As we mourn the last days of summer, the time has come to press pause on the purchasing of strappy dresses and slinky sarongs.
Now is the time to get ahead and start investing in some key pieces that will work hard in your winter wardrobe. And this season, the runways were an eclectic mix.
A prudish aesthetic permeated via sensible suiting, Regency dresses and floor-skimming coats, while sassier dressers were catered for via maximal mini dresses and frou-frou ruffles.
To make sense of the seemingly-anything-goes mishmash of options on offer, we have selected the key trends that we’re convinced will be big this winter.
Wanna look bang on for your bucks? Do not go shopping without this guide.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that… softly rounded, Regency-inspired square necklines are set to replace Victoriana pie crust collars for autumn. Darcy-delighting minimalist interpretations were seen at Bevza and Chalyan, while Paul Costelloe’s bosom-bearing floral jacquard would no doubt get Mrs Bennett’s seal of approval.
By now you’re familiar with a warm weather white-out, but who says the all over bleach is just for the beach? Full on frosty ensembles are a crisp and clever way to dress for cooler climes. Models at Roland Mouret and Dolce & Gabbana doubled down on ivory suiting, while Fendi and Chanel showed top-to-toe winter whites worthy of a super chic ski trip. Fresh, versatile and powerful in its purity, head-to-toe snow is a look for all seasons – though best avoided by the mucky eaters.
Billowing sleeves have been a mainstay of our 2019 summer wardrobes, and, for winter, the balloon sleeve has far from burst, in fact it’s been blown a little bigger, and very much migrated up to the shoulders. Anyone in the market for some OTT party dresses should look no further than Alessandra Rich and Richard Quinn, who made the case for floral minis with exaggerated puffball shoulders, while the statement tailoring at Givenchy, Lemaire and Alexander McQueen were office-appropriate ways to tackle the trend.
Bid adieu to summer’s silk headscarves, for winter’s neck gear is brief and beefy. Gabriella Hearst kept short scarves tonal, while Henry Holland knotted neon quilting at jaunty angles and Tod’s wrapped last year’s chunky knits tight about the neck. At Chloe the trend was further truncated with brightly coloured, thick-knit snoods. However you choose to tie ‘em, this season’s message is clear. No flapping tassels, no billowing blankets; do knot mess around.
Ruffle hems and prairie collars have been big on the sartorial agenda for a year now. But come autumn, and one frill will simply not do. According to everyone from Erdem to Ports 1961, Roksanda and Molly Goddard, 2019’s Christmas parties will be awash with frou-frou layer cakes. While not for the faint of heart, the flounce, once mastered, can be truly frilling. Go forth friends, and ruffle some feathers.
Spring’s rounded Peter Pan collars are set to be replaced this season by altogether sharper-necked shirting. Everyone from Alexa Chung to Eudon Choi, Fendi and Victoria Beckham decreed an exaggerated Elvis collar to be boss. Wear over the lapels of your jacket and poking over the top of jumpers for a look that’s kinda nerdy, but that’s the (pointy) point.
The midi dress has had a lot of airtime over the last few years, and frankly her naughty younger sister, the mini, is well overdue her time in the sun. From Christian Cowan’s fuchsia feathered swan-like creations to Attico’s golden foil hearts, this season the mini is back, and in true mini style, she’s mightier and minxier than ever.
OK, we’ll admit, florals as a trend is not (ahem) ground-breaking, but a trend it is, once again. This winter take your cues from Erdem, Simone Rocha, Dries Van Noten and Lela Rose and opt for maxi dresses in hues of purple, black and claret and unapologetically bold floral designs. Think Dracula on date night.
Perhaps it’s the extravagant excesses of material, or maybe it’s the devil-may-care attitude to the inherent risk of rising damp, but there is something so fabulously louche about a floor-skimming, ankle swooshing winter coat. Go oversized houndstooth a la Chanel, or demure dusty pink a la Dennis Basso, but whatever you do, go long.
From opera-ready jacquard at Richard Quinn, to floor swooshing boucle at Chanel and dinky little boleros at Mishka and Dolce, capes were all over the autumn 2019 runways. A good cape has the power to make you feel simultaneously shielded and powerful, not to mention more than a little bit like a superhero. And frankly, in times like these, we could all do with a bit of that.
We got to the point where our teeny tiny bags couldn’t get any teenier. Hell, some of them didn’t even fit an iphone. Fashion’s answer? To embrace the other extreme and advocate larger-than-life totes. Proenza Schouler, Jacquemus, and Stella McCartney all gave us monster holdalls – quite the handful, but at least we have space for all seven of our favourite lip balms.
Do you have a favourite shoulder? No? Best make a decision pronto because only 50 per cent of your clavicle mass will be seeing the light of day come party season. Attico, Halpern and Saint Laurent all made the case for eighties-inflected one-shouldered party dresses, while Alberta Ferretti offered an asymmetrical top that wouldn’t look entirely out of place in a (rather glamorous) boardroom. Best blade forward .
Suits have been a sartorial staple for some time now, and for winter 2019 they’re getting broader shouldered and wider legged. To balance these new proportions many houses showed jackets nipped in at the waist with belts. From the skinny belts on oversized jacket dresses at Acne, to leather disc belts over tawny checks at Khaite, this season’s suiting really is a cinch.