This isn't a collection that immediately wows but, rather, is slow-burning, leaving a deeper and longer lasting impression. The rich shades - navy, intense blue, ochre, burgundy, forest green - though common for AW are deeper incarnations that remind of the colours espoused in the Victorian era and perfectly evoke one of the two main trends that run throughout; Everyday Decadence and Rethought Functionality.
Everyday Decadence is expressed through classic forms, which are reworked and reimagined, - a white shirt with many guises, an a-symmetric blazer, half-draped - which combine textures and fabrics for a richer result - unexpected, happy collisions of silk bonded with wool, sheer panels and crisp pleated tailoring - and which sport exaggerated silhouettes - high turtlenecks, extra-long sleeves, a-symmetry, volume, oversizing. Rethought Functionality sees straps, seatbelts and zips reappropriated and used to make it possible to wear garments in multiple ways; layering; durable pieces and, yet, with a slick overall look.
For menswear, there are decadent and layered looks that combine utilitarian and sporty elements; rich colour, textures and prints and updated and pared back classic tailoring. The rich tones of the womenswear are carried over but you also get oatmeal shades and lilacs - softer, prettier notes.
The two wardrobes are mixed and blurred; masculine tailoring is made sensual for womenswear while menswear is made sensuous and given slightly more feminine notes.
Throughout, there are plenty of durable and investment pieces; suits, coats, blazers etc. - cool twists on items that will never be outdated and which are built to last.
In fact, the idea of lasting and sustainability is and underlining theme. Recycled elements are used (such as the seatbelts), garments are made to withstand the years, right down to the press information, which is no longer printed and all put on a USB stick instead.
Personal favourites from the day have to be the accessories, - mittens that look like mini parkas for your hands, detached turtleneck chokers - the silk and wool co-ord with sheer panels, the trouser jumpsuit that looks like a pair of men's trouser extending from chest to toe, the draped forest green suit and the menswear Donegal Tweed coat.
If you're looking for some clothes for life that majorly pay their way or pieces that are elegant without shouting about it, COS AW16 has got you covered.
(All images my own except the lookbook images which are used courtesy of COS)
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