By Emily Hart
Below you'll find a few of the key trends from the recent Autumn Winter 20 catwalks that have the versatility to translate into a timeless style, season after season. Seasonless dressing is the best approach to increase the lifespan of garments and investing in signature pieces that have strong foundations for a modular wardrobe has never been more important.
In a world where we are faced with uncertain times, we hope this will be the chance for the fashion industry to re-evaluate the cycle of fashion. If anything, we have been given the opportunity to slow down and look at the way seasons are structured, see the benefits of a slower pace and more thoughtful consideration of sustainability at all levels, from design through to production. Despite incredibly difficult times ahead it will be interesting over the coming months to see how the industry adapts in response to the virus and its far-reaching impacts.
Where remote working has led to a demand for comfort dressing tactile knitwear and cut and sew fabrics will now have even more relevance. Boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred where technology has brought work to our homes but has also enabled us to bring typically outdoor activities such as exercise indoors. Multipurpose garments and accessories will become more common as we look for items that move seamlessly between work and leisure.
Consumers reach for the familiar in times of crisis, so cosy fabrics and soft handle yarns as seen in knitted sets and dresses gain importance as key pieces.
Fashion has long been a barometer for cultural and social change, and we see this response through boxy and relaxed silhouettes which cocoon and wrap the body, while high necks lean to a need for protection. Head to toe tonal dressing remains popular in neutrals like camel, cream and tobacco grounded by navy and highlighted by ice blue. Despite being minimal there is still a distinctly feminine aesthetic coming through. Soft draping and tailoring are belted for a cinched in feminine focus on the waist. Knife pleats are used for structure against soft fabrics while subtle cut-outs are used on modern shapes to splice across the body.
Organic textures and mark making prints have gained traction the past few seasons as designers look to natural sources for inspiration. Natural dyes are favoured to create authentic pattern and colour while digital print is used with the intention of creating less waste than traditional printing methods.
Boho Refresh draws on the bohemian spirit featured across the catwalk, with a nod to retro 70’s nostalgia. For sustainable solutions designers seek to upcycle end of stock fabrics through patchwork effects.
Traditional bohemian elements such as paisley prints are having a resurgence in popularity but remaining modern through muted and tonal colourations. The midi dress has shown itself to be a staple item, transitioning through the seasons with a flattering silhouette and its ability to be layered with coats and cardigans.
Utility detailing is mixed with prettier styles in this trend as seen through the use of quilting and patched surfaces on outerwear, filtering through to separates. Semi tailored pieces can also translate well through heritage checks mixed back with handcrafted elements.
The historical trend featured has had a strong influence in the past few seasons through the use of Neo Victoriana details and silhouettes like the puff sleeve gaining prominence. We love this fresh take on the trend that would work well for both winter and transitional summer dressing.
Pure whites and pastels anchor the palette while feminine patterns and textures add dimension to the story. Designers employ a variety of elements to juxtapose between soft and structure, where fluid fabrications such as recycled synthetics and peace silks are used for silhouette skimming dresses, and smock style shirts use organic cotton to create clean ruffles with statement placement. Gauzy, sheer fabrics create structure and can be used to play with opacity through layering. We think it’s great that this trend taps into the appetite for handmade, drawing on traditional craftsmanship such as smocking, applique and pintucking.
The trapeze dress that was a strong silhouette on the summer catwalks makes a return for winter using design details like shirring and tiering to update the shape, while on blouses the balloon sleeve shape remains key where the volume is centred around the cuff. These A-line structures can also be great for comfy at home dressing where you can pair a voluminous dress with slippers.