Words by: Natasha Franklin-Mitchell

As I sit peacefully under the limited shade of an apple tree during this unexpected, yet much welcomed, London heatwave, it seems almost unimaginable that those crisp autumn mornings will soon be upon us. However, fear not for whilst I kickback with a pen in one hand and an iced lemon water – I hope to bring some solace about the impending close of this summer season and add some furor about stepping into the Autumn/Winter 18/19 season in style whist wearing a pair of Miu Miu heels.
The overarching principle this season is ‘female empowerment’, a seriously hot topic of recent debates. Perhaps more importantly, the looks are all about making women feel great. Many of the trends are reminiscent of those over the past few years reworked with unique new touches to ensure there is something to suit every taste and body shape. So sit back, relax and read my definitive guide on what to wear … and how to wear it.

Animalistic
The love for all things animal printed has gone wild once again. Catwalks were bustling with models dressed from head to toe in the boldest zebra, leopard and tiger prints. Whilst the catwalk’s philosophy was more is more, in order to prevent yourself from looking like a clone of Bet Lynch, my advice is to choose one key piece and make this the centrepiece of your outfit. Choose either a skirt, bag, blouse or jacket and build the rest of your outfit subtly around that. For a chic look, wear animal print pieces with black, and a pair of killer heels; for a more casual daytime look, team your animal prints with a softer palette and a pair of flat shoes. The fabric you choose is also key to the success of this look and can mean the difference between ending up looking like Gigi Hadid or Kat Slater.
TOP TIP – Opt for natural fibres over synthetic where possible.

Leather
I often get asked what wardrobe pieces are worth investing in and I always say a good quality leather jacket is something everyone should have. It can be dressed up or down and carries through seamlessly from day to evening. This season I am happy to report that leather made an appearance once again on the catwalks, and in an array of garments, with styles to suit every body shape. Here are a few of my top leather jacket picks to suit any budget.

The Cape
The superhero inspired cape made its return to the catwalks this season. Choose sharp, sophisticated styles for a smart look, alternatively opt for a casual Missoni style knitted cape- great for draping over the shoulders on a cool autumn evening.

Sci-Fi Metallics
Add a touch of futurism to your wardrobe with a splash of metallic shine. I recommend choosing shades of silver which were all the rage on the catwalk. To ensure you pull off this edgy look, I recommend saving it for the dance floor. Here are some of my top picks to ensure you look out of this world.

Time for Tweed
This popular trend just won’t go away. The best thing is, this season, you can wear it with anything. For an edgy take on the look make like Prada and wear in strikingly bright colours, a far contrast from the heritage tweeds we’ve become accustomed to.

Perfect Pleats
Made to be worn with an edge this season, knife-pleated midi-skirts ruled the catwalk. Forget teaming with frumpy blouses and instead wear with contrasting textures such as a fluffy ‘Balenciaga inspired’ jumper in a hot colour for a bang on trend look. Whether for work or play, these pleats work best when worn with a belt around the waist to create the perfect silhouette.

Silk Scarf Revival
Now may be a good time to raid your mother’s wardrobe and strip it bare of those retro silk scarves, as blown up scarf prints were all over the catwalks. If you’re not quite ready to wear these prints from head to toe, the easiest way to incorporate this trend is by wearing a retro scarf around the neck.

The Seventies
With female empowerment in full force, what better trend to revive than that of the 70s decade. Think Charlie’s Angels and wear hues of mustard, burnt orange, cream and brick red on textured fabrics such as crochet and shearling. If I had to choose one essential piece from this trend, it would be the shearling coat – ideal for when the weather gets cold. You can spend as little or as much as you like and there are lots of options to choose from, here are just two.

Lust for Logos
Arguably the easiest trend to adopt this season is the trend I like to call ‘Logo Lust’. We all have our favourite design hero and this season we can declare our love from the rooftops by splaying their logo across the front of our chest. One rule to remember is to keep it real. Fake designer goods are not cool so take care when purchasing online and use a reputable designer retailer such as Matches or Net-A-Porter, both of which sell an array of on-trend logo T-shirts. Here are my top picks, which I believe are best worn casually with a pair of jeans.

Luscious Layering
Although the Marbella sun may not warrant the layering of two coats, a Christmas trip to Blighty might be the perfect place to showcase your layered looks. A tricky style to pull off, my top tip is to wear a thin layer pulled in at the waist, underneath a top layer to minimise bulk. Alternatively, blazers and shirts look great underneath a leather jacket- one of my favourite looks this season, as showcased on the catwalks of Alexander McQueen.

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