Ten Key Pieces

Es­sen­tial wardrobe el­e­ments that will open doors this Au­tumn.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - News - By Chris­tine Whit­ney. Pho­tographed by Vic­tor De­marche­lier.

“We were in­spired by fairy tales, imag­in­ing our woman as an en­chanted crea­ture liv­ing in a se­cret gar­den,” Domenico Dolce says of the Dolce & Gab­bana Au­tumn/Win­ter ’14 col­lec­tion. “Only she has the keys to en­ter, and we printed them all over capes, dresses, and ac­ces­sories,” says Ste­fano Gab­bana. “She is a woman with a lit­tle bit of magic!” adds Dolce. Magic was in­deed in the air: Dolce & Gab­bana’s op­u­lent key-em­broi­dered coats (1) set the bar for what would be a sea­son of spell­bind­ing out­er­wear. Fol­low­ing the de­sign­ers’ trail of bread crumbs, we have en­tered into the hour of the coat – specif­i­cally, the tex­tured one. This is the first item to buy this au­tumn: We’ll be snap­ping up Calvin Klein’s just-thisside-of-shaggy, nipped-waist con­fec­tions, or one of Cé­line’s white and black frayed-hem por­cu­pine num­bers, which are the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of soft and prickly.

Shear­lings (2) merit their own cat­e­gory. Come win­ter, we’ll all want to dis­guise our­selves in sheep’s cloth­ing, es­pe­cially the over­size ver­sion that Stu­art Vev­ers turned out for his de­but at Coach. Ralph Lau­ren nailed the Amer­i­can West at Polo with a dis­tressed, rugged take, and Joseph Al­tuzarra’s up­date was a fuzzy-side-out bomber. Another es­sen­tial weapon in ev­ery woman’s cold-weather ar­se­nal is the mega-knit. Roomy, ex­tra-long-sleeved sweaters (3) abounded on the run­way, where some de­sign­ers even sug­gested knits from head to toe. Though we’ll prob­a­bly ab­stain from woolly bell­bot­toms (at least pub­licly), we will be fill­ing our clos­ets with thick, slouchy sweaters like The Row’s ti­tanic turtle­neck, Michael Kors’s cardi­gan-dress hy­brid, and Bot­tega Veneta’s grey pullover. About that pullover: The grey (4) is cru­cial. The in-be­tween neu­tral has taken over as the hue of the mo­ment. In­vest in some­thing – any­thing – in the colour, be it a nubby dress from Stella McCart­ney or a short-sleeved coat from Dior. Be­cause there’s no such thing as be­ing too cosy, Au­tumn’s sweaters de­mand to be worn with a scarf (5), ide­ally one that’s ex­tra-long and match­ing. Marc Ja­cobs and Michael Kors showed theirs with ca­su­ally strewn, knee-graz­ing scarves, while Pra­bal Gu­rung had the look all wrapped up, wind­ing his scarves around as far as they could go. Mean­while, the he­roes of this sea­son’s story are the trousers – par­tic­u­larly those of the stovepipe va­ri­ety (6). Slim but not body-tight, these are fur­ther ev­i­dence of the func­tion-is­fash­ion­able move­ment; they’re clas­sics that will stay on the scene for years to come. Ba­len­ci­aga and Al­tuzarra made some of the best, which would pair hand­somely with a roomy blazer. Util­ity reigns in the footwear arena, too – scarcely a stiletto stepped onto the cat­walk. In­stead, be­hold Au­tumn’s boot: a ’70s-in­spired low- and chunky-heeled style (7), just right for stomp­ing around in the el­e­ments (and still look­ing chic as all get-out, of course). Gucci, Saint Lau­rent, and Bally cre­ated es­pe­cially cov­etable ren­di­tions, whether in un­der­stated neu­trals or punky patent leather. Luxe top-han­dle totes and shoppers were ev­ery­where on Au­tumn’s run­ways, but the lat­est prize bags are the hands-free, long-strapped styles (8). Amid a for­est of nov­elty op­tions, it’s with the de­mure dou­ble-flap bag at Her­mès that you’ll live hap­pily ever af­ter. In bright white leather, it’s the per­fect foil for a dove-grey coat with retro boots or even train­ers.

The story ends with the jew­els: De­sign­ers dreamed up novel adorn­ments to take the Snug­gie-chic look up a notch. What with all of the thick lay­ers and scarves, ac­cents are lim­ited to the fin­gers and ears, and should be hefty enough to stand up to the clothes. For rings, the rule is more: Big, colour­ful, multi-fin­ger ver­sions (9) at Nina Ricci and Proenza Schouler were among the smartest. Ear­rings, while also large, went solo. Cé­line and Louis Vuit­ton showed com­plex dan­glers worn on one ear only (10), re­call­ing Madonna and Rosanna Ar­quette in the 1985 hit com­edy-drama Des­per­ately

Seek­ing Su­san.

And just like that, our des­per­ate search for a solid au­tumn wardrobe is over. The magic door is open, and the sea­son awaits.

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