A ROYAL AF­FAIR

This sea­son layer up in lux­u­ri­ous ma­te­ri­als and in­tri­cate wo­vens that are as at home in your closet as they would be in any king­dom.

Real Style - - Contents - BY AFIYA FRA NCISCO

This sea­son layer up in lux­u­ri­ous ma­te­ri­als and in­tri­cate wo­vens that are as at home in your closet as they would be in any king­dom.

Win­ter is com­ing. This is both the omi­nous fore­shad­ow­ing in ev­ery­one’s favourite drama and the un­avoid­able truth for those of us liv­ing in north­ern cli­mates. As the long, hot days of sum­mer give way to brisk winds and early evenings, to stor­age go light­weight linen and cot­ton, mak­ing closet space for stur­dier, warmer ma­te­ri­als. There is al­ways a slight nos­tal­gia that ac­com­pa­nies sea­sonal change but, this time around, it’s made all the eas­ier with rich and lux­u­ri­ous lay­ers that just beg to be touched, ad­mired and worn. Vel­vet, silk, bro­cade—even by name alone th­ese fab­rics have a re­gal air, of some­thing that be­longs to kings and queens.

For Fall 2016, many de­sign­ers seemed in­spired by the wardrobes of his­tor­i­cal palaces. Again and again, mod­els marched down the run­way in gar­ments that at once looked plucked from the archives and yet to­tally rel­e­vant for to­day. A bro­cade jacket seen at Prada—held closed and ac­ces­sorized with lay­ered wide belts—is a prime ex­am­ple. The bro­cade and styl­ized coif re­calls an era long gone while Mi­uc­cia’s sig­na­ture quirky styling gives it a cool girl fin­ish that would suit a gown at the theatre, as well as ap­pear­ing on stage at a rock con­cert with leather pants.

Ralph Lau­ren of­fered a sim­i­lar outer piece hero with a beau­ti­ful blue vel­vet swing­ing duster, of course, with a sub­tle eques­trian vibe, low ruf­fled blouses and up­scale rid­ing pants.

Haider Ack­er­mann seemed more in­flu­enced by a royal army than the rul­ing class, but a high neck, jewel tones and vel­vet made his ver­sion more of a deca­dent uni­form of Marie An­toinette stan­dards. The high­light: a ruby two piece that is— in­ten­tional or not—made for Tilda Swin­ton.

Gar­ments fit for fairy­tale roy­alty—some­thing out of a sto­ry­book, truly stun­ning—how do they fit in to­day’s so­ci­ety? Yes, mod­ern day princesses and queens do ex­ist—not least of all celebrity and so­cial me­dia dar­lings who are most likely to be seen in th­ese de­signer garbs. For the rest of us, how­ever, there are key ref­er­ences we can adopt in our ev­ery­day clos­ets.

Luxe ma­te­rial is the most ob­vi­ous: vel­vet, bro­cade, silk and velour. One state­ment piece is an easy way to adopt the look. A jacket that can dress both up­town and down­town is a great way to get max­i­mum value, worn over jeans or on a night out.

Typ­i­cally, hem­lines get all the at­ten­tion but it’s in­ter­est­ing to note one de­tail that could pos­si­bly go un­no­ticed: sleeve lengths that hit at thumb knuckle. It makes sense—this time of year is all about co­coon­ing. To be able to gen­tly tug on one’s shirt cuff is a wel­come com­fort that can be taken for granted but is also warm­ing and sooth­ing.

As for footwear, J. Men­del was just one of the de­sign­ers to show pointy-toe an­kle boots that grounded bil­lowy sleeves and ro­man­tic fab­rics. Dif­fer­ent colour vari­a­tions of the same boot through­out the show em­pha­sized that th­ese boots are a wear-with-any­thing, day-or-night sta­ple.

To drape one­self in daz­zling swaths is cer­tainly bold, but com­bined with sim­ple makeup and hair this is a look that is eas­ily pulled to­gether for busy women who don’t have the time, or in­cli­na­tion, to spend on their over­all aes­thetic. Th­ese pieces don’t need a whole lot of ef­fort; they sim­ply re­quire dar­ing to be tried. Per­fect for mod­ern queens who reign the city court.

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