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On Trend: River Island Autumn/Winter 2012 Womenswear

Posted July 20, 2012 by Róisín Moloney in Ramp Archives

River Island’s autumn/winter collection has already been causing quite the controversial stir - and it hasn’t even hit the stores yet!

River Island, as with every other high street store, have separated their AW 12 collection into various different trend categories and Irish blog Fashion Editor at Large’s has zoned in on their ‘Blogger’ trend. The article claims bloggers have perpetuated a look, which is all about throwing on tons of statement pieces:

Where a few years ago Kate, Sienna et al made it fashionable to look like you hadn’t actually tried too hard, that you’d sort of just thrown on skinny jeans and ballet shoes and made them look stylish, now it’s all about being high maintenance, blatant and unashamedly fashion mad.

You can read the full article here but let’s not delve too deeply into this debate right now and get back to River Island’s AW12 collection!

It’s that time of the year again where press previews are taking place in every corner of the city, and last week it was River Island’s turn to reveal the treasure trove that they have in store for us this autumn/winter. River Island deliver when it comes to press days and the team’s styling and creative vision always makes it easy to pick out those pieces that are really going to make waves come August/September – we’re noting the Florence & The Machine-esque two-piece tartan suit and leather trim swagger coats from the Downtown Soho New York collection, to name but two! They’ve pulled out all the stops with a series of fashion stories that cover everything from party wear to outerwear, with accessories remaining a major focal point, fusing together all the elements necessary for the season ahead.

From the shadows of Futuristic Goth, the streets of Downtown New York and the opulent textures and fabrics of the Baroque era, River Island have created a lavish and distinctive look for us this autumn/winter 2012.


‘Boy dressing meets Punk’. This is relaxed styling at its best. Lots of oversized swagger coats layered over geometric prints, influences taken from Soho New York in the late ’70s early ’80s. I love the modern twists of leather trimming on traditional fabrics like tweed and tartan, and the jackets are extra special. They’re rather outrageous, so they need to be styled with simple pieces or else you’re going to look like you stepped right out of an episode of Dallas, although if that is the look you are going for then who are we to judge?




The controversial trend I was telling you about earlier is all about ‘Organized Chaos’. A freestyle look, where ‘anything goes’, there are fun mixes of colour, fabrics, and prints with crazy statement pieces embellished to within an inch of their lives. This trend has a really eclectic feel that can be toned up or down depending on your taste. There were some cool printed trousers and fun fur pieces thrown in over clashing colours and prints, its strength lies in it seeming totally disorganized whilst in reality being a carefully put-together look. A nostalgic nod, we feel, to those who remember raiding your mother’s wardrobe when you were younger!


Prim, proper and ‘Quintessentially ladylike’, this 1950s inspired story is in stark contrast to the other AW 2012 looks. Pencil skirts are worn with both sweatshirts and denim for a laid back, casual feel, or cropped bouclé jackets and heels to create a more tailored, ladylike silhouette. Depending on your own personal style, you can mix it up and make it a little more boyish and grungy as you want, but these pieces are perfect to add some elegance into the mix.

Futuristic Goth

‘Medieval era … meets ’90s grunge look’. The Goth trend has a habit of being re-invented every autumn/winter and this year is no exception. Think the customary black velvet, delicate lace, sheer and chiffon, but updated when teamed with leather. This is a real mix of hard and soft textures and silhouettes, with girly pieces toughened up with gothic details. Some great dresses and skirts that you’ll want to keep an eye out for.


‘Vikings and Warrior Princesses’. This trend has heaps of beautiful outerwear pieces. The Scandi trend embraces the great outdoors with animal motifs, tweeds, furs and checks galore. Think tartan blanket coats, military and leather jackets, layered over animal motif knits, in a dark colour palette perfect for moodier winter weather.



‘Lavish and powerful’, extravagance to beat the band. Although there is meant to be two sides to this trend – a more formal Eastern Baroque and the casual Urban Baroque – the trend as a whole is very overstated which was 100% intended; the black velvet and gold embroidered hot pants come to mind. Lots of luxurious detailing, fabrics and accessories which may seem a bit brash for some tastes, but the collection does have some amazing statement pieces and if styled right can totally transform many an item in your wardrobe – perfect for the festive months!


The River Island Autumn/Winter 2012 collection will start hitting stores and the website in August.

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About the Author

Róisín Moloney

  • http://www.lisamcinerney.com Lisa McInerney

    That Blogger trend is hideous! 

    However, I appreciate the Skyrim references in Scandi. Kinda pity they’re a year late with it. That dress in the Baroque 2 picture is all kinds of cute, too.

  • RoCkInFaShIoN

    Yes the blogger trend is definitely only for the young & the brave!!! ;)

  • Denim on Denim on Denim

    Nice article, looking forward to the autumn already…….

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