Fashion: Autumn crusade of capes

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This is the season of the cape, bringing practical old school glamour back to autumn outerwear. Stephanie Smith picks out some favourites.

When it comes to statement out-of-doors dressing, there are some real fashion options for this autumn/winter, some real variety and some really excellent opportunities to present a fresh, intriguing, undeniably glamorous, outdoors face to the outside world.

Capes are providing the glamour factor – and also the practicality factor, the ease-of-wear factor, the goes-with-everything factor. In fact, capes are hot right now, making an impact on catwalk and red carpet.

Above, top right, TV presenter Gaby Roslin brings in Halloween a little early in her black leather shift dress topped with same-length black cape with leather collar and gold edge trim. It’s a sort of rock-chick teacher at Hogwarts look – and what’s not to like about that?

There are plaid and tartan capes too, channelling the extravagant primness of Maggie Smith in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, in which she wears a rather wonderful orange plaid cape coat, which allows her aims to move unfettered as she lectures her “creme de la creme” on days out.

Popular on the High Street too for this autumn/winter are capes with slits that allow the arms to function normally. This works especially in wool tailored capes, both in camel (for a camel hip-length cape is a seasonal key highlight) and in wondows check and plaids, as seen on the Saint Lauren catwalk for this autumn/winter, worn over futuristic gold-print mini tunic dress, thick black tights, knee-high leather boots and wide black fedora – a surprisingly simple, yet inspirational look.

There are longer cocooning capes, for added sweeping drama, while blanket capes bring colour and texture (although I’m pretty sure that the same look can be achieved simply by draping your favourite throw or tartan blanket over your shoulders).

There are faux fur and shearling capes too – a truly glamorous option and perfect in black for flinging over your shimmer black party gown.

Knitted capes are quite possibly the most practical all terrain option, and they layer in a most beautifully on-trend way over other knits, especially in similar and toning shades, for top-to-toe laid-back luxe elegance.


Harrogate College student Samantha Henty has won the 2014 national Bridal Buyer Award for Best Student Designer, with a cascading blue pleat frill dress she debuted at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.

Samantha, who achieved a First Class BA Hons in Applied Creative Design, beat students from across the UK. She picked up her award at a black-tie ceremony at Harrogate International Centre during the Harrogate Bridal Show. The challenge was to demonstrate a comprehension of the female form and to suggest fabrics suitable for a royal bride.

Samantha, who left a Maths degree course to pursue her dream and study Design and Products at Harrogate College, has been offered at job with Eternity Bride, which sponsored the category.

Harrogate College Thekla Hall and Charlotte Roe also made it to the final. Principal Debra Forsythe-Conroy said: “We are incredibly proud of all three of our students.”

CELEB GET THE LOOK: TV presenter and Strictly queen Caroline Flack steps out for The Prince's Trust Awards earlier this month in monochrome, chicly offset with a bright red lip, outlined in a deeper red shade for definition. Try Buxom Plumpline lip liner, �15 at Debenhams. Yui Mok/PA Wire

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