Autumn fashion goes wild


AUTUMN LOOKS Combining leopard print and fringing is bang on trend.


Maggie Gibbons

There’s no nicer time to engage in a little bit of retail therapy than the autumn. I love buying this season’s clothes, and the temptation to add something new to my wardrobe is whispering to me. Right now it might be hard to imagine yourself wearing a heavy coat – believe me though, before too long you will be cranking up the heat and donning the woollies.
Luxury is the style keyword for next season, and tweeds, leather and gorgeous knitwear are hitting the boutiques and high-street stores right now.

Animal magic
As for patterns, you can almost hear the tigers growling with the number of animal prints on the catwalks. Leopard is always popular, and its influence is everywhere this season. Though it has a rather dubious reputation, it definitely provides a glamourous look when worn tastefully. Avoid tight tops that show too much cleavage and opt instead for loose, floaty dresses and skirts. If you don’t fancy wearing a leopard-print dress or pants then opt instead for shoes or a bag.
Alongside the traditional animal prints, this season will feature wild and wacky animal prints in reds, greens and orange. If you’re looking for an alternative accent to update your wardrobe, look to zebra. This black and white combination is fabulous with vibrant shades like lime, hot pinks and reds. Miaow!
For those of you who are a bit shy of animal prints, there are also lots of checks showing. You will see plenty of check patterns in suits, shirts and coats.

Fabulous fabrics
Fabrics will be luxurious and very glossy. You will long to touch them! Trousers, coats and dresses are high shine, with vinyl and leather offering high visibility. Even the simple trench is given a glossy sheen.
Tweed also feature hugely. Most of the tweed coats are worn large. Skirts are demure and feminine, and I suspect femininity will be a welcome trend this autumn.
Leather presented in every colour of the rainbow – forget about plain old black and buy something in blue, green or buttercream. Nothing wrong with your black leather mind, just team it with something vibrant and colourful.

Fringe benefits
How do you feel about fringing? I’ve never liked it – thought it was a bit reminiscent of Hiawatha. Well I’m eating my fedora now, as I have succumbed, and I bought myself a coat in Zara … with fringing. I love it!
Fringing is everywhere – you’ll even see them on boots. A step too far for me. I refuse to do the cowboy thing! Speaking of which … the western trend remains very evident, with a heavy emphasis on prairie dresses, paired with cowboy boots.

Going nowhere
Florals were the fashion statement this summer, and they’re going nowhere this season, though the fabrics will be heavier. Worn with a jacket or cardigan they will brighten up the dullest winter day. The off-the-shoulder top will be put away for now, and blouses will give more coverage, while the sleeves will be bell shaped and longer.
The jumpsuit also stays. They looked amazing on the catwalks with faux fur stoles draped on the diagonal.

Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at