River Island A/W 2011 – It’s all about Retro.

Thursday saw the River Island A/W  press day, where they showcased the womenswear collections that will hit the stores for Autumn and Winter 2011/12.  The six collections, ‘Savage’, ‘Sandy’,’London Girl’, ‘Gigi’, ‘Hustler’ and ‘Deadly’  all have a decidedly retro feel to them, think Faye Dunaway in ‘The Eyes of Laura Mars’ and you’ll get the picture.

Here are my thoughts on each of the new collections.


This is a perfectly stylish daytime collection for even the coldest winter. Taking its inspiration from Native American Indian styling with blanket style knitwear in bold and bright colours to add drama to even the  darkest day. Feathers and Furs make add to the outdoorsy elements to this collection, which is made to be layered.


1970s stylish daytime dressing is the name of the game for the Sandy Collection.  The shades of mustard, red and teal combine in the form of pussybow necklines, polo neck jumpers and over-the-knee a-line skirts. This is 70s icons Faye Dunaway in Laura Mars and Network, Cybil Shepherd in Taxi Driver and a stylish Julie Christie. This is a sophisticated look that can take you easily from work to play. The look is complemented by t-bar platform shoes and Trilby style hats which add another layer to the   sophistication.

London Girl

This was my absolute favourite look from the new collection. This is Katherine Hepburn androgyny updated for the modern girl. Wide leg trousers, blazers and tuxedos in a range of checks and tweeds, teamed with striking fake furs for that jet setting luxurious look. The  key is sex appeal through covered-upness – this is not for  those who want to flash the flesh. Think Janelle Morae, Tilda Swinton and La Roux – girls who dress a little bit like boys, but with a slash of red lips.


A collection that brings to mind Studio 54, Bianca Jagger and Halston, this is River Island’s new take on grown up glamour. Bright,  jewel colours, long-sleeved catsuits, gold lame style skirts and chiffon dresses with the floatiest feel, these are clothes that are filled with femininity and elegance.


Deadly is River Island’s signature evening dress collection, which pulls from every era. These are prim dresses with a twist, the 1960s brocade dress with a huge fur collar,simple shifts that have a flapper feel thanks to acres of  feathers around the hemline, lace and bodycon making 1980s styling feel fresh and new. These are beautiful dresses made to be cherished.

Chelsea Girl

The second Chelsea Girl collection retains that 1960s feel, with cute mini’s with graphic prints, air stewardess style bags and sheer blouses for that dollybird feel. This collection is made for cute Mary Janes and long false eyelashes.

All in all, a series of fab collections that make for a cool, retro Autumn.

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