The autumn 2018 trend report: Everything you need to know about the new season
Why choose one great coat for the new season, when you could wear seven? This was the school of thought at Balenciaga, Simone Rocha, Missoni and more, where looks came with more layers than a millefeuille; blanket throws, puffa jackets, capes, waterproofs, et al. Back in the real world, you might want to simplify the styling (and reduce the bulk) by just adding a thick coat over a thinner one in a contrasting colour. Snug.
Python, zebra, cheetah, croc and more animal prints roamed free and wild across the catwalk shows this season. Victoria Beckham showed devotion to leopard print, Isabel Marant backed snake pattern trousers, while Tom Ford couldn’t decide and spliced together as many patterns as he could in a single look.
Leopard print is undoubtedly the season’s first runaway trend, but once you’re sick of seeing it everywhere, try something snakier for size. As well as the obvious animal lovers, unlikely handlers like Emilia Wickstead have coaxed it into some extremely pretty dresses. Gucci, as you’d expect, took the trend literally; models carried plastic king snakes (and baby dragons) as accessories.
The new neons
Miuccia Prada is bringing back neon. But not garish, Niceday highlighter neon. The new hues are fruitier, with watermelon, lemon and lime making for a delicious palette. Best worn as a stand-out pop of colour amongst a navy, black, grey or beige outfit.
Natty cardigans have come in from the cold. Grandad knits with elaborate intarsias and teddy textures were spotted at Miu Miu, Roksanda and Erdem. Wear brightly coloured ones with oversized proportions for day, or try pulling one off the shoulder and belting it around the waist, over an evening dress.
Brown is the new black
From tan to sludge, all you need to do is find the right hue for you, or go tonal in a top-to-toe effect. Natacha Ramsay-Levi at Chloe showed us how to do it right; mix a glossy chocolate leather coat with a peanut satin shirt, and tweed trousers.
The jumbo sequin is here and ready to meet all your party needs. Preen’s looks were encrusted with pearls and giant paillettes, Balmain’s models were positively iridescent. Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne wins best in show; his silver chainmail dresses were meshed with pixel-style sequins so big that they would look beautifully blurry as you twirl in them on the dancefloor.
The Queen’s Balmoral look served as inspiration for many, with tweeds everywhere, from Marc Jacobs to Miu Miu, but it was, as always, Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, who proved the most devoted, as dozens of models crunched through his carpet of crisp autumn leaves wearing the fabric.
Elsewhere, the type of loud print that you might usually reserve for a small area like a square silk scarf has been extrapolated. New gen designers Marine Serre and Richard Quinn have taken the heritage look to extremes; inspired by the Balmoral look, the latter covered all possible surfaces on every model with his patchworked floral designs, while Her Majesty herself watched on from the front row.
The new wraps are bigger, snugglier and cut a more dramatic silhouette than those that came before. Swag a patterned blanket nonchalantly over your shoulders as seen at Roksanda, or take care to artfully drape and tuck it as at Giorgio Armani. Pick belts and brooches to literally tie the whole look together.
The ankle-grazing midi skirt
A hero item to buy this season; a midi skirt that falls a little longer than those you already own. The spot you want the hem to hit is just above the ankle, as championed by Maria Grazia Chiuri at Christian Dior.
The other skirt style to add to shopping list is one that’s slashed to ribbons. The great swooshing noise made as models walked by at Givenchy, Proenza Schouler and Dolce and Gabbana was strangely soothing, if a little impractical as daywear.
What to wear in 1985
Yes, there are power shoulders and oversized ruffles to behold once again. But the special things to note about this season’s reincarnation of Eighties fashion are all in the fabric. Shimmering lurex, foils and the bodycon bandage dress are back, and ready to see us through every Saturday night for the entirety of party season. There is nothing understated about Balmain’s Instagram-ready electric jackets.
Also worth noting, everyone had a pop at the party dress. The majority of Anthony Vaccarello’s 87 Saint Laurent looks were one-shoulder mini dresses, while Sarah Burton sculpted taffeta into enormous shoulders at Alexander McQueen.