The women’s autumn 15 catwalks drew to a close last week in Paris, where a host of crowd-pleasing trends were confirmed.
It’s no surprise to see tweed featuring heavily on the autumn runways - but the difference this season came in how it was used. Not just reserved for outerwear (though there were plenty of tweed coats and capes), it was also used to create Balenciaga’s embellished jumpsuit, Loewe’s loose, mannish trousers and Stella McCartney’s ladylike dress. Tweed is, of course, a signature mainstay at Chanel, where the classic skirt suit was reworked in a longer ankle-skimming length.
Though florals tend to be reserved for spring collections, Paris designers proved that - with a slight tweak to the palette - they can work just as well in winter. By using a black background, Lanvin and Giambattista Valli created flowered designs that still felt season-appropriate. Buyers should look for similar dark florals, especially in brocades and jacquards, which are set to be big for autumn 15.
Earn Your Stripes
Stripes are always a popular print or pattern, but they appeared time and again at the Paris shows, as designers showed just how versatile they can be. At Kenzo a multicoloured poncho had a traditional blanket stripe, at Balmain a graphic cape-and-trouser combination had a glamorous retro feel, and at Valentino stripes were used to maximum impact on a bold monochrome dress.
Walk on the wild side
From Céline’s zebra coat to Saint Laurent’s leopard cardigan, Paris was alive with animal prints of all kinds. Of particular note were the brightly coloured, graphic renditions seen at Christian Dior and Miu Miu, which tie in nicely with autumn 15’s retro vibe. At the other end of the spectrum, Haider Ackermann’s cropped jacket proved that animal print can be subtle and understated.
Pastels on parade
The Prada show in Milan offered the first taste of autumn 15’s pastel trend, but it was in Paris that it really took off. Seen on silky dresses at Vionnet and on smart suits at Acne Studios and Roland Mouret, pale colours will offer shoppers an appealing alternative to the dark palette that tends to dominate winter collections. Baby blue was particularly popular on the runways and is likely to be a key shade next season.
While colourful retro-inspired styles seemed to dominate this season (again), there has also been an element of gothic Victoriana in many collections, and in Paris this came through at three of the week’s biggest shows: Alexander McQueen, Valentino and Givenchy. Characterised by high ruffled necklines as well as lashings of black lace, leather and rich velvet, buyers should look for evening tops and dresses that nod to this trend, without being too directional.