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Style Q&A: Head of Design



For our next Style Q&A we popped along for a chat with our very own Head of Design for accessories, Natelle Baddeley, to ask all about the trends, the products and the must-haves for this season. Would she also give us a sneak peak into what to expect for spring/summer ’14? Read on to find out…

Georgia: Hi Natelle. Thanks for chatting to us – can you let us know what to expect for accessories for autumn winter 13?
Natelle: For this season, we have bought into key pieces such as backpacks, ankle boots and blocky heels, mannish flats shoes and tartan. Backpacks are going be really big, we’ve got some premium leather ones from Jasper Conran and Betty Jackson. We have more edgy styles for our younger customer in fun print from Faith, H! Henry Holland and Red Herring. There are also many handbags with pony skin and really luxe textures and in sumptuous berry tones which is an important colour for the season. Expect animal prints to be all over handbags as well – animal prints are continuing to be a key trend.

We’re playing into the punk trend for autumn/winter so there will be stompy shoes, heavy cleated soles on boots and a lot of red and black tartans. You’ll also see a little bit of chain details, hot off the catwalks inspired by Chanel– you can chose to take punk tartan grungy and casual with a duffle and biker boots or posh punk with the Red Herring frame bag and heeled bar shoe.

Another one of our key trends is the retro lady-like trend. You will see structured lady-like grab bags and lots of pointed court shoes with toe caps or bar details. Contradicting that, we also have the masculine trend that we’re calling ‘Girls will be boys’, which is a play on masculine dressing for women. Whether it’s on a flat or a heel we are loving the masculine shoes; the monk shoe, oxford lace ups and loafers, a mannish briefcase satchel finishes the look.

Trainers are also going to be big this season, in many different textures and colours. I am loving the luxe trainers, my favourite ones are the brocade ones. The main thing is that there is something for everyone, whether it’s the edgy, grungy rock look, or something more clean and minimal.

Georgia: Which colours do you think are going to be key colours for the season?
Natelle: The winter berry palette (merlots, ports and wines) is coming through particularly in handbags and footwear. Lipstick red is also a key colour which goes hand-in-hand with the whole punk trend.

For autumn/winter black is a given, but there is also a lot of winter whites which complement the winter greys and the pastels. Particularly your baby pinks and baby blues which we are seeing a lot of in outerwear at the moment.

Georgia: How did you decide what trends you were going to focus on, and where do you get your inspiration?
Natelle: We take inspiration from many places. The first thing we do is talk to the designers who we collaborate with. They work with us to brainstorm their direction, and we obviously then look at the catwalks. But we also monitor fashion blogs constantly, take inspiration from the trade shows, industry fairs and look at what product high end retailers are backing, being able to network with Fashion editors from magazines and media is also an important route of trend intelligence for knowing what product and trends are likely to be featured in magazines each season..

We also work with buying, merchandising,  our store staff and customer feed back groups to understand what product has worked well and why, also frequently using trend forecasting websites such as WGSN, like most retailers do in the industry so it’s really a mixture of all of these and then a quick look in a crystal ball.

Georgia: Do you have any style tips you would give to our customers for this season?
Natelle: Go for one statement piece, particularly with your accessories; make sure you’ve got the key bag of the season. You can always update your look with some fab shoes and boots. There are some really great transitional boots that we’ve got in our range. Due to the unpredictable weather, we’re playing into transitional dressing. You need pieces that will take you from season to season and there is a massive trend for  cut away or open sectioned ankle boots and  heavy shoe boots that you can wear all year round.

I would say to invest into the monochrome trend as a good base trend because it is going to continue through to spring/summer, so spend more and make sure you get really good quality pieces that will last. I think that you should just have fun with footwear, you should mix it up – go for flats one day, super high the next and then a great pair of boots. Some colourful jewellery, and a chunky beanie hat are musts for the season.

Georgia: I’m sure you love many of the accessories for this season, but which piece is your favourite?
Natelle: I am absolutely loving backpacks at the moment, I can’t get enough of the backpack. My favourite one is a very posh, smart leather one from Betty Jackson. It is really clean and minimal. I am also loving Faith bags for this season. They are very minimal but have a great texture and great detailing, such as the feature metal hardware.

Georgia: What can we expect for accessories in spring/summer ’14?
Natelle: So at the moment, we are still working on spring/summer ’14, but we are predicting that pastel colours will continue through to next year. We are also feeling white next season, which will be used for statement shoes and bags. Monochrome I have already mentioned is likely to continue but we are seeing the new take on mono now anchored with camel or tan.

The transitional sandal boot will be really big next season. It is the hybrid between an ankle boot and a heavy sandal. So that will be key and will be a great way to lead you into summer and right through the whole season. We are also launching Floozie jewellery in mid January, so look out for that its going to be super cute.

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