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If the catwalks were anything to go by this year, Fall 2011 has been all over the place. In an attempt to divine some coherence in the trends, we've discovered that while seasonal staples spilled into one another, while hemlines rose and fell, and silhouettes first fit and then exaggerated, and often in the same show, one thing still holds true for the winter months, and that is texture. Particularly for warmer climes like in Bangladesh, winter is one season that allows you to go all out with different fabrics and textiles to create effect.
Let's take a look at some pretty textures that are en vogue right now.

Viva la velvet
Because it's such a high-maintenance fabric, velvet has taken more of a back seat in menswear for a long time. With the political swashbucklers in shows like Boardwalk Empire bringing back a wealth of texture into their men's clothing, showing that a little elbow grease can have a huge payoff, designers and style-hounds have been pretty prompt in jumping aboard and reviving the textile.

Indeed, you could do a lot worse than incorporating a velvet jacket into your evening wear. Please note that velvet is strictly evening wear, for practical as well as stylistic reasons. Also, if you buy a whole suit, never wear the blazer and trousers together, unless you want your outfit to look like a costume.

Pair a velvet jacket with a cool printed shirt (this is one fabric you can wear busier prints with) simple, dark jeans or trousers, some stylish footwear, and you're ready to turn heads. Black is the colour of choice, but feel free to darker jewel tones and pull it off, with decreasing order of versatility from midnight blue, emerald green, chocolate, royal purple and then red.

Rebel away
Nothing adds excitement to a look faster than a leather jacket. Whether we're talking biker chic or military cool, leather is a staple. Since everything James Dean is suddenly enjoying renewed interest, the easiest way for a guy to look tough is to combine a black leather jacket with a white wife-beater, classic jeans, fedora and Ray-bans.

If you take your style cues from movies, you can opt between black bomber with crisp white shirt, slim black tie, baggy-ish jeans, and white trainers or band tee, jeans, Vans, and Wayfarers. For the preppier dudes, we could suggest you pair your favourite 'job interview' formal pants with some dark loafers, a simple neutral shirt, and a motocross jacket in a lighter colour, like tan or butterscotch. Smart casual with pizzazz!

For girls, the cropped jacket is your best friend. Pair a black biker jacket with a light tee and dark trousers and smoky eyes for an edgy look. Maximise the maxi dresses and long skirts of summer by teaming them with a cropped jacket - they'll last a while longer yet. Pairing a sweet flirty frock with an edgy leather jacket creates an irresistible good girl/bad girl combination. The really bold could even try a cropped jacket with a long kurti and calf-length tights for a fusion twist to their usual wardrobe.

Timeless blues
At the surface level, this one's a no-brainer, because denim was never out of fashion to begin with. That being said, the creative minds in the industry have given everyone's favourite fabric a serious update, and it's bigger than ever before.

First up, jeans styles for men. Grunge is once again enjoying its moment in the sun, so you'll see a lot of distressed jeans. Acid-washed, ripped, faded, and pretty much fashionably abused in every way you can think of, these are paired with dressier shirts and jackets for an interesting combo. On the other end of the spectrum, you have dark-washed stiff-starched jeans with rolled hems. And in between, you have straight jeans tending towards darker shades and slim fits.

For women, there are four fits to choose from: flares, skinnies, wide-legged trousers, and the boyfriend jeans. While your basic blue pair tends towards the darker shades, that's just one hue in the palette. Colour blocking is back in a big way, and now you can wear your skinnies in just about any colour you can think of. White denim, in particular, is bumping up the mercury. Finally, the grunge theme is played out through patched jeans.

There's more to denim this year than just jeans. We love, love, love Jake Gyllenhaal for pretty much taking the workman's denim shirt straight to the boardroom with his GQ cover shoot last year. And in fact, high-end labels continue last year's trend for incorporating the fabric into shirts, jackets, waistcoats, and everything in between. Ditto for women, who can choose from skirts to leggings to dresses and tunics, all in this versatile material. Did we mention we are absolutely thrilled with Banana Republic's Mad Men line?

Lace, fita lace
As materials go, this peek-a-boo fabric will probably never completely drop off the radar; it's at once sexy and sophisticated, and it has been all over both clothing and accessory lines on the runway, in various forms. For those a little shy about jumping on board with both feet, you can try starting with a little lace trim on your collars or cuffs to add a fancy touch to your everyday staples.

When you're ready go bolder, place a lace shell over a camisole, under a jacket for a polished, but alluring look. And finally, when you're up to going all out, choose between a tailored piece with construction details, or a sheath or tunic in clean lines. Be careful of 'trendy' accessories like lace gloves and shorts; they look great on girls, but may appear faddish on women over 40. (This doesn't apply to footwear - lace slippers and booties are cool at any age.)

By Bossa Nova
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Heera

Wardrobe and accessories: Cats Eye
Farzana Shakil
Location: Coffee World,
Dhanmondi, Rd-27


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