Swide has reviewed and edited the major trends from the London, Milan and Paris shows for your pleasure.
A general air of restraint hung over the collections this season (to a lesser extent in London with some men-dresses getting tongues wagging) and realised in a range of different ways. Seen in the context of the current European financial crisis they provide as a socio-political barometer of how the countries hosting fashion weeks have related to the handling of crises throughout the centuries: some go minimal, some go military and some experiment.
Fashion, being just a guide to the general mood and the social context, chose to express a positive outlook in terms of very commercial minimalism, and some unconventional treatment of classic styles.
Tailoring remains strong in menswear, with the return of the double-breasted blazer cemented in well structured tailoring as well as some less formal and softer silhouettes brought forward by the three button blazers or boxy coats. Emphasis on fabrics and research provide a luxurious feel to the collections, and distance them from the sometimes 90s reminiscent silhouettes.
In keeping with the minimalist overarching trend of the season, grey is the main colour, with some elegant accents like burgundy, blue and teal, and some more fashion forwards oranges and electric blues.
Overall the season’s collections traced well-trodden paths, with some designers choosing to anchor themselves to the familiar, like military inspiration and the return of the pea coat, while others, looked towards the heavens for a devotional muse.
Various tones of grey characterised the Fall Winter runways. From elegant suits to classic coats the colour was everywhere. Do not be fooled by thinking classic and boring, grey was interpreted from crest-emblazed sportswear to intarsia to needle point flower prints.
Classic autumnal colours like burgundy and blue, both navy and electric, make for elegant accent colours for the more tailored looks. Teal, the new must have colour for the Fall Winter season makes for an elegant match to the greys, both for casual and occasion wear.
Tartan, check, houndstooth and Prince of Wales fabrics are a big trend this season. Oversize, optical or classic, we see them edging into most elements on the runway, coats, suits, shirts and tops. Sometimes unusual colour combinations or uses propel these fabrics classic into the fashion forward sphere of the season.
Fur is edging its way back to menswear fashion, and for Fall Winter 2014 it has dominated the runways in London, Milan and Paris. Unconventional, is the keyword, such as mixes of different types of fur or printed pony skin, which allow for a varied choice.
Leather fans listen up! Leather is back and it’s big for Fall Winter 2014. Leather jackets, inserts, shirts, oversize coats, trenches and trousers come in various colours and add some rocker glamour to the collections.
While remaining classic in its use, the coat has undergone a transformation in terms of silhouette. A true bastion of the minimal feel of the season, the coat becomes loose fitting, semi structured and not busied by seams and accessories.
The military origin of the pea coat cements it as a trendy outerwear choice for Fall Winter 2014. Well loved amongst men for its versatility and classic appeal, the pea coat has become a real staple. This season it takes on new guises, truncated, elongated, patterned or with contrasting coloured accessories.
Structure returns to the runway in terms of the double-breasted blazer. Boxy silhouettes and structured shoulders may be a 90s throwback, but re invented with a very up to the minute minimalist 21st century feel.
The retro feel of the Fall Winter 2014 collections continues with the return of the 3-button blazer. Boxy and structured the 3-button blazer offers a more casual alternative to the double-breasted version. Be inspired by the collections and wear it with knits.
Feeling disappointed by the lack of experimentation? You needn’t be. For Fall Winter 2014 lapels and collars have been mislaid. Yes, collarless and lapels less outerwear and blazers represent the more risk taking side of the collection. Spruce up your tailoring and rip off the excess. Minimalism anyone?
Sportswear, with particular reference to quilting and skiwear is a presence on the Fall Winter 2014 catwalks. Metallic, brash and oversize it looks like the slopes will invade the cities come next winter. Sportswear also influenced a strong silhouette, cinched waits and trousers cuffs reminiscent of shell suits.
Trousers have undertaken a bit of a restyling for Fall Winter 2014. High waist, and cropped to the ankle, or the calf, the shape is fundamentally different from last winter. Maybe a nod to global warming, or to please the southern hemisphere clientele, some more eclectic designers have gone as far as showing shorts on the runways.
One of the most discreet but successful elements of real luxury in the Fall Winter 2013 collections are present in knitwear. Fine wools like cashmere are textured and patterned with unique techniques like hole punching once the garment is completed to produce exquisite knits for the season.
Again for those on the prowl for the new and different, there are plenty of unconventional tops on the Fall Winter 2014 runways. Boxy, jewel encrusted, pony skinned, quilted leather or just simple maxi paisley printed, tops and t-shirts have taken on a new and sometimes surprising look.
Written by: Valentina Zannoni