Ellie is the fashion features editor of British Vogue
Monday 12 November 2018
What does a self-contained woman look like in the age of #MeToo? As designers attempted to register the shift in attitude post-Trump, post-Times Up and post-My Job Should Not Include Abuse, reflecting the popular sentiment of empowerment with their very seams, sleeves, buttons and hemlines, the autumn/winter 2018 season only served to underline what great fashion has always been about: making women feel good.The 12 Definitive Trends Of Spring/Summer 2019
The 12 Definitive Trends Of Spring/Summer 2019
- FASHION TRENDS
- 04 Oct 2018
Many more discussed the idea of clothes as "armour", via leather dresses and head-to-toe animal print and a nod to the subversive spirit of the Seventies. On that note, the armour theory was posited most eloquently by Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton, who talked about metamorphosis and "all the expressions of femininity", but with the characteristic honesty that meant she responded to a question about whether a bombastic pink fringed dress was a moment of feminist reckoning with: "I just thought, why not? F**k it...We're in fashion."The 11 Definitive Accessories Trends Of Spring/Summer 2019
The 11 Definitive Accessories Trends Of Spring/Summer 2019
- FASHION TRENDS
- 16 Oct 2018
Still others spoke of the need for calm. See Jonathan Anderson at Loewe - "I wanted a calmness, a confidence, a look which is grounded" - or Natacha Ramsay Levi at Chloé: "You never get too much into one direction. You always balance more.” As for "diversity", that buzziest of watch words that often has a tokenistic application? It's finally registered with casting directors, and models of colour and maturity are walking runways with refreshing frequency. Lexicon down, and with winter well underway, welcome to the biggest trends of the new autumn/winter 2018/2019 season.
Related reading: Vogue's definitive guide to the spring/summer 2019 trends
Know this: for autumn, fashion is really, really wild for animal print. From leopard to ocelot, zebra to tiger, wild stripes and spots covered the catwalks, exuding power and independence and shameless self-promotion in equal measure. The difference now? The boldest iterations insist on a head-to-toe policy. Dare you.
Silk and velvet is all very well, but what to wear when you mean business? Increasingly, the answer from the autumn catwalks is a leather dress. Short and sassy at Miu Miu; ankle-length and utterly, deliciously irresistible at Loewe; shirt-shaped and smart at Hermès, Tod's, and Givenchy, leather was everywhere, and overwhelmingly grown-up.
You can't blame designers for taking the empowerment brief literally: with a renewed focus on crusading women in politics, film and fashion comes a fresh love affair with the cape. Beloved of superheroes, opera-goers and Capuchin monks, it's the elegant update on the puffer your wardrobe never knew it needed. Take it sharp and structured, as seen at Loewe and Saint Laurent, or go cosy with Isabel Marant and Missoni's blanket-like iterations.
Future-proofing your wardrobe is as simple as investing in a slash of silver, if Olivier Rousteing's theory is anything to go by: his biannual Babe Machine of a catwalk collection was on a Sci-Fi streak for autumn, as he imagined what women might be wearing in 2050. Get there first! Buy it now!
Blame the Queen (again): autumn's sleeper hit came courtesy of trusty, no-longer-fusty heritage tweed. Blown into exaggerated Eighties proportions at Marc Jacobs, rendered hyper-elegant at Chanel and Adam Lippes, and left to grouch and slouch away in supersize coat form at Miu Miu and Calvin Klein, tweed has a shapeshifting swagger for the new season, and the best part is, you can wear it with anything.
Just when you were tiring of the Princess Diana throwbacks, the Queen popped up at London Fashion Week, and with her came a whole stack of signature retro silk scarves. At Marine Serre, the young French designer had stockpiled and converted cliché French silks into gorgeous one-off dresses and handkerchief-hemmed skirts. At Gucci, Oscar De La Renta and Moschino, grandma's scarf was blown up and recut in sinuous, slinky shapes. Make like HM and wear yours with a matching headscarf knotted at the throat - preferably with giant "talk to the hand" sunglasses.
Oscar De La Renta