Subtlety is this season'd style. Here's the antidote

Baby blue knee-length skirt suit with gilt buttons, about pounds 400, by Versus, available from the Versace Boutique, 92 Brompton Road, London SW3; "Collins" leopard trilby, pounds 165, by Stephen Jones available from Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London SW1 and Liberty, Regents Street, London W1

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Indigo lame Ottoman skirt suit, (available only in black in the UK), jacket, pounds 420, skirt, pounds 120, both by Katherine Hamnett, available from Katherine Hamnett, 20 Sloane Street, London SW1 and 38 Princes Square, Glasgow; fishnet stockings, pounds 2.50, by Jonathon Aston, from good department stores nationwide, enquiries 0116-286 2388

Strictly speaking, sharp suits are not this year's thing. Less strictly, they are every year's thing. Bright, tight, short-skirted suits always have a constituency among women and, doubtless, an audience among men. Especially when they are clothes as brilliantly cut and blindingly bright as these. We felt that they needed New York streetscape to do them full justice, not to mention major hatscape and challenging heels. Some fishnet stockings too - what else? This year's orthodoxy may be the pared- down, neat shift tunic, the less-is-more, groom-yourself-immaculately- so-you-look-perfectly-natural look. But if you don't give a damn and are going for glamour, then - hell - go for it in a big way

Black pin-tuck, form-fitting suit, jacket, pounds 335, and skirt, pounds 95, both from Paul SmithWomen at12 Floral Street, London WC2; Dial "M" feather hat, pounds 195, by Stephen Jones, as before

Red tweed skirt suit, about pounds 2,000, by Chanel, available from Chanel Boutique, 26 Old Bond Street, London W1; black crocodile clutch bag, pounds 350, by Glen Miller for Ann Turk, from Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1

Photographer Jeni Thompson

Stylist Stefan Beckman

Hair & make-up By Richard Cooley For Visages RPS NYC

Model Be Bergmann at Women NYC