Forewarned, fashionably forearmed
The Felder Felder show during London Fashion Week featured sheer elements. Photograph: Eamonn McCormack/Getty images
A look from the Bora Aksu show at London Fashion Week
A model in animal-print motifs at the Reed Krakoff autumn 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week Photographs: Ian Gavan, Neilson Barnard, Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images
Models at the Topshop Unique show, which featured everything from mohair looks to high-shine leathers. Photographs: Ben Stansall, Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images
Marc Jacobs's show at New York Fashion Week. Photographs: Ian Gavan, Neilson Barnard, Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images
Dusty pinks from Simone Rocha at London Fashion Week.
What autumn/winter has in store, from the front lines of fashion in London and New York, writes ROSEMARY MAC CABE
The fashion calendar is not one that is easy to come to terms with. As we get used to the idea of shedding our opaques and baring our arms to get to grips with spring/summer’s monochromes, oriental accents and 1960s swing dresses, the fashion pack is preparing for the chill, with oversized coats, dusty pinks and a new version of a classic gothic all in store.
On the surface, the fashion seasons appear to give a casual nod to the actual seasons and the weather that comes along with them; a the coal face, though, the fashion world is ready for the leaves to fall and the temperature to drop.
So with New York and London done and dusted, and only Milan and Paris’s more haute couture shows to contend with, what can we expect to be wearing while we wrap school books and rake leaves from our paths?
Pretty in pink
Simone Rocha had her finger on the fashion pulse with the cotton-candy, prim and ladylike silhouettes she sent down the runway in London. And she wasn’t alone – Mulberry and Topshop Unique came up roses, too, although in the latter case it would be a hard task to find a trend that wasn’t represented in its mammoth show, which spanned everything from tapestry knits to high-shine leathers, oxblood sequins and navy-blue mohair.
Man, I feel like a woman
Oversized, mannish blazers have been slowly creeping into the collective consciousness, represented on the high street by Topshop and Cos, but New York Fashion Week saw a bevvy of designers grow up with their manly numbers.
At The Row, the high-end label designed by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, lines were straight and layers were many; this was not a collection designed to create (or accentuate) curves.
At Marc Jacobs (when the show started, three hours late), models wore oversized fur coats alongside Hitchcock-style dress coats, all with enough room for more than one jumper beneath. (Could it be that the fashion world has access to accurate meteorologists?)
No, not the singer, but the print – from New York to London, animal prints and hides were out in force, from leopard prints at Burberry, Simone Rocha and even the king of classic sex appeal, Tom Ford.
In New York, J Mendel made liberal use of animal hides, while Reed Krakoff printed animal motifs on pony skin and cashmere.
Smoke and mirrors
If it wasn’t high-shine leather at Topshop, it was sheer fabric at Marc Jacobs, Zoe Jordan and Felder Felder. These are clothes designed to either repel or attract, with little leeway in the middle.
This may not be the high-tech fabric talked of by scientists (cotton that washes itself, T-shirts that repel sweat), but it seemed futuristic in itself, helped by deceptively delicate skull caps at Bora Aksu, a show that opened with Irish model Laura O’Grady.
Of course, catwalk trends don’t always predict exactly what we will be wearing as we go about our everyday lives, but if you pop into any high-street store in October or November, you are guaranteed to see more wearable interpretations of the trends that were decided at a fashion week six months previously.