Fashion: Hobbs is the go-to-hero

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Hobbs has become the must-have luxury High Street label. Stephanie Smith previews its stunning autumn/winter collection.

if you want to get ahead in fashion, it helps to have a Royal princess as a fan.

And if she has an equally stylish sister, well ... so much the better.

The Duchess of Cambridge and Pippa Middleton have been snapped several times in public over the past two or three years wearing Hobbs designs (Kate especially seems to like the coats).

All this attention seems to have brought the brand to international notice and, earlier this year, Hobbs landed on US shores when it opened in five Bloomingdale’s stores, following the launch of a dedicated US website last year.

With its philosophy of making quality clothes and accessories that the “modern woman loves to wear”, it’s easy to see why Hobbs is so beloved by women on both sides of the Atlantic. It’s fashion-forward, elegant, smart, flattering and well-cut, often with a twist, but never overly intimidating

For this autumn/winter, the Hobbs London range playfully blends day and eveningwear, casual and formal wear, reflecting how women dress in 2014. This is easy elegance, with everyday essentials paired with occasion pieces, heritage fabrics and luxe flourishes. A relaxed cable-knit sweater, made from Scottish yarn, is offset with a silk embellished skirt in the new mid-calf length. An embroidered gown is worn under a herringbone tweed coat, a wool-flannel skirt is shot through with sequins.

Meanwhile, the NW3 sees the tomboy emerge, urbanite and slightly subversive, mixing softer styles and shades with tough tailoring and detail, so a floral frock teams with a rugged shearling aviator jacket or mannish pea coat, while a girlish mini-skirt pairs with a boyfriend jumper.

There’s a nod to the 1960s introducing a whimsical note to the collection with Peter Pan-collar paisley dresses, chic boxy plaid jackets and embroidered floral shifts.Romantic, preppy and light-hearted, there are pillar-box red duffle coats, wool coats featuring the shrunken proportions of a boy’s blazer and tartan flippy skater skirts. All coming soon for autumn at Hobbs.

* There are Hobbs stores at Victoria Quarter and House of Fraser in Leeds; at James Street, Harrogate; Davygate and Fenwick in York; and at Meadowhall, John Lewis and House of Fraser in Sheffield.

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