The writing was on the wall when Spring 2015 collections showcased both defined waistlines and oversized waist-surrendering silhouettes in equal measures. What we are seeing in modern fashion is an era of opposites.
A stark, strict and simple ‘90s minimalism complements maximal, playful and vibrant looks of the ‘60s and ’70s. Flared legs and skinnies reign supreme. Ladylike Pretty is just as strong as looks borrowed from the boys. Glamour lives comfortably with Athleisure. Futuristic graphic patterns shake hands with vintage Asian designs. The smoothest of fabrics create a happy home amidst a sea of furry and nubby textures. Lengths of tops and bottoms are both long and short. And vibrant colour is as infectious as neutrals.
With more diversity than ever in fashion, it’s about filtering the trends and adding flair to create a style that is all about YOU.
I pinned directional and trending catwalk outfits onto my board for the season. My favourite shows were Bally, Banana Republic, Prada, J.Crew, Rag & Bone, Daks, Jil Sander and Gucci Pre-Fall. Eight trends stand out to me, some of which are a continuation of existing trends while others are completely new. I’ll write about each of these trends in more detail at some point, but for now here is the overview.
’70s Boho & Glam
We’ve seen the ‘70s feature strongly in fashion all year and it’s gaining momentum. The ‘70s was all about casual and folksy bohemian outfits AND ultra glamorous and sensual combinations. Think tiered tops, pussy-bow blouses, suede coats, fringe anything, ponchos, capes, patchwork anything, tweed, flared jeans, flared trousers, braided belts, flouncy hemlines, bell sleeves, soft blousoned tops, belted coats and jackets, high waistlines on bottoms, midi skirts and dresses, jumpsuits, shearling vests and coats, ruffles, culottes, long skinny scarves, bucket bags, textured wool and faux fur.
The ‘70s brings the defined waist as well as colours like burnt orange, olive, chartreuse, rust, eggplant, navy, forest green, shades of dark red, brown, teal, camel and cognac leather.
Think ‘60s fashion with a whole lot of modern spunk. Colour blocked shift dresses, oversized houndstooth, all sorts of checked patterns, A-line mini skirts, tailored cropped pants suits, shrunken blazers, trapeze blazers, flared bracelet length sleeves, boxy cropped toppers, swing coats, cocoon coats, cropped skinnies, rolled necklines, cigarette pants, oversized earrings, and wearing fitted woven tunics over cropped pants. Very ladylike and girly.
My favourite aspect of this trend is the pairing of two items in exactly the same solid colour, like the two-piece dress, the two-piece jumpsuit, or matching a topper with a top.
The ‘60s brings surrendered waistlines as well as brights like orange, white, citron, cobalt, ink, emerald green, bright pink, bright purple and tomato red. Wear them in clashing combinations for a distinctive look.
Think extra long and fluid soft layers over wide trousers and soft A-line skirts. Wear long open duster coats and cardigans, maxi coats, car-wash skirts, and soft boxy top layers over soft trousers in one colour. Wear skirts over slim-fit trousers. Neutrals like black, tan and grey reign supreme, and Goth looks are in. Make ink your black for a softer look. And baguette bags are back.
Polar Vortex Chic
There were lots of fashion forward puffer coats and weatherproof boots on the runways, which I’m guessing is a nod to the arctic winter weather that has prevailed over the last few years. I’m not entirely sure how this will translate into retail, but I’m excited to see puffer coats, duck boots, snow boots and Winter woollies making a fashion statement.
This one is an offshoot from the androgynous looks we’ve borrowed from the boys for years. It’s less severe, more texture-rich, flouncy and quite Victorian. Think tailored ‘70s pantsuits with one or two-buttoned blazers and flared trousers. Or fitted tuxedos with lace accents. Wear fitted waistcoats, velvet separates and brocade separates. Soften suits and separates with romantic ruffled blouses, ribbon neckties, and soft pastel blouses. Finish off the look with patent footwear.
The Athleisure trend is here to stay. Remix all sorts of sport-inspired items with luxurious pieces to create a practical everyday look. Think upscale joggers, sweatshirts, backpacks, anoraks, hoodies, bomber jackets and haute baseball caps. Mesh insets, parachute fabric, neoprene, nylon, perforated textures, colour blocking, and drawstring details add a sporty touch to all outfits. And sneakers – heeled or flat, chunky or sleek, slip-on or laced, neutral or bright — make up the largest component of the Sporty Luxe trend.
Asian Patterns & Graphics
Patterns with a traditional Asian flavour (for example, traditional Chinese and Japanese patterns) continue to trend, although they are yet to go completely mainstream in Western fashion. Graphic patterns like windowpanes, in all their carnations, are stronger than ever and already mainstream.
Although these are two very different directions, they each pair well with other trends. Vintage Asian patterns work well with the ‘70s Boho and Glam trend, while graphic patterns work well with the Modern Mod trend.
Don’t worry! Booties, like skinnies, are far too practical and comfortable to become unstylish and dated. By all means continue to wear them with a smile. But ankle boots have been the “it” fashion shoe for years, which means that it’s time for a change. Think dressy and casual mid-calf boots, knee-high boots, booties with higher shafts that go well beyond the ankle bone, bootie-sneaker hybrids, haute hiking boots, flatforms, platforms, heeled loafers, heeled oxfords, flat loafers, duck boots, pumps with subtle square toes, pointy toe pumps, and Mary Janes.
It’s the Retro Futurism of today’s fashion that I find the most exciting at the moment, so bring on ’70s Glam and Modern Mod. ‘90s minimalism leaves me cold, and I’m indifferent about the Romantic Dandy. I’m curious about Polar Vortex Chic. I had a good run with Sporty Luxe last year so I’m giving it a bit of a break. I’m all over cognac knee-high boots and will have them tailor-made to fit my narrow calves. I’ll also be looking out for booties with much higher shafts, and sporting the sneaker-bootie hybrid.
The collection below shows items currently in store that hint at Fall 2015. Of course, the price points are extremely high because they are designer pieces. But the looks will filter down to more affordable price points as we head into peak season. What Banana Republic, J.Crew, H&M and Topshop showed at fashion week demonstrated exactly that.
Over to you. Which Fall and Winter trends tickle your fancy?