The Best Of Frieze Fashion: Capes and Textures


Our Frieze Fashion annual round up gives such a good insight into what women (and men) are really wearing. Yes, I know they are affluent examples, but I love looking for inspiration here and will be posting all week about what I saw. I’ll throw in the odd bit of art.

This year there was one stand out fashion trend, the cape. They were everywhere. Camel coloured wool ones, mackintosh version and checks and tweeds. They were worn short and long, casually with trainers or smart over tailored skirts and trousers, the truly chic had matching hats….Very 60s/70s retro…

capes-thewomensroomThe last time I wore a cape was in the early 70s, I had an orange wool check one and I was never quite sure what to do with my hands. At Frieze, everyone looked very much in control, deftly carrying neat bags (no shoulder bags, too complicated) and there was a fair bit of creativity at work with the styling..

I loved the head-to-toe grey look in the first image, particularly when broken up with a simple check.  The more Tyrolean version (above here) is brightened with a matching hat and those gorgeous gold shoes. In fact shoes can carry the contrast colour rather well, those red ones look fabulous too.


While we are on shoes, the shoes-du-jour was definitely a coloured bright or metallic flat, or a sneaker. The bright trainers of last year have been replaced by all black or white ones, often tipped with a bit of metallic, silver or gold.

I loved the black and white dress below, which has great tie details on the cuffs, worn with beautiful toffee coloured brogues (are those Grensons?) So chic.


In terms of the stand out art trend, it had to be the use of texture. This year there was little video art and fewer challenging (read weird) immersive installations, instead there was a lot of warm, soft textural surfaces including lots of fluffy fur, with burlap and thick canvas used as backing for imagery. And a lot of art featuring yarn. According to one gallery owner, it appears that in an unsettled and increasingly digital wold, we all want something warm and comforting that feels real and welcoming on the walls.

Some of my favourite yarn-y art included the giant circle of knotted yarn and string over canvas, by Alexandre Da Cunha (above) and the gorgeous woolly graphic shapes from Zoe Paul (below) which I THINK I heard someone say were threaded over old fridge shelves, but I could have been wrong. We’re almost back in wall-hangings territory, before you know it we’ll be calling macrame art cool again…

fridge texture

The double cape was rather interesting….


I found rugs-as-art a little hard to get my head around, these were displayed on the floor, but could you cope with people accidentally walking on your many thousand pound investment? I couldn’t. I did find them irresistibly velvety and wanted to stroke them.


In case you fancy a cape, there’s a few below to consider, including a suede fringed version from Mango that nicely covers both the cape and fringed suede trend. Come back on Wednesday, we’ll be looking at trousers!


  • sarah says:

    Thanks for giving me such a good laugh, Amanda. Matching capes and hats, priceless.
    On the other hand, lovely rug and lovely shoes.

  • Amanda says:

    You wait Sarah, you’ll be in a matching set before you can say ‘fashion trends’ Ax

  • Monix says:

    I LOVE these Frieze posts of yours. Yarn covered fridge shelves…who knew that was art…or that matching capes and hats is fashion? All it needs is to be presented with conviction and it will be.

  • Sue says:

    Well, I liked the outfits in these photos; I could watch gallery goers all day long and not get bored. Love the gold shoes especially, and the way it’s all so put together in general. I think they all just have a really good eye for choosing colour palettes. (I wish I did.)

  • Steffi says:

    MORE MORE MORE!!!!! Not nearly enough Frieze Art Fashion! Apart from middleagedmum and midlife moving, it is my ABSOLUTE favourite TWR regular feature!!!! X

  • Rosemary says:

    Wore my new metallic brogues with a sweater dress last night & just realised your pic of the black & white dress & brogues above was an inspiration – tks for that. At 5 ft nothing, won’t be going the cape route tho!

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