Latin for the phrase “water shield”, Aquascutum’s roots are deep in rain protection. It was thus fitting that designer Joanna Sykes based the storied brand’s S/S 2012 collection around the concept of urban protection. Stykes’s masculine cuts injected toughness into garments that were already more defensive than alluring. Motorcycle jackets were fashioned from waterproof Mackintosh fabrics, and the classic trench from patent leather and double-faced satin. Straight, mannish pants in cotton, linen, or silk were the stars of the show. The few skirts that made an appearance were wrapped styles that layered over a short underskirt. High-sheen fabrics and lace added a feminine touch to this otherwise androgynous array of separates. Standout was an all white ensemble of boxy pants paired with a semi-sheer lace blouse. It was the most successful balance of masculine vs. feminine on offer, and perfectly in tune with the season’s prevailing trend for pragmatic, urban dressing. – Shine Anthony-Dharan

Silhouette: Boxy / Straight / Tailored

Color: Black / Khaki / Navy / Slate / Lemon / White

Key Items: Capri pants / Cropped jackets / Baggy pants / Lace tops

Materials: Patent leather / Cotton / Satin / Lace / Linen

Details + Trim: Contrast trim / Exposed zippers / Studs / Cut-outs

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