This season it's less about the opulent evening wear and more about the practical pieces that will aid your new-found love for the great outdoors.
While at times it feels like summer only just began, one cursory glance out of the window won't fill you with much joy this week (or the weeks to come for that matter) as Autumn is well and truly here. Usually, this change in weather signifies the time of year where we present to you the dramatic, striking and sometimes even unwearable fashion trends that are coming in hot from the A/W runways. While this season's runways had plenty of outstanding looks (think floor-length red sequinned gowns, puffball hemlines and XL shoulder pads), it would appear that this autumn/winter is less about the theatrics and more about practicality.
A transition that can only be accredited to the on-going global pandemic. It’s a paradox of lockdown that while we’ve stayed indoors more than ever, many of us have spent more time outside than we usually would, too. That began back in March, when everyone sought to stay sane by leaving the house once a day for our government-allotted hour – keeping our distance, touching as little as possible, doused in sanitiser – before heading home again. Our daily walk then became a weekly adventure to hike one of Ireland's scenic hiking trails – soon as we were allowed leave a 5km radius, that is – which then eventually matured into the phenomenon of the socially distanced picnic. But despite the temperature dropping or the fact bars, restaurants, cinemas and shopping centres have all re-opened, parks are still full of revellers every weekend.
So it's quite fitting that the AW20 collections reflect our love for the great outdoors. From waterproof boots you can climb mountains in, to duvet-style coats that will keep you warm while dining al fresco, the biggest trends this year are here to prove that both style and practicality can live together in peaceful harmony.
A non-mover in the fashion charts, stomping boots have secured themselves as the accessory du jour for another season. Of course, there are other options for those less willing to stomp (see over-the-knee), but for those committing to this trend, think the angrier the better. Balenciaga, Off-White and Versace opted for stomping boots of the Wellington order, while Bottega Veneta continued their winning streak of best stomper boots.
An unexpected addition to the list of trends you are going to want to shop from is the knitted dress. Thanks to his show-stopping catwalks set in an idyllic part of the South of France, Jacquemus has created a frenzy around the humble knitted dress. Often maxi in length and with a slit up the side, these dressed can be either loose or fitted. Pair yours with a pair of stomper boots (above) for a match made in sartorial but also practical heaven.
Fake it 'til you make it
With Irish weather being as unpredictable as ever, we have no way of knowing if this season will be all sunshine and unseasonably warm or blizzards and polar vortexes. But with statement faux fur jackets making waves on the runways, we're hoping for the latter. Designers got creative with what they’re spinning them out of—be it knits that appear like furs, real fur that’s ethical, or the latest in sustainable faux inventions. Whatever the fur, we’re ready to make an entrance in the likes of Celine, Miu Miu, and Saint Laurent.
CALL IT QUILTS
While puffa coats might be the ultimate winter warmer, the mass of fabric and bulky silhouette can be a little overwhelming. Enter the quilted coat. This season, inspiration has come from Chanel who offered up neatly quilted jacket shapes that look both smart and stylish; the perfect autumnal layer. Still to padded for you liking? Take a leaf out of Prada’s book and add a waist-cinching belt to help give you back some of your form so your coat doesn’t overwhelm you.
It might confuse you to see cardigans being listed on trends report given that they've rarely left the torsos of 'IT' girls in recent months. But it seems it's one-nil to the street-style set as cardigans have finally made the runways and by proxy, our wardrobes. Worn with everything from 70s inspired denim (see Chloé) to trouser suits (Coach 1941) and pencil skirts (Fendi, Christopher Kane). A welcome addition to our WFH wardrobe that encourages above the waist dressing.
BETTER IN LEATHER
While biker jackets will forever remain a staple in an AW wardrobe, this year they've gone under a makeover. Take inspiration from Keanu Reeves’s Matrix character and make like Neo. Yes, there were XXL coats and shearling coats and trench coats and capes, but it was the buttery-soft leather coats that reigned runways everywhere. Structured and a little prim at Fendi and Marni, 90's influenced at Khaite and Alberta Ferretti, you’ll be surprised with how quickly they elevate your jeans-and-a-jumper combination.
just the essentials
Has lockdown killed the handbag? If the runways are anything go by - yes. Fendi debuted a line of tech-infused accessories (part of a collaboration with house stylist Charlotte Stockdale’s Chaos line) which consisted of miniature brass pencils you can hang from your belt loop, a series of charms that attach to chain-link belts – including an Apple watch holder, a cigarette lighter, a set of shot glasses – and hang off bags looked to be a winner for those keen to ditch the maxi tote. Elsewhere, brands embraced luxury water-bottle holders that clip to bags, as well as leather EarPod holders on chains to be worn as necklaces.
Main image by @emmanuellek_ on Instagram, all runway images courtesy of Jason Llyod Evans
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