I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many trends! The autumn/winter 2019 fashions are, to say the least, varied, vast and very much going to suit your style, whatever that may be. If you’re a minimalist, there’s much to love. If you’re a maximalist, this is an epic time for you too. If you like colour, great. If you hate colour, fabulous! Want to dress like you’re permanently at a party? That’s an entirely legitimate planned, backed by many big industry hitters, including Marc Jacobs and Versace.
Prefer to get a slick working wardrobe in order for autumn? Multiple savvy designers are catering to your needs and stepping up to fill the gigantic fashion hole Phoebe Philo has left in her wake since departing (old) Celiné. Want to be a total show-off for A/W 19? You’ll have a great deal to choose from when it comes to loud colours, bold prints and even more statement-making silhouettes. But if you’d like to keep things chic and simple, there are many elegant, quiet pieces to combine together to that effect: You can’t go wrong with Burberry’s tailoring or (new) Celine’s renewed bourgeois vibe.
Chanel’s autumn/winter 2019 alpine show. It was a season where emotions, personalities and uniqueness reigned supreme. The month-long round of shows culminated in a heart-warming and outstanding Chanel show—the last ever technically created by the late creative director, Karl Lagerfeld. An alpine scene magically assembled within Paris’s Grand Palais featured a line-up of Chanel girls old and new, and a finale to rival any—with the likes of Karen Elson, unable to hold back the tears, walking through the “snow” next to Cara Delevingne, Mica Argañaraz and Penelope Cruz, to name but a few high-profile faces. The show also confirmed that one of the designer’s most beloved of fabrics—bouclé—was set to be a trending choice for autumn/winter 2019.
The J.W. Anderson coat that went viral on Instagram during the show. Over in London, things were distinctly more aggressive: Punk and themes of dissonance could be felt strongly (Brexit, much?), with plenty of tartan, more safety pins than even Johnny Rotten could handle and Vivienne Westwood staging an entire protest about climate change for her show. The strong mood could clearly be felt over the Channel, too, as British designer Sarah Burton’s vision for Alexander McQueen this coming season established the poshest and most brilliantly executed iteration on punk we’ve seen in a long, long time. And talking of being combative, if you don’t pick up on the “army” theme of many of the season’s biggest shows (Bottega Veneta, Chloé, Miu Miu) and end up buying a pair of combat boots, I’ll eat my bucket hat.
In addition to bovver boots, a treasure trove of key pieces to plunder awaits you: Some you may own already (dig out that camel sweater), but a few entirely new-looking pieces will probably be worth the hype (that J.W. Anderson trench coat is going to sell out so fast). We chart those below, as well as all of the teeny-tiny details that make a difference, like a choker necklace—they’re back, the most of-the-moment colours, prints, fabrics, silhouettes, formulas and overarching themes that make up autumn/winter 2019’s top trends. From dark floral dresses (Paco Rabanne wins) to the kind of tights every fashion girl will wear when the centigrade drops (with crystals on, please), here’s what’s what for autumn.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Molly Goddard; Lanvin; Lemaire; Courrèges. What started off as a micro-offshoot from last year’s omnipresent beige, “stick of butter yellow,” as it was so ingeniously coined by journalist Harling Ross, is now bigger business than many might have expected. “Butter-yellow hues offered a fresh new palette for the season, with brands incorporating head-to-toe looks in the shade across tailoring, eveningwear and outerwear, from Max Mara’s layering look to Jil Sander’s knitted styles,” says Tiffany Hsu, fashion buying director at Mytheresa. “I loved Jaquemus’s power suit, which is a great workwear option worn with heels and one of his statement mini-bags. This color is the ideal alternative for minimalists—an alternative to classic black and beige hues, it lifts an outfit without being overly colorful.” Not only have the buyers found plenty of love for it, but the numbers don’t lie: Designers wholeheartedly embraced the shade, with Edited’s data showing that Pantone shade 11-0618 were particularly popular. They called it “wax yellow” and explained it as a toned-down soft banana shade that has “adopted a more mature aesthetic.” I don’t know about you, but I’m suddenly hungry.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Rejina Pyo; Versace; Rachel Comey; Nina Ricci. The opposite to butter yellow, yet just as popular, neon segues from summer 2019 well into autumn and winter, coming up in surprising combinations: Who knew flouro green could work so well with brown? Or that highlighter yellow was friends with dark denim? Either way, you’ve had more than ample time in 2019 already to get used to the idea, so don’t go packing away your summer brights when the colder weather comes.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Sies Marjan; Dries Van Noten; Comme des Garçons; Christian Wijnants. Purple isn’t for everyone, but it certainly made a bold splash on the runways of A/W 19. Major names stood behind the hue of royalty, including Dries Van Noten and Comme des Garçons. Many of the purple-centric outfits you’ll come across featuring the spectrum head from to toe, with different shades thrown in for good measure—but IRL, we predict this shade will become more of an accent to many a darker winter wardrobe, so feel free to translate this into your own closet alongside black, white, navy and brown.
