Autumn/winter '˜18 accessories - go large

Or go small. That's the way with accessories for the coming autumn/winter. Stephanie Smith highlights key new season trends.

Leopard flats, £75, and red bag, £70, both Dune London.
Leopard flats, £75, and red bag, £70, both Dune London.

Come the autumn, some of us are going to look a little under-sized. This is on account of the absolutely massive handbags we will be carrying. Yes, this is indeed a trend for the new season.

As are tiny, teeny bags, that attach to your belt, leaving you hands-free. Because this autumn/winter is all about freedom of movement – except for those carting around the huge bags. I suspect they will prove to be a little cumbersome.

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There are backpacks, too, the sturdier the better, all part of a new leaning towards the decidedly practical, with wellies and outdoor boots new style icons.

Alice Dellal wears the Kurt Geiger London Regent boots, £259, and Soho faux fur bag, £199.

And there’s a fresh emphasis on statement shoes and lots of bright colour. “Colour gives confidence,” says flamboyant British designer Zandra Rhodes. “It makes a strong statement: ‘Here I am, love me or hate me.’”

Zandra is part of a striking campaign for Kurt Geiger, as it highlights accessories as the place where style meets character, enlisting an eclectic line-up of British talent, including Dame Joan Collins, radio DJ Nick Grimshaw, musician Jay Kay of Jamiroquai and photographer Alice Dellal, featured here clutching one of those giant bags, in a fluffy faux fur, brightly coloured, animal print (ticking off another three of the season’s trends).

Animal-print footwear is big news, too. Tom Ford has given the world leopard-print mules in exotic colours with crystal embellishments for autumn, so the High Street has obligingly followed suit. Look out also for leopard and zebra boots and pumps, snake effect boots with square toes, Chelsea boots in pony-hair zebra and cowboy boots – yee-haw!

Scarves in silk, meanwhile, are everywhere. Not just round necks and on heads, but rethought as bag straps and ankle straps.

Check tote and mid heel grey loafers, coming to Marks & Spencer for autumn.

Back to those tiny bags, which come attached to belts and to necklaces and lanyards, although Kenzo is pioneering clip-on cases.

Flat shoes are definitely the way to get ahead next season, from sling-back pointy pumps to loafers, but look out for bright, shiny colour and lots of embellishment. So-called “dad sneakers”, sadly, is a trend that’s going nowhere, with their huge thick soles and clunky design.

Look out also for a clever new take on the shopping bag, which gets upgrades in several guises, in luxe fabrics, with embellishments and cartoonish motifs.

The cowboy boot is a must-have, as mentioned, but look out especially for snake effect versions – and wear with everything, everywhere.

Mini bag, coming soon to River Island.

Tweed checks are still with us, but cool and sleek, rather than simply heritage, so it’s a fabric that’s going to feature widely on bags, while glossy fabrics will bring shine to shoes, boots and gloves. There’s plenty of animal print, too, especially textured, and quilting is bringing a chic and cosy padded look to bags.

Red, bold and rich, is a major colour trend for accessories, so invest in red leather totes, cases and other roomy bags,

Velvet, especially quilted, is adding a luxe touch for evenings, although you can also work the look by wearing with your weekend jeans and sweats for an effortless high-low feeling.

Gloves are going to be the season’s key outfit finisher (look out for those shiny fabrics), along with statement earrings that dangle all the way down to your shoulders.

Velvet bag, £28, at Oasis.

So, there we have it, something for everyone and every mood, from practical and seriously outdoor-minded to frivolous and downright silly. To be fair, you can get loads in those super-sized bags, although in years to come, you might look back at the photos and wonder if you were a Borrower.

Zandra Rhodes wears the Kurt Geiger London rainbow Princely crystal flats, £129, and Mini Mayfair bag, £99, at Kurt Geiger stores.