On The Runway

Trend Alert: The Great Coverup

Winter coverups from (left to right): Altuzarra, Celine, Rick Owens and Burberry Prorsum (Images from style.com).

It’s finally getting cooler in Hong Kong (I can always tell when my hair is less frizzy) which has made me start thinking about coverup options for the winter. Unless you are a super duper organised fashionista (unlike me), you are only starting to think about what style to invest in. Below is my cheat sheet on my top 5 favourites for autumn/winter 2011.

The parka

Goodbye military jacket, hello parka. Parkas have that cool utilitarian look that made it a hit on catwalks of designers such as Joseph Altuzarra (his versions were the best this season, hands down). Choose a style with a faux fur trim or lined hood, and opt for colours such as military green or black. Wear it with jeans for casual days, or match it with a tailored dress for a sexy yet tough look.

The cape

While capes are not the most practical coverup (I never know how to carry my handbag when I wear one) they can look incredibly chic. Long styles are a dramatic option for the evening, although I prefer short tailored versions with slits for the arms for the day. Some styles come with belts, but I find them too fussy. Sleek and minimal is best.

The heavy knit

Alpine style knits were a big hit on the catwalks of Jil Sander and should be worn short and fitted. Hong Kong doesn’t get too cold, so it’s the perfect option for transitional weather. On the other end of the spectrum are chunky cable knit sweaters which should be worn loose and slouchy. If you like to layer, experiment with knitted capes and long, cardi-coats for a cosy look.

The structured coat

Lean tailored styles are always in fashion and come in all guises this season. 1960s style swinging mod-style jackets in bold colours were spotted at Burberry while floor length overcoats looked romantic and nostalgic at Haider Ackermann and Rodarte. If you want to work the androgynous trend, pick a men’s style double breasted coat (Stella McCartney always does this well).

The furry topper

Autumn is all about texture so anything furry or fuzzy is a must-have. I am anti-fur so would suggest fabrics such as shearling instead. A full length coat can overwhlem most people, so opt for a belted gilet or vest paired with skinny trousers for a chic look. For the evening, make a statement with feathers as spotted at Yves Saint Laurent. But a word of caution – choose a cropped style otherwise you’ll look like Big Bird.

Keep warm in (from left to right): Shearling coat from VinceMiliena cape from Theory and Acne Farrah coat.

And what to avoid…

Blanket coats, especially with fringes and in bold colours – it looks like you left the house in a rush and took your blanket with you!

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