Ready To Wear: No woman should ever be dictated to by fashion

What does the Independent woman wear?

Ready To Wear: Poor Hedi Slimane, let's give the boy a chance

Fashion is a mercilessly fast-moving creature and even the most gifted designers step in and out of it only at their peril.

Ready To Wear: The future of fashion is bright, white, sporty and full of holes

To wear or not to wear, that is the question. Here are at least some of the trends that emerged at London Fashion Week, spring/summer 2013...

Ready To Wear: Is Barbie London Fashion Week’s most unusual backer?

It's a good season for cartoon heroines. As if it's not enough that Minnie Mouse is currently the source of inspiration for one-off designs by names including Giles Deacon, Richard Nicoll, Piers Atkinson and Meadham Kirchhoff (that's quite a roll call – and it's for charity), Louise Gray's show, which takes place at London Fashion Week later today, is sponsored by Barbie.

Purple may be the colour of the gods but both Christopher Kane (in London) and Miuccia Prada (in Milan) threw caution to the wind by covering their catwalks in it and sending out clothes to match

Ready To Wear: Purple reign: the regal colour sweeps in for autumn

"I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendours without fear thrown into my path," Agamemnon tells Clytemnestra in Aeschylus' famed Greek tragedy, before stepping on to the purple carpet that signifies the beginning of his downfall nonetheless.

There's eyes for every fashion show, even the most innovative ones

Ready to Wear: Everyone should be exposed to the most innovative fashion shows

At the end of last month, the New York Times ran an article begging the question, “Are trends passé”? According to fashion blogger Garance Doré, “they are not as they used to be – the days when things were 'in' or 'out' are long gone”. And that's true: in a saturated market, there's something for everyone, which makes economic, if not always creatively inspiring, sense.

Crocs

Ready to Wear: 'My mum wouldn't be caught dead in Crocs. Me? I wear them to the shops'

"I can't believe you're wearing Crocs," says my mother, who is far too chic a woman to ever think of so doing herself.

These are not women who rely on being either pencil thin, preternaturally tall or studiously aloof to carry their clothes

Ready To Wear: The real beauty of carnival is being happy in your own skin

Unlike many of the residents of London's Notting Hill, I stay put at carnival time. No escaping to sunnier or rural climes for me on the occasion of this, the biggest street party of the year.

Geri Halliwell famously donned red, white and blue in the late nineties, perhaps taking it a little too far

Ready To Wear: I'm coming over all red, white and blue and – what's more – I like it

While the world at large has been moaning about the weather which, admittedly, has been remarkably inclement, not to mention the remarkable lack of security at the Olympics, something remarkably strange has been happening to my wardrobe. "You're wearing red, white and blue," says my friend and I realise that there's no arguing with her.

Moving on to Louis Vuitton – LV designer Marc Jacobs is another trailblazer par excellence – and for this autumn show too models descended a lovingly recreated early 20th-century steam train wearing vaguely directoire-line coats, tunics, jackets and dresses, finished with jewelled buttons and embroideries, and all worn over trousers cropped at the ankle.

Ready To Wear: Watch us go striding into a brave new tomorrow

Stating the obvious… For many years now, dresses have been fashionable. Now, though, it is the turn of trousers to dominate. Yes, it's that simple. And, to this fashion commentator's mind at least, it comes not a minute too soon. It all started with Miuccia Prada, whose signature collection shown in Milan earlier this year teamed every look with a pair.

Ready To Wear: Contrary to all rhyme and reason, couture is alive and kicking

Fashion is fuelled by mythology and stories so lovely that one could be forgiven for thinking they are imaginary – or at least heavily embellished, just like the clothes that go with them. The haute couture, however, is the last bastion of such romance and, contrary to all rhyme and reason maybe, it remains very much alive.

Ready To Wear: Dolce & Gabbana have long loved the beautiful game

Cue: outrageous stereotyping. There is only one thing Italian men love more than fashion, and that’s football.

Ready To Wear: With their own collections, right now it's all about men

It's all about men just now.

Ready To Wear: Grace Jones rocked but other Jubilee looks flopped

Leave it to the attendees of the Diamond Jubilee Concert to come up with every fashion faux pas in the book– and not just we, the sooty-faced, Union Jack-waving commoners.

Life and Style
ALEX SAYS Wearable technology is just ugly
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THE AUDITWhat we're love, we're buying and we're not so sure about
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ACCESSORIESSlip into something more comfortable in the summer heat
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NEWSThe budget shop slammed for having ultra-thin mannequins
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NEWS As online retailer yoox.com launches a vintage selection, Rebecca Gonsalves meets the collection’s passionate curator
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Vuitton's interlaced LV is fashion's most copied fashion logo
NEWSThe French luxury fashion house will welcome travellers at Terminal 5
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Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
NEWS Yes, Stella is back
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NEWS The pop star will launch a collection of vintage-inspired bustiers and kimonos for Change Lingerie
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NEWS The Blue Velvet director's charity launches a floral capsule collection
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NEWSMentoring and development programme of up and coming British designers announced
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Model wears By David Phelan Jonathan Saunders prefall 2014
WOMENSWEARIt’s time to switch your skinnies for Seventies' super-wide strides
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NEWSThe cover stars are the latest famous faces to feature
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ACCESSORIES All you need for an idyllic time pottering about the garden
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The Dover Street Market store in Mayfair is thriving
ALEX SAYS ‘Click to buy’, ‘straight from the catwalk’ – such buzzy terminology is endemic in fashion
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NEWS So expect speedy stock in stores with the Spanish retailers new electronic tagging system
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NEWS... hoping this one won’t be banned
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BEAUTY It's been causing a stir, so here's our take on the new eyeliner
Life and Style
Oscar Quine models his ‘suave little cotton number’ – a short suit that costs £264
MENSWEAR Oscar Quine puts the theory of the summer trend to the test
Life and Style
MENSWEAR Invest in a polo for a fail-safe addition to your holiday wardrobe
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Model wears See by Chloé, chloe.com
WOMENSWEAR Wearing top-to-toe prints is no longer a fashion faux pas
Life and Style
Suit £85, asos.com; T-shirt £109, PS by Paul Smith, and socks £16, Paul Smith, both paulsmith.co.uk; shoes £250, apc.fr
MENSWEAR This summer, high-street tailoring is light, bright and easy on the pocket
Life and Style
Les 4 Ombres (in 224 Tisse Riviera), Chanel, £40
BEAUTY The big beauty brands have everything covered
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MENSWEAR From the bag to the sunglasses, shine under the sun with style
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VIDEO Topman Stylist gives her easy guide to festival style for men
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BEAUTY How to create a more polished, longer-lasting look
Life and Style
Model wears Chanel spring/summer '14
WOMENSWEAR Put a punkish, youthful twist on the Home Counties classic
Life and Style
Arty investment: Uribe, £225, my-wardrobe.com
How to get the look?There is something about asymmetry and somewhere in fashionland it's all done for us
Life and Style
BEAUTY Add a splash of colour on your nails and toes
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Pierre Niney in ‘Yves Saint Laurent’
MENSWEAR With two films out this year, Alex Fury suggests how to get the Saint Laurent look
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BEAUTY Feel fresh as a daisy with one of these sweet scents
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Shaman suede-fringed denim shorts from Each X Other, £263, my-wardrobe.com
How to get the look From boots to bags to bikinis, fringes and tassels are everywhere
Life and Style
Saying sorry in style: the fashion designer John Galliano
NEWS Three years after he parted ways with Dior, the designer gets a second chance at Russia's largest beauty chain
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