The age of elegance

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In an exclusive shoot with the White Rose Centre and Lotherton Hall, Stephanie Smith celebrates the return of high style.

Elegance, glamour and luxuriously fine dressing are bursting back into style for the festive season – and, for many of us, it’s not a moment too soon. We simply cannot wait.

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We’ve had it with making do and mending, with scrimping and going without. The time has come to celebrate what we have while looking forward to Christmas this year with a renewed vigour.

However, this does not have to mean splashing about cash that many of us still need to husband with care. Those rainy days, after all, are far from over. We want to spend wisely, confidently, not lavishly, and this is where our shopping centres and High Street brands can help.

We have collaborated with the White Rose Centre in Leeds, home to many fashion names, both established and up-and-coming, to create a collection of luxurious, on-trend, high-style (but not high-spend) looks for this upcoming winter of parties and gatherings.

This season menswear has taken a distinct turn towards the distinguished, with a town-meets-country flavour seen across the autumn spectrum. This gives all ages of men more choice. Tweeds and tailored woollens, for example, are everywhere on the High Street, but 
without the fusty heaviness of days gone by, so jackets and waistcoats are light enough for indoor wear, but bring a cool new edge for smart dressing, accessorised with paisley and plain ties and pocket kerchiefs.

For men and women, it’s all about texture. In womenswear, silks, brocades, velvets, laces, furs and feathers mingle and entice. Outdoors meets indoors as faux furs layer on to bring luxury and warmth. An essential tip for this season is statement jewellery – a fabulous gem-encrusted necklace, for example, is an effective and economical way to update a classic little black dress or favourite party outfit.

The location for our shoot was Lotherton Hall, former home of the Gasgoine family who bought the estate in 1825 and later bequeathed it to the city of Leeds. Now home to the city’s fashion and costume collections, the grounds and elegant rooms made stunning backdrops for our “house party weekend” theme, and put us fairly into the mood for celebration.

• Twitter: @yorkshirefashQ

• Video produced by David Lindsay on behalf of White Rose Shopping Centre