Drapers recaps some of the trends that dominated fashion over the past 12 months
Crowning glory: hair accessories
2019 has undeniably been the year of the hair accessory. Whether it was headbands, hair clips or scrunchies, this low-effort but high-impact trend instantly added an extra something special to consumers’ outfits this year.
Powerhouse brands such as Prada sent thick, padded headbands down the catwalk, which trickled down to every corner of the high street. Zara, Topshop and New Look were all quick to adopt the trend.
Chunky pearl barrettes flooded Instagram. At the top end of the price spectrum, Gucci’s tortoiseshell crystal-embellished barrette (retail price £315) proved a hit. Fast fashion giants such as PrettyLittleThing and Boohoo produced affordable versions for as little as £6.
A viral break-out: the spotty Zara dress
Perhaps the most ubiquitous piece of clothing this year was that spotty Zara dress which instantly went viral. You almost definitely will have seen it: the black and white polka-dot midi dress caused a sensation over the summer. Retailing at £39.99, it was spotted on women of all shapes, sizes and ages.
While it initially sold out, Zara quickly brought in new stock and also introduced a black version for the colder months. Its popularity was attributed to its versatility, and appeal to to a wide audience. It was bold without being too daring, flattering on a range of body types, and played into the feminine prairie dress trend that has also taken off this year. Similar styles by other high street names such as Topshop were also summer sell-outs. The Zara dress even had its own Instagram account, @hot4thespot.
READ MORE: Spotted: why Zara’s dotty dress went viral
A world in miniature: micro-bags
Social media gives birth to fashion trends at an ever-faster pace. Customers scrolling through their feeds this year will have witnessed the meteoric rise of the micro-bag.
After French brand Jacquemus’s autumn 19 presentation in Paris, Instagram was awash with images of models clutching the brand’s tiny Le Chiquito bag.
Retailing from between £207 for the mini-version to £714 for the grand, the pocket-size bag sparked a wave of high street copies.
Roaring trade: animal prints
Last year was undoubtedly the year of leopard print and the animal print trend showed no signs of slowing down in 2019. Retailers experimented with different variations of animal print – most notably snake, tiger and zebra – throughout the year. Key examples of the trend at the opposite ends of the pricing spectrum came from Paco Rabanne and PrettyLittleThing.
Paco Rabanne sent a bright pink snake print trend coat and snake print boots down its autumn 19 catwalk. PrettyLittleThing’s collaboration with girl band Little Mix, which was released in November, featured all four members in different coloured head-to-toe snake print outfits.
Tiger and zebra prints also took off. For less daring consumers, wearing these prints on accessories was a popular option. Ankle boots and bags in particular were spotted in a range of colours and textures as an easy way to get shoppers on board with the enduring animal print trend.
Italian eye-opener: Bottega Veneta
Bottega Veneta, headed by British designer Daniel Lee, was one of the standout brands of the year. It took home four awards at the 2019 British Fashion Awards in December, including Brand of the Year and Designer of the Year for Lee.
One of Lee’s key changes has been his focus on a neutral colour palette, which includes shades of sand, tan and pale pastels. It has helped propel the Italian luxury heritage brand to new heights of popularity among buyers and consumers alike.
Lee’s chic neutrals have provided an alternative to the loud-and-proud maximalist trend that has also proved popular over recent seasons – feathers, sequins and giant logos are just a few that have dominated.
Bottega’s “Pouch” bag – an unstructured leather clutch bag that retails from £865 to £5,915 – proved one of the year’s most popular accessories with fashion’s in crowd.
READ MORE: The Bottega Veneta renaissance
The tailoring tide
In the world of menswear, tailoring began to make a resurgence after the long stranglehold of streetwear. Rising stars at London Fashion Week Men’s in June – including Charles Jeffrey Loverboy and Eastwood Danso – played with classic trousers and blazers by using bold check and unusual colourways.