Just add tights

Could the end of seasonal dressing be nigh? Recent reports suggest that US designers and retailers have been consulting climatologists to decide whether in the future we will still be wearing coats in November and shorts in July.

This has been a long time coming. Who doesn’t roll their eyes at the end of each season when retailers yet again bemoan poor sales in coats due to a mild winter or swimwear due to a washout summer? The problem is that global warming has resulted in spring starting earlier and autumn starting later which means that the majority of the year simply isn’t particularly hot or cold. But the fashion industry relies on seasonal change, if only to get us in the spending mood. We’re used to thinking that August means getting ready for an entirely new change of wardrobe, trends n all, even though in these days of layering there’s no reason why our summer clothes can’t be reconfigured for winter too (just add tights – nice thick grey ones – and boots).

The question is what do we do about it? Designers are already in on the act with their pre-fall and pre-spring collections. They give us something new to buy every few months so we feel like we’re updating our wardrobes even if it’s not a proper seasonal change. And savvy designers like Giorgio Armani, Theory and Tory Burch are using lightweight knits, cotton-wool mixes and synthetics like microfibre all year round. In any case, the instant gratification of the internet also means that catwalk shows have less influence over fashion than they used to. Streetstyle blogs are the new trendsetters and they don’t rely on seasons as much as personal interpretation.

I say stick with the layering. Layering means you can be more creative and mix things up, and you can wear your favourite things longer instead of packing them away for months at a time. Plus winter clothes are damn tiring. Enough with the coats, jumpers and padded jackets, just the thought of the weight of them makes me want to pack myself away for the entire season.

I doubt if anyone’s interested but…

…a few pics of Kate Moss’s Christmas collection for TopShop have found their way on to the Daily Mail website. The collection is previewed in the latest issue of ID which also features Moss on its cover. It’s all fairly predictable stuff apart from the lace capelet in the cover shot which is rather tasty but probably not by Miss Moss. Interestingly, the snaps are styled with sheer black stockings. While I think the collection looks uninspiring, I am feeling a return to sheer hosiery and stockings in the not-too-distant future. (PS, the platinum hair is a wig.)

Gainsbourg girls

I know it’s only October but the November issues of all the mags are out and that’s making me feel prematurely Christmassy. Which of course brings me to the news that Charlotte Gainsbourg is to guest edit the December issue of French Vogue. Oh joy! After the delight that was the Sofia Coppola issue (which was what, three years ago?) followed by the disapppointments of the subsequent Kate Moss and John Galliano issues, I’m practically gagging for this to be good. But how could it not be? Charlotte Gainsbourg has the same effortless finesse and youthful chic possessed by La Coppola and a similar understated taste. Maybe, just maybe she’ll get Jane Birkin and Lou Doillon on board and make it a family affair?

Where are all the online stores?

Yipeddy doo dah, Harvey Nichols has finally gone online! My question? What took ya so long guys? With competition fierce between the high street and online retailers like Asos.com, it makes sense in this digital age for all stores to have a transactional online presence. The luxury sector took this on board long ago with big buck brands like Dior (www.diorboutique.com) and Louis Vuitton (www.louisvuitton.com) racking up huge sales of their status-symbol sunglasses, bags and small leather goods. Burberry goes a step further selling clothing from its covetable Prorsum collection alongside its smaller wares and I’m sure I don’t even need to mention Net-a-Porter.com, which has been selling high-end designer fare to international customers for a good seven years.

Why are some brands lagging behind? New Look’s transactional website (complete with editorial content) was pencilled in for an August launch but precious little seems to be on the horizon. And Liberty is rumoured to be launching its transactional website sometime this year – could we even dare to imagine buying those delicious vintage Hermes belts and Erotikritos knits online some time soon? And sorry to be pernickety but a small request to those in charge, would it be too much to ask that we could have the entire stock available to us a la TopShop.com? If you’re going to get us all excited about your online store please don’t tease us with a few token items (yes, that’s you Houseoffraser.com), it’s 2007, we want the whole shebang or nothing at all.