Long live ladiesLong live ladies

Bridget English celebrates feminity in fashion

Bridget English celebrates feminity in fashion

Fashion is a dichotomy of extremes and autumn/winter 08/09 does not disappoint in this sense. While menswear may have been one of the key trends to walk down the catwalk, femininity still reigns supreme in the accessory department.

From Lanvin to Luella, bows were all over this season’s catwalks, whether adorning hair slides, bands, belts or attached to key pieces. The season’s clothes horse is taking fashion cues from Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf – big, small, black or brightly coloured, dressing-up hasn’t been so much fun in years.

Emmy-winning Mad Men is also a major inspiration with vintage 60s brooches all over the high street. Never has their been a better time to raid Grandmother’s jewellery box but, failing the discovery of an heirloom or two, A-Wear has some fantastically elegant pieces.

For the more daring among you, larger eye-catching pieces are sure to revive even the most basic of looks.

While a season or two ago the fashion world was toasting Sienna Miller and her ever–changing array of oversized slouchy handbags, this season it’s all about structured chic. While the lofty heights of Chanel’s 2.55, the Hermès Birkin Bag or a classic Mulberry piece may lie beyond the average college budget, River Island and Oasis currently stock a fantastic range of similar bags.

For night-time activity, the impossibly impractical but oh-so-chic clutch is still a key look and always a favourite of the fashion mavericks, so pack light and opt for polished minimalism.

Although Grace Kelly is without doubt the most iconic of royal fashion icons, this season is celebrating the unlikely Queen Elizabeth as a style maven. While the heritage trend can sometimes be a little overwhelming, the addition of a silk scarf, as seen at D&G, is an easy way to stay demurely on-trend.

Shoe-wise, autumn/winter 08/09 is the season of the T-bar. Channel your inner Coco Chanel or 1940s housewife and look to Topshop for some of this season’s prettiest pairs. If you’re looking for something a little bit more comfortable, thank your lucky stars that flats were a key look this year. They appeared in collections by, amongst others, McQueen and Armani, with embellishment and quilting the top trends, and jewel tones also featuring heavily on the runway.

To protect against the Irish winter (read: rain, rain, rain), tights are both a practical and stylish addition to your wardrobe. Luxury lace gives a nod to one of this season’s main trends and while they might not leave you as warm, dry and toasty as your heaviest winter woollens, they promise to make you feel fabulously sophisticated
Last, but certainly not least, the ultimate feminine accoutrement – pearls. From bracelets, to earrings to chains, this is the ultimate in classic chic.

Autumn/Winter 08/09 is truly the season of the Lady; chic, elegant and classic, long live femininity.