Fashion Commentary

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Paris: Catwalk-Trends Autumn Winter 2011-12



The New Full Furs

Full furs are emerging with a new sense of confidence for next winter as designers explore the possibilities of working contrasting furs together in one silhouette. It has been one of the most exciting and constant trends in the latest month-long round of shows. In Paris we loved the exotic mixes at Yves Saint Laurent, worked in a stunningly simple palette of black and white, as well as the dramatic Modernist look at Giambattista Valli, worked in silky broadtail with a flash of colour and a hip band of mink. And at Celine, it was all about colour blocking for a luxe collage of furs.

In Neutral

A palette of winter whites and warm non-coloured neutrals is making a strong colour statement for next winter, worked in soft-touch plush variations on curly Toscana lamb and shearlings - both emerging as key looks for the season ahead. We love the way this gives fur a casual attainable appeal with easy styling and relaxed go-anywhere silhouettes. These are furs for everyday lifestyles and that in of itself is a key trend for further development.

Coloured Furs

Colour has emerged as a key trend for apparel next season, with designers using bold colour combinations and the concept of graphic colour blocking. The trend is one which incorporates fur with a palette of vivid saturated brights, marking a new confidence and even a sense of playfulness within the industry. Key colours include bright vermillion red and a range of peacock or teal blues, while Mannish Arora went over the rainbow with a range of multicoloured furs.

Dramatic Long Haired Furs

One of the strongest fur trends to emerge from the runways was for the use of dramatic long-haired furs like goat and Mongolian lamb. Both are key influences for the season's love affair with all things 70s and 30s-inspired, worked into simple shapes that allow the fur to make the statement. We love the contrast of deep-pile Mongolian lamb with high-shine patent at Louis Vuitton for a play on textures and Ann Demeulemeester's play on degrade colour.

Fur Sleeves

The emerging trend for contrast sleeves is one which is being picked up to incorporate fur, as designers opted for statement looks with dramatic fox sleeves etching the silhouette of a boxy plaid coat at Sonia Rykiel, or at Dries Van Noten where fur sleeves added a luxe touch to a quilted brocade jacket. It's all about creating a new play on volume to update soft tailoring and outerwear with a sense of luxury and another instance of fur being worked into more everyday looks.

Placement Fur

Fur was used in new and imaginative ways on the Paris runways as designers opted for placement fur panels and design details on woven or leather silhouettes. Several designers isolated fur onto the back of a garment, while others used dramatic bands of fur at the hemline of a coat or created dimensional textured effects with diamond-shaped detailing on a contrast or toning ground.

A Casual Approach

We love the way fur has moved from being the standard hallmark of up-market glamorous dressing and is now incorporated into everyday lifestyles as designers worked fur into sporty casual silhouettes - think gilets and shell tops - easy pieces that are at home thrown on over a pair of jeans as they are gracing the red carpet.


The cape has emerged as a key item for next season with designers in almost every fashion capital including a cape in their autumn/winter collections. Capes are the perfect silhouette to incorporate into a fur range, with beautifully simple shapes allowing fur to make the statement, whether in fox, feathered effects, Swakara or mink.

Fur Jackets

We love the trend for shorter jacket shapes which emerged as a key trend from the runways, perfectly suited to develop as a key silhouette for fur with cropped boxy looks, simple wraps and even the baseball jacket which was a hot key item in Paris - most notably at Givenchy, where it was worked in everything from patent to mink.

A Little Fur Goes A Long Way

And finally from Paris, just to show how a little fur can go a long, long way, with everything from pull-on cowls to armbands and ruffs, bags and shoes and even the ultimate in luxe - the humble shopping trolley.