London’s designers stepped back in time by using trends from down the decades, with the 1970s leading the way.
Many of London’s womenswear designers looked to iconic decades for inspiration this season, offering up familiar looks from recent history. Seen on the catwalk during London’s five-day fashion week on February 20 to 24 were hints of the 1960s in Peter Pilotto’s retro curved-hem dresses, David Koma’s minimalist mods and Daks’ vintage biker girls, while JW Anderson took all the tackiness of the 1980s and reimagined it for the modern day.
The biggest influence, however, came from the 1970s. A trend already dominating spring 15, many brands stuck with the look and delivered key items and fresh directions for autumn (see the following pages for more details), typified by Burberry Prorsum’s boho collection, as pictured here. The 1970s are back. Again.
An outerwear item that was spotted in several collections during New York Fashion Week (including Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger and Marc Jacobs), the cape is fast becoming a key new season piece that buyers should look out for. Offering a point of difference to the usual coat or jacket styles, in London they were used as layering pieces, such as Christopher Raeburn’s throw-on cover-up style.
On the fringes
Fringing was all over the London catwalks, often tapping into the season’s 1970s vibe. At Burberry Prorsum it came in suede, covering everything from knee-skimming high-waisted midi skirts and signature trenches to edging ponchos and capes, as well as on accessories like knee-high boots and bucket bags. Designers such as Julien Macdonald used fringing to bring movement to eveningwear, and Sibling channelled the trend into cosy fringed wool cardigans.
A bit of fluff
After featuring heavily at New York Fashion Week, fur - both the real and fake varieties - remained very much on the agenda in London. Spotted at Roksanda, Hunter Original, Matthew Williamson and House of Holland, among others, fur can be styled in a multitude of ways, with the longer, shaggy styles offering yet another way to tap into autumn 15’s 1970s focus. Furry collars, trims and linings nod to the trend.
Flair for flares
In another nod to fashion’s ongoing love for all things 1970s, flared trousers swished down many catwalks. Some designers opted for slight flares as a wink to the decade’s most famous item, while others went all out with dramatically exaggerated shapes, 1970s-style high waists and retro fabrics such as corduroy.
Anyone for polo?
Another New York trend to cross the Atlantic was polo necks. At David Koma and Daks they were tucked into modish miniskirts, channelling the season’s retro vibe, and at Margaret Howell they were slouchy and cosy. Slim-fitting polo necks can be layered under jackets, jumpers and even dresses. The oversized sleeveless version by 1205 would work well over a long-sleeved tee.
The velvet revolution
Velvet is always popular for autumn and winter, and it seems this season will be no different, with London designers demonstrating the many ways in which this tactile fabric can be used. At Emilio de la Morena, an off-the-shoulder black dress was elegant and ladylike, while Giles’s floor-sweeping, corseted number was an exercise in gothic drama.
Whether it conformed to the traditional idea of a brocade pattern, as at Mary Katrantzou, or expressed something entirely more abstract and modern, as at Osman, brocade and fancy jacquard were big news on the London catwalks. Buyers should look out for brocade on eveningwear in particular, as this rich, lustrous fabric could be a little heavy for the daytime.