August is coming, signalling the dusk of summer and we make that steady swing towards an altogether more sultry, moodier aesthetic. Evenings spent by the flickering coals of the barbecue with punchy cocktails in hand are replaced by red wine and lingering conversations. Attitudes shift, memories of the summer elope into the past and fashion’s new spirit sets the tone for September onwards.
The Sands and Hall fitted cape answers to Autumn’s new mood echoing fashion’s flirtation with the waist belt as championed by catwalk gazelles of Hermes, Saint Lauren and Loewe’s AW17 shows and tailoring steps into focus.
Intelligent dressing for the Modern Woman
The versatility of the fitted cape qualifies it as the go-to piece for Autumn transitional dressing. The cape cut of the piece allows for impeccable structuring, the belt neatly nipped in, the folds of fabric flowing over the shoulders courtesy of the cape overlay and the hemline artfully placed just below the knee exudes empowered feminism, taking you graciously from your entrance into the boardroom to taking that first sip of your hard-earned Martini.
Chic Colour Palette for the Polished
The Sands & Hall AW collection heralds the arrival of four new sophisticated shades. Autumn’s arrival signals the dawn of a moodier palette; opulence displaces summers’ riot of colour as we find ourselves reaching to our make-up bags to re-apply that berry stained pout we’ve been furtively yearning after all summer.
Cue the Sands & Hall Damson Wine fitted cape, crafted from a luxurious symphony of merino wool and mohair, it’s perfect go-to shade for ladies who adorn themselves with a hue that’s ever so slightly avant-garde, team with over the knee boots to channel after hours’ glamour or flats by day for on-trend autumnal dressing.
For the lady who prefers a playful approach to outerwear, the fitted cape in Ruby Blush Harris Tweed, flirtatious without being girlish but synonymous with a bouquet of flowers from an anonymous admirer or an impromptu champagne breakfast, this cape is coloured with a wink of mischief. Perfect when styled with soft waves and a glossy pout. Oh-la-la!
Sienna Miller’s return to the limelight, in the form of her West-End starring role in Cat on A Hot Tin Roof has prompted a steal sienna’s style revival, and the Mabel Stone Harris Tweed perfectly captures this. It’s the cape to displace that Max Mara camel coat crush, entirely elegant, it encapsulates that carefree style that Miss Miller so effortlessly achieves.
’Black is the colour that has it all,’ at least to Coco Chanel’s mind, the Sands & Hall fitted cape in Ashen Black Harris Tweed is outerwear’s answer to the LBD. This is armour-against-the-elements at its chicest and most refined. Archive that puffa, this season, take a tailored approach for unbridled elegance. Whether roving pavement or pasture, sport the S&H Fitted Cape this autumn and find the expanse ahead remodelled- as your runway.
NATALIE HUBBARD’S STYLING TIPS
The Sands & Hall fitted cape is unique in that it offers the tailoring and structure of a classic belted coat, with the individuality and signature style of a cape.
Many fashion pundits have hailed A/W17 as marking the “Return of the Waist” and across the catwalks it was easy to see why. From futuristic looks at Balenciaga and sculptural shapes of Jaquemus, to the belted classic coats of Maxmara and leather belts used to cinch the waist across an array of outfits at Louis Vuitton.
This shift towards this more feminine shape of belted waists felt very much like modern power dressing. Whilst accentuating the waist is nothing new, the way it is worn in 2017 feels fresh. In essence it highlights the feminine silhouette without feeling too ladylike or restrictive. It is very much femininity with a modern edge.
A perfect celebrity example of this is fashion’s streetstyle favourite Olivia Palermo who can often be seen sporting a belted look. Whether it be the more polished feel of a three quarter length wool coat, or making use of a leather belt to add shape to a casual waxed jacket or military style. She knows that this is a trick that can add valuable shape to any outfit.
The proportions of the Sands & Hall fitted cape give it a versatility which means that a variety of outfit options and shapes work well underneath it. The biggest influencer as to what works best is in fact which colourway you choose to go for as this gives each piece a totally different feel.
In the imagery I styled for the A/W17 shoot the fitted cape was styled with a range of very different looks.
The Ashen Black fitted cape was paired with a layered roll neck and separate jumper, A line skirt and ankle boots in monochrome tones of black and white, this was finished off with slicked back hair, black hoops and a red lip to combine sixties elements with a very modern slant. Of all the capes as its name suggests this piece arguably has the most classic feel, which means it works particularly well with sharp workwear and tailoring. As well as a skirt, it would also look great with a wider leg pinstripe trouser and white roll neck or shirt, finished off with leather trainers for a more androgynous minimal feel. For something more fitted and feminine a cropped black cigarette pant with a striped top and pumps accentuate the retro elements of the cape.
The pastel tones of Ruby Blush, Mabel Stone and Bardot Blue lend themselves to a much softer feel. The billowing all white look of of our A/W17 shoot shows this perfectly. A more wearable version for everyday would be loose tailoring in pale greys and nudes. For a more casual feel a wide leg washed out denim either full length or cropped with a plain white t or loose knit jumper would be a great alternative. Any of these combos would work perfectly with the transitional favourite of a block heeled mule in a nude grey or dusty pink suede. These give just the right balance of laid back cool and polish.
The oatmeal tones of the Loren Dapple have a natural texture and feel that make you think of relaxed country weekends. This piece is perfect paired with a cream oversize jumper in cable or chunky knit and mid or darker indigo denim. Try a straight leg rather than a skinny for a more modern feel and pair with flat brown ankle boots for a truly effortless look. For something more feminine that maintains the same air of outdoorsy effortlessness, swap for a chunky knit jumper dress and flat knee high boots.
Finally, the new addition of the Damson Wine colourway is the perfect way to indulge in all the rich berry and autumnal tones of the season. Across the catwalks at labels like Roksanda and Peter Pilotto deep cranberry hues and purples have been a favourite, particularly in velvets, cords and knits, just think of it as the winter equivalent of florals for Spring/ Summer. If pairing the Damson cape with these rich tones feels like a bit too much colour for your wardrobe, why not access the trend via your make up bag instead and opt for one of the many deep berry shades for lips being heralded by beauty editors as a key trend for the season.
With the array of hues on offer in the fitted cape there is a piece to suit everyone and their wardrobe. There are no body shapes that won’t benefit from cinching at the waist and so the only choice is which colour to opt for, if that is you can stick to just one.