Time for trends to come in from the cold

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 January, 2012, 12:00am


The new year ushers in all sorts of exciting possibilities. A mountain of fresh wardrobe additions from the holidays and Christmas sales are no doubt throwing a spanner in the works on that resolution to minimise closet clutter. But on the bright side we are still in the glorious season of low humidity and temperatures cool enough to get wrapped up in.

In my opinion, fashion is at its best when you can manage more than one layer before breaking into a sweat, and there's a saying that only cold cities have real style. Milan, Paris, London, Tokyo and definitely New York - who ever put Los Angeles on the couture map? Sydney might be known for sun and surf, but that promotes comfy, beachy casual wear rather than the tempting trappings of high fashion.

Hong Kong, almost perpetually in the swarthy heat waves we call spring, summer and autumn, has the same dilemma. We might be able to pull off sexy cocktail attire all year round and get away with short shorts and a tank top to take out the laundry, but we mostly miss out on all those heavy military detailed capes, wrap-around jackets, chunky homespun knits, tribal print scarves and countless cool accessories.

If we are honest, it's winter trends that really get the fashion lot going. Anyone can wear platforms and a retro sundress - but it takes real style to make a trench coat, two sweaters, and a slick of red lipstick into a film noir worthy outfit. I'm rejoicing at warm scarves, jackets and a new array of knitwear possible for the next month or so.

There is no need to shy away from the colour or cut - layering will be your faithful friend if you don't feel like draping on a huge thick, black overcoat. Invest in a cool hat (no trilbies please), roll down those sleeves and take joy in not having to sweat in your beloved silk Lanvin dress for a change.

Apart from all the gorgeous easy cruise collections in stores now, with colour blocking and micro prints big news this season - there is the added joy of accessorising more - gloves are my favourite item with which to polish off an outfit and I've a new pair of customised handmade lambskin ones from Cabretta Couture to show off. Boots, from dainty ankle cuts and flat motorbike styles to knee-high snakeskin print options, have taken on a new dimension now that I actually feel comfortable in them.