Apologies for the previous rant, and torturing your eyeballs with hideous illustrations. Now for some more aesthetically pleasing images of some of my favourite autumn/winter catwalk pieces. My interest in high fashion has only arisen quite recently (until now I've always been quite petulant about it: I can't afford it, so am not interested, pout.) But I've found myself increasingly drawn to it - thanks in part to the Guardian's excellent coverage of shows and my own increasingly expensive (or at least, particular) tastes. The colour palettes are much more imaginative, and if viewed with an open mind, collections can provide rich pickings in terms of inspiration.
A collection that endures in my memory is Alexander McQueen's AW08 collection, which perfectly encapsulates one idea of wintryness for me. A magical, icy, Hans Christian Andersen-esque wintryness, of Russian princesses, the fragility of icicles, and biting cold. This beauty of collection still leaves me a little short of breath. Whilst recreating this on a high street budget is obviously impossible, I take from it, delicacy, sumptuous fabrics and textures (lace, velvet and silk), winter white, red and black.
I also loved Alberta Feretti's offerings last year - in particular, her combination of jewel tones, which are my favourite colours. This combination of plum and burnt orange makes me think of golden autumn days and crunching leaves underfoot. I plan to recreate the colour combination with a plum dress with burnt orange red coral beads.
Moving to AW09, Lanvin's collection has been referenced in many mags as the ladylike alternative to the 80s powerdressing trend, ubiquitous on the 09 catwalks. And I'm glad of it: for me, '40s styles seem to work best in winter, cheerful '50s in summer. Waisted shifts, gloves and hairbands are all winter favourites of mine.
And finally, to my favourite AW09 collection, by Valentino. Even though the great man is no longer at the helm, this was a gorgeous collection. I particularly liked the accents of dark cherry red with black, a favourite combination of mine (I think the particular shade of red is important), the teal dress paired with cherry red shoes, and teal/black/cherry red combined with leopard print. Just fabulous, and fantastic inspiration for the coming season.