As the tagline for the famous documentary September Issue states, “Fashion is a religion and this is the bible”.
Though traditional media is changing and exhaustive online fashion week coverage now gives everyone a front row seat to what’s unfolding, in fashion magazine land, the September issue is still the big one.
Jam-packed with new season ad campaigns, these hefty tomes can run to 400+ page and are most magazines’ bestseller, as even the most well informed fashionistas look to the September issues for trend reports and editorials that give readers, if not their first taste of what the coming season will bring, then a definitive take on the trends that matter.
And when it comes to autumn/winter 2016, they are unanimous: throw away the rulebook because individuality reigns supreme. From Vogue, to Porter, to Harper’s Bazaar, fashion editors are welcoming fun back into fashion, with Elle declaring, “So long minimalism. It’s time to embrace the joy of the fashion extrovert again.” For the fashion extrovert, more is more and anything goes and this season’s muse — personified at Gucci — is part-English Eccentric, part-80s Glamazon, part-Stevie Nicks and all woman. Designers have unleashed an unambiguous and unabashed femininity on autumn/winter ’16, and it’s not of the ‘fragile flower’ variety.
Instead, this is the return of a fiercer femininity. As Elle points out: “This isn’t girlishness of the frail or demure kind, but rather of the ‘I slay’ variety”, while Vogue welcomes “a fresh spirit – opinionated, clever and unashamedly provocative’, as they tell readers ‘It’s time to get sassy”.
It’s a rejection of conformity that seems to be contagious, as Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Justine Picardie writes: “I prefer to dress according to my own taste, rather than a front-row formula that feels more akin to a school uniform.” Image editor Rosaleen McMeel celebrates queen of quirk Angela Scanlon, and urges readers: ‘Take your cue from her inspiring approach and delight in fashion this season… rejoice in your own personal style.”
So, how best to go about that?
Well, in the spirit of the season, just dive right in! Outlining their top trends, Vogue and Irish Tatler both looked to Gucci, and Alessandro Michele’s riotous assortment of fashion references that ran the gamut from Sloane Ranger to ’70s prom queen to ’80s biker, via the Renaissance stylings of Catherine de Medici, a detour into chinoiserie, and a cacophony of colour and print.
All of the season’s key trends were there; tweeds and checks, frills and ruffles, velvet, brocade and colourful furs.
There was military styling, 1980s glam, and sequins and lamé in a collection that has inspired everything from pink faux furs at Penneys to stacked satin platforms at River Island.
If the Gucci girl is the girl of the season, she’s transitioning into autumn in mixed tweeds and quirky prints, embracing brocade and sequins for party season drama, and keeping cosy in oversized checks and colourful furs.
If that feels like too much for you, try working just one statement piece at a time, or downplaying the drama. There’s something there for everyone, and with style-leaders championing individuality, new season style is yours for the taking!