A|Wear a/w 2011: A grown up and individual take on this season's trends
When I meet Annmarie Flood, fashionista, buyer and CEO extraordinaire of the Alwear brand, to view its striking collections influenced by the Forties, Sixties and Seventies, one of my first questions is — what about knickers?
You see, you gals are loving the Sixties mini and are gadding about in hemlines as short as those my mother wore in 1968. Back then, there were few choices in underwear beyond Bridget Jones-style granny pants, or sassy French knickers, so coverage was, well, covered. But today, knowing how you all love your G-strings, I have to say I cringe when girls in short dresses bend over: too much information. So I wanted to know Annmarie’s take on the issue.
She just responded, “opaque tights” and tried to distract me with a floppy hat. It worked. Much to the relief of all of us cash-starved mavens, autumn/winter 2011 is going to be a bumper season when it comes to high-street fashion. What I am especially appreciative of is that although everyone seems to be doing the same eras, they have interpreted them very differently, so there is choice and diversity.
Alwear is on the button with its collections and interpretation of the trends. It’s doing it in a slightly more grown-up, individualistic way, as suits the Alwear customer, who is predominantly 18-35, very fashion savvy, fairly individualistic, always feminine and always well finished.
“This year, fashion is all about colour and presentation,” Annmarie explained. “It’s about the finishing touches, being really well turned out. Be it beautiful buttons on a coat, to wearing the really perfect pair of high-waisted pants, to the really sharp blouse and carrying a really smart handbag, our girl wants to look sharp, and in control. But not lacking in femininity.”
Currently, you will find cute Sixties ensembles on their fashion floor, especially dresses that are real go-anywhere jobs, as well as some natty short coats and skirts. It’s a look Annmarie believes is going to last a long time. I agree.
As September unfolds, we will see a subtle shift into the Seventies. Here, prints become key. The T-shirt is back. The pussy-bow blouse is in there, but looking less prim when it’s teamed with strikingly confident, high-waisted trousers with which, Annmarie states, you have to wear platforms, or equally high shoes “to give yourself that real Seventies-era long, leggy look”.
And, if you are worrying about navigating all that choice, Annmarie’s sound advice is to follow what flatters your body and best suits the needs of your lifestyle.