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Fashion Week Trends: Autumn 13 sets

Trends weren’t just seen on the catwalks, they were the catwalks.

Amongst all the mannish proportions, embroidery and the like, two other trends have emerged across London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks. But instead of just similarities in silhouette, they have also been in the sets houses have created to show off their collections, potentially inspiring visual merchandising up and down the land.

The first trend to sprout up has been spindly tree patterns, whether projected in silhouette at Salvatore Ferragamo, warm and gently brushed at Marni or real life branches at Alexander Wang’s debut for Balenciaga. Trees symbolise power and life. They are at once grounded while reaching for the stars – surely the perfect balance for a designer to which to aspire? Consuelo Castiglioni, co-founder and creative head of Marni, described her collection as “austere but romantic”, perfectly mirroring the mood her winter woodland scene created.

The other big set trend to shine through this season has been giant, mirrored objects seen in blimpy, beach ball form at Raf Simons’ Dior, multifaceted central surface form at Jil Sander and chunky square block form at Jonathan Saunders. Perhaps after all the griping and snippiness of the last few seasons, this is a way of designers holding up a mirror to the critics and buyers, forcing them to take a long hard look at themselves. Or maybe, like the fashion magpies they are, they just like shiny things. Who knows? Jil Sander’s irregular shape was designed to evoke a sense of luxuriousness and preciousness, like a diamond – perhaps the message is as simple as that.

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