The overall impression of the looks sent out on the runway yesterday was one of contrasts. Boxy, structured lines juxtaposed against soft, slouchy, curves, sometimes even within the same look.
At Vivienne Westwood there was nostalgia abound with broad shouldered power suits dominating the catwalk. One such look, a pin striped suit jacket layered under fur and teamed with sheer stockings was a throwback to the power dressing of the ’80s and ’90s.
Oversized boxy jackets were paired with slightly flared knee-length skirts that softened the overall look and prevented it from being too structured.
The standout look was a red suit with jacket lapels that formed a heart. The feminine, almost twee detail of it was the perfect foil to a collection that, peppered with postwar styling, seemed almost austere at times.
This mood of contrast was even more apparent at Topshop Unique.
Oversized coats threatened to slip off the models, seemingly held on only by belts. The largeness of it all provided a silhouette of contrasts; while the shoulders, lapels, and sleeves were undeniably chunky, the almost undulating flow of the coats were those of the joys that only those who buy outerwear several sizes larger will know (yours truly included, there is nothing so ridiculously comfortable in winter as size 16 coat on a size 8 frame).
The styling of the overlong sleeves, overlarge shoulders, really any adjective beginning with ‘over’ lent it all an unmistakable air of ‘my father’s coat’, and a very cozy one at that.
The notion of ‘comfortably oversized’ was echoed at Temperley London, where enormous scarves were layered upon coats (layered upon even more coats) in an explosion of blue florals and Byzantine mosaic patterns.
The whole effect was that of sumptuously decorated robes fit for a king’s bedtime or even an aristocratic lounge around the house. This is the sort of luxurious loungewear one dreams of wearing when they work from home, swanning from study to drawing room with mug in hand and typewriter ribbon in the other.
However if the Orientalist prints become too much, one could always turn to Preen by Thornton Bregazzi for coats and cuts just as generous but with just a little more insouciance and less old-world references, what with the sci-fi-esque graphic print and the presence of Darth Vader’s head throughout the collection.
For a more traditional take on comfort, look no further than to Pringle of Scotland for luxurious knitwear…
…or to Paul Smith, for a collection so impossibly fluid and invitingly silky that to not wear it to bed would be sinful. Not to worry, the rich jewel tones, fancy sheen, and elaborate patterns are more than likely to swing the ‘is it or isn’t it pyjamas’ whispers one gets from wearing something so polarizing and daring in public away from ‘luxe sleepwear’ to ‘style-driven comfort’.
Photos courtesy of Style.com