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Luxury remains a priority - Karen Boyd
Jun '09
In a few short seasons Jaeger London has evolved from an insiders' secret to the go-to destination for women who crave an intelligent connection with fashion. With its flair for architectural silhouettes and high-tech fabrics, this is a label forging an international reputation for an intrinsically British sense of style and luxury.

This winter those silhouettes get an extra kick, via intricate curved seams that create amoulded, almost cocooning structure, and bold juxtapositions of colour, from barely-there shades of pistachio, parchment and cement to kiwi, damson and blackcurrant.

There's plenty of black, and black on black too. Monochromatic layers and banded appliquéd stripes, both inspired by the graphic lines of Russian Constructivism, Mondrian and Art Deco, acquire a highly practical purpose: contouring the body and serving as a restrained form of embellishment that's both Modernist in mood and modern in attitude. Constructivism isn't all that's been reworked. The power shoulder is updated, courtesy of a newly remodelled and utterly un-scary diminutive shoulder pad.

It's incorporated into boxy, cropped jackets, coats and dresses, for an effortless impact that's guaranteed to sort the women from the girls. This is power dressing that has nothing to do with the clunky belligerence of the 1980s and everything to do with a sleek, sophisticated sculpting that looks completely contemporary, thoroughly understated and very Jaeger. With plenty of focus on the waist – oftenpositioned quite high and emphasised with cropped jackets or shiny belts – there's a plethora of trouser shapes, including stirrup pants, high waists, slouchy androgyny, and cropped or full length styles. Further definition is provided by clever colour blocking and gentle tulip shaped skirts. Jaeger London's designer, Karen Boyd, has clearly worked out how to give women body-conscious clothes without the self-consciousness.

“I'm very excited to see tailoring make a come-back,” she says. “It's all the more appealing because this is about finding an unconventional solution to suiting. It's about new ways with separates and layers.”

Naturally, luxury remains a priority. Plush alpacas bring warmth to an array of wearable and seriously desirable statement coats; felted and bonded jersey emphasise the structure of some of the dresses; boiled laminated wools, shiny on one side, matte on the other, produce an intriguing and durable synthesis of the traditional and the state-of-the-art; hammered silks and outsize hydrangea prints and shards of glass so huge they become almost abstract, add a subtle evening dimension to the equation, while circular skirts and shaggy sheepskin shrugs bring a playful aspect. One way or another, texture is edging out prints and extraneous surface decoration.

Accessories are stronger than ever: wooden cone heels on almond toed platform shoes and banded boots keep things interesting, as befits a brand favoured by fashion rebels from Kate Moss to Marianne Faithfull. Swarovski shard-shaped, mirrored cuffs and necklace pieces inject some high definition drama. Jaeger always works brilliantly when there's a modernist feel in the air.


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