Against the grain of predictable fashion trends, some of the latest Alexander McQueen heels feature golden sheaths of wheat that hang from a strap of natural rope. They were just part of a collection that featured the material on dresses and jackets, fused with pheasant feathers for natural effect. The use of straw and its natural materials of its ilk was not only found in Sarah Burton’s debut collection as creative director of McQueen. Across the catwalk, wicker and other natural materials not normally used in high fashion were de riguer. Bruno Frisoni for Roger Vivier created a flower from straw on his delicate Rose n’Roll sandal, Yves Saint Laurent crafted handbags also from straw, Gucci showed intricate dresses bursting with so many feathers they recalled a corn field in the wind, and Dior reworked the iconic Lady Dior bag in woven fibres with seemingly raw edging. Elsewhere, designers were inspired by the sheaths of wheat, using linen and other light fabrics in almost transparent, earthy tones. Proof that cane, straw and sheaths of wheat are the new height of fashion: even Hermes created a wicker variant of its iconic Kelly bag, albeit one with a sumptuous leather over flap.