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Hood it up!

With luxury brands stocking up their stores with autumn/winter collections, it’s the apt time to discuss, consider and spell forth the trends in a snapshot, which will help you decide your next shopping purchase!

With luxury brands stocking up their stores with autumn/winter collections, it’s the apt time to discuss, consider and spell forth the trends in a snapshot, which will help you decide your next shopping purchase!

Even though we are far from the ceremonial turkey coming to the table, it is the time of the year when festivity beckons and mercury makes a promise to dip. But I couldn’t possibly say that for the fashion scene here in India, which is getting hotter each day as the latest Autumn/Winter collections pour into stores to equip us for the forthcoming season. Even though this might only be the tip of the iceberg, it’s enough to get a fair idea on the bright trends this season and what to expect from our sartorial wizards.

For the fairer sex
The use of bright colours this autumn/winter brings with them some nostalgic moments from the early 1970s and the sultry stars of that magical time. Icons like Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling and Veruschka, are admired as much for their beauty and style on-camera, as for their allure and innate sense of style off-camera. These women inspire a collection of new timeless pieces from Jimmy Choo fuelled with exotic skins, lustrous furs, and rich hues of black, dove grey, winter white, blonde, whiskey and vivid shades of midnight, emerald and purple. “These women have always inspired me for their chic, empowered sense of dress, who experienced everything that life had to offer during such a glamourous and free spirited time. With this collection, I have updated that mood with a modern take,” said Tamara Mellon OBE, Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Jimmy Choo. Colourful furs have also been seen in a bold 1970s avatar in Gucci’s autumn/winter 2011 collection. You know you can’t go wrong with the fur and hippie style this season.

The subtle and elegant Bottega Veneta’s collection is poised between restraint and exuberance. The palette is vivid and bright, grounded in the lustrous white of Canova plaster. Colours range from pale yellow to deep red and include jasper, topaz, resina, fire opal, corniola, garnet, and rust, illuminated with flashes of peridot green. The brand has, of course, made ample arrangement to keep you warm with some gorgeously plush materials like fuzzy woven wool blends, dimensional woolens, waxed leather, and light sleek nylons and silk.

Calf leather and animal print bags from Jimmy Choo will surely make waves this season. Bottega handbags, on the other hand, are sporty and relaxed in shape. An intelligently used mix of material adds to the eccentric effect. A perfect example is the satchel made of acid-rinsed silk velvet, hand-painted python and washed ostrich.

Of course, an ultra-chic day bag calls for daring day shoes to match. And who can do it better than Choo, a brand that reached heights due to its original work below the feet? Cigarette heels in both mid and high volumes are sleek, chic and very sexy. Crystals are combined with bold graphic cuts, straps and textures in tailored boots and subversive sandals. Thus, you have some scintillating beauties to strap on your feet!

Jewellery for autumn/winter 2011 is a mix of scale, technique, colour and mood. Mainly small and delicate, metals include blackened silver with black and champagne coloured stones. Clasp those glamourous cuffs and necklaces made of silver lace, and slip on earrings, bracelets and rings adorned with ‘painted’ eyes. Experimenting with its usual philosophy this time, Bottega Veneta has used coloured stones rather than diamonds in its fine jewellery. “Designing this collection was like being in a laboratory,” says Creative Director Tomas Maier. “We wanted to push the boundaries, to experiment with technique and craftsmanship to an extreme degree. I felt the right canvas for this kind of innovative workmanship was a silhouette that was clean and uncomplicated. The result is very particular, with a mix of control and passion that I think reflects the mood of the moment.”

For men who experiment
Nobody would deny that styling up is not just the prerogative of women! Men equally love dressing up and have immensely sophisticated aesthetics.

You could almost roam the countryside with Paul Smith’s Autumn/Winter collection which has tailored suits in interesting textures and a variety of classic and new fits. The jackets are cut slim and feature lapel detailing and fun interior linings. Slip into shirts that offer mid, slim and extra slim fits, neat collars and understated detailing. Checks seem to be back in vogue as they are featured throughout. The cheerful bags and luggage collection will brighten anyone’s day and will match pretty well with formal attire too. Knitwear is colourful and ranges from folk inspired prints on sleeveless sweater vests to elegant cashmere multi-stripe pullovers.

You can always trust Canali to deliver true Italian elegance and craftsmanship. And Canali’s special Nawab jacket for India has become a favourite of stylish men as well as luxury industry researchers trying to analyse the link which made the jacket click instantly with India. I guess, it makes us proud to know that India has inspired fashion globally.

The ‘Nawab Collection’ makes a comeback this season. In the past, the collection has included suits and jackets made with fine blends of linen and silk, and silk-wool and linen, in warm, natural shades of beige or brown, and fine velvet jacket in black and royal blue. This time, there is use of a lot more velvet in stunning hues such as burgundy, steel grey and even an iconic red, which will certainly appeal to a man who likes to make his mark. However, more intriguing is the sleeveless cashmere Nawab with that extra luxe feel!

Paul Smith and Etro as well carry the velvet trend in interesting prints and colours. Etro, too, has created some lovely India jackets that are linked to India’s sartorial tradition, painstaking attention to detail and the eastern paisley motif which is a signature of Etro too. Evidently, traces of ‘Indianism’ continue to be seen this season from many brands. Also notable is the use of leather, especially in the offering from Hugo Boss. Black continues to be the colour of choice with its prominence in Tom Ford collections, with an aesthetically pleasing use of fur as usual, and also the super black suit from Hugo.

As for men’s accessories, sport slim ties and creative hand painted wallets from Paul Smith while watch your step with shoes that range from casual trainers in new shapes to formal classics interpreted in mock textures and luxurious finishes.

Yes, what you read is what you get! These trends have already created a buzz and earned the applause of connoisseurs all over the world, but the final judge is you. Go on, explore these mesmerizing collections, and indulge. The proof of the pudding, after all, is in the tasting.

Roasie Ahluwalia is a marketing and communications professional with more than 15 years of experience. Prior to joining Genesis Luxury and the advent of luxury brands in India, Roasie worked with India’s largest image management advisory, Perfect Relations. At Genesis, she has successfully launched several international luxury brands in India. She now looks after corporate affairs for Genesis Luxury and marketing and PR for Canali across India.