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Military marches on as key autumn trend

Gothic and military are among the key trends being backed by the high street for autumn 12, as the international womenswear catwalks closed in Paris this week.

The military trend – seen across labels from Aquascutum and Alexander McQueen in London to Tommy Hilfiger and Rodarte in New York – looked to be the most heavily tipped autumn 12 trend for the high street, with buyers unanimous over its continued commercial potential on both outerwear and separates.

Detailing, including epaulettes and metallic sheens, will update what has become a “perennial” trend, according to Chanda Pandya,  buying and design director at value womenswear chain Select. 

She said: “[The military look] is always easy to sell because you can put a lot of commercial shapes into it. This season will be a different block and shape, combined with different trims. For the consumer, their old-season military jacket just won’t do the job.”

John Lewis head of buying Jo Hooper said: “The [military jacket] will be the key item of the season.”

The high street also picked up on gothic styling after sensual Victoriana lace dresses, heavy velvet blazers and starch-collar shirts  graced the catwalks of Giles in London and Givenchy and Andrew Gn in Paris.

Pamela Shiffer, owner of womenswear indie Pamela Shiffer in Primrose Hill, north London, said: “The lace trend lends the feeling of vintage, which we all love.”

Other buyers said the volume trend would prove more difficult to translate for younger markets.

Pandya said: “You’ve got to be confident to do an oversized jacket while pulling off masculine styling. We sell to younger women who tend to want to show off their figures.”

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