new season is my idea of fashion perfection.

Mood Indigo at Bottega Veneta

If purple is a stretch too far, then blue is the perfect option for Autumn/Winter and nobody did it better than Bottega Veneta. The beautifully embellished jacket, the new length straight cut spilt skirt, and the perfect flourish with the addition of lush equestrian style accessories meant that Bottega Veneta was trend aware without turning out fashion victims. A hugely powerful look, this is one for when you want to make a statement about being a woman in control. Ravishing.

Town and Country at Burberry Prorsum

This collection covered both looks to wear in the country, and dresses that are perfect for city cocktails, and both were executed with aplomb. There are so many looks to pick from the choice is impossible, but this re-working of the classic Burberry trench is just remarkable. What makes it starkly modern are the accessories – the high heeled tie front boots, the supersized tote and that inspired bow belt. All of these lift the look, and the colour blocking edges brings this trench right up to date. Investment dressing with a twist.

Super Luxe at Christian Dior

This collection was about unashamed luxury and changing shapes and proprotions. This jacket is quite simply exquisite – the sculputured shoulders and waist, with the added print make it a standout piece. The silk new length skirt is a little piece of fashion heaven and the ankle band shoes take it away from the princess look and add a touch of power. This outfit is what pure designer dressing is all about – no-one on the High Street could produce this look with such allure and precision. Christian Dior has been a leading haute couture house for over 50 years and its light remains undimmed.

Power Red at Donna Karan

Donna Karan is an expert in designing for real women and her new collection is hugely powerful, with lots of sublime tailoring and trouser suits, but this dress stood out – it is a pure knockout! Of course it looks amazing on the tall model but this dress would look equally as stunning on someone with curves – Jennifer Lopez or Beyonce would really rock this dress. Complete with scarlet doctor’s bag and patent ankle strap pumps, this is the outfit that your boyfriend is really going to love. And not a shade of grey in sight!

Dark Romance at Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta is the perfect designer for ladies-who-lunch. However, even he has gone with the darkened mood this season with spectacular results. This dark print coat is the ultimate in luxury cover-ups, and the fur collar, high heeled ankle boot and simple clutch allow the coat to shine. This coat is feminine and powerful all at the same time – and isn’t that the look that we all love to strive for?

Military Presence at Victoria Beckham

When Victoria Beckham said that she designed clothes for every woman, she faced a bit of a backlash, and yet her latest collection has proved that she knows how to dress womanly curves with her long, lean shapes. Too much in the way of miltary references can be very overpowering but the strikingly simple dresses accessorised with military-styled boots, belts, hats and bags were perfectly balanced. Victoria is becoming a major powerhouse by creating a signature style that us woman really covet. Every single season.

COMING NEXT…… Beauty and hair looks, and the best beauty and hair buys for the new season………..

THEN………..how to get the new looks on the High Street!

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