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Topshop Unique AW 2010

Key Trends for Autumn/Winter #2: Sheepskin/Shearling

£2195 is roughly what it will cost to adorn yourself with Burberry Prorsum’s shearling funnel-neck aviator jacket.  Sent down the runways for the seminal label’s Autumn/Winter 2010 collection, Burberry presented some of the most covetable pieces of this season’s outerwear that has the luxurious, lasting quality of sheepskin, coupled with the jarring price tag that sits comfortably within this brand.

Of course Burberry was not the only design house to utilise sheepskin as the sartorial heater for winter, as the theme quickly became glaringly obvious throughout fashion weeks around the world.

Swedish label and purveyors of clothes so achingly “hip” Acne, incorporated the ‘Rita Shear’ into their AW 2010 collection; a rework of the biker jacket in line with the aviation trend and with an opulent sheepskin lined twist. Ok, so this jacket is not exactly cheap at over a grand, but its sold-out status and waiting list longer than that of the Hermes Birkin in 2005 is testament to both the pulling power of the label and the trend for sheepskin itself.  Think of this as an investment piece; not just for this season but for the foreseeable future, as age only serves to improve the look and feel of such an unabashedly expensive garment.

Giles Deacons’ sophomore Paris show encompassed the shearling trend through big coats, sheepskin lined oversized hoods and the ample aviator jacket as the Amelia Earhart look was embraced by yet another designer. 3.1 Phillip Lim did patchwork, Christopher Kane used the textile for detailing and Pringle of Scotland reworked it over kilts.  The idea in a nutshell is that sheepskin or shearling can be worn anywhere.

Topshop Unique gets a noteworthy mention for their shearling jackets and accessories which showcased a feral edginess and a love for the outdoors.  At a fraction of the cost this tribute to ‘where the wild things are’ styling was weighted towards warmth this autumn/winter and is testament to the high streets ability to now get it spot on year after year.

Lastly, for something a little different, Kingston University graduate Angharad Probert revealed just how attractive this product can be. Perhaps in tribute to her Welsh heritage, Probert dramatically showed how to create large-scale sheep by-product garments that covered headpieces, outerwear and detailing in almost ominous fashion; a young designer to watch out for in seasons to come. As the trend for sheepskin firmly takes hold the choices are endless and, happily, this is without even having to address the unpleasantness of the Ugg boot.

- Francesca Strange



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