For 2015, fashion has been all about going back to the future with the 1970s’ revival. It’s a trend that is continued and developed into 2016, but taking on a more sophisticated and wearable edge, as revealed to stunning effect by Next’s new autumn/winter collections.
Next has become pretty good at quietly surprising us all. Since it opened its doors in 1982, it has done a fine job of turning itself into the go-to for fashion essentials, smart, working and casual. It’s the first port of call for many if you’ve got a job interview, for example. But these days, it’s surpassing itself too in terms of special occasion wear and party clothes, as well as fabulous ranges for holidays and weekends. Meanwhile, the homewares are adored by all ages. The company has been opening larger stores and adding new ranges, all carried out in a seemingly effortless, non grandiose and not-to-shouty manner that pays dividends. In March it was reported that sales at Next had topped £4 billion in the past year, rivalling Marks & Spencer. In fact, Next has doubled in size from £2billion in 2002 and is now worth almost £11billion, making it second only to Tesco in the retail sector.
The Next autumn collection is full of rich texture and beautifully statement-like but tastefully restrained print. Lines show structure with ease and fluidity and there’s an admirably pared-back feel to many pieces that gives an effortlessly modern elegance.
Tones are rich and autumn-perfect in forest green, camel and jewel tones with flashes of frosted pastels, gold, pewter and silver, plus flashes of winter brights.
The collection Artist’s Muse brings ladylike pussybow blouses, A-line short skirts, fit and flare dresses and roll-neck sweaters. The Craft collection has faux fur and shearling featuring on collar coats, biker jackets and gilets, while Opalescent brings winter shimmering pastels in heavier fabrics, with lace blouses and tapered trousers, plus flattering dresses in blurred florals.
As ever, accessories are perfect (check out the simple perfection of the saddle bag).
n Twitter: @yorkshirefashQ
Second image down: Print parka, stripe blouse, both coming to Next for autumn.
Then: Tie neck top, £28; trousers, £26; bag, £90.
Then: Mac, £55; saddle bag, £54; denim shirt dress, £28; boots, £120.
Then: Stripe top and trousers to come for autumn.