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The AW18 trend report

21 September 2018

Welcome to autumn/winter 2018 – a smorgasbord of fresh and exciting ideas, colours, silhouettes and ultimately, new characters to try on for size. It’s a season of two overarching persuasions: timeless versus trendy. In one camp lies the woman who believes less is more: think neutral tones, heritage prints and minimalist Seventies silhouettes; in the other camp we have the peacock with her more is more approach, embracing the return of Eighties glamour with maximalist animal prints, exaggerated shapes and sequins for days.

The good news is you don’t have to take sides. Chloé’s creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi said after her AW18 show, “When you get dressed that’s how you want to communicate with other people.” So consider the message you want to convey and make the trends work for you. But before you do, it’s wise to do some research before you truly invest (you wouldn’t commit to a new car, partner or house without shopping around first and the same goes for what you bring home to your wardrobe). We’ve rounded up the four headline looks this season to get you started. 


Refined rodeo

Wild horses couldn’t keep us away from this trend during the summer and the same goes for autumn. But before you take the rough-and-ready approach to Western, stop and polish your Cowboy boots because the all-American aesthetic is less about star-spangled rhinestones this season, more luxe Rodeo Drive. Parisian designer Isabel Marant took her ever-cool cowgirl out of the ranch and turned her into an urban woman, without losing her authenticity. Design duo Proenza Schouler took a bold, monochromatic route with Navajo-inspired pieces embellished with fringing and tribal motifs  appealing to the strong, warrior goddess within. And of course, there’s Etro’s more countrified interpretation with colourful patchwork capes paired with denim, and a strong attitude to go with it.

Catwalk images: Isabel Marant, Etro, Proenza Schouler.

Seventies catwalk

That seventies show

The Seventies is an era that we never lose sight of in the world of fashion. Symbolising freedom and newfound confidence, it’s no wonder its influence comes back to the catwalks time and time again. Fluid and effortless are the buzzwords for this season’s spin, with the new neutrals, copper and camel, fronting the desired colour palette. It’s a look that will appeal if you love a slick, minimalistic wardrobe – particularly for daytime. As Chloé’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi proved with her collection, making an impact doesn’t have to mean bold prints and excessive sparkle – this is how you stand out by blending in. It’s a very French approach, exerting feminine nonchalance to give off subtle sex appeal to even a simple roll neck and loose-fitting trousers. Your icons? Ali MacGraw and Anjelica Huston.

Catwalk images: Chloé, Miu Miu, Tod's.

Check trend

Love your heritage

It could be the Queen’s influence – but fashion has turned supremely patriotic for autumn with heritage check, tweed and tartan at every turn. How to wear it? The good news is anything goes – and it goes with anything. Try power dressing à la Christian Dior with a slick suit (note how it’s pared back with a fun sweater underneath – it’s not to be taken too seriously), channel New Zealand-born designer Emilia Wickstead and turn heads in traditional red tartan – head-to-toe if you dare – or channel actress Elle Fanning (above right) on the Miu Miu catwalk, toughening up traditional tweed with touches of leather and a killer beehive. There’s plenty of plaid to go around: this is a trend that most certainly isn’t checking out.

Catwalk images: Christian Dior, Emilia Wickstead, Miu Miu.

80s catwalk

Eighties revival

Here’s one for the fashion magpies: whether you were born in the Eighties or not, we’re pretty sure you’ll have love for this trend (cue Calvin Harris’s cult song, Acceptable in the 80s). From Balmain to Tom Ford, designers celebrated excess in all its forms, be it through colour, sparkle or an exaggerated silhouette. Clashing prints? Go for it. Skin-tight leather? Absolutely. This is a look that guarantees to turn heads – just make sure you’re ready for it. If you’re embodying Madonna in her all-singing, all-dancing, power-shoulder wearing heyday, you’ve nailed it.

Catwalk images: Balmain, Halpern, Tom Ford.

Catwalk photography by Jason Lloyd Evans.





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