High street fashion: Opulence
This season brings with it a new luxe spirit to the catwalks. It’s all about the drama of decoration and making strong statements with embroideries and embellishments. It’s all about being never knowingly underdressed. Ornamental florals, lavishly embroidered leathers, gem-encrusted silks, sumptuous velvets and glossy brocades contribute to a season that is dripping with lush colour and lavish detail.
Asia was a huge influence on the catwalks this season with designers serving up a wealth of exquisite ideas, resulting in a sumptuous feast of beautifully brocaded kimono jackets, elaborate obi belts, cheongsam-style dresses, rich embroidery and oriental motifs.
This look from Anna Scholz gives a modern spin on the trend, with a knows-what-you-want-dress that drapes around your shape to flatter and camouflage together with this season’s bigger-is-better belt, giving extra accentuation. A diversion print like this one will highlight and compliment to give the illusion of curves in all the right places.
Fashion-flooring Nippon guaranteed.
This season, if you like it then put a bit of bling on it. From crystals to beads to sequins, the season was ode to a baroque opulence and Rococo grandeur. Far from pretty sparkles, it’s all about exaggerated and statement-making adornments and embellishment. Magpies go gather – pick up different textures, fabrics and finishes and layer and mix them with baroque abandon. Choose lace and brocade or bejewelled velvet and silk jacquards to add to the air of decadence. If in doubt, dress UP.
This head-to-toe look from House of Fraser with it lustrous silk and metallic embellishment paired with sexy courts and modern clutch give the look a bit of swagger. Pure baroque and roll….It demonstrates how to keep this trend real-world wearable with multiple prints in the same colour family. A top to bottom look in a sleek silhouette and a black-based print will flatter curves and lengthen and elongate the silhouette. Shiny textures work in the same way as light colours so can expand your figure – the black background on these trousers counteracts this making them wearable, particularly if you have a curvy bottom half.
Together these special pieces will make our magpie hearts sing. However, the blouse will pair with everything from your favourite jeans to dressier evening outfits. Try teaming the trousers with cool classics, such as a biker jacket and jewelled loafers.
This season’s florals are certainly no pansies – they’re dark, edgy and luxe and come in print combinations that have a dazzling, almost hyper-real quality. In a riot of vivid hothouse hues these florals evoke a powerful, sexy glamour. Try teaming with leather to keep things on the right side of that glamorous fence. But ones things for sure, keep the silhouette simple.
This look from BHS encompasses the feel of this season’s floral crop with a seductively dark-chic look that doesn’t veer too far into ladylike. Accessories are key – stilettoes and a metal cuff add an urban mien. Remember the darker the print’s background, the slimmer the look so this look works well if you’re pear shaped or petite. Simply swap the prints from top to bottom if you have a fuller top half.
Get ready to expect glancing looks like bees to blossom…
Leather appeared in virtually every key Autumn/Winter 2012 collection but there is a new angle – it doesn’t just come in black! Yes the most sumptuous skins this season are in claret, forest green or inky blue.
This season’s leather is sophisticated, super-feminine and found in ladylike separates such as coats and dresses which have an underpinning of sexual tension to the silhouette (think a strict and sexy pencil skirt). Go hell for leather and keep your look unadorned to let the leather shine.
This look from Hobbs keeps within the soft – sexy – tough juxtapositions, easing up the leathers with a floral fancy blouse and juxtaposing with this season’s hardest working soldier – the military coat – seductively slung over shoulders.
Tucking in your blouse into your skirt will whittle your waistline and a higher waisted silhouette with a hemline just below the knee elongates the figure and shows just the right amount of leg. If you’re petite then consider raising the hemline a little and if you have a short torso let the blouse out and nip in with a belt. If you want to go for an ankle boot and you’re conscious of your calves, opt for a chunkier heel and a style that sits below the ankle rather than above it.