Pictured clockwise from top left: J.W. Anderson; Jacquemus; Balenciaga; Max Mara. “A/W 19 is always a moment for incredible outerwear, and this season it was no exception. For the most part, it was the bigger the better; oversized shapes, duvet dressing, blanket capes and more,” says Elizabeth von der Goltz, Net-a-Porter global buying director. “Oversized cannot be mentioned without talking to the trench coat and the bigger the better with billowing sleeves at J.W. Anderson, cape draping at Burberry and classic maxi coats at Khaite. Big coats marked the opening of the Max Mara runway in blue, yellow and teal. Hot pink was the favourite at Jacquemus and Valentino, whose oversized silhouettes gave this typically feminine colour a masculine twist. And last but not least is the puffa jacket, which received an elegant update with a new reference to duvet dressing. Padding, quilting, floral embroidery and organza layering came from the likes of Margiela, Dries Van Noten and Toteme.” So there you have it: Go big or go home.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Paco Rabanne; Prada; Richard Quinn; Marques’ Almeida. “Floral dresses are a wardrobe staple no matter the season, and for autumn, they were back and bigger than ever, referencing the ’40s and an homage to swing dancing in particular, with midi lengths as the key shape from the likes of Dries Van Noten, Miu Miu and Erdem,” says Hsu. “Alessandra Rich remains a key favourite when it comes to her feminine and wearable floral dresses, which offer the perfect desk to dinner outfit worn with heeled boots. Satin was also key fabric this season, with a mix of high-neck and V-neck iterations.” Edited’s data plays into the trend too. The analysts saw a rise in ultra-feminine themes with floral patterns being particularly key. Out of the total floral-print offering, 40% of the items were dresses in both the UK and the U.S. Some of our personal favourites? Paco Rabanne (especially when paired with a cute cardigan), Prada (so many different, weird and wonderful takes on a very classic idea) and Richard Quinn (literally every editor cried at his show because the jaw-dropping dresses and live music from Freya Ridings combined was just too much to handle).
Pictured clockwise from top left: Emilia Wickstead; Christopher Kane; Etro; Givenchy. There’s a puff-sleeve personality for everyone, according to the runways. Maybe you’ll like yours neat and rounded out at the shoulder (see Givenchy) for autumn, or maybe you’ll want something decadent and entirely inappropriate for anything that involves dipping sauces (see Emilia Wickstead’s gigantic-sleeved floral dresses). Whatever route you choose to go down there is a huge amount on offer from edgy to prim.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Saint Laurent; Unravel Project; Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini; Brandon Maxwell. “Last year was all about the midi dress, but for A/W 19, it’s all about the minidress,” says Laura Larbalestier, group fashion buying director at Harvey Nichols. “We have exciting new launches at Harvey Nichols from Retrofete, Rotate and Giuseppe di Morabito, which all involve impactful looks with mini hemlines.” Fresh labels are backing shorter hemlines, but the trend also has the strong support coming in from the industry’s sassiest major fashion houses, such as Saint Laurent: Anthony Vaccarello’s vision for the French brand was nothing if not a total lesson in getting your legs out.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Dior; J.W. Anderson; Giambattista Valli; Mugler. Sometimes it’s the smallest details that can make the biggest impact or offer the most noticeable update to your existing wardrobe. For autumn 2019, it would appear that a choker necklace is one such addition. Whether large or dainty, pretty or punchy, almost no catwalk was complete without these flattering necklaces adoring the models. You could invest in something fancy, but it’s easy to tap into the trend with a minimal cost—simply try a grosgrain ribbon around your neck and go.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Paco Rabanne; Marine Serre; Tory Burch; Zimmermann. Marine Serre’s printed tights have already been a huge smash with retailers and fashion girls over the past year, and we’ve also witnessed hosiery from Fendi, Balenciaga and other trend-setting luxury brands proving to be a great entry-level purchase for those looking to update their vibe without buying an entirely new outfit. The trend for tights (whether simple black opaques or something more adventurous) is poised to grow even stronger if the A/W 19 shows and my gut feeling is to be trusted. From crystal-dotted party tights to matching your floral dress to your floral hosiery, many brands felt this was the right final flourish to make a get-up catwalk-ready.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Dries Van Noten; Stella McCartney; AlexaChung; Matty Bovan. Although the ’70s aesthetic is visible in some corners of planet fashion for autumn 2019, in general, the look hasn’t taken hold in quite the same way it has in previous years. However, the item that really has infiltrated from this epoch is platform shoes. Whether in rubbed-soled and pull-on boot form at Stella McCartney or in curvaceous lizard print at Alexa Chung, this is a good time for super-high-heel lovers. They can be worn with anything and everything, and they shouldn’t be tied to purely retro looks only—try a pair with your favourite straight-leg jeans and see what we mean.