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Key themes for autumn fashions

What look is a girl to opt for this Autumn? Are uggs still in? Can we still wear shorts and will the puffa jacket ever make a come back? Your questions are addressed.

Published on September 1st 2006.

Key themes for autumn fashions

This autumn/winter it’s the return of dressing up with key looks - clean and grownup. Calm down on the ethnic, retro and multi-layering influence. There is new emphasis on 1950s tailoring with defined silhouettes that emphasise the waist. Pencil skirts and dresses, menswear jackets and wide-cut trousers surmise the look. Think sexy, sleek and screen siren and you can’t go far wrong.


• Dark encompassing tailoring demands dark anthracite greys, blacks and browns, or austere combinations with white.

• Black remains the season's darling but in flannel and velvet takes on a two-tone shine. Think texture for black with a twist.

• Winter blues seen in various hues, adoring denim, rich crushed velvet and wool flannels. Deep and moody.

• Browns, reds, oranges and purples are combined in woollens to give a rich autumn flavour to really set your wardrobe alight.

• Blonde beiges and neutral hues are worn tonally, as are soft winter pastels in pink and lilac, soft and natural.

• Ornamental tones provide a rich feast of jewelled colours for evening wear in ruby, turquoise, petrol, purple, amethyst, midnight blue, and ebony black

• Animal print! Be it tiger, zebra or leopard print - it is everywhere! Head to toe it’s a bit much but strategically placed it’s fabulous.


Retro Folk
This is the ethnic part of the autumn collections and is very different from the other main themes. Here we see Folklore and Eastern European uniforms collide to create a diverse look. Think Babushka dolls and military detailing. Patterned peasant skirts worn with military jackets, and crochet lace with Scandinavian knitwear. Gypsy gone hardcore, oh, and you can wear your uggs if you want.

Metro Uniform
Taking influence from the officers' mess, not ground combat, we see jaunty pea jackets (not puffa jackets) and military frock coats worn with cropped trousers (or your dark coloured summer shorts) and knee-length boots, all adorned in decorative stitching and braid trims - grab a baton and get twirling!

Masculine Spirit
Women dressing as men, in deconstructed tailoring with alluring peeping flesh. Key influencers are Bianca Jagger, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich.
The shrunken jacket, waistcoats, tuxedo jackets, blouses, city shorts and tailored pencil fit trousers. Better for the slimmer amongst us as curves do not fit well with sharp angles and crisp fabrics.

Victoriana and theatrical fairytales turn this dark romantic theme into a fictitious version of history. Key garments have a vintage feel and include ruching effects, chiffon and lace. Knickerbockers (eek!), tunics, capes, leg of mutton sleeves (puffed at the top and slim on the cuff) and boudoir-inspired outerwear. Grab your Mr Darcy ladies and give us a twirl!

Va Va Voom is back! Starlet meets Hollywood's golden age provides inspiration for this retro glamour theme. 1920s cocktail dresses in brocade, worn with fur wraps and anything heavily beaded and embroidered epitomise this look. The perfect option for curvaceous babes!

This one may take some getting used to and if you have hips or thighs, bubble is probably not the best look for you. Couture-like shapes are everywhere this season and it’s all about looking a little different to everyone else in your silhouette. Also known as bell shaped, egg shaped, tulip and cocoon – bubble basically means that anything rounded this autumn is decidedly en vogue. A great look to add curves to an otherwise straight body shape.

So there you go. This season’s hottest looks are as diverse as they come so whatever your shape size or style there is bound to be something to take inspiration from. Stay tuned for my tips on how to wear each look and where to grab your autumn must haves. Happy shopping.

Kathryn Whittaker

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