Look very closely at the picture below. This is what autumn/winter 2012 looks like.

Every now and then a season comes along which turns the existing fashion rules on their head. This is such a season.

Bad taste is now good taste. Pretty is passé, replaced with dark gothic romance. Tasteful is out and eccentric is in.

If you don’t like it, blame Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada. They are the high priest and priestess of the new wacky mood that is sweeping across the fashion world.

Once upon a time, you could rely on most fashion designers to produce commercial collections, with the odd renegade such as Rei Kawakubo going off piste and doing off-the-wall garb.

But this season, prepare for all hell to break loose and for high street stores to be filled with geometric prints, furry coats and floppy hats.

Colour combos such as maroon, mustard and bottle green will reign supreme, despite not having been in favour since the 1970s.

Miu Miu, in their autumn/winter campaign (see above), have clearly been inspired by David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane period. Actress and fashionista Chloe Sevigny resembles a hyper-fashion dandy in the images, and I am tempted to join in on the fun.

But what should you to do if you don’t like prints, colour and craziness, and going into hibernation until March isn’t an option?

It will be tough my friend, I’m not going to lie. But at least we had some warning about the ensuing print explosion when designers served up mix-and-match tropical prints for spring/summer.

I struggle with wearing bright blocks of colour and am much more comfortable in autumnal tones, so I'm hoping I will be able to adapt this trend to suit my style.

Also, if you stay away from the crazy parts (namely wearing trousers and skirts together, massive hats and Marc Jacobs’ pantomime-worthy shoes) the silhouette is very simple and flattering.

The modern woman’s typical wardrobe staples (blazers, shirts and cropped trousers) loom large, even if they are scattered with embellishment and bold print.

My advice is to take baby steps and pair an over-the-top new season item with a boring wardrobe basic.

Case in point: team a pair of brocade trousers with a classic cashmere jumper; wear a denim shirt tucked into an embellished mini-skirt, pair a geometric-print shirt with simple trousers and overcoat. These are winning combos that will serve you well this season.

If you are still not convinced that this trend is for you, then there is another option.

Black is back in a big way this season so if all else fails, just wear black head to toe and tell people that you are getting in touch with your inner goth. Simple!