The Spring/Summer 2020 collections have blessed us with some of the most wearable trends in recent years, with new silhouettes, colour palettes, patterns and fabrics that are sure to become wardrobe staples. Check out our Guide for the most important trends to shop, and tips on how to work them into your wardrobe this season. With outlet prices, it’s never been easier to enjoy the latest styles first.
By Nancy Waters
The fashion merry-go-round has stopped at the 80s a few times before – and we’re back again. But this time the references are more Working Girl than Wolf of Wall Street. This is power dressing, but of the most beautiful kind. Oversized blazers, strong shoulders and an elevated waist provided 80s proportions befitting of Molly Ringwald at Versace and Balenciaga. Over at Max Mara and Tod’s fabrics were unbashedly matchy in shades of grey, camel and beige. Neck ties were masculine at Gucci and silken at Lanvin, lending an androgynous touch. The trench coat was a cornerstone of this trend, most notably at Victoria Beckham, where it was layered over suiting and hung nonchalantly over the shoulders. This is an excellent trend to tap into to revitalise your workwear wardrobe, but you’ll want to wear these pieces way beyond the office.
Leather has come a long way since Marlon Brando immortalised the biker jacket. Now designers are bringing the versatile material into a whole new era, with structured silhouettes, embellishments, cut-outs and wild pops of head-to-toe colour, proving leather is not just for the chillier months. At Tod’s and Burberry, caramel-cream neutrals kept things easy breezy, while over at Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu soft pastels had a delicate, summery touch on trenches and calf-skimming skirts. Elsewhere the colour dial was turned up to max, with vibrant orange trench coats at Bottega Veneta and all-over electric blue at Marni. Investing in a new-look leather piece is a surefire way to win some instant fashion points for your wardrobe. Why not think beyond the black jacket, and experiment with a leather dress, or a supple trench in a pastel hue?
The print of the season? We couldn’t take our eyes off spots and stripes, whether they were Minnie Mouse-worthy monochrome at Balmain and Celine, extravagant and oversized at Gucci and Dries Van Noten or head-to-toe verticals at Alexander McQueen. This trend is all about playing with form and scale: unexpected proportions and fresh-feeling combinations of colour and print. At Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia did head-to-toe polka dots on a blue satin maxi dress, complete with coordinating tights. For a more subtle take on the trend, try pairing a striped trouser with neutral shirting, a la Stella McCartney, or a polka-dot blouse with black tailored trousers, as seen at Nina Ricci. But for maximum impact, a dotty dress or co-ord is a whole lot of fun just waiting to happen. (Zoe Kravitz worked it perfectly at the Golden Globes in spotty Saint Laurent).
Florals and Paisley just got a modern makeover. All over the catwalks the somewhat tired prints of yesteryear were given a fresh new lease of life, with exquisite metallic detailing, innovative lacework and a moodier colour palette. Think less dreamy corn fields and more cosmopolitan cityscapes: this is bohemia for the contemporary woman. Romance is still very much alive, but it’s clear who’s in the driving seat: delicately tiered chiffon dresses came cinched at the waist with statement belts and paired with leather boots at Celine and Saint Laurent, while the latter’s maxi dresses came with asymmetric shoulders and a peep hole cut out waist. If you like your clothing with an artisanal, hand-worked feel, this trend is for you. Style with hair slides or a head scarf worn as a turban, outsized earrings and a dose of global traveller chic.