Witchery | Sunday Times Column

Presently, ideas about ‘uniform dressing’ typically apply to jeans, T-shirts, and white sneakers. But as was examplary on the 2016 high fashion Fall runways in both London and Paris, designers are riffing on a more literal kind of uniform for the season: the military uniform.

Military wear has been influencing western fashion since the ’60s, when John Lennon wore a M-65 and Yves Saint Laurent introduced his iconic Saharienne jacket. What’s different about this season’s take on the trend is the clean, sharp, modern take on the iconic trend, offered to us by Witchery.

Shapes are crisp, buttons dark and solid, with elegant tailoring for a feminine finish, while ccessories are minimal with utilitarian inspired accents. ‘New order’ as the style story is called, is perfect for autumn’s military mood with a more modern and prettier spin. Heavy coats styled over blouses, and belted waists alert to a major shift towards mixing feminine pieces with stronger more masculine over pinning’s.

These hardened shapes laden with history are softened with warm fabrics and textiles for a balanced and up to date feel. Contrasting the utilitarian style with a wide range of knitwear options, Witchery makes F/W dressing a layered affair. The range-wide colour story is built around asphalt grey, parchment white, light grey marl and black, creating a harmonious and cocooning palette for the height of winter, and diversifying the classic inclusion of the khaki family. Looks in the same head to toe colour palette create a singular focus, which softens the shapes while remaining edgy and current.

Ideas of strength are reinterpreted in the eveningwear looks in new and contradictory ways. We see sequin skirts worn with lofty mohair knits for day, along with flocked ruffle sleeve tops with sleek trousers and sumptuous maxi dresses in lux-bonded fabrications with statement wrap jackets. Outfitting is modern and market leading focused on the early adopter customer who loves the element of the new and fresh. Colour is sleek and wearable in midnight navy, silver and black, which enable fabric and cut to be the focus through innovative and special fabrications.

Overall, the collection is a well made set of elegant utilitarian pieces that leave room for a little personal flair alongside on trend textile clashing. The garments are modern and sleek without being cold, providing the perfect base from which to build an edgy yet feminine F/W wardrobe that will age through coming seasons, gracefully.

All garments, shoes and accessories x Witchery

Ph x Anthony Bila