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Valentino; Givenchy; Shrimps; Rejina Pyo. Top-handled and either cutesy and retro or super-sleek in plain leathers, the most influential bag trend of the season will most definitely be anything that feels extra-ladylike and old-fashioned. Although jumbo totes and teeny-tiny mini bags could also be seen on the autumn runways, neither is particularly practical, unlike these kinds of elegant, retro-tinged styles. “I find when something is vintage that piece has a much longer staying power since the style feels inherently classic, like the frame bag,” says Lisa Aiken, fashion director at Moda Operandi. Roomy enough to fit your essentials into, classic enough to last an eternity and offered in enough variations to girls with multiple style personalities sated indeed.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Proenza Schouler; Bottega Veneta; Marni; Haider Ackermann. “The footwear update this season is the square toe; from By Far to Gianvito Rossi’s two-tone boot to neutral hues at Neous and Bottega Veneta’s mule,” says von der Goltz. “Wandler’s new footwear line has landed already, with the square toe a key signature detail across all styles.” Add that to the fact that everyone’s already wearing the trend at Paris Fashion Week and you’ve got yourself a very big trend in the making.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Simone Rocha; Ashley Williams; Versace; Alessandra Rich. If there’s one thing that guaranteed Instagram likes all year thus far, it’s hair accessories. Whether giant padded headbands or cutesy diamanté clips, the enthusiasm for this outfit add-on shows no sign of slowing down for autumn/winter and the accompanying party season. We were particularly enamoured with the most outré options, like Simone Rocha’s crystal tiaras or Alessandra Rich’s marabou halos.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Sies Marjan; Paco Rabanne; Moschino; Versace. According to Edited, a rise in jewellery heeled and Mary Janes alike aligned with the overarching trend for more “feminine apparel.” The movement has been translated in many ways, from Sies Marjan’s crystal-strapped pumped to more kitsch jewel-dotted pumps at Moschino. Often spotted with tights and socks, you’re definitely looking at this coming season’s party shoes du jour.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Alexander McQueen; Dior; A.W.A.K.E; Vivienne Westwood. As previously mentioned, punk spirit seized the London shows and definitely filtered into some during Paris. Alexander McQueen and Dior are two major luxury brands turning the rebellious signifiers of this look on their heads (studs! leather! mohair hole-y knits! plaid!), but you’ll also find some homegrown talent pushing things into even wilder territory. Even if the more extreme ends of this trend aren’t going to translate into the mass market, expect to see many tartan creations hitting shop floors over the coming months…
Pictured clockwise from top left: Rodarte; Tomo Koizumo; Alexandre Vauthier; Y/Project. If there could be such a thing as Big Dress Energy, the A/W 19 runways were absolutely chock-full of it. Avant-garde eveningwear has become a focus for many brands, both those known for their elaborate after-dark looks (say, Rodarte) and those who are usually more casual (Y/Project). It’s all about volume, drama, embellishment, rich colours, and as much satin and tulle as you can get your hands on. Sure, the hyped-up and hugely Instagrammable frilled dress explosions created by Tomo Koizumo won’t literally slide effortlessly into your wardrobe, but the mantra of more is more will definitely influence the party season.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Bottega Veneta; Miu Miu; Chloé; Isabel Marant. “We saw the ‘army’ mood return, but in a more effortless and understated way than previous seasons. A utility and combat mood was a favorite in Milan, particularly from the likes of Prada and Miu Miu, who offered full army-inspired looks. I loved Isabel Marant’s oversized styles which similarly drew inspiration with oversized vests and pocket-detailed trousers. A favourite piece had to be Stella McCartney’s full khaki green jumpsuit, which looks great with an oversized jacket in the same hue and a pair of pumps,” says Hsu. Edited reports that “utilitarian styles continued to dominate the catwalk, underlining the staying power of the boilersuit. February 2019 saw 83% moreboilersuits retailing in the U.S. than there was in December 2018 and 50% in the UK.” Added to that combat boots on the runway were up 264% from A/W 17.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Burberry; Fendi; Celine; Carolina Herrera. Certain outfit combinations stood out at the autumn/winter 2019 shows, but the most noticeable one was the simple trio of a blazer, blouse and midi skirt. So many of the most important designer brands stood behind this ladylike formula, and it proved to be a linchpin of the entire Celine collection by Hedi Slimane—his second full womenswear runway which was received to greater acclaim than his debut. Burberry’s Riccardo Tisci dedicated a section to this kind of grown-up look, using light beiges and soft fabrics to make things extra feminine. Meanwhile, Fendi took a more mix ‘n’ match approach, which will likely empower you to take what you’ve already got in your wardrobe and start working towards this successful equation. Office outfits for the next six months, sorted.