Autumn/Winter 2011 is more than just knitwear…

by Katie Clinton

So the ‘Indian Summer’ has come and gone and as I write this I’m looking out at a decidedly wintery evening. There are two positives to the otherwise depressing scene, first there’s no more false hope that summer might yet come, it’s October and this is it until next year, which I find quite comforting. Secondly, it’s now time to enter the most exciting time of the fashion year with the autumn/winter trends.

Us Irish are engineered for winter; we love to complain about the weather and the weather usually obliges us with torrential rain or mini-hurricanes. We also tend to do most of our shopping in this season because, let’s face it; we could still be wearing what we buy in a year’s time.

Not many reading this can afford to buy into the trends with designer pieces but the high street continues to produce beautiful, on-trend clothes so we students are not destined for an unfashionable fate.

This season there are several key trends to watch out for; some are a foolproof route to looking fantastic, others we’ll be seeing in the ‘What not to wear’ pages in a few months.

Ok let’s take a look at the trend that is almost impossible to get wrong. It’s literally a case of, you buy, you wear, and you’re fashionable. A strut never hurt either. The jewel tone trend is hardly a groundbreaking fashion idea but all the better for us financially challenged students because you more than likely have something related to this trend in your wardrobe already.

Go for the deep blues, the scarlet reds and the rich greens. This trend is flattering on all skin tones and workable for all shapes so just run with it. Go bright and bold in teal sequins a lá Dolce & Gabbana to make a real statement or stick to accessories if you just want to dabble in the trend.

River Island has a beautiful emerald green dress if you like the sound of this trend, pair with some matching shoes and a gold clutch and you’re good to go. Think of the Gucci woman when rocking this trend; grown-up, sensual and oh-so-fabulous. Feel free to add a matching fur stole and hat if the mood strikes. Remember it’s all about opulence, even if you’ve bought most of it in Pennys.

If this is all a bit bright and shiny for you then worry not, one of the biggest trends this season is the androgynous beauty of menswear. Not too masculine, just a clean, crisp and very flattering reworking of tailored pieces. This might actually be the cheapest trend to buy into. A slim fit, white shirt, tuxedo trousers and serious heels can put you right on trend. Keep accessories to a minimum, just pick one piece preferably in gold and add some red lipstick for a pop of colour.

It doesn’t have to be all black and white either. Moschino showed a seriously stylish tuxedo in gold lame with a lime cummerbund that would upstage any LBD at a Christmas (yes, I said it!) party. For a more affordable alternative, Topshop are carrying a great pair of cream brocaded trousers that are right on trend. Also, let’s face it, if there’s going to be alcohol and cameras then trousers are just a safer bet where your dignity is concerned!

A word of warning on our final trend, it was all over the catwalks for autumn/winter and it made a huge splash with the magazines, which means it’ll soon be flooding the high street. The fetish trend is definitely a shop stopper, you’re going to get noticed, but whether it’s the kind of attention you want remains to be seen. The shows were all black leather, patent and strapping. The Mugler woman was quite honestly scary. On a 6ft, 6stonne model the look is edgy, cool and a little creepy. On one of us regular people it’s more street-walker chic.

If you’re all about the statement and want to get on this trend I’ve a few tips to avoid embarrassing propositions after a night out. Firstly, you’ve got to avoid black; the overt sexuality is automatically toned down when you’re in bottle green. I might also advise you to pick just one fetish piece, be it a skirt, a top or trousers, less is really more here. Finally, put down those studded, black leather platforms!! Heeled brogues or chunky booties are the only way to go. Seriously we’re talking about you potentially wearing lace-up, leather trousers here, you do NOT need the stripper heels too!

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