Runway to reality: How to make the catwalk trends work for you

Missguided bomber, €56. Top Shop boyfriend jeans, €56 Top Shop slip dress, €35

Think you’ll never be able to wear the outlandish designs seen on the catwalk? From graphic stripes at Dolce and Gabbana to sheer at Alberto Ferretti, Lorna McGinn shows us how to make this season’s key trends accessible on the high street.


Each year, there are two profoundly important months in the fashion industry. 

Yes, it is undeniable how fast fashion moves and yes, a great fashion trend or iconic fashion moment is highlighted every other week. 

But the lasting trends are the ones that come to life during the months of February and September — the months that pave the way for the following six months of fashion. 

Many believe they are immune to these fashion weeks, maintaining that the A-list fash pack that attend the shows are the only ones affected by the happenings in New York, Paris, London and Milan. 

But alas, without reciting Miranda Priestley’s epic speech about that cerulean sweater in The Devil Wears Prada (haven’t seen it?

What on earth have you been waiting for?), you can rest assured that what takes place during these two months sets the tone for every trend thereafter — even that cerulean sweater you’re wearing.

SHEER AND SLIP-ON: A model walks the runway at the Alberta Ferretti show during Milan Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2016/17.(Photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage)
SHEER AND SLIP-ON: A model walks the runway at the Alberta Ferretti show during Milan Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2016/17. (Photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage)

We may never experiment with the outlandish statement of Rick Owen’s SS’16 collection and the Yeezy Spring Ready-To-Wear collection is not exactly our cup of tea — wearing nude tights as a bodysuit? 

Even if we wanted to wear them, our mammy’s wouldn’t let us, sure we’d catch our deaths in them! 

But there’s no denying that the abundance of slip-on dresses and sheer shirts splashed across the high street originated from those very special catwalk shows in New York, Paris, London and Milan, like Alberta Ferretti, above. 

Geek chic, the return of 90s grunge, and graphic stripes adorning culottes and overcoats are the fruits of Roksanda, Dolce and Gabanna, right, and Roberto Cavalli’s labour. 

And we want to eat these fruits right up, albeit in a more wearable way.

GRAPHIC STRIPES: A model walks the runway at the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show as part of Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016.
GRAPHIC STRIPES: A model walks the runway at the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show as part of Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016.

If you’re a fashion aficionado, you will have had your eyes glued to the screen when these shows aired and would have noted a correlation between these shows and what arrived in your local store the following weeks. 

Some of these trends were far-out, to say the least — however, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

And there’s always a way to incorporate the big names into your wardrobe without spending the big bucks — here’s how.

Oriental Bombers

The powerhouse that is Gucci turned heads at their SS’16 runway show by adorning their clothes in oriental prints. And the world fell at their feet — the fashion world that is. 

Even the male Spring/Summer shows have impacted women’s fashion choices this season. 

Oriental bomber jackets were the focal point of the Louis Vuitton menswear runway show and we have spotted them everywhere since. 

Runway to reality: How to make the catwalk trends work for you

Summertime’s jacket of choice is a rich satin (or sateen as many of the brilliant knock-offs are) and emblazoned with prints, inspired by orient heritage. 

Too bold, you say? Not exactly. 

These prints look great paired back with a slick pair of trousers or a laid-back pair of boyfriend jeans. 

Give your work wardrobe a cool update by slinging one of these jackets over your shoulders and you’ll look like a fashion editor in no time. 

The blogger — turned — megastar, Chiara Feragni, aka The Blonde Salad gave a nod to the trend on her Instagram recently so if you haven’t picked one up already, get on it before they’re gone.

Bomber Jacket, €56, Missguided on 

Wear with…

Boyfriend Jeans, €56, Topshop


Underwear as outerwear took a very different meaning for the season ahead. 

Although pyjama style tops are still on the fashion radar, it’s slip dresses that have truly been gaining popularity as of late. 

Last summer, it was all about styling your pjs with a pair of heels and a bold attitude. 

But in reality, this rarely translated well — unless you were preened to perfection and a well-oiled part of the high-fashion machine. 

What does translate well though is a silky slip that leaves nothing to the imagination, paired with a cooler-than-ice t-shirt a la Kendall Jenner. 

She may only be 20 but having a consistent team of stylists and oodles of cash means you’re leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of us in the style stakes. 

Emilio Pucci and Celine opted for slip-on dresses to be the centerpoint of their shows and while we fell head-over-heels for this look, we reckon pairing yours with a simple T or embellished sweater might be a safe bet.

Slip Dress, €35, Topshop

Wear with…

White T-shirt, €13, River Island

Graphic Stripes

Beetlejuice meets Charlie and The Chocolate Factory was personified this season and scary as that may be, the High Street versions are too cool to miss. 

Florals for spring may always be a safe bet, but bold stripes will make 2016 a summer not to forget. 

Runway to reality: How to make the catwalk trends work for you

Shying away from loud prints is a natural reaction, particularly for us Irish people — God forbid people thinking we had notions about ourselves. 

But if you can summon the courage to rock a stripe in your work shirt — or better yet, a pair of statement culottes, you’re sure to be mistaken for a fashion insider in no time. 

Dolce and Gabbana showcased a killer shirt dress in their SS’16 collection and the High Street immediately began replicating.

Wide Leg Trousers, €42, Miss Selfridge

Wear with…

Biker Jacket, €910, Iro

Awkward-Length Trousers

Tricky yes, but think of all the benefits — barely having to shave above your ankles, staying warm in the summer (this is Ireland, lest we forget) and most importantly looking super cool. 

They may be christened ‘awkward’ but they’re not half as difficult to master as you would think. 

Awkward-length trousers and jeans should hit around two inches above your ankles — pretty specific, right? 

The trick is to look like you did when you were nine — too tall for your hand-me-down pants and mammy refusing to buy you another pair.

Wide Leg Pants, €395, Joseph

Wear with…

T Shirt, €25, Topshop

Space Age

Metallics for summer? Oh yes, this is 2016 ladies and anything flies, even shiny silvers and golds. Leaving your metallics and iridescents in the back of your wardrobe until winter is so passe. 

Emilio Pucci was way ahead of the trends for SS16 and knocked one, but two out of the park.

Runway to reality: How to make the catwalk trends work for you

Giving metallics a fresh, seasonal feel, Pucci mixed dusty blue separates and silver pants with tones of pink and purple. 

Need to dip your toes in the fash-forward pool before diving head first in? Choose iridescent accessories for a simple yet effective space age injection. 

Why not go all out and opt for mirrored pieces as seen on the Loewe runway this year — if you’re feeling brave that is.

Metallic Tote, €69.95, Zara

Wear with...

Twill Blouse, €215, Topshop Unique

Sheer Intentions

The boldest of them all, who dares to bare in sheer? 

Sheer is on our radar like never before and was the most discernible trend across every show during February’s fashion week. 

Not for the faint hearted, the sheer trend takes the everywoman’s fears and puts them right out there for all to see — boobs and all. 

There is a way of incorporating this into your wardrobe. Floaty chiffons and pretty organza fabrics allow you to embrace the trend, while not looking completely naked. 

The key is to build up light layers — or opacities — for a look that works in real life. Think pretty, floaty fabrics.

Bomber jacket, €49, Zara

Wear with…

Embellished Shorts, €45, ASOS


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