The British summer has been glorious this year (hot weather and sun in Summer? Who would have thought!) and much as we appreciate this unusual turn of events, we’re getting really excited about the coming Autumn/Winter season. Why? Shopping for our new season wardrobe of course! And from the sneak peeks retailers have given us to far, the fashion forecast is looking good. So what are the key trends you’ll be filling your wardrobe with in the coming months? We spoke to some of our favourite retailers and industry insiders to find out...
From high fashion... This Autumn/Winter, designers are paying tribute to traditional British style, from heritage checks to cable knits and military-inspired design - and what better season to do it? Brits designers are leading the cause, with Victoria Beckham using Prince of Wales check, gingham AND houndstooth in her collection, while Burberry topped brocade dresses with brass-buttoned military jackets and plaid coats.
To the high street... The best thing about the heritage trend? You probably already own it! From ASOS cable knits to Topshop’s shearling jacket, these already classic Autumn/Winter staples are back and this season, it’s all in the styling. Pair your patriotic looks with combat-inspired boots, as advised by Faye Bradbury, buyer for Kurt Geiger, “The perfect partner to Autumn/Winter’s cosy heritage looks, chunky soled boots are perfect for toughening up off-duty dressing. Laced-up combat or brogue boots like the Rocco will pair perfectly with a midi skirt and oversized jumper.”
From high fashion... If there were ever a trend to call timeless, it’s animal print. Seen at Dolce and Gabbana, Givenchy and Bottega Veneta to name a few, designers fawned over classic big cat prints, including leopard and tiger. Even the famously minimalist brand Calvin Klein showed more than a handful of printed pieces, from cheetah to snow leopard!
To the high street... Forget what you think you know about animal prints, this season you’re guaranteed to have a change of heart. Celebrity stylist Alex Longmore, whose clients have included Claudia Schiffer, Jerry Hall, Twiggy and Katherine Jenkins, advises, “Animal print has got a bad wrap in the past for being too bold and overpowering, but it doesn’t have to be if you style it right! Take a note out of Kate Moss’ book and only wear one item of animal print at any one time mixed into your outfit.”
From high fashion... More so than any season before, velvet is showing its versatility. Whether a feminine velvet dress layered under a polo neck, like on the Valentino and Rochas catwalk, or a contemporary two-piece suit like New York designer 3.1 Phillip Lim presented, velvet isn’t just for after-hours occasions anymore.
To the high street... While the catwalk’s presentation of velvet might be a little OTT, the high street has an array of gorgeous velvet options that are infinitely more wearable. intu Lakeside personal stylist, Carlene Noel, says, “Velvet is everywhere this season, from shoes to handbags and dresses. Some of my clients are a little unsure about this trend, so I advise experimenting with something small, like a velvet choker, and working your way up until you’ve found that velvet sweet spot. Personally I love a velvet suit, it’s the perfect ‘little black dress’ alternative for your next party.”
From high fashion... Fashion lost one of its great inspirations this year, so it’s only right they pay tribute to music legend Prince by filling the catwalk with the style icon’s signature hue. From aubergine to lavender, shades of purple were seen everywhere from Michael Kors to Kenzo, Miu Miu to Roberto Cavalli, with the latter channelling the icon almost literally in velvet two-piece suits and purple flares.
To the high street... Style & Living Writer at Marks and Spencer, Laura Markwardt, says, “From pretty palma violet to princely deep purple there’s a lush shade of lilac to suit every skin tone come Autumn. Not generally a pastel person? Switch up your standard grey marl T-shirt for modern violet or plump for textured plum accessories for after dark drama.” We particularly love Marks & Spencer dark aubergine wide leg trousers - style with heels for a leg-lengthing effect.
From high fashion... Call it a cliché, but razzle ‘em, dazzle ‘em sparkle is hot once again for for Autumn/Winter. Whether it was the jewel-toned brocades at Burberry, glistening gold lace at Roberto Cavalli or mirror beading at Temperley London, designers went OTT putting on the ritz. The stand-out show though was Alexander McQueen, who showed everything from dresses embroidered with sparkling night skies to messy hairdo’s punctuated with crystal brooches.
To the high street... Now this is one trend that will speak to your inner girly girl. Perfect for party season, Shop Insider’s Content Editor Katie Ecclestone can’t wait to let her inner magpie fly, “The majority of the year, you’ll find me in monochrome T-shirts and basic denim, but come party season I am all over the sparkles! Not a huge fan of sequins? Why not try a contemporary take on the classic trend, by pairing a metallic maxi skirt with a lacy black tank and tough girl boots, à la River Island - very Nineties, very on-trend.”