Style Check: Cashmere

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 October, 2012, 5:28pm

Two materials seem to be dominating

my winter wardrobe this year: leather and cashmere.

Black leather, whether it's the studded Burberry punk jacket or longer quilted leather biker trench is an outerwear staple when winter hits.

Mixing and matching works better than full-look ensembles and this is where all the gorgeous cashmere comes in. I've always loved cashmere, but it's had a hard time in trend-based high fashion recently. The material was seen as the preserve of rich, older Italians, or yummy mummies in two-pieces barking at their domestic helpers on The Peak.

Cashmere is becoming one of the trendiest winter fabrics in Hong Kong. Italian designer Bruno Cucinelli's visit to Hong Kong this week was a welcome reminder of this. But it's not only the traditional Italians who are doing it.

Hip labels are bringing the fabric to a wider market. Club Monaco is known for modern and affordable styles, and this season's cashmere capsule collaboration with Lane Crawford (at IFC Mall from November 8 to December 26) hits the nail on the head. The Italian cashmeres are for men and feature details such as a shawl collar and elbow patches to subvert the classic. Vibrant blue, orange and navy hues were added to a natural palette.

The thing I love about cashmere is the way menswear items work for women. I would wear my father's old grey cashmere sweaters oversized when I was in my teens and well into my university days.

For affordable cashmere womenswear this season, J. Crew has brought us a selection in stunning hues - I've bagged myself a peacock blue version. Once in a blue moon the latest trend happens to meet maximum comfort, so I suggest we all take advantage.