1. Accentuated waists
Forget the boxy shapes of last season; autumn/winter 2014/15 is all about the waist. Whether cinched with a statement belt at Burberry and MBMJ (the new name of Marc by Marc Jacobs), nonchalantly tied with a jacket at Stella McCartney, wrapped kimono-style at Osman or belted with an oversized coat at Topshop Unique, a waisted silhouette creates a sharper yet still feminine shape.
2. Sport luxe shoes
Fashion has a reputation for preferring gravity-defying high heels above all else, but next season’s most coveted footwear is, mercifully, a much more practical choice. Drawing on sporting influences, brands such as Chanel and Dior chose to pair their collections with trainer-inspired footwear. At Chanel, classic trainers were given a makeover in the house’s signature tweed fabrics, while Raf Simons created athletic-inspired platforms, complete with a multi-coloured chunky sole, at Dior. In London, Ashish revived 90s-style platform trainers, adorning them with LED light embellishments.
3. Nude colour blocking
A less familiar term than colour blocking, neutral blocking is what we’re choosing to call the trend for outfits comprised of blocks of soft colour. From Marc Jacobs’ creamy caramels and pretty pastels to Chloé’s slouchy shorts and over-the-knee boots, designers eschewed prints and brights in favour of a low-key look that was anything but low impact. The beauty of this trend is its ability to highlight the beautiful textures of the clothes, as with Helmut Lang’s juxtaposition of leather and knitwear.
4. Masculine tailoring
Masculine tailoring was everywhere on the womenswear catwalks this season, moving away from the androgynous interpretations of seasons past to a fresher and more feminine aesthetic. Stella McCartney’s mannish flats were worn with fitted suits that gave strong hourglass figures, while even a pinstripe trouser suit couldn’t detract from Oscar de la Renta’s sensual glamour. At Paul Smith, rich colour and print splashed across silky fabrics made even loose and boxy tailoring undoubtedly feminine.
5. Abstract panelling
Moving on from the paint-inspired prints of spring/summer, modern art influences were embedded deeper into designs for autumn/winter through the use of abstract panelling. Jonathan Saunders featured a beautifully simple and effective bias-cut design, Roksanda Ilincic used colour blocking and mismatched lengths to striking effect, while Roland Mouret took it to the extreme, patching together a variety of materials to create an intriguing look.
6. Chunky embellishment
Embellishment takes on exaggerated proportions for autumn/winter with large, chunky adornments positioned prominently on dresses, jumpers and jackets, as seen with metallics at Mary Katrantzou, jewels at Matthew Williamson and Perspex at Céline.
7. Into the blue
Move over monochrome, the chic alternative to black for this season is navy: inky and deep, the classic blue. Stella McCartney made evening dressing look easy with cocktail mini dresses in midnight blue, while 3.1 Phillip Lim stuck to his urban cool but softened it with frilled, chunky knits paired with silky trousers. Simone Rocha presented understated silhouettes, with the outerwear particularly pleasing – there were shiny macs, long furry numbers and bomber jackets, too, all in the colour of the season.