style & substance –  Trench Town

The TRENCH COAT

Who wore it best? Catherine Deneuve bien sûr!
Who wore it best? Catherine Deneuve,  bien sûr!

Always a modern classic.  Whenever I think of the Trench I envision Catherine Deneuve in the photos shown here as the ultimate Trench Woman.  And who can forget Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine from Casablanca.

Bogart - Casablance
Bogart – Casablanca

 

This season we see it updated with contrast piping, as well as raw edges, softer collars and abbreviated lengths.  I’ve shown them here in Beige because to me, if you’re to choose only one, then Beige be it!  Otherwise Navy or Black.

Burberry Campaign
Burberry Campaign

 

 

Art of the Trench is a living document of the trench coat and the people who wear it. The project is a collaboration between Burberry and some of the world’s leading image makers including a

Burberry Hearts - dress it up, dress it down
Burberry Hearts – dress it up, dress it down

series of specially commissioned trench coat portraits by Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) and the iconic Magnum photographers.

Link: http://artofthetrench.com/

Deneuve - "La Chamade"
Deneuve – “La Chamade”

 

trench2

Of course you can find trench coats, long or short, in all price ranges and colors.  Something like this is worth splurging on, with the most you can afford to spend since it will be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come.

 

Not even only for rainy days.

Charlotte Rampling as seen in Harper's Bazaar - April/2014
Charlotte Rampling as seen in Harper’s Bazaar – April/2014 wears the trench fabulously.

 

trench3

Buckle or Tie – which do you prefer?

 

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style & substance – in Neutral

Mastering MINIMALism:    

The LESS-IS-MORE look requires more work than you realize.

See things black & white
See things in black & white.  FilmMagic (left & center), Getty Images (right).

In theory, the minimalist trend seems fairly easy to pull off.  It’s all about simplicity, so there’s no complicated pattern mixing involved, or piles of jewelry to layer just so. The “is this too much?” stress of glitter, sparkle and embellishment isn’t a factor either, and loud colors are usually kept to a palette of one or two—if that. Most pared-down outfits are centered around neutrals.  Yet, for such a perfect-sounding sartorial scenario, less-is-more dressing requires some serious finesse. Unlike the bigger-is-better ensembles, there’s no room for error: with only a few pieces to work with, the styling job needs to land somewhere between jeans-and-T-shirt basic and beautifully breathtaking.  The basics:

Black and White is the easiest and fastest way to nail down this look.

Making color the Main Event:

Getty Images
Getty Images

If you’re going to add color in a minimalist look, you’ve got to really add color. Display your hue (or hues, but you really shouldn’t do much more than two—it complicates things) of choice in a big splashy way, and keep the rest of your outfit quiet. 

Stick with Statement Accessories:

mmmmmmmmm
Getty Images

Never, ever coordinate matching earrings, bracelets and a necklace—it’s better to go with one bold piece. Pick something striking (like a high-shine metallic or chunky crystal accent piece) to balance your otherwise unadorned look.

Consider Shape and Texture:

mmmmmmmmm
Getty Images (left and right).  Wireimage (center).

Details like pleating, an asymmetrical hemline and multiple layers of the same colored fabric make the best understated statement. 

one of my favourites - neutral on neutral
keeping neutral – a favourite

 Are you more  Minimal or Maximal?

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Trending now – Colour Coated

Who doesn’t agree that a vibrant topper will brighten up any drab day and make anything else you’re wearing feel more special? 

ccccccccccc
Photo:  (left to right) Marc Jacobs, Dior, Stella McCartney, Max Mara

  Yes, but I must admit I’m a bit colour shy after having had many a colourful coat.  There was a beautiful long soft leather fuschia (yup – that was an expensive mistake), an ankle length red wool coat, a mid length purple wrap coat and a shorter yellow cashmere coat (It was a mistake letting that one go).  Then I got tired of all the colour, went back to safe ‘go-with-anything’ neutral toppers and stuck with that.  So while they’re not the most exciting choices out there right now I know that in a year or five years from now I can still wear them.  The coloured ones  felt a bit dated…..of course until now.

Club Monaco
Club Monaco – $495.00

Blame the designers.  They draw you in, get you to drop lots of $$$ on every colour out there and then fade back to black.  This year they’re on a monochromatic kick, matching coats to the clothes underneath (I refuse), so pick one vivid hue – whether it be scarlet, taxicab yellow, hot pink or purple – and run with it.  Since you’re dealing with loud shades, keep everything else quiet.  That means clothes with minimal prints, simple shoes and a few accessories.

Bonus – if you end up checking your coat it will sure be easier to find, but why bother?  Why miss a chance to make a memorable entrance?  For me, I’ll check my black/grey/navy/camel coat at the door and wear a vibrant bodysuit underneath….perhaps.

I’m just annoyed that I let go of all my colourful cover ups.

These coats make you welcome the colder weather. Just don’t make the mistake of buying too many.

If you do buy one, which colour would you choose? For me it would be red or yellow or purple or fuschia.