London Fashion Week: Autumn/Winter 2015

From 70s flares to look-at-me 80s garish knits, we discuss the trends for the coming autumn/winter season emerging from the LFW A/W15 shows

Feature by Ailsa Mullins | 28 Feb 2015

It is the season that, living in our climate, is much more a day-to-day reality than spring/summer dressing ever will be. As is usual in the A/W season, trends such as gothic romance and androgyny, as well as materials such as leather and fur, were seen throughout the shows. Awash with different trends, shapes and styles, this season saw designers' collections take a vast array of inspirations including cinema, music and romance, but with each designer celebrating and staying true to their own unique style. After studying the autumn/winter 2015 shows, they leave us asking not 'what trends will you be following?' but 'what decade will you be wearing?'


Who to watch: DAKS, Orla Kiely, Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou

God bless the 60s! The notorious decade that brought us the mini-skirt and Twiggy; it seems it will never truly go out style. Autumn/winter 2015 has revamped the decade, however, adding a recognisable, modern twist – think lucid, rich colours, micro hemlines and knee boots.

At DAKS the look was utility-inspired with a distinct nod to the mod; from the make-up look (the nude lips to the heavy-lined eyes) to the 60s-inspired baker boy caps. The collection featured bold prints, military-style elegant tailoring, belted woollen double-breasted coats, A-line skirts and patent brogues – all in an intense colour palette of red, black, white and grey.

Glaswegian designer Jonathan Saunders' offering came in the form of psychedelic prints and colour blocking on garments with long sleeves, high necklines and A-line shapes typical of the swinging-60s look. However, when these pieces were paired with long, skin-tight lace-up boots it gave the collection a much more intriguing and sexy feel overall.

Orla Kiely played with the idea of librarian chic – with pussy bow and high-neck blouses, checked, collared dresses, mini-skirts and prim pinafores. The muted colour palette continued the 60s theme with custard yellow, peachy pink, beige, green and cream. Brown patent Mary Jane T-bar shoes added to the look.

Following on from last season, the cocoon and belted mac are favoured 60s-style coat shapes. However, unlike the spring/summer offerings, normcore's simple neutral palette is taking a back seat to make way for bright prints – where bolder is better! Bonus point goes to Mary Katrantzou and her stunning studded pockets.

red, black, white and grey

Over-the-knee boots prove that they are here to stay. If you still haven’t done so, this season is the time to invest in a pair (there is a style and shape for every taste and leg), be it long, black, classic or white peep-toe lace-ups.


Who to watch: Burberry, Topshop Unique, Roksanda Ilincic

The 70s trend has been on the peripheries of many collections for a quite a few seasons now but in the A/W15 we see the 70s taking centre stage; from flares to fringing to folk embroidery and round sunglasses, the boho look has broken out the confines of spring/summer and has cemented itself as a clear season-spanning trend. Burberry and Roksanda Ilincic offered up an array of peasant dresses that would be perfect to carry you from festival season into the wintery months. Paired, obviously, with fringed bags, boots, jackets – and possibly a signature Burberry poncho!

At Burberry, designer Christopher Bailey was evidently feeling crafty. There were full-length fringed coats in brown and wine hues, mirrored embroidery and lace-adorned ponchos featuring in muted purple, navy, green and blue. Dresses were made from intricate paisley and folklore-like floral prints and were given lace or subtle cut-out details on the neckline. Even the brand's signature trench coat was given the 70s treatment! Accessories came in the form of (amazing) thigh-high suede boots which were appliqué with coloured leather patches, pom-pom bracelets and bucket bags with layers of fringing – all adding to the extremely retro feel to the show.

The rise of the 70s-inspired turtle neck also shows no intention of slowing down anytime soon. The cosy neckline was spotted across shows and across garment types (dresses, jumpers and tops – you name it). Topshop Unique's sophisticated dandelion-floral-printed turtle necks were a particular favourite and were paired with blue high-waisted, wide flares or in dress form with a split to the thigh and knee-high leather boots. We saw other glimmers of the 70s look throughout with the colour combinations of brown, yellow and blue as well as in the fabric choice: a brown velvet jumpsuit and shaggy fur coats.

Typical of the 70s colour palette, garments ranged from rich wine to plum along with subtle, gorgeous nudes and browns (we loved the orange with burgundy with rust at Roksanda Ilincic). As with the aforementioned 60s trend, there are jolts of bright colour details caught within surface patterns and furs.


Who to watch: Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Kane, JW Anderson

A more surprising decade to crop up this season is the decade with the love of girl-boss dressing and the shoulder pad. If the flirtiness of the 60s or the floatiness of the 70s is just too soft for you, this is the runway inspiration that will get you noticed. Fast.

Northern Irish designer JW Anderson's collection was crammed full of 80s-inspired pieces; from the you-can't-miss-me statement knit jumpers to the scarlet gathered, pointed boots and the geometric dangly earrings. There were circular belt-buckle details, oversized jumpers emblazoned with either large graphic strokes of bright yellow, red and black or kitschy animal motifs, emerald cord legging-trousers (we're not quite sure) were paired with balloon-sleeved striped lurex tops with asymmetric fastenings.

We wouldn't expect anything less than a hint of 80s from grande dame of fashion Vivienne Westwood, whose models stalked down the runway with dramatic warrior-like red and black paint smeared across their faces, creating a strong, dramatic and sinister look. Chokers, safety pins and cuffs were staple accessories giving a (very large) nod to her punk roots. Westwood showed tiger-print outerwear, prom-like dresses and pieces in printed crushed velvet and (classic Westwood) tartan suits.

JW Anderson and Westwood weren’t the only ones to be bringing the 80s back; there were even flashes throughout Scottish designer Christopher Kane’s collection, most notably an oversized coat in bright tangerine orange with black flocked lightning bolts zig-zagging across it.

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