Darren Kennedy fashion file: How to wear the turtleneck trend
Good news for women of every age and shape - turtlenecks are back. The flattering high-neck knit dominated practically every collection for AW15.
Fine-knit and chunky cable-knit turtlenecks were presented on the catwalks in both the traditional way as well as more unexpected forms, such as exaggerated funnel-like collars. Perhaps the easiest way to achieve a layered look, the simple act of slipping a turtleneck under a slinky dress or a strapless jumpsuit creates a versatile yet elegant outfit.
Indeed, on the runways rarely a coat or skirt - or cut-out dress for that matter - was shown without a contrasting turtleneck underneath. Revealing her softer side for AW15, Victoria Beckham presented a line-up of chunky knits layered with cocoon coats.
New York designer Prabal Gurung contrasted dangerously high slit skirts with chunky oversized knits, while Thakoon used vibrant turtlenecks with electric aqua stripes to give muted V-neck dresses an edge. The message is clear; turtlenecks are the wear-with-anything piece this winter.
I keep seeing leather popping up as a 'must-have' for my wardrobe this winter. At 36, I'm wondering what leather pieces would you recommend and where is the best place to look on the high street?
Martha, Co Dublin
Darren replies: The tried-and-tested fabric is a perennial favourite on the catwalks, and this winter sees the recent demand for all things leather continuing. The ubiquitous leather jacket has been a wardrobe staple now for countless seasons but, this year, designers and the high street are exploring other silhouettes and styles.
This new wave of leather is not limited to just jackets or accessories - everything from shirts to crop tops and dresses have been given a leather overhaul. A good quality leather skirt, such as the luxurious (1) Powys skirt at Hobbs (€395), is a wardrobe hero and a great investment piece. This burgundy leather skirt is a contemporary take on the classic wrap skirt which hugs and skims the figure, and fastens at the waist with a gold-tone buckle. Wear it with a roll-neck sweater in a complementary red hue for a bang-on-trend autumnal look that will easily take you from day to night. A leather shift dress will never fail to earn its keep. Bring out your inner vamp with the (2) black studded leather dress at Littlewoods Ireland (€155). Crafted from real leather, this luxe shift is accented with metal studs for a darker edge. Of course, leather doesn't have to be dark. Look to the (3) Maya leather collection from Irish designer Emma Manley in a beautiful shade of fuchsia. The perforated leather T-shirt (€220) has a boxy fit and a full-length zip running down the back, while the matching jacket (€486) has floral embellishment. At M&S, Twiggy's collection includes an easy-wearing, (4) grey faux leather fit and flare style dress (€75). Another option is to play up this season's 1970s vibes with Zara's chic (5) patchwork skirt (€59.95). If full leather doesn't appeal, leather trims and touches allow for a more subtle approach.
Light grey slogan box handbag, €45, River Island