New-season know-how: prints and colours

Alrighty, I know it’s been ages since I posted on here but things have changed a lot in the last year. I’ve realised I know a lot more than I ever thought I knew about fashion and style and I’m learning to trust my instincts when it comes to styling myself and others.

Having just returned from a trip to Europe, I thought I’d be well-positioned to share what might be coming up for the autumn/winter season in Oz, based on what I saw overseas during their winter. I have the extra advantage of knowing not just what was in the major designer collections, but also what women were actually wearing out on the street. So, this is the first in a series of posts I’m calling “New-season know-how”! It won’t cover every look of the season but it will give you a little insight into some of my faves.

Today I’ll share some colours and prints that were everywhere while I was away to get you thinking about what you already have in your wardrobe to wear for the upcoming season (always start with what you’ve got! You might surprise yourself…) and what kinds of things you might like to keep an eye out for.

Colours

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Image via Pinterest

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Karen Walker runway pic via Harper's Bazaar AU


Autumnal tones seem to come in every year around March and then flit out again by the time winter properly arrives. This year though, colours like mustard, burnt orange, sage green, burgundy and even muted teals will see you right through the seasons. This year they’re also being paired with pastels for a really versatile, trans-seasonal look. So don’t pack away those baby blues and ballerina pinks just yet!
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Thakoon runway image via Harper's Bazaar AU

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J.Crew runway image via Harper's Bazaar AU

Prints

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Image via Pinterest

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Roksanda runway image via Harper's Bazaar AU

The 70s are back in more ways than one this season! Moving away from the geo-prints of seasons gone by, AW16 (or 15-16 in the Northern Hemisphere), takes inspiration from the boldness of the 70s but pares them back just a tad. The lines are smoother but the contrast is just as strong. Try layering two similar coloured prints like the Roksanda image above for maximum impact.

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Image via Pinterest


Florals aren’t going away! They’re just getting a little more dramatic, that’s all! Again, you’ll notice there’s lots of pairing pastels with richer Autumnal tones or even black to give them a slightly more grown-up edge. And don’t be afraid to print-clash when it comes to florals. They work really well with stripes, spots or leopard print, which are the absolute staple prints which might go out of fashion occasionally but never go out of style.

Embellishments

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Image via Ulyana Sergeenko Instagram


Pom-poms! They were everywhere in the UK. On shoes, on knitwear, on keychains hanging from your clutch or handbag. There’s so many to choose from so they’re an easy trend to dip into even if you want to stay totally non-committal.

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Dolce & Gabbana runway image via Harper's Bazaar


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Image via Pinterest

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Image via Pinterest


Sheer! Lace! Beading! Embroidery! Thinking along the same lines as the pom-poms, this season’s embellishments are decidedly feminine and playful (as are many of the cuts, but we’ll get to that another time). Go all out and layer them up or pick one and work it in with your usual style if you’re not down with the frou-frou look. If in doubt, start with a black sheer panel on a blouse, a lace-edged collar or a beaded clutch.

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5 Print Clashing Basics

I love a good print clash. They’re a great way to shake up your look if you’re not comfortable buying into the latest trends (I’m lookin’ at you: midriff-baring, culottes, funnel-necklines, long layers, et al.) but still want to look edgy. My Mum is going to baulk at the idea of this post, as she doesn’t “get” the print clash and she often gives me a very perplexed look when I emerge from my bedroom wearing spots and florals at the same time (an awesome combo, if you ask me). It is, however, a topic I get asked about a lot at work so I thought I’d share some tips and pics with you.

1. Start with monochrome

Black and white are always chic, and usually pretty forgiving when it comes to mixing prints. They rarely look too ‘busy’ and are able to be worn just as easily at work or off-duty. Olivia Palermo rocks this look a LOT.

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2. Keep a classic print as your base

Whilst trends constantly swing between florals, geometrics, tribal, and so on, there are certain classic prints that will be around forever. Stripes, spots, leopard, checks and snakeskin are my top five. They work just as well together as they do clashed against busier/brighter prints because they are often found in neutral tones like black, white, tan, khaki and grey. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I reckon florals work particularly well with spots and stripes.

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3. Pick a common colour

Start with one print and pull out one colour you’d like to highlight. This doesn’t have to be the colour that dominates the piece – in fact it’s probably better if it’s not to maximise clashage (yes, that is the technical term). Your second print should also feature this colour to make it stand out. Finding a common colour between two or more prints helps create some flow through your outfit and again, prevents the busy-ness from being too overwhelming. The pics below are some awesome examples.

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4. Keep styles classic

If you’re just starting out, try not to overcomplicate things. Start with a simple t-shirt/collared shirt on top and slim or straight pants/pencil skirt on the botton and keep your accessories in a complementary neutral tone (black/white/nude and metallics are the easiest). Opt for a classic silhouette and build from there.

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5. Trust your gut

There are certain combos that you would never think would work, but somehow do. Ultimately, if you feel good in what you’re wearing and you wear it with confidence, it’s probably going to work. People will either not notice at all, or (like my mother) still be perplexed, but kinda accept it anyway. Wear what you love.

Here are some other print clash collages/posts for inspiration: 1. and 2. and 3. And here are some of my other fave print clash outfits: 1. and 2. and 3. and 4. Margherita Missoni, Olivia Palermo, Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine and Miroslava Duma are reeeeally good examples of print clashing done right. There’s also HEAPS of awesome pics over on Pinterest if you search “print clash” and refine from there using key words for colours/styles/shapes/prints you already have in your wardrobe or are looking to buy. So there you go! Hope that’s got you excited to start print clashing and given you some confidence to get started!

Lxx

I’m Having a Moment

Whilst I love all things fashion and all things loveliness, I don’t usually bother too much with the fantastical world of haute couture. I get the idea of high-end fashion being aspirational and something we average lasses lust after rather than fill our closets with, but usually I just find it all a bit too much. Until now. Until Ellie Saab’s SS14 haute collection starting filling up my inboxes and newsfeeds and generally just BLOWING MY MIND. If you are in any way a fan of feminine/girly/whimsical/downright beautiful gowns then may I introduce you to your 2014 holy grail.

Fashion Gone Rogue has done a great post with all the pretty pictures of all the swoon-worthy gowns right here, so go make yourself a cup of tea and settle yourself in for what will most likely be at least a solid 20 minutes of hardcore gown lovin’. Just try and pick your favourite. I seriously can’t.

Lxx