High street fashion this season
Feminine and flouncy or hard-edged and boyish, there's something for everyone to love on the high street this season, says Gemma Hayward
Known to fashion insiders for its tailoring, Zara is also always on trend but never slavishly so. The fashion follower will therefore find her share of this season's colourful snakeskin, English tweed, sporty neoprene, bomber jackets and the ubiquitous sequins, but all in more high-quality fabrics than might be expected, and relatively grown-up.
This season's offering at Topshop is big on street-inspired attitude but still incorporating more chic and sophisticated trends. Winter florals, sexy leather separates, sporty sweaters, fur-lined Parkas, belts to cinch the waist fetish-style and prim, polka-dotted designs ensure that all bases are covered.
While everyone waits with baited breath for the soon-to-arrive Versace collection, couture references, cosy knits in cool colours and fringed, flapper-inspired designs with jewellery to match will bridge any gap beautifully at this Swedish-born high street store.
A stylishly retro spirit dominates at Whistles this season, where the prim styles of the 1940s rub shoulders with a more laid-back and bohemian Seventies aesthetic. That's not to say that those with more minimal tastes won't find what they're looking for here. Androgyny? Yes, that's covered with slim-fitting trousers, blazers and coats.
Mango womenswear designer, Celestino Garcia, describes the store's new collections as "timeless and chic". "It's full of versatile items, such as degrade sweater dresses, luxe padded coats, bright separates, fine-knit sweaters and slim tuxedo trousers." Look out, too, for leather, denim and metallics.
The 1940s have inspired the design team at Warehouse, too, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. Lace-front blouses with Peter Pan collars, oversized coats in autumnal colours and tea-dresses there are aplenty. "For autumn our unique designs create looks that bring effortless cool to any wardrobe," says design director, Lisa Byrne.
Designer of the moment, Louise Gray, has collaborated with this massive e-tailer, which goes some way towards explaining both the bright colour and quirky detail. Expect to find 1990s-inspired pieces in the company's Revive line and more minimal and considered designs in Asos Black.