Getting all touchy-feely

Textured coat, �85; hoodie, �40; black skirt, �22; all River Island (www.riverisland.com)
Textured coat, �85; hoodie, �40; black skirt, �22; all River Island (www.riverisland.com)
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[Standfirst] Forget prints, the latest trend is texture clashing. Whether you’re into high-shine or tactile fur, here’s a masterclass in contrasting fabrics...

Some trends focus on prints, others concentrate on colour - but this season there’s a look that’s based entirely on touch.

The fashion premise is simple: pick two pieces in completely opposing fabrics. Think slick patent skirt with fuzzy angora jumper. Or feathers and leather, or sequins and denim - anything goes, but dramatic contrasts emphasise the two-tone texture.

LEATHER LOVE

It’s official, leather is the hottest fabric in fashion. Hide has moved from a luxury item to an everyday staple.

The shift is evident on the high street, with rails of leather skirts, dresses, trousers and tops giving the ubiquitous biker jacket a run for its money. Leather’s popularity is unsurprising when you consider its longevity, hard-working qualities and ability to go with just about everything in your wardrobe.

Black is the obvious choice, but you can mix things up with chic navy, berry or forest green tones for a stylish twist.

If funds are running low, look to pleather - PVC made to resemble matte leather, with a lived-in, grainy texture.

PERFECT PAIRING: Team your tough leather staple (skirt or leggings) with a girly fluffy jumper.

HIGH SHINE

Banish visions of Pretty Woman-style knee-high boots. Patent, PVC and vinyl are the hi-shine fabrics the fashion pack can’t get enough of.

Look to super-feminine silhouettes like full circle skirts or pretty pleats to offset the dominatrix vibe and swap bin bag-black for candy floss-pink or rich burgundy.

Be careful, though - these slick synthetics can add bulk to your frame, so if you’re pear-shaped, avoid wearing on your lower half.

If you still want to engage in some gloss, patent accessories will give your outfit an instant lift. Try shoes and bags so shiny that you can almost see your reflection.

PERFECT PAIRING: Work your patent next to a woolly cable knit for the ultimate contrast.

PATCHWORK QUILT

You no longer need to save up for a Chanel bag for a bit of luxurious quilting. It’s adorning jumpers, skirts, dresses and boots, as well as slightly more affordable bags!

buy with confidence; Designer Victoria Beckham has made quilting a big feature of her collection for spring 2014, so the look is set to stick around.

The quilt effect can be as dramatic as you dare on clothing. Opt for subtle embossed grooves if you’re feeling cautious, or bold diamonds to really make an impact.

Accessories are the most accessible way to work quilted couture - try a leather bag or riding boots.

PERFECT PAIRING: Wear your padded quilts with super-smooth textures like leather or patent.

RAZZLE DAZZLE

Think showgirl - by day. Feathers, sequins and heavy beading are no longer just for party season. Contrasted with casual pieces, like woolly jumpers and black leather, these eye-catching fabrics are instantly pared down.

You’ll also find glistening embellishment on casualwear like sweatshirts and jumpers this season, making them instantly glam.

Black feathers are best reserved for after dark, so try opulent jewel tones that will transfer easily from day to night. Brocade and jacquard are other textured fabrics that will glide effortlessly from office to dance floor.

If full-on sequins or feathers feel a little too West End stage, look to more subtle trims on hems and necklines.

PERFECT PAIRING: Bring glitzy textures back down to earth by teaming them with an everyday slouchy knit.

FURRY MONSTER

With temperatures plummeting, furry materials are set to come back in a big way. But think outside the big coat box.

Separates have been given the fuzzy treatment for a modern take on faux fur - think jumpers with fur panels, or bags as cuddly as kittens.

For a more accessible take on the trend, try faux pony skin panels on tops, skirts and dresses - it has a denser, flatter appearance than ‘fluffy’ fur, making it more flattering on the body.

Knits haven’t escaped the teddy bear texture makeover. Check out jumpers and dresses with a fuzzy eyelash finish for a twist on traditional mohair.

PERFECT PAIRING: Faux fur and leather are perfect texture teammates - wear in the same tone for a put-together look.