It used to be that winter shows were indistinguishable from summer. February or September, models rollicked down the catwalks with Bisto-tans and skimpy dresses designed to convince us that we all spend January to March in St Barts rather than Chicago or Sheffield.
No more. Maybe it's the (positive) influence of seeing all those New York Fashion Week street style pictures on Instagram. I'm not talking about the crazies who actively court hypothermia (great for weight loss apparently) by going bare-legged in a snow storm, but the show goers who valiantly and stylish lag-up.
At any rate, designers in all three capitals have styled their shows for real life in real, northern-hemisphere, winters. And it has been a pleasure to watch them make proper winter clothes look desirable - mostly.
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Slashes were a major theme of Marni's collection, so were open-toe wedge boots. Neither of those sounds winter-friendly, but stay with this. They bifurcated elephant wide trousers (not easy) and A-line midi skirts; provided some welcome glimpses of flesh, sliced into the backs of dresses, and turned long wool coats and dresses and coat-dresses into tunics. These were often cinched at the front with wide, obi style leather belts, which disappeared at the back, and layered over polonecks in at least one instance over a quilted nylon skirt. And by the time they get to store, they will be moderated by the censor.
Japanese inspired flower patterns (a continuation from last season) included a yellow mimosa and dominated one section. Often however, the only embellishment on tunics and skirts were patch pockets, raw edges and over-sized gold lapel-pins (the brooch is emphatically back). Red and camel, navy with grey, chocolate and cream - the punchy colour combinations were almost sporty.
All those wool layers could have seemed heavy but this was an exercise in restrained lagging and detailing and of clothes that can be styled both minimalistically and more decoratively. Next season's Marni woman will be streamlined and so warm, she'll be able to handle the open-toe boots.
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