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Buyers' picks: the key catwalk shows and standout spring 16 trends

Prominent buyers from across the fashion industry reveal their favourite collections, top trends and key pieces for next season.


Stephen Ayres

Fashion director, Avenue 32

Spring 16 is all about the dress: long, floaty and feminine. Everything else was detail: bandeau shoulders, bell sleeves, ruffles and pleats were key.

The intricacy of lacework, embroidery and embellishment was exquisite, giving us real lust-after pieces.

I loved the romanticism of London; it gave women their femininity back after an androgynous autumn 15.

Top shows: Arthur Arbesser, Delpozo, Dries Van Noten, Erdem, Gucci, Jonathan Saunders, Marco de Vincenzo, Peter Pilotto, Philosophy, Roksanda, Sonia Rykiel, Victoria Beckham



Anita Barr

Group fashion buying director, Harvey Nichols

Femininity is key and romantic ruffles and lace are huge. On the flipside, the 1990s are back: This is England, slip dresses and bomber jackets alongside an explosion of colour. Bold colour clashes worn head to toe are major with a focus on primary colours.

The standout show in New York was Givenchy; it was momentous. London designers such as Roksanda, Erdem and Christopher Kane celebrated their 10th anniversary, which meant some really fantastic shows. Italian fashion seems to be having a bit of a revival and Gucci was the showstopper in Milan, with the GG logo and recognisable green and red stripe motif making a comeback in a very grown-up way.

Top shows: Alexander Wang, Christopher Kane, Erdem, Givenchy, Gucci, Public School, Roksanda, Valentino




Laura Larbalestier

Women’s buying director, Browns

Spring 16 is positive and upbeat. We noticed several strong looks and an emphasis on individual style. Gucci is really having its moment; it was the most directional show of the season. The house’s signature red and green was used to strong effect and we loved the pleated skirts, which will be big for spring.

Rosie Assoulin delivered a standout show, Simone Rocha had a unique and beautiful collection, Dries Van Noten’s was a kaleidoscope of jewelled colours and Gucci was simply fantastic.

Top shows: Dries Van Noten, Gucci, Rosie Assoulin, Simone Rocha




Judd Crane

Director of womenswear and accessories, Selfridges

Spring 16 is looking confident, diverse and interesting. The balance between the conceptual and the accessible is something we found exciting.

In New York, we were impressed by the new underground evolving, typified by Nicopanda and Hood By Air. London was defined by British designers coming in to their own - Simone Rocha and Gareth Pugh. Milan, led by Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, felt dynamic. In Paris, we loved the 1990s sports and underground references at Chloé, Dior, Vetements and Yang Li, as well as sci-fi, space and tech at Loewe and Louis Vuitton.

Top shows: Erdem, Gareth Pugh, Givenchy, Gucci, Hood By Air, Junya Watanabe, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Peter Pilotto, Undercover



Leila Yavari

Fashion director,

Lingerie dressing was key, with the slip a focal piece. Designers like Givenchy, Saint Laurent and, best of all, Céline produced incredible interpretations that had amazing daytime appeal.

Ruffles were also dominant, with tiered accents on blouses and skirts at Jason Wu and Salvatore Ferragamo. The day dress got special treatment, reflecting a shift to wardrobe pieces.

There was a sense of possibility and renewal, due in part to so much new talent, from Alessandro Michele at Gucci to the spot-on energy at Vetements and newcomers like Ellery and Vanessa Seward. All this translated into amazing real-life clothes.  

Top shows: Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Proenza Schouler, Vetements, Valentino


Stavros Karelis

Buying director, Machine A

This season was a natural progression for most brands with a safe, commercial, positive approach.

There is one strong trend that dominated the catwalks: 1970s fashion with embellishment, hand embroidery on ruffled romantic skirts, tops and dresses, flared trousers and block-colored skirts. 

Top shows: Ashish, Caitlin Price, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Marques’Almeida, Marta Jakubowski, Veronique Branquinho




Vikki Kavanagh

Head of buying, Very Exclusive

The 1970s is still apparent in bell sleeves, patchwork prints and marigold yellow. Frills are more obvious than the decadence of autumn 15’s gothic romantic feel; they’re also in a fresher guise with broderie anglaise. American heritage and pop culture is coming through too, with red, white and blue prevalent.

The biggest move on we have seen is print in the form of florals, jungle and plants, fruits and a lovely under-the-sea micro trend. My favourite shows were Roksanda for the frilliness and Mary Katrantzou for the mash-up of print.

Top shows: Chanel, Chloé, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Mary Katrantzou, Tommy Hilfiger, Roksanda

Luisa via roma



Ludivine Chauvel  

Buying manager,

A lot of proposals focused on an empowered femininity: modern and strong but always sensual. We noticed ethnic or bohemian with Valentino and Etro, sophistication at Givenchy and Chloé or a girly alternative from Gucci and Saint Laurent.

From New York we loved Givenchy’s show, a real expression of contemporary fashion, and Marc Jacobs’ glamorous collection. From Milan, there was the remarkable reshuffle of Alessandro Michele for Gucci and, of course, Fendi’s young silhouette. From Paris, we had the always astonishing Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent with his rock princess and the elegant simplicity of Chloé.

Top shows: Chloé, Givenchy, Gucci, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent



Claire Miles

Head of The Shop at Bluebird

Spring 16 looks set to be a colourful season for us. The collections we saw came together to create an elevated feel. The jewel tones at Isa Arfen and Isabel Marant captured our attention straight away. We focus on multi-dimensional elements, so the tactile fabrics from MSGM and Ports 1961 were perfect. Ports 1961 and Emilia Wickstead were the highlights, with Chloé and Rosetta Getty showing beautiful collections.

Tops shows: Chloé, Emilia Wickstead, Ports 1961, Rosetta Getty

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