A broad brush over trends that should find their way to your wardrobes this winter…
A jacket for all reasons
Whether you want to stay womanly with a maxi-coat, an expensive wool or fur coat worn over a sari (an eternally classic and expensive combination) or if you prefer to take the androgynous route to fashion with boyfriend blazers, bomber and biker jackets, the coat and jacket is as much a season essential as the shawl continues to be.
Almost every designer in the international arena conjures up a retake of the coat come winter and this year is no different. Alexander Wang’s androgynous jackets went down very well with critics, as did Celine’s classic rendition of the front open, long coat. From grungy to elegant, designers showcased it all for women to choose according to their body type.
Even in Pakistan coats and jackets are fast becoming a winter wardrobe staple for women and designers are quick to tap into this new market. At the last fashion week high street brand FNKAsia presented an entire collection of jackets embroidered with Suzani needlework. The jackets had a very definite ethnicity that will work in Pakistan as well as abroad. Maheen Khan’s wool coats are as classic as FNKAsia’s are trendy.
Empowering the day-dress
Winter usually replaces the fluidity and femininity of summer with a severity. That applies firstly to the silhouette that straightens up and acquires some semblance of structure. It seriously is time to crop those hemlines for daywear (you can still keep your shaadi-wear long and flowing if you like) and the ideal length is slightly below the knee.
Work wear is all about power dressing with the emphasis being on broad shoulders and strong sleeves. While shoulder pads may never be revived, pleating and ruffling the sleeves is very trendy this winter. Women who have been adding chiffon sleeves to their outfits all summer need to re-plan their style strategy
Fabric fusion for formals
When it comes to eveningwear or slightly formal clothing, fusing different fabrics is very desirable this winter. This means you can finish your chiffon shirt off with silk trimming, you can add velvet to your silk and if your wardrobe borders on western, then you can easily add suede and animal skin to your shirts, jackets and trousers. The choices are endless and are being explored by designers locally as well as internationally.
You can take the pretty, conventional route with designers like Alexander Wang who included many satin lined sweater dresses to his Fall 2011 collection. Or you can push your creative envelope with the ultra-edgy like Alexander McQueen’s furs, feathers and animal skins.
Menswear designers like Ammar Belal and Omar Farooq of Republic have both experimented with fabric fusion in their winter collections.
Winter tends to push floral prints and garden sprigs into hibernation, making way for colour blocking, graphic prints and especially popular this winter: polka dots and prints created with a taste of marbling and stain-glass effects.
Marc Jacobs dedicated his entire Fall 2011 collection to dots, putting them on clothes, hats, bags and even stockings. He certainly wasn’t the only one. Bottega Veneta, on the other hand, innovated an interesting blend of prints by marbling different colours. The effect is very textured as opposed to print-like. This is what will work all winter.
That said, local designers will be working with linen prints as well as solids but again, the prints will be geared towards the strong and structured.