The Oriental Trend...

Orient Express

by Sarah Billingsley

It can be hard to feel luxurious in the grey British autumn weather. Our favourite six-inch stilettos are no match for the treacherous puddle-strewn pavement, a beautiful hairdo is befouled by a brisk and forceful north-easterly wind and yes, you are wearing a stunning dress. But it’s hidden beneath a water-proof jacket.

But ladies of Britain, do not lose heart, because there is one trend for Autumn 2012 that is guaranteed to inject a bit of glamour into your Octobers and Novembers. The oriental trend of A/W2012 evokes images of the sultry and elegant opulence of the East, a world away from the blustery lives we lead on this little isle.

A whole host of designers and fashion houses have paid tribute to the Orient, among them Osman, Dries van Noten and Jason Wu; Proenza Schouler also had a large oriental influence in its A/W12 catwalk show. The traditional kimono-style wrap was incorporated into evening and day dresses, jackets and coats. Mandarin collars also featured heavily in the catwalks of A/W12, creating indisputably oriental silhouettes on a host of pieces including evening dresses, coats and trouser suits; capped sleeves naturally made their appearance. Sculpted knee-length pieces were very popular, although designers such as Issa and Temperley’s full-length flowing gowns broke the mould. Many pieces showcased heavy brocade detailing; pieces with traditional oriental patterns were also out in numbers with intricate floral and abstract motifs in red, orange and turquoise.

This is a versatile trend and one that is very easy to pull off. One dress with cap sleeves and a mandarin collar can see you through every formal occasion in the season; there is a length that suits every figure so there is no reason not to try it. Team a pair of slim oriental patterned trousers with a white shirt and your trusty black heels and you’re ready for cocktails. An obi belt will nail two A/W trends in one: waist belts and oriental. Oriental style pieces speak for themselves, especially if heavily embroidered, so accessories can be kept to a minimum. Hair and make-up can also be kept clean and simple, so you don’t have to waste any valuable cocktail drinking time.

Overall, the oriental trend is sexy, fun and easy to try. Why not go east?        


  1. Just in time for Exeter's ball! I've got my pinterest board going already ( A perfect solution to this dreary time of year. ★

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