Saturday, October 30, 2010

Is it time yet?

Today I asked my housemates when it was respectable for me to finally dive into my winter wear, mainly my jackets because it's getting bloody freezing in Canada. They laughed at me and admitted that people will think I'm crazy if I wear a heavy jacket any time before Halloween... ARE YOU SERIOUS? I'm freezing my buns off here. Thank God November is around the corner

I'm a little stoked to don my winter clothes because they're warm and I love to snuggle into heavy knits and fuzzy sweaters, but also because this is exactly the season to be seen doing so. Usually clothes are meant as a statement and that's it, does the phrase 'Beauty is pain' rings a bell? But this season you don't have to be in pain (the pain I'm referring to in this case is frostbite). It's all about dressing for comfort and convenience, finally.

Coats are a huge winter must: be it parkas, camel coats, trenches, military, aviator, long, short, leather, wool... etc. It's all about bundling up.

The camel - these coats come in any rich shade of camel: sandy, pale, caramel, blush and in any shape/style too: long, sort, belted, tailored. Clockwise from top left: MaxMara, Prada (here you have a leather version... I didn't know that was possible), Michael Kors, Aquascutum, MaxMara and Gucci. Ask me to pick a favorite and it would be the MaxMara coat on the bottom with the sunnies; perfection.

Who knew that you could be safeguarded against the elements and still be very very very on trend. Parkas were one of the new coats that took the runways by storm. No longer just slouchy alternatives for the weather aware, there coats are stylish because of their androgyny and their often minimal tailoring. Clockwise from top left: Rag & Bone, Iceberg, Michael Kors, more Kors, Stella McCartney and Vanessa Bruno. Ask me to pick a favorite and I think I'd go with the Vanessa Bruno.. probably because of the slouchiness, color and it has a nice length to it. It'd look great with my lace-up military boots and dad's German hat.
Military is here. These coats above aren't overtly military in their design but there is a discipline to the looks that fits right in with the combat ideal. Left to right: Phoebe Philo, the genius behind Celine, led the charge this season with the strong, sleek, classy, less is more approach. Her outwear was to die for but this felt/wool trench reminds me of World War II great coats that officers would wear. Next is Dries Van Noten and Burberry. It's a tough one but if it came down to it, I'd go with the Celine coat... there's something about it that I can't articulate.

On a quick detour, Christopher Bailey is making Burberry the go to brand for luxe outerwear. This show was so painful to watch because the coats kept coming and coming and getting better and better. It's hard to say that I have a favorite but I wanted to showcase these three aviator, bomber jackets with the shearling lining. Words escape me when it comes to this show. Every coat is a masterpiece.

I keep spewing about this whole minimal thing and I think I made a comment a while back about how minimal is the new black. Well here you have the best of both: sleek, black,minimally  tailored jackets. We've got a Dolce & Gabbana and Dries Van Noten sandwich. The Dolce show ended with all the models tramping down the runway in different versions of the short smoking jacket on the right.

Let's just say you'd never be cold again in these blanket-like coats courtesy of Celine, Chanel and Dior. Each looks like an extremely inviting housecoat  but infinitely more stylish.
Capes... I think of Dracula but they're stylish. Marc Jacobs, Rag & Bone and Celine all seem to think so too.

There was a big trend of knee length or thigh skimming coats and Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs all captured this style with feminine flair.

And finally the belted trench: pretty much the staple I wish I had. It's Burberry classic but Bailey continues to manipulate it with a twist. I chose not to picture the usual beige trench but some of the more eccentric examples. Left to right: Dries Van Noten (I love the kaki which adds a military edge), Marc Jacobs (weather appropriate and plastic chic) and of course Burberry. Hmmm, I think I'd have to go with the Burberry, c'mon it's their thing.
I know I can't afford any of above but I did alittle digging around the English high street (online of course) and I found some suitable alternates that are both affordable and on trend
Go to for all sorts of great classic coat ideas. Parka, military and something I don't know how to categorize... but it's pretty so whatever.
The blazer on the left is similar to the black and kaki Dries Van Noten jacket I put under the military category (I'm obsessed with blazers.) The rest of these coats are all variations on camel coats... here you can see the different shades they come in. For this, do not ask me to chose my favorite, way too difficult. If all was one of my choices I'd be happy.

Moving onwards to Topshop next. Everyone is obsessed with this brand and I have to admit it's pretty great, but I was so shocked when I started seeing adverts for it in Vogue and when I found out that they have runway shows during London Fashion Week... I guess they're not your average high street brand. If you ever get the chance go to the Oxford street flagship store you should go, I spend hours in there and often never buy anything because I fall in love with too much. Say no to impulse buying!
All in rich winter colors like navy, camel, kaki, slate and in longish, comfortable looking shapes. On the top you've got a burnt camel trench and a military great coat. Next you have a soft looking parka and the classic beige belted trench with plaid inserts. And lastly what I think looks like a camel military coat a la Paul Revere and a sailor meets soldier navy great coat.
My other favorite store in the UK is Warehouse. I love their jackets and dresses so much, I haven't seen an example of either that I didn't love and 'need'. 
I have a thing for cropped jackets... I'm not sure whether to call these blazers though. Each is incredibly simple in it's design, but has something small to give it some twist: i.e. the chain applique on the navy example. I'm so in love with these three it's hard to stomach not being able to go home until Christmas.
I'm in love with the Burberry bomber jackets... Warehouse does some great versions but these two were my favorites by far. I would never buy a coat again if I had one of these.... we all know that's not true but I'll keep thinking that.
On Asos I found a couple items that I couldn't fit into a series but that I really felt belonged in this post and definitely this season... Another long camel coat in the style of Aquascutum and MaxMara. A shapeless kaki skirt (one of our wonderful fall colors) and a white jersey man's shirt. I think all together they'd make a great outfit... shirt half tucked into the skirt, with windblown hair and under the unbuttoned camel coat. Add some black wooly tights and combat boots and you're street ready. Feminine, grunge, chic.

Moving on now to my next favorite item this fall... slouchy knits. You'd think these would be pretty self explanatory... knits for winter, c'mon, it's a given. But this year the style is not figure hugging, but mannish and oversized... the way I like it best because it's perfect for all the slouches like me.
This photo by Tommy Ton (Of captures my dream sweater and the knits of the season. There was a beautiful version of this at Zara but I couldn't find it recently. Snug as a bug in a rug.
These are my three winter picks of the Topshop sweater selection on their online store. Left to right: what looks like a slip-stitch knit, a distressed kaki loose wool and cotton jumper and a fair-isle meets ski-wear pattern with a little more shape.
I'm going to move on to the new breed shoes that were a departure from the usual boots that I associate with winter...
From left to right: Burberry, John Galliano and Rag & Bone
They're hiking boots... but with heels? Is anyone else finding this odd and completely wearable? They're fabulous because Caterpillar work boots are coming back as well, so now there's a version for all the construction workers' lady friends. These showed up alot on the runway and they're a nice alternative to open toed shoes with socks that I've been seeing. Comfy feet. Here are some high street examples.
From ALDO: some shearling and you're all set to go plus the very visual treds make the work look. 
More ALDO boots. Kaki makes it military while still maintaing the workboot aesthetic.
These 6 Kurt Geiger boots show the variety of styles that these boots can come in. From deepest black to tan and beige all the wonderfully rich colors emulate fall foliage.
Let the comfort dressing commence, it's officially getting cold in Canada.

- Life is good

Listening to: All Deadmau5 songs in preparation for his upcoming concert
Observations: The remnants of a blond Halloween wig
Craving: Orange juice and a hamburger

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