The new season is upon us, and with it, a plethora of new trends to embrace - and many to avoid. The Telegraph’s fashion editors share their AW17 favourites...
Kate Finnigan will be channeling 70s bohemia
I’m of the opinion that once you’ve found the silhouette that suits you, stick to it. Mine is long and cinched in at the waist. That can take me from Katharine Hepburn style slacks and a blouse to floaty maxi dresses via a cropped knit and a mid-length A-line skirt.
This season, thanks to Isabel Marant, it’s going to be a Kate Bush/Stevie Nicks homage - a three-quarter length chiffon or silk dress with a wild print and a waterfall hem, a big belt and over-the-knee boots. It’s always a pleasure and a relief when you spot your signature silhouette on the catwalk so shout out to Marant for providing my phew-I-can-still-be-relevant moment for autumn. And also for making me consider over-the-knee boots. I’ve never worn them before and I won’t be wearing them with skinny jeans or in the style of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but in Marant’s context they suddenly seem like a practical and cosy solution. I want a wine red pair that play Babooshka with every step.
Maximalism is all about the clash, says Charlie Gowans-Eglinton
Every season, sat amongst fashions most stylish women to watch the catwalk shows, I promise myself that next season, I will look more like them. I will invest in a navy cashmere coat, I think, perhaps some black trousers from Celine - I will be elegant, and understated, and timeless. And then the bass drops at Miu Miu’s hip-hop soundtracked show, and I am a magpie again, lost to colour, and glitter, and fantasy. I am a Gatsby heroine, sweeping into a room in a dress shimmering with pepto-pink pailettes, crystals dripping from my forehead, my collarbone, the buckles on my shoes.
Maximalism is all about the clash, which makes it easy to cobble together with things you already own, buys from the high street, and a few designer pieces. A lemon silk dress from Ghost plus Ganni’s polka-dot silk jacket will clash beautifully, and then the fun begins - crystal earrings from Accessorize or Mango, a pearl-buckled Gucci belt, and feathered and jewelled satin shoes, affordable at Zara and Uterque, decadently less-so at Rochas and Roger Vivier.
And as for my minimalist ambitions? Well, there’s always next season.
Try a dress over trousers, says Olivia Buxton Smith
A dress over trousers might not be a novel concept, thanks to Trinny and Susannah, but Tibi’s AW17 show provided me with a renewed determination to incorporate it into my own wardrobe.
I intend on tackling this the same way I approach layering on my top half: by thinking about which shades, textures and shapes slot together in the most effortless way.
Tibi’s creative Director, Amy Smilovic, presented a series of sleek-but-not-alienatingly-cool looks that used this technique; from the indigo velvet midi dress with an asymmetric hemline layered over satin tailored trousers in the same hue, to the semi-sheer calf-length lace frock teamed with black cigarette pants.
The tips to take? A mid-length dress over straight-leg trousers is the chicest and most wearable combination, silky and semi-sheer fabrics are the most flattering when layered over trousers, and tonal colour schemes are your friend.
And if you’re worried that the soft silhouette won’t be flattering, add a skinny belt for definition. That’s what I’ll be doing.
Do the hard/soft clash, says Bethan Holt
Hard/ soft is just the concept for the indecisive amongst us this season - and it really is as easy as it sounds. Take one piece which is cosy, soft and feminine and pair it with something tailored or severe. On the catwalk at Victoria Beckham, diaphanous chiffon skirts were shown with blazers and crisp shirts, and I’d happily spend the winter months ensconced in her Paul Nash-inspired jumper and mannish checked trouser combination. Not only is this a no-brainer in the morning, it feels polished enough for work, too.
On the high street, COS is a one-stop shop for architectural cuts and clever draping, but also look out for the silky pieces in H&M’s ‘Trend’ offering and John Lewis’s Modern Rarity. Beckham styled her hard/soft looks with slouchy boots or brogues, but loafers or smart trainers would work too.
Modern Rarity double layered skirt, £129, John Lewis
Emily Cronin will be donning an embellished cardigan
It takes a certain sort of fashion genius to turn a purely practical item into the most fanciful thing on the runway. A genius like Miuccia Prada. She followed up last season’s marabou-trimmed pyjamas (fancy-practical ensemble 1.0) with this autumn’s fuzzy, cosy, extravagantly embellished cardigans. That’s right: cardigans- the commonsensical, granny-approved, “no need to turn the heating up” layering piece of choice- are suddenly desirable. This is a thrilling development, given that I already have a vintage black cashmere cardigan with lashings of crystal and pearl embellishment in my wardrobe, just waiting for its moment. And I’m sure that next season, there will be many.
Jewelled cardigan, £49.99, Zara
Wear red, advises Krissy Turner
Gucci aside - because what woman in their mid-20s doesn’t want a cream cardigan and a pearl brooch? - Max Mara was my favourite AW17 catwalk show. The minimalist in me was always going to love the chic camel looks from the collection, but the first four outfits in the show are the ones that really bowled me over - they were all bright red.
It’s certainly a statement colour, but also incredibly wearable, with thick cashmere knits, corduroy skirts and luxe velvet trousers all coming in cherry hues.
Red should, in theory, be a colour that works with my warm skin tone, and I’m partial to red lipstick, but until now I’d been wary of making a bolder statement, particularly in the office. While I might not dive straight in with a full red outfit à la Gigi Hadid, I’ll ease in with a chunky knit paired with denim, or a red ankle boot with black kick-flare jeans.
It will add an accent to my usual navy and camel autumn staples, and works with black or white accessories. As it’s an autumnal hue, I shouldn’t look out of place come October. But then, you don’t wear red to blend into the background.
I look back through my wardrobe and wonder why I bought the shouty piece from the collection… print, and silhouette. While it might have been the must have piece at the time, it sure does tire quickly. So for this season I’m sticking with the classics. But before you switch off, the what I have in mind won’t be the forgettable trench coat, or the boring blazer, because that really would be dull. These are classics with a point of difference - the shape has had a bit of a tweak, the buttons are more interesting than the norm, and the fabrics are unexpected. Take Joseph’s oversized peacoat as an example (pictured), or Altuzarra’s trouser suit: classics - dare I say it - with a twist. The “trend” has filtered down to the high street too, with Massimo Dutti’s longline camel coat, and Marks & Spencer’s blazer with interesting button detail. Classics, on the high street; what’s not to love?