Ifonly Autumn really was that famed season of mellow mists and fruitfulness we wouldn‘t have to concern ourselves with autumn fashion. There are ofcourse. people for whom all clothes read autumn hinterland. The half-way-up-the- stairs position is often adopted by cynics of a cold climate.
But no longer. This issue of The List sees ‘Autumn‘s Defence” — an exploration of what is interesting or worth looking out for in the shops over the coming months.
Button through tax print tunic from the Laura Ashley Autumn collection.
The important thing to grasp about autumnal fashions is that there is rarely a sharp definitive ‘look’. A perusal of any fashion magazine will reveal a plethora ofchoice. Some will tell you that this season's wow item is an acid-green fake fur coat; others. that smoky chocolate brown colours are Ilwshades to be seen in.
Such assertions thrive on their own nebulousness. Fashion stories relate to sales and ultimately the only definitive truths in the business are those of hard cash. livery September a shop‘s staff can be assured of one thing; that what is coming will have a wool content and that there will be a palette ofearthy tones. The logic of this premonitory ‘definitive’ is that people need warm clothes and start getting mousey instincts come the first frost.
Rather than propound a story I prefer to highlight an undercurrent. For example. the two items of dress that are more prominent in the shops this autumn than last are the wide-legged trouser and the waisICoat.
Searching for the influences that form style is a hobby akin to rubik
56 The List 14 — 27 October 1988
IN DEFENCE 0F AUTUM
Natasha Penrhys-Evans casts a critical eye over this autumn‘s fashions.
cube solving fascinating. but. with a million permutations. difficult to hit spot on.
The origins of the styles on sale this autumn he immediately in the merchandise of the summer. It takes time for any trend to catch on and so one season‘s experiments will gain ground in the next. What was outre in August is natty in November. and will be decidedly dull in December.
Jasper (‘onran and John (ialliano. were two British designers to ﬂaunt almost identical fashion features in their collections this spring. They promoted a cross between the neo-classical human landscape and (irace Kelly chic. Their fichu necklines. ﬂowing trousers and high-waisted skirts were the predominating centrespreads this summer.
Such clean. softly clinging and so-called ‘feminine‘ shapes have stood the circuit and are the basis of Autumn ‘88 fashion. Softly. softly is the feeling. boldly. boldly the shapes. An odd interplay between Thirties‘ aristocratic elegance and Seventies' relaxed flamboyance is the blueprint behind most collections.
l’ared down. subtle styling encourages natural body contours to give substance to the shapes. Burn your shoulder pads. forget triangular earrings and spiky hair cuts. the powerbase of these styles lies in assurance not aggression.
This observation is equally relevant to current men's fashion. The adjective ‘yuppie' has become a four letter word. However stressful the arrival of your credit card bills
the impression that your purchases ,. ,. ,,
give is that life is easy. Mickey Rourke has gone to the barbers. grown his hair and donned a flowery jerkin. Zinc briefcases have melted into textured fabric. collars flop rather than perch . . . Mr Man this autumn is laid back and charming.
If any one influence is to be thanked for this delightful state of sartorial elegance it is the Italian designers who have been plugging similar lines for years. Missoni. Romeo ( iigli. and (ieorgio Armani are three of the quiet giants who spring to mind as being consistent in their focus on luxurious fibres and colours. Italy has always earmarked the elegance of understatement. but it is undoubtedly (ialliano who this year has rescued Autumn ‘88 from being a gloomy hiatus between Summer and Spring. (Natasha l’enrhys-livans)
THAT LITTLE BIT EXTRA
Accessories give youthe opportunity to stamp your personality onto clothes that. let’s faceit.other people
are bound to wear too. These additions joyfully follow less rigorous rules than the clothes themselves.
Kate Crow reports.
South America is the place to be and it is notonly Ronald Reagan who thinks so. Peruvian influences provide the key to rescuing the ultimate in Hermes or tack- the charm bracelet. Silver-plated Peruvian design charm bracelet £89. matching earrings £30 complementing silver plated ilal bangle with embossed detail £55 and cuit links on the same Peruvian theme £25. All by WRIGHT AND TEAGUEirom lchi Ni San. 123 Candleriggs. Glasgow]