Accessorise all areas at Yuletide

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 December, 2010, 12:00am

With the holiday season around the corner, there is no better way to add personality to your look than with stylish accessories. Like clothing, there are several trends to look out for when it comes to accessorising for the party season.

Even though you may be tempted to overload on Christmas bling and sequins, it's all about a clean and pared down style - and this ethic also applies to your handbag.

'Vintage-inspired, ladylike, top handled, and structured shapes are back - the Hermes Constance bag, launched in 1959, is the bag of the season in terms of inspiration,' says bag designer Fiona Kotur Marin, whose leopard-print Goodwin has a similar chic retro feel.

Jenny Sung, associate buyer at On Pedder, also highlights shoppers or totes featuring contrasting materials such as fur and leather, for something extra special.

Peter Nichols, senior buyer at Lane Crawford, says several brands have updated iconic styles with new fabrics and colours, including Givenchy's Pandora bag (which comes in a trendy leopard print) and Lanvin's Happy Chain bag in colourful washed leather. These are ideal if you want to experiment with a new look.

The best way to update your handbag is with new fabrics and colours. Instead of shiny crystals, opt for cosy shearling, as seen on the catwalks of Marni and Burberry Prorsum. Fur and lace are also used as accents and add a romantic touch. If you love embellishments, choose 'metal hardware, such as studs or chains, that are hidden or covered with luxurious leather to create an edgy look,' says Audrey Sun, chief operating officer of Harvey Nichols. Sun recommends a must-have clutch for the evening. Popular styles include Alexander McQueen's box clutches.

Boots are possibly the most important accessory this season, with a range of styles from military inspired to riding boots. Shearling peep-toe lined booties appeared in most designers' collections and are great for day or night.

'The newest trend is alpine-inspired hiking booties that are reminiscent of 1990s Timberland boots. Brands such as Alaia and Giuseppe Zanotti have amazing lace-up styles with striking details such as gold chain laces or contrasting tractor soles,' Sung says.

While sky-high heels are still popular, mid-heels are a chic (and more comfortable) alternative for the evening and were spotted at brands such as Prada, Stella McCartney and Louis Vuitton.

Lace-up men's inspired brogues have been a recurring trend for a few seasons.

Minimalism doesn't dominate, however, in jewellery.

'Jewellery this season comes in a wide range of styles from minimalist to chunky,' says Gavin So, fashion styling manager at Joyce.

Sun recommends statement necklaces, preferably with multi-layered chains. If you prefer to keep things subtle, Kotur-Marin suggests wearing simple gold cuffs.

'Gold and brass are back this season and are usually mixed with crystal and semi-precious stones as seen in designs from Erickson Beamon and Tom Binns,' adds So.

While most designers adopted a neutral palette such as camel, olive and navy for their accessories, red was also popular and is ideal for the festive season.

If you want to spice things up, choose 'military inspired patterns such as camouflage and nautical strips, or animal prints, like leopard,' says Kotur Marin.

Animal prints are a big story for winter and are great for the evening. Mix them with exotic skins and feathers. Traditional leopard print is updated with new colours such as grey and in magnified prints.

'A flash of leopard print in a monotone outfit helps the outfit pop during the winter season,' Sung says.

And finally, complete your outfit with accessories such as headbands - So recommends Paris-based Maison Michel which features studded and feathered styles.