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Trends

The AW17 Trends Decoded

A season full of unexpected twists and super-smart turns, the Autumn/Winter 2017 collections were anything but predictable. Detailing some major new ideas, silhouetting and styling, from über-futuristic spaceman vibes through to modern takes on heritage suiting, not to mention a step up for athleisure, this was a season opting-in on individuality.

  • The Row Coat
  • Givenchy Tracksuit

If pink was It for the previous season, for AW17 the runways ran red, but not your usual burgundy or muted maroon – this was unabashed, primal and primary. Striking a chord within all the stories from the runways, on anything and everything from gowns to sporty pieces, playing into accessories and shoes, Givenchy, Max Mara, Roksanda and even The Row – a brand that tends to err on palette neutrality – all made the case for head-to-toe, tonal looks, while Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci set it off with a contrasting hue. Less polarising than pink and ultra-flattering, whether clashed or all-over, the runways have spoken; wear red any way you can this season.

Remaining in the colour remit, a surprising voyage into intergalactic metals was intro-ed at key fashion houses, from all-out astronaut Myler-style shawls at Chanel through to Studio 54 glittering disco vibes at Saint Laurent – delivering yet another Instagram footwear moment: that Rihanna-approved sparkling slouchy mirror-ball boot. Eveningwear aplenty received the star-treatment – think La Mania and Alexander McQueen – but it was Max Mara who gave us a lesson in how to take it into the day with metallic trousers styled with a tonal chunky knit. Definitely try this at home.

Taking the baton from previous seasons and sprinting ahead, for fans of athleisure, this is the moment. Ubiquitous and co-opted across trends, it could be in red or metallic, with stripes licking tailoring and eveningwear, or indeed, as part of the '90s revival – hallmarks of the Brit Pop era love-in are the return of Fila, Fiorucci and the Kappa logo à la Faith Connexion all enjoying a renaissance. As if further proof was needed, despite traditionally being a time of the year to wrap up, this is the season of the crop top. Take notes from Off-White and Alexander Wang for a sports-meets-streets style, cropped knits at Fendi, layered up for the more midriff-shy at Saint Laurent and after-dark negligée at Dolce & Gabbana.

For those less sold on the athleisure moment, if you buy one piece this season, make it a hoodie: fashion's favourite comfort food. Cropped or oversized – try borrowing from the boys, wear yours with co-ord track pants if you want in on the leisure suit look, under a blazer or bomber jacket for extra edge, or elevated atop a gown or dress for evening. Add in a logo and you've ticked several trends in one.

  • Stella McCartney Mixed Checked Jumper
  • Alexander Wang Top
Stella McCartney Jacket

For every downtime there's an up, and this season's suiting is all about maximising those heritage fabrics: checks, Prince Of Wales, plaid, houndstooth and even tweed in oversized scale. For Balmoral-chic look to Stella McCartney with exaggerated silhouettes and blazer-jackets-cum-dresses, just add tights for super-cold days or pair with wide-leg trousers. Updated Working Girl vibes came courtesy of Alexander Wang, meanwhile, and for full-on retro checks across dresses and tops, opt for Missoni and Gucci. Following through with outerwear, look to Burberry and Victoria Beckham for their take on long line coats. Keep your style in check with sneakers, ankle booties or go statement with over-the-knee boots.

Alice and Olivia Kimono

Now, not exactly unfamiliar in the typical autumn/winter line-up, but decidedly different in this season’s execution, velvet threw new shapes at the Saint Laurent disco via ink-hued, sharp-shouldered dresses and tux suits; at Balmain it was lit with flame-like ombré-effect, and, to nail two stories in one, Max Mara and Dolce & Gabbana did tonal suiting in rich jewel shades. Go for velvet separates and skinny jeans from Pierre Balmain or Rag & Bone for day, and do full-blown velvet gowns or pant suits for party season, and don't forget to style with a velvet mini bag and velvet sneakers.