Autumn / Winter 2012

A/W12 is all somewhat opulent, decadent and sumptuous. It is a season of purple, darkest leather (navy leather makes an appearance), brocade, bejewelled garments, lace, velvet, geometric designs, flamboyantly coloured furs and a taste of the Orient thrown in ! – a definite backlash to the recession I would say!


It is all so glorious, particularly for the drab months ahead. A rich purple or navy winter coat with fur cuffs will keep you on the right side of happiness; courageous against the wintery blasts.


Purple is in abundance this coming season and will suit all dominant colour palettes as it is a universal colour – suits everyone. There are so many shades to be had. Amethyst eyes were big on the catwalks (if you dare!). I dare not but don’t let me stop you. To add richness and depth to your wardrobe leather in the darkest shades made a definite appearance on the A/W12 catwalks. Use this to your advantage to create a little drama and femme fatale. All you lovely ‘clear palette’ ladies with pale skin and dark hair can exploit the leather choosing a porcelain skin and dark sultry lips combination. The florals too have become dark and edgy, in keeping with the leather. They have become very sophisticated and exotic with overlays of black lace.








Autumn is all about layering and mixing fabrics and finishes. Lace and brocade are layered, as are velvets and silks. The trick to not looking like a ‘costume girl’ is to keep multiple prints, patterns and textures to a similar palette. Louis Vuitton has driven forward with a magnificent layering effect.




Why magnificent? Well look at the gorgeous cropped (and buttoned) trousers under skirts and dresses – a more sophisticated version of the leggings and, I guess, a lot warmer (I feel the cold). Will I be tempted by this look? Yes I will and I believe the sewing box will come out as I shorten and style trousers already in my possession, adding interesting and bold buttons to complete the look.





Big is beautiful this autumn according to Vogue and the designers give us cocoon coats, pillow sleeve jackets and billowing trousers. Capes are also around (see Hermes). When wearing these oversized options be sure to balance them with a slim structure elsewhere. For the ‘rounds’ and more curvaceous this is a great addition. Just ensure you opt for a straight leg (not skinny leg) trouser and a straight cut skirt underneath.


In contrast, you have a continuation but refining of last season’s peplum with beautifully tailored curves on the waist and tightly belted middles.









For the more ‘romantic’ or ‘naturals’ (see my style consultation guide on Step 1 of effortless style) there is still a Downton Abbey trend running through the fashions with elegant fair isle knits, cord jackets, jodhpurs and plus fours – all muted, earthy colours. Burberry has gone the whole way with poachers pocketed tweed jackets, quilted field coats and heeled brogues. Boots are all shiny and conker brown (see A McQ). Penhaligons perfume sits well with this look.






Look out for decorative heels this autumn. These are indeed works of art. Brocade boots strutted the catwalk!

For a more down to earth stylish shoe try looking at Chie Mihara.

Yes, they are pricey but when you explore the website they are all individually built for comfort and made to last. In keeping with the taste of the Edwardian country look try Fendi boots but also look at Fly of London on Amazon. I have found some well priced button boots there for my accumulating autumnal look.









The catwalks show long leather gloves for the A/W12 in bright jewel colours; in keeping with the whole opulent theme. Extravagant? …..hmmmm. You see I feel the cold in winter and on a practical note I can’t think of anything more sensible. I may look like I’m heading to a winter ball when I am on my way to the supermarket – but then so I should! The days are short, the weather is bleak. I need a shot of decadence and glamour..



Bags are MASSIVE but I am pleased to say the clutch bags have maintained their summer glamour – moving over to richer shades of purple, gold, bronze and ruby red. They are still faceted, studded and sequined.


So that is A/W in a nut shell. Enjoy watching the high street options making an appearance in the stores.


Best foot forward

Did you know that, according to Vogue, the best dressed toes this summer are nude and naked?

After seasons of bold, loud colours clean – gleaming nails may seem chic but a little understated.  Soft, cared for feet are the way to go.  You may think that you are off the hook (no more immaculate application of varnish) but this very natural look requires baby soft feet and perfectly manicured nails.  On the plus – no more chipped polish, no dilemma over clashing with nail colour. Simple!

Here are a few helpful links and sites to help you on your way.  After months of polish nails can just look a little jaded and yellow especially if you have not been vigilant with the base coat.  Try this product for a fresher looking toe!  I love this site.  Beautifully packaged care products for the feet.  There is even an engaging step by step guide to completing your own pedicure. Before you leave the Mavala site click on this implements page. I was not aware you could buy so many different types of scissors……

Don’t forget to exercise your feet  Gentle rotation and massage keeps a good blood supply to the nails keeping them pink and healthy.  Massage, particularly lymphatic massage prevents fluid gathering around the feet and ankles, ensuing shapely  legs.