Move aside Dickie Valentine because our Christmas Alphabet is more iced jewellery than iced cake, less-so stocking filler and more-so embellished hosiery and we’ll be grabbing sweet-inspired clutches rather than candy-canes from around the Christmas tree.
A is for androgyny. As seen on the catwalks of Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Stella McCartney, reach for cigarette-shaped trousers, crisp, white, full-buttoned shirts, double-breasted, military style coats and toe-tapping brogues.
B is for baroque. Take note from the likes-of Mary Katrantzou and Dolce & Gabbana this Winter and wear a combination of metallic brocade with heavy lace, mouth-watering diamanté and regal prints. Layer luxe fabrics in blacks and golds and load on the jewels.
C is for cobalt. Introduce this electric shade of blue to your wardrobe and tone down with carbon black wardrobe staples. If in doubt, start small with a heel or clutch, in the hue, for a trial-run.
D is for decades. Designers like Chloe and Miu Miu put a modern spin on inspirational eras; Go flirty for 40’s in a pretty tea dress or ladylike with Donna Karan’s luxe pencil skirts, gloves and fur stoles. Try crayon-bright coats and make fashion swinging again for the 60’s.
E is for embellishment. Lace, embroidery, jewels, beads, sequins, and other embellishments all decorate garments, from dresses to hosiery this season.
F is for floral. More specifically, delicate oriental blooms – and Winter is in full bloom this year. Look to Mary Katrantzou’s Feberge eggs and Ming vased inspired dresses and Balenciaga’s mixed blossoms and exotic skins. Flock your wardrobe with floral fabrics and lace overlays, to add an air of ornateness – for a fresh spin on the idea of flowers in winter
G is for gothic. It’s Marilyn Manson circa 95 with loads of leather and black, black, black. Try full-length gowns in shredded black lace and taffeta like Armani sent down the runway.
H is for hats. Big hats, small hats, flat caps and fedoras – hats of all shapes and sizes abounded on the AW Catwalks. Whether it was the hugely oversized numbers at Marc Jacobs, the chic embellished caps at Roberto Cavalli or the Twenties-inspired cloches at Ralph Lauren, statement-making headwear is tops fr this season.
I is for iridescent. This is all about a delicate mermaid-like sheen as opposed to brash bling. Think Prada’s scale-like supersized paillettes and Christopher Kane’s sheer dresses scattered with clear sequins.
J is for jewels. Palettes of emerald, sapphire and amethyst will take over our wardrobes and one enormous statement necklace/collar will tke over our jewellery boxes.
K is for kooky cartoons. Choose one key piece that has a cartoon character on it – like a Mickey Mouse tee or a pop art-inspired clutch – and wear it with your grown-up pieces for a characterful clash.
L is for leather. Go Posh ‘n’ Becks circa 1999 in black leathers. If you don’t have some leather wardrobe staples already, then now is the time to invest! Think biker jackets and pleated mini skirts.
M is for monochrome. Pair your white shirts with some black leather, or stand out in on-trend houndstooth. Seek out black and white prints, stripes or patterns and wear with black leather staples.
N is for nail-art. The catwalks showed reverse black and burgundy nail tips at Donna Karan, bold blue at Erdem and even egg and toadstool printed nail wraps at Meadham Kichhoff. And ciate establishes velvet nails as a Winter staple.
O is for oriental. Silk mandarin tops, judo jackets and obi belts are perfect for beginner, but if you are feeling especially brave then streamlined red silk dresses are full of Eastern promise.
P is for purple. Opulent aubergine, regal plum and the heady stains of a vintage wine cellar combine for a purple haze this Winter.
Q is for quiffs. It is a less retro and more rock star look for the quiff this AW ’12. Those wet look quiffs take subtle height and a relaxed attitude this season.
R is for reptilian. Some of the season’s most lust-worthy accessories come with scales, but if your budget (or ethics) won’t allow it, go faux for snake-skin clutches and bangles.
S is for sweet-inspired clutches. Literal eye candy! Cute enough to eat! I’ll stop before things spiral out of control. H&M are selling covetous candy-wrapper bags. Normally, I’d hesitate on such a novelty item, but these are awesome, and since it’s H&M, they’ll be super affordable!
T is for trousers. Statement trousers were showcased from Mulberry to Christopher Kane. So try on for size, the straight-leg, tight trouser in multiple colours as your go-to piece for winter. The more bonkers the print, the better.
U is for umbrellas. Delevingne made carrying a brolly look like a rather chic affair as she closed the Burberry Prorsum show holding up an umbrella and sheltering herself from glittery rain. Get the ultimate fashion must-have and match your umberella-ella to your mac this season.
V is for volume. Amp it up and add a fluffy shearling stole to your repertoire of accessories this Winter.
W is for waistlines. Last season’s flamboyant peplums have given way to beautifully tailored curves and belted middles, creating an hourglass line that is smart and super-feminine. With winter’s strict silhouettes everywhere, a whittled waist is the big new fashion focus.
X is for x-rated. From Dior to Valentino, the world has gone fifity shades naughtier for winter – dare to wear thigh-high boots under skater skirts or daring split dresses and cut-out panelling.
Y is for yeti chic. Bold, brazzy and fuzzy. Yes – Sesame Street-inspired faux furs are in. Approach this trend with caution and try out a fuzzy accessory before investing in a full-on Yeti-like coat.
Z is for zig-zags. Move on from your nautical stripes and store them away. It’s about ziggy lines and colour-blocked geometric patterns on your blouses and knits this Winter.