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Balenciaga; Anne Demeulemeester; Valentino; Simona Rocha. Although many autumn colour trends abound (as you can see from the first section of this trend report), I kept noticing the exact pairing of red and pink together—ideal when the two hues have been en vogue for such a long time now and you’re likely to have them sitting somewhere in your closet. From dusky combinations at Anne Demeulemeester through to vibrant partners at Balenciaga, there are many ways this trend can play out. Over to you, pals.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Tibi; Etro; Sonia Rykiel; Altuzarra. If there’s one styling trick that was put on the map at the tail end of 2018 and looks set to continue well into this winter, it’s the idea of the double jumper, or scrumper, as we called it, because it’s essentially about tying another jumper around your neck as a scarf. The concept has extended even further since then, with many designer using super-cosy knits from head to toe. The chicest and easiest way to do it is with the same colour or pattern. “Between tonal dressing and statement knitwear, head-to-toe knits have been brought to the forefront. I appreciate the cosy yet chic approach to cold-weather dressing,” says Aiken, who happens to the one of the first industry figures spotted in this trend all those months ago. “Gabriela Hearst’s knit poncho paired over a matching skirt and sweater best exemplifies this look.”
Pictured clockwise from top left: Chanel; Brock Collection; Louis Vuitton; Gucci. An homage to Karl Lagerfeld or just a coincidence, bouclé and tweeds are back on the fashion menu and looking particularly natty in jacket form. It’s a trend we know the high street does well (Zara are particularly skilled in this department), so I’d imagine this will become available at a lower price point and may take the place of your parka/biker/bombers when it comes to flinging a jacket over any given outfit. You could go the whole nine yards and wear it with a matching skirt (see Gucci) or dress (Brock Collection), but we also liked Louis Vuitton’s leather trousers idea.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Alexander Wang; Tod’s; Proenza Schouler; Nanushka. “Leather has become a key player in our wardrobes; it’s now much more accessibly priced and the breadth of styles means we can wear it all year long. Designers manipulated this fabrication which draped and felt like wool, cotton or silk,” says von der Goltz. “Faux leather continues to be a rising trend, with Nanushka leading the way. Nearly half of our Nanushka buy for A/W 19 is made up of vegan leather looks.” “There is a micro-trend evolving by way of unexpected fabrics. Real or faux leather seemed to be the material of the moment,” confirms Aiken. “Found by way of trenches, blouses, skirts and dresses. Among my favorites include Nanuskha’s vegan leather in the brand’s cult-favorite puffa or streamlined leather dress, as well as the bold variations of color from Khaite and Proenza Schouler.” Last year, the trend extended down to lower price points and the high street, so we’re expecting the leather look to spread far and wide.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Stella McCartney; Off-White; Acne Studios; Kenzo. Teddy-bear coats rose to fashion fame last year, reportedly being 1000% more popular than the winter prior. And now the ongoing trend for fur alternatives powers on, generating fluffy things for every part of your look. Chubby coats in neutral colours will undoubtedly be the most wearable part of this all-encompassing trend, but don’t be surprised if your fashion friends start wearing shoes with shearling on the outside rather than the lining, or a mad winter hat rendered from shaggy faux fur.
Pictured clockwise from top left: Erdem; Prada; Victoria Beckham; Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. Lace is a fairly safe bet each and every autumn/winter, but for 2019, it has been used in so many ultra-pretty ways that we wanted to share. From layered over shirting (Prada) to ruffle upon red ruffle for party dresses (Erdem) and as negligées for day (Philosophy), we imagine this classic fabric trend will not only infiltrate your evening wardrobe but your day one too. Even Victoria Beckham is behind it, so we’re ready and waiting to see how she styles it our IRL, perhaps at the airport…
Pictured clockwise from top left: Valentino; Roksanda; Loewe; Peter Pilotto. As an extension of the above furry trend, it was plain to see across the runways in each and every fashion capital that feathers were the detail of the moment. Either used for bonkers accessories or dotted onto the finest of silk-chiffon blouses to make them quiver ever so, this trend spans from clothes to accessories and back again. You’ll see the high street adopting it for party season and in the shoe department. So there you have it! All of the most important autumn trends for 2019. Let us know what you’ll be trying out by commenting over at @whowhatwear.uk on Instagram.