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The new glitterati: Adding sparkle to the autumn wardrobe

A liberal sprinkling of rhinestones and crystals adds a welcome touch of sparkle to everyday life, says Kate Rose Morris

Crystals are a big trend for autumn – which is hardly surprising given the scant few weeks left to count down before the whole world goes glitz- and glitter-crazy. It will soon be office-party season, after all, and with it comes an influx of bedazzled party dresses. But this time things are a little different.

For a start, Strictly Come Dancing this isn’t. And you can be sure that the designers who sent crystals down the catwalk for autumn/winter did not have Paris Hilton and her ilk on their mood boards.

Indeed, Phillip Lim’s 3.1 collection was inspired by bikers and mixed heavyweight, coloured crystals with leather, denim and quilting. Alessandro Dell’Acqua toned the bling down for his No 21 collection, layering it with lumberjack shirts and woolly jumpers, while Dries Van Noten’s crystals scrolled across masculine pinstripes and tailoring. Preen’s offering was possibly the prettiest of the lot, but even those sparkles were toughened up with punky zips, slits, and lashings of leather.

Fashion’s new way with crystals could be just the ticket to make the rapidly approaching social season much less stressful. The key word to remember is “ease”. Why teeter in heels when you can party in Givenchy’s crystal-encrusted plimsolls paired with wide black trousers and crisp cotton shirt?

High-street brands have unsurprisingly picked up on the trend, but most have shown admirable  restraint when it comes to adornment. Topshop’s sell-out loose-fitting Mom jeans now come with a minimal smattering of crystals around the hem, and would look great worn with an oversized, super-slouchy jumper and some heels. Zara’s blinged-up burgundy bomber jacket would work a treat when casually thrown over a polo-neck sweater, while H&M’s sparkle-sprinkled beanie is the antidote to any bad-hair day.

If you are in any doubts when putting these looks together, just refer to the Japanese phrase spelled out in crystals across Phillip Lim’s sweaters: “Sono Mama”, or “As you are”. Easy.