Ready to Wear: Paper bag headwear is masterminded by Philip Treacy. Tesco won’t cut it

If the look of the summer was fashionably deshabille and even crumpled, as spearheaded by Prada, then autumn's catwalks take this one step further.

At Alexander McQueen there are bin-liner dresses and paper bag hats. Giles Deacon's overblown eveningwear appears to have had broken glass thrown at it. The look may be described as post-apocalyptic, perhaps (this particular apocalypse being the current economic climate) or even as trash couture. Either way, however informed by detritus each collection may be, they are far from low-budget and it almost goes without saying, it is utterly futile to try this at home.

A garment that may indeed be referencing the aforementioned refuse sacks, for example, is actually crafted in paper nylon exclusively created for the designer in question. The paper bag headwear is masterminded by milliner Philip Treacy and any number of try-outs with the Tesco variety will simply not, well, not cut it. Giles Deacon's smashed surface embellishment, similarly, is actually crystal and while his collection might borrow from the uniform of punk – in spirit at least – it too is executed with an attention to detail and pattern-cutting expertise that is normally the preserve of made-to-measure clothing as opposed to mere ready-to-wear.

A more watered-down interpretation of a similar theme can be seen elsewhere in the designer collections in the form of clothing that looks toughened – all that studded leather – but is, in reality, entirely luxe. It's all just an illusion, the high end masquerading as something rather more rough-edged (very rough-edged) in flavour and that is as profound a statement as any given the economic black hole that the fashion industry faces just now.

No such irony – or indeed illusory – qualities are likely to be on display at high street level. Topshop Unique's collection will be lapped up by all who like their T-shirts crafted in string and with stringy old jackets to match. For anyone too young to remember rave culture the first time around this is an entirely legitimate and suitably simple make-do-and-mend fashion statement. All those longer in the tooth, however, could be forgiven for preferring their wardrobe didn't bring The Tribe (if you don't know, don't ask) to mind.

Back to Prada again where a distinctly Land Girls mood invaded yet another seminal collection that has so far attracted as many column inches for accessories as beautiful clothing. The first lady of fashion's first foray into waders may be just the thing when we're all up to our waists in water what with global warming, one might not unreasonably think. Except, of course, that these boots are not made for survival in flood conditions – they're leather, you see. Another witty ruse, then, on the part of one of this century's most inspired and inspiring designers.

A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

    C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

    C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

    £55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

    AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

    £450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

    Day In a Page

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law