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
American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour
NEWS Conde Nast obviously considers the editor’s wardrobe a worthy investment
Life and Style
GALLERY Irreverent artist Alexsandro Palombo illustrates Kate Middleton
Life and Style
NEWS The  controversial pop star is to do a collaboration with the American designer
Life and Style
ACCESSORIES... including Dior's embroidered trainers, Moschino's French fries iPhone case, and Chanel's milk carton handbag
Life and Style
ALEX SAYS September issues are all stuffed with advertising
Life and Style
These slippers from Antik Batik would be worthy of a very modern Cinderella (£209, plumo.com)
How to get the lookYour trusty flat slip-ons are getting a bit of a flashy finish
Life and Style
ACCESSORIESAdd a sprinkle of sparkle to your outfit as autumn approaches
Life and Style
NEWS...including a £15 leather jacket
Life and Style
Ice Bucket Challenge
Life and Style
... thanks to Kid Cudi, the social media and the catwalk
Life and Style
The AUDIT Talking Aquazzura, YSL, Gilda & Pearl and Lipsy
Life and Style
ALEX SAYS It’s interesting the lure that celebrity imbues garments with: totemic, even talismanic
Life and Style
NEWS...in Black Keys’ Wright of Love music video
Life and Style
WOMENSWEAR We select the best buys that are now hitting the rails
Life and Style
Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1
ACCESSORIES A visit to the celestial new shoe department will leave you walking on air
Life and Style
Beyonce leads the MTV VMA Awards 2014 nominations with eight
CELEBRITYThe rise of fashion magazine inspired Photoshop editing
Life and Style
NEWS Baby North West makes modelling debut in CR Fashion Book
Life and Style
Alexa Chung models St James
BEAUTY ...with a brand makeover
Life and Style
NEWS It encourages women to share pictures of their real bodies on social media - and retailers to make bikinis in bigger sizes
Life and Style
NEWS...can be your for almost £1k
Life and Style
GROOMINGA blossoming online trend that adorns facial hair for artistic portraits
Life and Style
Les 4 Ombres (in 224 Tisse Riviera), Chanel, £40
BEAUTY The big beauty brands have everything covered
Life and Style
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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