I have enjoyed this season’s round of press days much more than usual, I think due to PRs editing down their rails and not showing every coat, dress and shoe in the collection. Of the high street brands, Oasis gets the most points for putting on a memorable press day*. This season we got a fully functioning Bistrotheque cafe – I can’t tell you how nice it is to start a day of press days in genteel style with posh granola, tea in a cup and saucer, table service and a fellow who comes round to cut a silhouette of your portrait!
Oasis loves a theme and this time they dreamed up a museum setting with accessories displayed in glass cabinets, complete with explanatory cards. Strangely it did have the effect of making you linger longer to look at the ‘art’.
Oasis is embracing British hertiage style for AW10 with plenty of tweed, camel, equestrian and military references. There are jodhpurs, there are saddle bags, there are saucy leather mini-kilts (could they be the new leather ‘short’?). Coats and accessories are very strong and I heard much swooning over the shoes and ankle boots. A capsule collection of Little Black Dresses was based on “taking an iconic piece from every trend we’re feeling good about and putting it into a dress”, as Head of Design, Iain Ewing explained. This included a ’60s one, a gothic one, a Russian one and my favourite – a long-sleeved sheer dress detailed with black lace and a waterfall of cascading ruffled.
The perfect military coat – look at that piping! Mid-heel ankle boots – you will be wearing them (well I will)
Oasis asked Sophie Ward and Susanna Cole King to write and record poems about the collections… Amy May serenaded the press as they worked the rails
“Heels are coming down,” said my tour guide, Matches buying director Bridget Cosgrave as she held aloft a pair of Tabitha Simmons kitten heels. And these really were kitten heels, not the 7cm ‘higher kitten heels’ I’d been reading about in Harper’s Bazaar earlier that morning. Cosgrave told me they have been feeling it for a while and now designers like Marc Jacobs and Rupert Sanderson are fully backing it. Which isn’t to say long, thin heels have had their day by any stretch. There were plenty of plat-heels still on show, in particular a Burberry hiker-stiletto and Charlotte Olympia’s in-demand cocktail heels. But alongside were all manner of more managable heels – wedges, brogues and a super-wearable shearling-lined Burberry biker.
A good in-between is the Celine boot with tall, stack heels – classic but sexy. Stealth sexy if you will…
Away from shoes, Bridget enthused about Richard Nicoll. His T dress is a top seller at Matches (“it has a stealth following”) and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a loose, easy shape that suits all silhouettes, but its fluidity offers a dressiness that makes it versatile for work or evenings.
Knitwear news: Lutz & Patmos are celebrating their 10th anniversary with a greatest hits collection. Matches will be selling all the Lutz & Patmos collaborations – Sofia Coppola’s dress, Christy Turlington’s poncho and Carine Roitfeld’s laddered cashmere sweater.
Matches’ vintage Chanel bags sold so well for SS10 that they are buying more for AW10. And they have added a selection of vintage jewels to the offer too.
Bridget also drew my attention to a new luxe label to Matches. Raoul is from Singapore and it has to be said, they make a pretty good handbag. The balance of clean lines with luxury hardwear is right on the money. Style.com have just written about them here.
Finally, coats. I couldn’t tear myself away from Stella McCartney’s strict masculine coat (below) but the real winner fair and square in the outerwear stakes is the shearling-lined aviator jacket (but you knew that already). Second to that, like it or not, is fur. As Bridget puts it succinctly, “fur demand is huge”.
My favourite hands-down hybrid trend of AW10 so far (and you know how I love a hybrid trend) is Beatrix Ong’s equestrian biker boot. Yep, it has the elegance of a riding boot with just a soupcon of masculinity with the buckles and rugged sole. This is reminding me of Prada nineteen ninety-something. Black sleeveless dress, bare legs, rugged riding boots and mysterious-girl sunglasses. I can do that.
1) Took a trip down memory lane at the Moschino AW10 press day. I customised a jacket with two ‘purse pockets’ when I was at school. It looked a lot like this: 2) Hyperventilated all over this poor leather Moschino jacket 3) Admired the Radley AW10 shoes at the Yellow Door press day. I hear that Rae Jones has had a hand in the design
4) Found out that Radley has done a bag collab with Harris Tweed for AW10. Sadly no pic though.
5) Found out that Nigel Cabourne has done a bag collab with Harris Tweed for AW10. Pic: 6) Overheard a PR at the Starworks press day telling a journalist that Antony Price believes ‘no-one these days is interested in his designs’. Pffft – how wrong he is!
7) Fantasised that this vintage Antony Price suit belonged to me:
8) Counted three black silk flying suits in one day (at Alice by Alice Temperley, Edun and Acne). That makes it a trend, right?
9) Pondered over some new hybrid trends. Biker jodhpurs and jodhpur chinos anyone?
Moschino : Pinko:
How about a skegging? (‘Skegging‘ is totally an official term)
10) Got the urge to rummage in my haberdashery drawer to decorate skinny lapels with charms and buttons a la Bolongaro Trevor 11) Discovered that Acne is to open its four-floor London store in Dover Street in July