This season we are looking at geometric retro prints.

Some of the country’s top fashion magazine fundis for hot tips for your big 2013 fashion revamp


“There are two major ways that trends are determined – from the catwalk down or from the streets up,” says Cosmopolitan fashion assistant Taryn Aziz.

“Designers will be inspired by anything from art to travel or pop culture and translate that inspiration into a new collection,” she said.

“Often you see a trend emerging when major designers are inspired by similar things, so you get the same silhouette, colour palette or theme running through multiple collections.”

A trend is determined by the mass following of anything unique, fresh and innovative, says Elle fashion editor Asanda Sizani.

Aziz adds: “There are also what you call trend forecasters who predict trends years in advance based on the zeitgeist and research.

“Designers look to those when creating their ranges for the season.

“When a trend filters from the street up, then the clothing of the everyday person on the street will influence designers or retailers and they add it to a collection.”

You may not be going into war or be a butterfly in the sky, but military garments and cocoon coats are on the horizon this year.

On the fashion calendar we are now looking at the autumn/winter season, says Sizani.

“Designers have revisited age-old techniques such as tapestry and embroidery. The opulent baroque trend is at the forefront, and luxurious textures, such as jacquard, and elaborate embellishment are important.

“Leather continues its evolution with modern shapes and innovative treatments.

“Military inspiration is back, and androgyny on women means the key pieces are trouser suits, ties, and masculine shoes.”

Aziz says winter 2013 will feature fabric-leather, velvet and chunky knits.

“Ankle boots in all shapes and sizes, with cut-outs and buckles, studs and laces.

“Layering is huge.

“Sequins and shine aren’t going anywhere and peplums are here for winter too. The geeky fairisle jersey is one of my favourite trends for winter.”

The colour for autumn/winter this year is oxblood – evident in many major collections.

“In terms of shapes, we are looking at oversized silhouettes and generous shapes,” says Sizani.

“Too-tight clothing is making way for volume. The key piece to invest in is a cocoon coat.”

Last year we saw a lot of people going back to their African roots and following the leopard print trend. If you are among those who embraced this trend, you’ll be pleased to hear that you do not have to get rid of your leopard print garment just yet.

“Leopard print has become quite a fashion staple, so I wouldn’t throw away anything leopard print just yet,” says Aziz.

“Add to your animal collection by getting a great leather piece whether it is a jacket, pencil skirt or handbag. If print is what you are after then winter floral and animal motifs are big for this season.”

Sizani agrees, saying: “This season we are looking at geometric retro prints, animal motifs and the new dark florals.”

If you are still caught up in the vintage look, you’ll be happy to hear that the look has not been written off yet. Aziz says shopping vintage is a great way to update your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

“It’s important to add current pieces to a vintage look so you look like you are living in the same times and not going to a dress-up party. Accessorising right is the key to rocking a vintage ensemble.”

Fashion intelligence is required in wearing pieces, and some people don’t know the difference between second-hand thrift store items and true vintage that have heritage, says Sizani.

“The way to wear vintage is to add a touch of modernity to avoid looking dated.

“I am collector of vintage pieces myself, and choose to wear the pieces in unexpected ways.”

When it comes to colour blocking, Sizani says the trend was a 2011 passing spring/summer style that trickled only later into our continent.

“It’s not a trend I would focus on now. Rather look to monotone colour, or block different shades of the same colour from head to toe.”

Aziz says: “A lot of you are probably guilty of this, colour co-ordinating your clothes, with shoes, make-up, nails and so on.

“This year is all about mismatched, mixing print, texture and colour. Rather keep your make-up natural and wear a whole lot of crazy.”

Sizani says: “However, if someone chooses to embrace colour, they should wear it well.

“Some women can wear head-to-toe purple, for example, with purple lips and purple accessories, and manage to look incredibly chic.”

Without hesitation these two fashionistas agree that a suit is a must-have item in any career woman’s closet.

“Classics like a feminine blouse and well-cut suits will never be out of fashion.

“You can update a working wardrobe by, for example, opting for a leather skirt instead of a traditional two-piece with a skirt, or by embracing bright colour instead of black and grey,” says Sizani.

“The trouser suit is an empowering piece with enduring appeal. When tailored impeccably to suit its wearer, it can command the right attention.

“The current trend is to embrace printed suits.”

Aziz says this year is the year of the blouse, the buttoned-up look with a cute collar.

Not to forget the pencil skirt, which she swears is a must-have.

“Pants suits are all the rage. In this case, it’s good to match, just add a printed blouse to give some life to this look.

“And if you can get your hands on a printed pants suit – wow.”

