Tweed and heritage fabrics are setting the style bar high for the autumn. Stephanie Smith has advice on town-meets-country chic.
As the weather turns towards autumn, fashion quite sensibly looks towards the sort of fabrics and styles that will offer the warmth and protection we are going to need for the months to come.
We have oodles of hi-tech materials available but these are looking rather self-indulgent and costly to the planet. How will those millions of plastic macs ever degrade? Plus, don’t they look at bit… tacky, even when they’re not cheap?
We’re going to have to think again. And no wonder fashion returns to those traditional, heritage fabrics whose durability and protective qualities are as renowned as their inherent style factor. Tweeds and woven wool checks are once again the height of fashion for autumn/winter and the catwalks were awash with heritage fabrics from Christopher Kane’s floor-length tweed coats to Emilia Wickstead Savile Row inspired collection. Raf Simons at Calvin Klein threw “old man” style tweed coats over feminine prairie dresses, while The Row showed long pleated schoolmarmish skirts with matching long-line jackets. The High Street is responding with lots of tailored tweed and check looks, some with sparkle entwined in the fabric.
In the UK, tweed is inextricably linked with the countryside and in particular with country sports, but you don’t have to be a top gun to look good in country tweed sporting styles. For years, we’ve been stealing the gear – roomy tweed jackets with huge pockets, breeks and waistcoats, often topped off with a tweed flat cap for good measure – and mixing them in with our daywear wardrobe.
Earthy shades of brown and olive, chosen to blend in with the countryside, ensure a timelessly tonal head-to-toe look. Look for classic, practical, weather-appropriate, beautifully crafted clothing and accessories. Made in beautiful British tweed, the Schoffel label has field coats for women (they are stocked at Cordings, which has a branch in Harrogate) intended for shooting but perfect for all outdoor activity, with moisture and stain-repellent Teflon finishes and a Gore-Tex linings so it’s waterproof, windproof and breathable, with adjustable storm cuffs, fleece hand-warming pockets and inside zip security pockets. Just throw it on over your jeans with a form-fitting fine merino sweater and some long leather boots and that’s an easy-chic autumn look.
YORKSHIRE FASHION DIARY
August 15: Beverley Ladies’ Day
August 17: Catterick Ladies’ Day, see www.goracing.co.uk.
August 18 & 19: Vintage Weekend at Lotherton Hall, Aberford, near Leeds. 11am-4pm (each day). Usual admission fees for Lotherton Hall apply each day. Vintage fashion, homewares, small furniture and collectables from the 1920s to the 1980s spread throughout the grounds of this Edwardian country house, with live music, a chance to dance, classic cars and games, as well as the vintage fair. See www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/lothertonhall.
August 23: York Ladies’ Day.
September 8: Thirsk Ladies’ Day.
September 8 & 9, 2018: Leeds Vintage Furniture & Home Fair, Sunny Bank Mills, Farsley. Original vintage, devoted to the home, all set within an industrial space. As it’s Heritage Weekend, Sunny Bank Mills will be running guided tours and open studios.
September 8: Vintage Fair at Square Chapel Arts Centre hosted by Yorkshire Vintage Fairs, Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax. Vintage fashions, accessories and homewares from the 1920s to the 1980s, plus live vintage vocalist, swing dance workshops and classic film screening of Some Like it Hot at the RIBA award-winning venue, right next door to The Piece Hall. See www.yorkshirevintagefairs.com.