Tag Archive for 'autumn/winter'

Camel: a clarification… and some counsel

Since I last posted – about the lack of camel in this winters collections – I’ve been taking a good look at the September issues of many of the UK and US fashion magazines and, to my surprise, most have got some kind of feature that seems to be falling over camel as a key colour this season.

As I buyer, this surprised me, not just because camel was so prominent in West End shops last year, but also because there is not that much camel around at the top end of  the market this year. 

And in fact, much of what is described as camel actually isn’t camel at all. It seems quite often to be used as a shorthand for a variety of neutrals (one of which is the yellowy camel). But the dominant neutrals this winter – and those which flatter a north European skin in winter are those with a hint of grey rather than yellow.

I think you should be quite careful about buying camel colour clothes – for some people it does work very well, but in general camel, because it is VERY classic, can really age you unless it is accessorised very carefully.  Certainly putting it with brown risks looking boringly classic.

Camel is also used by designers not used to creating modern classics – precisely because it is associated with classic.  But I believe that in 2010, if you are going to use camel it needs to be designed and cut superbly in a soft fabric (to avoid it looking too flat) or it will very quickly date you.

At Wardrobe, in a very good start to the season, the most successful colours have been various shades of grey (of which there are many) and other neutrals which have a predominance of a blush tone to them – but the yellowy ones have not even been requested.

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Oohs, aahs (and a little ‘eh?’) from Milan

Just back from the first part of my buying trip to Milan for the coming Autumn/Winter season.

Colours are super-sophisticated – greys with hints of amethyst. I’m really pleased that there are more of the new kinds of jersey fabrics which came in this year and which have been flying out of the shop.

Shapes are sophisticated too.  Beautifully cut; still structured, but oozing tactile luxury.

I haven’t seen the prototypes for our Sfera range yet, that will happen on my next trip in a couple of weeks.  But there have been lots of Italian ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s coming from our factory.

A couple of designer highlights: Malo has a new designer who we’ve worked with before and their knitwear is really promising again after a few disappointing seasons.  One of our recent finds, Santoni shoes, are gorgeous – many with the new shaped wedge heel so we can walk comfortably again but still look great.

Bizarrely (but happily for us, I guess), while everyone is talking about the kind of glamourous and edgy tailoring with which we’ve been successful, there is still very little evidence of it becoming more prevalent in the showrooms – you really have to search it out.  Which means we need to both heavily edit the collections and continue to build our Sfera collection.

I’ve even started to find that other buyers I meet are commenting on the clothes I’m wearing and asking where they can buy them.  So it’s probably not surprising that while fashion magazine editors are all talking about tailoring in their leader articles, it’s hard to find any examples pictured on their other pages.  

Rest assured you will continue to find them on Confidence Tricks and on the Wardrobe website.

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