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  • Issue No. 282
  • Shoots

A Masterclass In Accessorising With Donna Wallace

Edited By
Photographs By

I often like the addition of a texture in an outfit – it adds interest and prevents things from feeling too serious or flat. Belts have really come into their own in terms of a styling update. I’d already owned an XL long-length one from Rokh for a while before the recent H&M collaboration, but managed to get hold of this two-tier style when it dropped. It can also be worn as a single belt without the additional second.

I have always liked the sheen and appeal of satin accessories. I know it’s a high-risk fabric – especially in footwear – but I appreciate it most when it appears in less traditional formats, shapes and treatments. With bags, it’s an expected evening detail, and it’s nice to see how Loulou Studio presents satin for daytime polish in its Tania shoulder bag.

Breitling’s collaboration with Victoria Beckham is a super-classy reinterpretation of their classic Chronomat and feels like a worthy investment. The dove-grey version is such a peaceful hue while the navy works well with my wardrobe palette. I love to play with sheers and like to style cardigans as tops, so this Toga knit had my name on it.

Sheers make another appearance. I loved this (and pretty much the whole collection) when I saw it in the 16Arlington AW23 show. The skirt is more revealing than I initially realised, but it has actually made me love it more. Pleated skirts can sometimes feel serious and ‘uniformy’, but this reveal-and-conceal element is really well done.

I felt like Prada was speaking to me personally with its collection of SS24 satin shoes. I went to the store thinking I was leaving with the lime low-heel mules, but when I was there, I found these brown T-bar points and learned that they had arrived that day, so it felt meant to be.

Denim but make it textured… These grey denim jeans have a ‘tweeded’ texture to the eye and an incredibly cosy and soft handle. They really take being dressed up with tailoring and pair well with a ‘chilled’ heel. Eytys is a brand I have quite a few pieces from, as they can feed in well with what I already own, but prevent things from being too traditional.

These Loewe earrings are best worn for elegant soirées, and are always a real talking point.

A good baseball cap is my current go-to for more relaxed days, regardless of the season. For me, it’s best paired with cleaner lines or a tailored coat overcoat, so it’s reworked outside of the ‘leisurewear’ lane.

Feet have nowhere to hide in SS24 with the sheer abundance of skin-exposing footwear styles. When the ballet pumps and Mary Janes are resting, I like these with a relaxed trouser, so you only see a hint of a point.

Eyewear has a really interesting way of conveying a mood and I love how (similarly to shoes) the choice can alter the ‘vibe’ of an overall look. As much as I would love to say that one style fits all scenarios, some pairs that I own really make the most sense around a fashion environment, but currently for me, the Khaite ‘1983’ is proving to be the most versatile style in my collection. However, these are all fun additions to my eyewear wardrobe.

Given the choice, I tend to opt for a blazer with interesting design detail. Of course, a classic well-cut style has earned its place as one of the best wardrobe investment pieces, but sometimes I like to let an unexpected detail do the hard work for me. This JW Anderson has cutaway sides, and can be styled for the office and beyond.

I’m very relaxed when it comes to rules around mixing metals in jewellery styling. If the pieces work together, they just do. It’s never that serious, and dressing should be enjoyed wherever possible.

This time of year means some of my leather pieces are being swapped out for lighter-weight items, although this belted leather long-length coat from SRVC is such a brilliant piece that I’ve resisted packing it away. Something I like to do is go to brands whose catwalk looks are not necessarily something I could pull off, but I can hone in on something fab that will work on me.

I have had this Sonia Rykiel bag for a while and tracked it down in the bag hall of the now sadly closed Fenwick on Bond Street. Initially, I only allowed it out in the summer months as the ‘turtle bag’ styling leans into that, but I’d been having such a good time with the relaxed informality of it that I struggled to pack it away at the end of last summer, and now it’s that time of year again. If I could buy it again I would (as I would love a back-up), the colour is unusual in that it seems to go with everything.