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AW14 Fabrics - A Guide

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It might be the beginning of summer but ever since the AW14 shows we’ve been pretty much ready to start thinking about our Autumn wardrobes – and we’re not the only ones as apparently as shearling coats (one of the key AW14 pieces) are already selling out..(eek!). It always pays to be a step ahead in the fashion game so we’ve produced a textural guide to your key autumn fabrics so you can start planning your new season wardrobe right now.

Velvet

Erdem, Emilio de la Moreno, John Rocha and Zeynep Kartal images courtesy of Vogue

Velvet made a recurring appearance in many AW14 shows, cementing its place in the fabric rankings of the colder season. Erdem contrasted deep black with intricate cutouts, demonstrating just how feminine the darkest of shades can be. Emilio de la Moreno took that Nineties favourite crushed velvet to the next level in rich, mouthwatering tones of teal, plum and cranberry. John Rocha opted for an oversized vibe, imbuing his velvets with an androgynous fit that hinted at practicality underneath the appealing aesthetic. Zeynep Kartal lingered over old-school Hollywood opulence, mixing velvet with sequins, lace and silks. Kartal used pewter, cream and burgundy tones to illustrate how velvet need not be solely dark. 

Fur (faux)

Topshop Unique, Christopher Raeburn, Haizhen Wang and Eudon Choi images courtesy of Vogue

Topshop Unique championed the faux fur trend this season in a collection bearing shearling accents, faux fur gilets and collars and, the pièce de résistance, a square patchwork longline coat, in hues of black, cream, beige and magenta. Christopher Raeburn used premium synthetic fur in his collection, fusing Arctic inspired fluffy oversized jackets and polar bear jumpers with Nineties grunge inspired styling.Haizhen Wang's sharp tailoring and monochrome colour scheme delivered a utilitarian and approachable vibe. His ashy toned fluffy coats and removable fur cuffs and collars were accompanied by architectural black blouses, snow white tasselled neck pieces and skin tight leather trousers. At Eudon Choi the emphasis was on muted, neutral colours, injected with strong, vibrant blues. Most of his collection was under cover of oversized shaggy furs, fluffy wraps and collarless pea coats, creating distorted silhouettes that were youthful and exhilarating. 

Foil/Metallic

Mary Katrantzou, Mimi Fasi, Iceberg and Preen images courtesy of Vogue

Foil provided the metallic edge to the AW14 shows. Mary Katrantzou hopped out of the iconic digital print zone that first catapulted her into the spotlight and left us with dresses and tailored suits in variations of charcoal, all finished with thatdefinitiveKatrantzou edge. Mimi Fasi, on the other hand, fused the foil trend with vibrant colour and geometric prints in a way that was far from Autumnal. Feminine colours, sixties silhouettes and hi-shine fabrics eschewed subtlety and provided a much needed contrast to the sometimes drab hues of the autumn season. Iceberg shied away from hi-shine, adding texture to their foils by mixing a cracked finish with a shade of pale silver; a cleverly eponymous move that instantly conjured images of arctic frost.In a collection infused with Star Wars references, Preen took the opportunity to tame the bomber jacket; a forest green metallic concoction that utilised both the fur and foil trends. 

Lace

Huishan Zhang, Emilia Wickstead, Givenchy and Meadham Kirchhoff images courtesy of Vogue

Breathing a sense of femininity into the AW14 season, lace was a key feature on the catwalk. Huishan Zhang walked the line of edginess, combining navy lace and sheer floral stockings with stronger textures, such as velvet in maxi dresses and knitted jumpers. Contrastingly, Emilia Wickstead featured lace in full force rather than in understated amounts, the impact no less lust-worthy. Inspired by Film Noir, Wickstead accompanied her tantalising tangerine lace with dark, moody hues, evoking theatre and elegance. Powerhouse Givenchy let lace do (most of) the talking, using a single-colour approach and spicing up the feminine lace skirts with the inclusion of extravagant collars and exquisite prints. Meadham Kirchhoff, as ever, took a theatrical approach: one that should be saluted. If ever there was a time to crack out a veil and wear it like you just don’t care – it's now. The duo presented lace with pastel colours to prove to us that pastels are not just exclusive to Spring and emphasised the art of layering, demonstrating that more is most definitely more.

Words by Thalia Fairweather

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