For the last couple of seasons, I’ve written a sartorial A-Z of the biggest catwalk trends (AW11 here and here, SS12 here). It even got the Grazia seal of approval, featuring in Grazia Daily’s Fashion Blog Round-up. Here’s a summary of the top trends for autumn/winter 12.
A – Androgyny
Fashion’s love affair with androgyny looks far from waning. Designers including Chanel, Acne and Isabel Marant took inspiration from menswear: cigarette trousers, crisps white shirts, brogues and even just-borrowed-from-the-boyfriend bow-ties.
B – Belt Up
On the catwalk statement over-belts cinched ladylike jackets, bulky overcoats and glamorous gowns. In fact, if you’re wearing clothes – just add a belt. See McQ, Mulberry and Burberry Prorsum for reference.
C – Check It Out
This season checks, plaids and tartans ruled the runways, with Jonathan Saunders, JW Anderson and Marni all championing the pattern. The key is to keep the rest of the look pared-back and keep the colour palette fresh and modern. A splash of red and black plaid is perfect for the festive season.
D – Downton Dahling
When a designer bases their whole collection on a TV series, you know it’s hit the bigtime style-wise. Downton Abbey’s countrified style inspired Ralph Lauren’s autumn/winter collection – models even walked to the show’s theme. Others were at it too – Matthew Williamson, Paul Smith and Margaret Howells’ collections looked like a Downton shooting-weekend: corduroy, Fairisle and jodhpurs.
E – Elaborate Finish
Give your winter wardrobe a lavish update à la Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane and Dolce & Gabbana with ornate brocade, eye-catching appliqué and bold baroque detailing, or in fact all of the above, at the same time.
F – Femme Fatale
The Femme Fatale was on the prowl at Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane and Erdem this autumn/winter. Sheer-paneled pussy bow blouses and skin-tight pencil skirts cut a scandalous silhouette. Pair with elegant (and just a little bit naughty) elbow-length leather gloves, the accessory of the season.
G – Geometric
Make a graphic statement with geometric print knitwear. Jonathan Saunders, Kenzo and Proenza Schouler all took inspiration from graphic shapes and patterns. Work bold prints in the guise of slouchy, oversized knits for maximum impact and an air of arty insouciance.
H – Hip to Hip
This season it’s all about emphasizing curves with panniers, padding and the ubiquitous peplum – which (luckily for peplum-lovers like me) looks set to stay around next season. As seen at Marc Jacobs, Jil Sander, Carven, Stella McCartney, Lanvin… well everywhere really.
I – Intricate Accessories
For autumn/winter 12 more is definitely more, so make sure accessories are aesthetic, embellished and dripping in glitz for maximum wow factor. Shrinking violets needn’t apply.
J – Jewels on Top
The hottest clothing-accessory combo this season comes in the guise of enormous statement necklaces paired with clashing patterns and textures. For a look that screams autumn/winter 12 wear an oversized necklace (preferably something blingy) with a brocade top.
K – Kooky Heels
This season, pencil-thin stilettos are out and chunky, kooky heels are in. Squat, triangular heels are the hottest shape around, and comfier than skyscraper stilettos to boot. Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel put the focus on kooky footwear this season.
L – Leather
Leather is the key trend for autumn/winter 12 – it’s everywhere this season. From full on leather looks, such as baggy leather trews as seen at Topshop Unique, Givenchy and Mulberry to smaller details, vamp up your everyday ensembles with a touch of leather.
Stay tuned for part two…