Now you know – good shirts, tailored skirts, structured dresses, blazers and suits will make you the talk of the office this year.

When dressing, Sizani says it is important not to underestimate the importance of wearing quality undergarments.

“I always stress the importance of undergarments for proper support, and to create the perfect foundation for a good outfit.”

Aziz points out that women make the mistake of buying without trying on and she says this is never a good move.

“Find out what items will flatter your figure and shop for those. Only wear a trend if it falls into this category.

“Your clothing is the strongest tool of non-verbal communication you have. Make sure that when you get dressed in the morning your outfit is telling the world that you are confident, beautiful and independent without your having to say anything at all.”


We put our hair through hours of stressful straightening, relaxing and styling which ultimately leads to breakage and split ends. Looking after our hair is the first sign of taking care of ourselves. This year should be the year of change and new beginnings.

Forget about spending hours on prepping your hair: overly fussy “dos” are out, says Glamour magazine beauty editor Melissa Twigg.

“Hair this season is all about embracing natural texture; from rumpled waves to sky-high ’fros.”

When it comes to hairstyles nothing is ever really “out” any more. We live in an age where anything is acceptable because individualism is huge, says Marie Claire beauty editor Mathahle Stofile.

She adds: “A big trend is hair kept short and dyed – usually a light shade almost matching your own skin colour or straight blonde. There is also a huge comeback of the ’90s braids – think Jada Pinkett in Poetic Justice and the R&B group Jade.”

Twigg says hair “chalking” has taken the beauty world by storm. These fun pastels give you the freedom to change your hair colour without commitment.

“It’s important to keep your hair strands well-nourished and protected by deep-treating them with a mask once a week. You can avoid hair disasters by always going to a professional.”

When choosing a hairstyle you should consider your features, skin tone, face shape and natural hair texture. You should also consider what it’s going to take to maintain the style..

Twigg’s hair advice: Love celebrity hairstyles? Print a photo of the style you like and take it with you to the hairdresser. It will help them to understand what you want and they’ll be able to tell you if the look suits you.


Last year we broke the stereotypes associated with adding colour to our make-up, daring ourselves to go bold by using bright colours, even on ethnic skin.

For a while we have been doubtful about using bright lipstick because of the social stereotypes that are associated with upbeat coloured lips. This year, say the experts, with make-up less is more, but go for a striking lipstick to make your lips pop.

Lucoh Mhlongo, celebrity make-up artist and creative director of Lucoh Mhlongo Aesthetics, says rich-coloured lips that pop are in, but they should not be not dripping with gloss.

“Make-up is very sensual right now, very feminine. Less is more, but the less that is there must be done right.”

He says pick one focal point and let everything else be soft. Keep it simple, clean and chic.

Stofile adds: “Keep the rest of the face fairly neutral and wear a striking lipstick.”

Metallic eyeshadows are always big in the evenings and winter months. “I think a big trend this year is going to be the smudged look,” says Stofile.

Forget the standard smokey eye. Dewy, barely there skin and bright lips are big news, says Twigg.

“Colour-co-ordinating lips to nails is still a safe option, but if you really want to be on trend, pair your bright lip with a nude nail on fingers and a pastel bright on toes,” she says.

Mhlongo says colour-co-ordinating your clothes and make-up is a sin. “Keep your make-up essential, especially during the day. Save the tricks for the night, and even then keep it trendy yet classic, we’d still like to recognise you. Make-up is meant to accentuate the beauty that is already there. It is not a mask.”

Never remove your eyebrows. Stofile calls it “outrageous”, adding: “I have no idea what gave our women the idea that this is acceptable in any way. The full brow is what’s really in right now.”

For many people, choosing the right make-up is a tricky process. Mhlongo says you should consider your skin type, especially with foundation.

“With an oily skin you do not want to buy a foundation with a dewy finish – you will look like a disco ball before noon. Matt or natural matt finish foundation is more suitable. If your skin is dry, go for a dewy finish to give a healthy glow.”

Stofile adds that when buying make-up you should always consider the lasting quality and look at the ingredients, as you may be allergic to something in a product.


Sizani’s fashion tip:

Be careful how you accessorise. Sometimes when you take away jewellery, an outfit breathes.

Sizani’s top three accessories for 2013:

A tapestry bag

Court heels, and


Sizani’s top three items every woman should have in her closet:

A quality shirt

A conversation piece such as bold neckpiece or bag

And a go-anywhere dress that can take her from day to night

Aziz’s top three must-have items for women:

A printed blouse

lA leather jacket

lAn amazing scarf that can be added to any outfit to give it the wow factor - The Mercury