Bright, bold and Boden: The AW13 collection

Exciting things are afoot at Boden.

I’ve just finished working on a feature about the High Summer collection (a new, mid-season range) and yesterday I was invited along to the AW13 press day.

Cocktails and pink bubbles make any press event appealing, but booze aside, the autumn/winter designs are really fizzy. 

In the past, people have said that Boden is too plain, too twee; but things have changed. Massively…

The new collections are making giant leaps forward. The quality the brand is associated with is still there, but the styles, colours and feel of the new collections is vibrant, punchy and fun.

For women, the new season is packed with exciting fashion that retains a timeless chic: 60s-inspired A-line skirts are just one example of a vintage touch that sweeps across the autumn/winter pieces. The colour is eye-popping: there are rainbow stripes, hot pink belts paired with fresh green jeans, bright blue duffle coats and perfect pink desert boots.

Prints are abundant: I spotted graphic floral blouses, cute white apples on a red top, simple stars and stunning polka dots.

And embellishments are creeping in too – although don’t mistake this for fast high street fashion. It’s done stylishly, and it’s done well.

The minimal, preppy image is being left behind: clean lines and flattering shapes for women over-30 are still at the core, but risks are being taken and there’s a clear understanding of a woman’s need to make a splash.

For kids, the collection is as beautiful and well-made as you’d expect from Boden, with modern prints and trends mixed-in with traditional styles and shapes.

I loved the storybook illustration style print on a pretty drop waist dress, contrasted with touches of faux fur drama elsewhere in the collection for girls.

And the colours for boys were bold and brave – something most brands lack when it comes to fashion for the lads.

But, for me, the standout collection is the Johnnie B range for kids aged 8-16 years – probably because that’s where El fits in and he will absolutely love the new collection.

We’re talking sassy, street and preppy with an edge: if you want to offer teens and tweenies something funky, on-trend and a little bit daring, this is it.

And just in case I haven’t quite convinced you doubters to take a fresh look at Boden yet, here are few more highlights from the forthcoming collection:

The press day was held in the Portico Rooms at Somerset House in London – and right off the bat, Boden took us back to school to show-off the Mini Boden AW13/14 collection

The walls were adorned with these gorgeous button-eyed creatures

Girls designs are pretty and plentiful, with lots of prints and pastel colours – great to see in an autumn/winter collection

Totally timeless – but the print makes this cute tunic contemporary too

Worn with a red polo neck and red tights this cow print pinafore dress makes for a bright and brilliant winter outfit

Older girls got a touch of street style elegance on the rails

…and a subtle sparkle

Meanwhile, the boys get a spot of pink – something I *love* to see in male collections (and doesn’t it look great with the cobalt jeans?)

Even the pants have something to say

in the Johnnie B room, things got cool and 80s-tastic …

…not to mention bright ‘n’ breezy

Never mind the teens, these pale pink brogues just rock – I want some

But I’ll leave the gold glitter and pink flats to the girls

Gold brocade skirts, faux fur coats, sequin shorts and embellished details offer plenty of grown-up glamour for teenagers

And bright heart prints keep things fun for off duty daywear

I know a certain 13-year-old who would LOVE these hi-tops (I’m looking at you, Lily D)

And why not get colourful with your camo, guys?

On to the ladies collection: and introducing Boden’s new, 60s-inspired A-Line skirt shape (really, really good call)

This fierce graphic print illustrates that Boden is no longer sticking to subtle, preppy style

Pink and green should always be seen

…and although it comes in a nude option too, who could resist this fabulous, retro-esque bobble effect blouse in a striking emerald shade (clue: not me)

And to seal the deal, if you’re looking for a statement winter coat…job done

With thanks to Boden

Written by Johanna Payton