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Top buyers' tips for spring 20 womenswear

Roksanda gettyimages 1168638784

Industry-leading buyers analyse the spring 20 womenswear catwalks, revealing their stand-out collections and top buys for the season.

Elizabeth von der Goltz, global buying director, Net-a-Porter

How would you sum up the spring catwalk season? What were your favourite collections?

My favourite designers from the spring 20 season include Khaite and The Row in New York, Victoria Beckham and JW Anderson in London, Bottega Veneta in Milan, and Saint Laurent, Valentino, Loewe, and Isabel Marant in Paris.

Daniel Lee’s immense talent and incredible eye was so apparent the Bottega Veneta show this season. It was truly inspired, and the shoes and bags were absolutely incredible.

Loewe is a favourite of mine, and Jonathan Anderson took the label to a new level. I’m obsessed with nearly every look that walked the runway.

I also loved Jonathan’s own collection [JW Anderson] in London: the venue and show set up [were brilliant], and there were some looks I particularly loved.

As always, Khaite was one of my favourites this season. The spring 20 collection highlighted the fruition of the brand. I adored the rhinestone headpieces, and the overarching concept of playing dress-up – the feminine take on this sentiment is easy for people to relate to.

The Row was gorgeous – as per usual. It took American sportswear to another level with clean lines and shapes heavily inspired by menswear.

What trends, directions or colours stood out?

“Wardrobing” is a key new mood for the season – most of the runway collections have been incredibly wearable. The brands have showcased the ultimate wardrobing heroes in a new and interesting way: such as the suit, the Bermuda short, the white shirt, the tank top. We loved the spring suiting seen at JW Anderson.

Roksanda

Roksanda

Roksanda

We saw beautiful bold colour combos, but specifically the pairing of neutrals with pops of colour that Victoria Beckham and Roksanda did so well.

Monochrome dressing continues to be a big trend. This season, there was a lot of mixed ivory and white, and lots of layering to create very soft and beautiful ensembles. I always like the latest take on fresh whites, which is always a classic way to style out spring and summer seasonal dressing.

The other theme was the resurgence of 1990s minimalism. Everything was incredibly stripped back: silks, slip dresses, halter-neck tops, naked knitwear, a real return to minimalist dressing, even in the colour palette, where monochromatic tones were the most dominating.

We also continue to see new variations of power dressing, especially from Valentino, The Row, JW Anderson and Victoria Beckham, which provided new variations of the power suit and layering full looks for the workplace or formal settings.

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Victoria Beckham spring 20

What were your key buys of the season?

The short suit is the new must-have for spring. This is certainly something the Net-a-Porter woman is in need of – most of our customers are working women. Tailoring in particular was key for the season, from spring suiting to the power suit – we loved what we saw at JW Anderson, Victoria Beckham and Saint Laurent, as well as the Alessandra Rich black and white skirt suit.

A perfect crisp cotton shirt from The Row is a key piece for us this season, as well as a Loewe black leather gown. I didn’t know I ever needed a leather gown but now I do.

The Bottega Veneta new chain pouch handbags are on our wish list for accessories, as are the Valentino white feather flat sandals.

Finally, the 1990s little black dress as seen as Versace and Bottega Veneta is also set to be a key seasonal buy.

 

Lisa Aiken, fashion director, Moda Operandi

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Molly Goddard spring 20

How would you sum up the spring  20 catwalk season?

Overall it was a very strong season, one that put emotionally charged, beautifully executed fashion at the forefront, while not forgetting who the woman is and what she wants. We have had two seasons of the industry being dominated by a more minimalist mood, whereas this season moved forward with hand-crafted avant garde constructions.

What were your favourite collections?

My highlights were Bottega Veneta, Loewe, Gabriela Hearst, The Row, Molly Goddard, Simone Rocha, Junya Watanabe, Proenza Schouler, Versace and Valentino.

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Versace spring 20

What trends, directions or colours stood out?

Tailoring continues to dominate through various interpretations, from summer-ready short suits to 1980s power shoulders and the mini-blazer dresses for evening. As for colour, citrus brights compliment an otherwise neutral palette.

Designers also showed romantic, feminine touches such as sweetheart necklines, puffed sleeves and organza.

The key items included Bermuda shorts, the blazer, skinny-rib tops and bodysuits, transitional trench coats and the return of the tailored flare. In the accessory world, soft clutches, heavy metal necklaces and colour-pop shoes are key.

What were your key buys of the season?

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Bottega Veneta spring 20

Bottega Veneta accessories, from the double-strap mule to the updated pouch bag with chain handle and the Casette bag.

Shorts are one of the biggest stories of the season: there is an emphasis on the Bermuda shape as well as the short suit.

Shown best at Natalia Alaverdian’s Awake Mode collection [in London], the collarless jacket is the new blazer.

 

Lydia King, fashion director, Harrods

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Burberry spring 20

How would you sum up the spring 20 catwalk season?

Colourful, powerful, bold and retro inspired.

