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All in one
The royal blue silk jumpsuit looked as elegant as the intricate tulle dresses on the Valentino catwalk – and strapless too – another trend to emerge from the runway last week. Comme des Garçons sleeves were overblown and at Kenzo cotton jumpsuits were printed. At Loewe, they were constructed from leather.
“The infinity of tailoring” said Rei Kawakubo of her Comme des Garçons collection, and indeed it was. Each rosette or bow on each suited outfit were in fact constructed of one piece of fabric that was part of the pattern of the base garment. A mannish silhouette was seen at Celine and at Stella McCartney.
Perhaps designers have been influenced by the events in Rome – cardinal red was particularly eye-catching at Christian Dior and Valentino in long and flowing, languid silhouettes and on PVC at Maison Martin Margiela and knitted at Hermes. Romantic and nostalgic styles felt modern in this statement hue. Not for the faint-hearted, perhaps, but Special K crimson should brighten up the pavements in autumn 2013.
Fluttering on the lining of coats, on cuffs and on hems that looked as though they had been tarred and feathered – Louis Vuitton's boudoir dressing collection was treated with marabou and goose feathers and graced some Speedy bags too. At Dries Van Noten, whole feather skirts and shift dresses danced along the catwalk. Sarah Burton used white feathers to top-off her religious inspired collection.
Stella McCartney packed so many of the trends into her fall/winter colleciton (tailoring, strapless, all-in-one) shown at the lavishly beautiful Opera Garnier. But it was her mannish tailoring and grey wool tracksuit which looked most effortless. Funnel-neck knits worn over skirts and bomber jackets transformed into coats and dresses at Miu Miu gave the collection a sporty edge.
Mid-length skirts normally signify something rather grown-up and refined, but Miuccia Prada's Miu Miu collection gave the style added verve and fun in sugary shades and polka-dot prints. At Acne, calf-lengths were given an added dimension with woolly and leather textures, panelled and sensuously slit, but resolutely hitting just below the knee. Rick Owens, too, master of the avant garde, showed pragamtic and almost prudish longer skirts, given a rock and roll edge with drapes and tucks.
Whoever said sweatshirts had to be sporty? Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy presented jewelled versions, emblazoned with cartoons such as Bambi on elegant and embellished transparent fabrics. Kenzo, now known for its It-knits, decorated a pullover with an eye motif, while Hussein Chalayan showed his with sculpted sleeves.
For his debut at Balenciaga, Alexander Wang marbled fur chubby jackets; Karl Lagerfeld put models in fur helmets, and Marc Jacobs put full-length furs over silky negligées. But if wearing fur doesn't sit well with your ethics, then fluffy, textured wool is set to be just as fashionable – seen on the catwalk of Celine and Acne, and even in real Steiff Teddy Bear fluff at Dries van Noten.
Never be embarrassed at the launderette with your laundry carrier again– this pattern has been made officially fashionable thanks to Phoebe Philo at Celine. Just about every designer flirted with plaid and checks for autumn – Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent, who, for his grungy collection paired tea dresses with plaid boyfriend shirts.
Hussein Chalayan¸ Jean Paul Gaultier, Haider Ackermann and Chloe all experimented with the zip, on leather puffers and sleeveless bikers, but the master of the metal fastening has to be Junya Watanabe. No stranger to a biker, Watanabe this season re-imagined it in various guises to amazing effect.Trenchcoats were also transformed with multizipped-compartments, with attention paid to the hips.
Classically elegant New Look-line dresses at Lanvin gave the effect of strapless bustiers, although they were actually worn over sheer tops that were decorated with appliqued bees, fluttering like the world's blingiest tattoos. The bustier shape was also popular at Balenciaga, where it came on curved and clean tunic tops, and Viktor & Rolf, where a minidress appeared to have its yoke cut clean off. Strapless may seem sweet and sophisticated but the new versions have a bit of attitude.