The trouser suit has long been a stalwart piece in women's wardrobes. Since Yves Saint Laurent created his 'Le Smoking' women's tuxedo back in 1966, the piece has no doubt morphed into one of the single most transformative pieces of women's wear and for A/W12, it made a serious comeback. Just like Saint Laurent, this season designers seem to be more attune to the fact that women need clothes that make sense as much as they appeal aesthetically and as a result, we're spoilt for choice.
You can generally guage what the big trends will be by watching the Prada show and this season Miuccia Prada made a big statement. At both Prada and Miu Miu the trouser suit dominated sending a clear message that if there's anything you need to buy this coming season, it's that.
Throughout the shows in February there was a lot of talk about the clothes being like an armour, preparing women for the tough world out there right now and it's true. At the rate things are going, we can all do with as much help as we can get and there's no denying it's transformative powers. Even Caroline Issa spoke about it recently in the latest issue of ELLE UK. Talking about her recent Tom Ford suit purchase she said: 'When I wear it I feel like the chicest person alive - it is wearable art.' Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson shared the sentiment. 'It's about authority,' she said in an interview with Karen Dacre about the suit's power in the workplace. 'If I feel I need 'armour' any day, then I will pull on a trouser suit. It let's people know you're serious and not to e messed with.' My-Wardrobe's founder Sarah Curran said the same thing. 'There's definitely an attitude that goes with wearing one,' she told Dacre. 'There is something about a trouser suit that gives an air of confidence that a dress could never do.'
From top left: Acne, Dries van Noten, Miu Miu, Todd Lynn, Todd Lynn, Alexander Wang, Celine, Elizabeth & James, Miu Miu and Prada
As far as accessories go, cap-toe heels are one of the biggest shoe trends this season. Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent were the pioneers of its revival this season and offered up pastels and sorbet tones, which perfectly tapped into the feminine sensibility of the season.
But it's not all girly and feminine. This season there's a lot of variation on offer. Take Christian Louboutin for example. The brand has gone the complete opposite way and released studded black leather and PVC styles studs, creating a modern twist to the older styles we're accustomed to. And it's not just the big brands tapping into it. Zara offer a great baby pink style heeled style that looks similar to the runway versions but at half the price and Reiss offer the perfect flat version.
I was always like investing in a good boot come fall. Whether they're flat, over the knee or wedged, they're just about the only thing that will keep you warm when the weather makes a turn for the worse.
This season the options on the high street are particularly strong, especially at Zara, where there's a selection of styles ranging from a suede wedged style to their ongoing Chelsea boot. For something a bit more special, head to Reiss for their Martine heeled suede and leather ankle boot that will work in just about every scenario so is definitely worth the £179 price tag. For daytime, French Connections biker style is perfect for running around in.
We all know that Kate Middleton sells clothes - just ask Reiss - so it is hardly surprising that designers are clamouring to send her free clothes in the hope that she will sport their wares.
However, a spokesperson recently confirmed that anything Middleton wears, particularly on her upcoming tour of North America, had been paid for. According to the source, Middleton “has a policy not to accept any free offers of clothing” and like the Prime Minister's wife, “will not receive any special clothing budget for the Canada and California tour.”
Usually confined only to the lighter days of Summer, neutrals made an unusually popular appearance on the catwalks of AW10. Wear different tones of sand, nude, mink and off white for workable wardrobe, and accessorise with tan belts, bags and shoes for the ultimate neutral outfit. Maybe even add a playful pom pom hair accessory as seen as Sonia Rykiel, or brighten up your outfit with dip dyed hair, as seen at Giles.