What were your favourite collections?

In New York I loved The Row, Gabriela Hearst and Zimmermann.

In London, Awake Mode, Emilia Wickstead, Roksanda, Burberry and Simone Rocha stood out.

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Gucci spring 20

Bottega Veneta, Agnona, Gucci and, of course, Jennifer Lopez at Versace were highlights in Milan.

Dior, Issey Miyake, Loewe, Hermès, Valentino, Alexander McQueen and those jaw-dropping Balenciaga gowns were my favourites in Paris.

What trends, directions or colours stood out?

The mood shifted a little away from neutrals and into whites, which layer perfectly with jewellery as seen at Valentino, and rich bold block colours. Sustainability was top of the agenda, so designers were inspired by archive pieces to inspire longevity, as seen at Prada. Animal- and nature-inspired prints and motifs were also hugely popular: decorated fabrics were on show at brands such as Dior, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Burberry.

Tailoring was featured in every city in variations on cut, city shirts, waistcoats and long-line jackets. Jewellery was back at the forefront, and the best new pieces mixed silver and gold tones. Some of my favourites included Chloé, Bottega Veneta and Valentino.

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Bottega Veneta spring 20

What were your key buys of the season?

White shirting at Valentino layered with gold jewellery. Bottega everything, particularly the super-sized woven bags, the nappa pouch bag with gold chain strap, and the pale blue and bright orange nappa coats. Long-line slouchy shorts and culottes were strong at Celine, Bottega and a host of other brands. Powerful, voluminous ball gowns from Balenciaga or Emilia Wickstead. The Hermès butter-soft nappa coat is the ultimate investment piece. Retro printed dresses from Saint Laurent or Paco Rabanne. Tailoring, which was best demonstrated by Alexander McQueen.

 

Ida Petersson, menswear and womenswear buying director, Browns

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Prada spring 20

How would you sum up the spring 20 catwalk season?

The season was one of juxtapositions. For example, initially we saw “palette-cleansing” colours, and these neutrals can be beautiful, but you also need something visually diverse to offset that, particularly when you are looking at how this works for ecommerce. So we ended up with something for every Browns customer as I was happy to see vibrant shows in London and Paris contrasted with the simpler tones we had seen previously. A strong season all in all.

What were your favourite collections?

In London, Molly Goddard, Supriya Lele and Simone Rocha stood out. Supriya graduated to her first standalone show and delivered a superb collection. Molly continues to explore what she is best at and Simone delivered one of her strongest collections to date in the most beautiful setting [Alexandra Palace].

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Supriya Lele spring 20

In Milan, Prada served us timeless fashion that struck a chord and I could barely contain myself while watching Daniel Lee’s vision of the new Bottega Veneta. Jennifer Lopez taking to the catwalk at Versace and the return of the palm print was a big moment for me, too, and for everyone else, I think.

In Paris, Issey Miyake made me smile: the energy was electric. Maison Margiela delivered one of John Galliano’s strongest collections to date. The Dries Van Noten and Lacroix partnership was unexpected and visually stunning, and Rick Owens and Valentino blew my mind in very different ways. Rick was striking and more colourful than ever, while Valentino was so ethereally beautiful I had to pinch myself.

What trends, directions or colours stood out?

Palette-cleansing colours, stripped-back 1990s-inspired tailoring and fluid dressing. Neutrals with pops of Kermit green and coral. This was alongside tailored or stretch flare trousers, and trenches were everywhere.

What were your key buys of the season?

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Dries Van Noten spring 20

Bottega Veneta everything, particularly the new woven mules and bags. The Valentino neon dresses and bags. The woven tote from Loewe. Simone Rocha’s hair jewellery. Amina Muaddi mid-heel pump with her signature kick heel. The jacquard coat from Dries Van Noten. The Cecilie Bahnsen candyfloss dress. The Maison Margiela cut-out suit.

 

Laura Larbalestier, group fashion buying director, Harvey Nichols

How would you sum up the spring 20 catwalk season?

Overall it was a quieter season, but as the calendar has changed so much in the last few years, this is a very small part of the actual buying. It wasn’t a stand-out season, but commercially in the showroom we found great things, which is the important part.

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Erdem spring 20

What were your favourite collections?

In New York, the new The Row collection was stunning and really shows how to build the perfect wardrobe with timeless pieces.

In London, Erdem stood out. I think this was his best collection to date. It was a beautiful show and felt so fresh on the catwalk and in the showroom.

In Milan, I liked Jil Sander, where the beautiful tailoring and tunics showed a more modern and sophisticated take on spring 20.

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Loewe spring 20

In Paris, it was Loewe – the hand-crafted details really stood out against the shapes of the garments.

What trends, directions or colours stood out?

There was definitely a noticeable colour trend of blues and pale yellows for next season across all collections. We will continue to see the monochrome trend roll through to spring 20 through classic pieces, as well as the square neckline being more prominent.

What were your key buys of the season?

Tailored Bermuda shorts and jackets to match as the new summer suit.

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