6 key trends for Autumn/Winter 2016 from LFW

 
6 key trends for Autumn/Winter 2016 from LFW

Fashion shows — once trade events meant solely for press, couture clients and store buyers — grow more consumer-facing every year.

Several brands now speed up production cycles so fashionistas streaming shows online can shop at least some catwalk pieces within hours of their debut.

Burberry, which pioneered fashion show live-streaming in 2008, will make an entire collection available after its September 2016 presentation.

Tom Ford has also announced plans for more consumer-driven schedule, telling Women’s Wear Daily this month: “In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to consumers is an antiquated idea and one that no longer makes sense.

"We have been living with a fashion calendar and system that is from another era.”

Florals Bloom Large

This “see now, buy now” policy means is only a matter of time before the traditional Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter seasons impact trends not at all, and the ubiquity of florals in the Autumn/Winter 2016 collections is surely an early sign.

Exotic flowers and butterflies embroidered on weighty winter-coats were an unexpected yet exquisite sight at Alexander McQueen on Sunday.

Designer Sarah Burton pulled out all the stops for the brand’s return to the LFW schedule, parading bloom-embellished eiderdown coats and dramatic lace evening gowns with silky floral and lipstick appliqués.

Huge cut-out or stencil-print roses at Mulberry and Holly Fulton showed the trend writ large, while Markus Lupfer opted for cute daisies embroidered on sheer anoraks and dressed.

The shamrock appliqués at both JW Anderson and Simone Rocha were, if not quite flowers, equally cheering.

Trousers Replace Tights

Layering is another season-transcending trend, and has the added bonus of eminent practicality.

Skinny jeans may be fashionably dead over a year ago now (bet you’re still wearing yours!), but their trouser equivalent has been repurposed to preserve one’s modesty and body heat while sporting some of the newest skirts and dresses.

Vertiginous slits through Vivienne Westwood’s mini skirts and cocktail dresses made shorts or trousers a necessity, and slim pants extended from beneath JW Anderson’s full-skirted short frocks.

Danielle Romeril’s autumn offering also reflected this trend. The Dublin-born designer showed pretty long-sleeve minidresses over slim trousers with open seams at the knees.

Stars…

Antsy political pundits must not have been the only ones with November’s presidential election on the brain late last year.

I cannot quite picture Hillary Clinton in Gareth Pugh’s white-on-blue star-print trench when she finally puts her hand on that bible, but it would be fabulous.

And who wouldn’t forgive her all those dreadful nineties pantsuits if she added the matching hat?

Over at Mary Katrantzou, the theme was romance and rodeo. Fans of her complex embellishments strained to analyse pieces replete with star, horse and heart motifs, embroidery depicting eagles, and the odd bit of animal pelt-trim.

Designer Charlotte Dellal really proved that a shoe and handbag collection can substantiate a catwalk show, especially if one has a gorgeous new jewellery line to debut alongside it, and a friend like Piers Atkinson to whip up some whimsical hats for the occasion.

…and Stripes

Stripes angled in all directions covered everything from floor-length gowns to wide-leg cropped trousers (clearly the stand-alone trouser silhouette of the season, there was not a culotte in sight this time around).

Wexford designer Richard Malone impressed at Fashion East, the catwalk showcase for emerging talents.

His pinafores, apron dresses, cropped trousers and casual jackets bore a mix of turquoise zebra-print, blue-striped and egg-yolk yellow panels, and stayed true to the fashion-forward but wearable style that’s endeared him to the fashion press thus far.

Emilia Wickstead took the unconventional step of striping evening gowns from turtle-necks to long sleeves and floor-sweeping hems.

It will be interesting to see if these modern, super-modest designs make it to the red carpet next season.

So many alternatives go to the opposite extreme (sheer gowns with smatterings of sequins or lace will definitely be premiere choices through Autumn 2016), that cool girls like Olivia Wilde and Brie Larson will surely stripe up.

So-o Many Sequins and Ruffles

Sequins were the week’s most glaringly obvious trend and will be lighting up dark winter days as well as evenings.

They sparkled from cute minidresses at Burberry and bedazzled sweaters, socks and a random crash helmet at Sibling.

David Koma showed them mixed with chainmail and studs in his leather-dress dominated show.

Ashish retains London’s “King of Bling” crown but Preen’s shimmering pink cocktail dresses gave him a run for his Swarovski.

Look out for the pretty sequin beige midi-skirt at Topshop Unique.

Subtle and affordable, this is also the season’s key skirt length. Ruffles and ruching will be also the rage next season.

JW Anderson had the most interesting take on this trend, redefining cocktail wear with his futuristic rara skirts and twist-collared trapeze cut tops.

Greatcoats and Great Coats

Even the fashion indifferent need a good winter coat, and Greatcoats were prevalent, whether traditional military, as at Burberry and Temperley London, or more feminine styles like those at Roksanda, Simone Rocha and Barbara Casasola. Colourful appliqués and prints made them statement pieces.

Forever irreverent, Anya Hindmarch, used Tetris bricks, Pacman icons and rainbow prints on the coats in her kitsch-themed collection. All the better to match with her Rubik’s cube bag charms.

If you haven’t the height to pull off a greatcoat’s long, enveloping cut, fret not — there will be plenty of chic trenches on the rails, as spotted at Gareth Pugh, Sibling and Burberry.

It is also quite a big season for outerwear with fur details, both faux and for real. Topshop Unique showed several faux shearling coats.

They may not be PC, but JW Anderson’s hooded fur-jackets are hip-hop fabulous.

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