autumn/winter is coming. 

I had to research the Autumn Winter 2016 trends for work and I decided to create some visuals to support what I had found. I always use Vogue Runway to look at the new collections presented at the various fashion weeks throughout the year. To be honest I was skeptical about what it would be like at first but I find it to be just as good as Style.com ever was. It’s easy to navigate, is updated really quickly after the actual shows and it has an archive going all the way back to 1991 – that’s a whole two years before I was born!

I’m at that point now where I’m ready for the temperature to drop so I can dig out my autumnal clothes again. We don’t usually get that much of a summer here in England but there have been quite a few periods of hot weather over the past few months. There have also been a fair amount of thunderstorms too, but when it gets to September I don’t want hot, humid weather that makes it either practically unbearable to get dressed properly or just really awkward when trying to figure out what to wear. The type of weather that makes it difficult to put together an outfit when you actually have to leave the house and look somewhat respectable. As I said, I just want those cooler, crisp temperatures to return that go hand in hand with cosy sweaters, boots and outfit-finishing jackets. The relevance of all this is because when I went through the shows for the AW’16 season on Vogue Runway, I identified nine key trends that I think are actually very practical in terms of how well they would work in an ordinary woman’s wardrobe. They could be easily interpreted and executed by anyone really, whether you pay that much attention to trends usually or not. In my post last week about Jonathan Saunders’ first collecion for Diane von Furstenberg, I mentioned how what comes down the catwalk doesn’t always appear to be very wearable (with that collection being the opposite) and I think the trends I identified for this season counters that point too.

aw16-velvet

Velvet was all over the AW’16 shows. It was hard for me to narrow it down to just seven looks when making these visuals as so many designers included velvet in some form in their collections. The ones I picked were my favourites and also show the many different ways that velvet was presented and just how versatile it is too. From a deep blue halter neck at Rosie Assoulin to a mini dress with floral detail at Fendi and a plunging black jumpsuit at Topshop Unique, designers demonstrated how easy it will be to incorporate this plush fabric into our wardrobes this season. Velvet can look quite luxurious and so it goes hand-in-hand with the winter party season too. It’s a far (and much chicer) cry from the velvet, paisley trousers I remember wearing to my aunt’s wedding when I was little!

aw16-leopard-print

Some would argue that leopard is a neutral and many designers certainly made a case for that this season. The most popular animal print was paired with trousers, dresses – both casual and formal, blazers and knitwear. It was sent down the runway in the form of coats, jumpers, trousers and even a moto jacket at Isabel Marant. Leopard print has the reputation of being attention-grabbing but I think looking at how it was styled across the whole month of shows demonstrates that it works just as well to finish off a look as it does to be the star of one.

aw16-brocade

Brocade is not the easiest of fabrics to pull off and it can sometimes be more suited to a grand pair of curtains than a piece of apparel. Despite that it was featured in many of the collections for this season. Dresses from mini to midi in length were shown at Balmain and Prada respectively, with Gucci and Miu Miu showing opulent coats and even a pair of brocade trousers were seen at Holly Fulton. These looks all have one thing in common though and that is when wearing brocade, the rest of your outfit should be fairly minimal but play with mixing textures. Tights or over-the-knee boots were paired with the dresses while a chunky black turtleneck went with those jazzy trousers.

aw16-furs

While I don’t agree with the use of real fur, I couldn’t deny that it was featured in most collections for the AW’16 season. It was updated this time round in a wide array of colours and patterns – this is no trend for wallflowers! However faux fur is much better in both quality and look these days and so I believe this trend could be easily recreated without the animal cruelty. A mixture of patchwork and solid block coloured furs were shown. The trick seemed to be in pairing them with simple dresses and ankle boots to balance them out and avoid resembling a cartoon character.

aw16-athleisure

The athleisure trend has been around for a little while now and it shows no sign of leaving anytime soon. The influence of ski-wear was present for this season with tighter fitting pieces in bold colours and prints at Versace, Carven and Louis Vuitton and the puffer jackets shown at Balenciaga and Pucci. Vetements also presented the trend with their now signature tracksuits. One of the reasons why this trend has stuck around is the effortless appearance it gives whilst still looking more polished than if you wore actual loungewear. Plus it has the ability to be scaled dependent on personal preference. You can commit as much or as little as you want to the athleisure look.

aw16-oversized-collars

Could this be the most practical trend – I mean what could be better for when the temperature drops than to have an oversized collar to bury your face into? Supersized shearling and furry collars adorned jackets of all different styles on the Autumn Winter runways. From a belted leather number at Balenciaga to one with whimsical embroidery at Alexander McQueen to a formal check coat at Calvin Klein, designers demonstrated that this is a trend for every style.

aw16-masculine-suiting

Whether for work or for play, a masculine suit will always make a statement. For Spring Summer 2016, suiting was shown in a slinky style whereas this season it has a more androgynous feel. Luxury brands playing with the masculine/feminine balance often comes back around and I think this trend has evolved nicely from what was shown for the SS’16 season. Even though the fit is looser this time round, suits were shown to be just as sexy. From double or single breasted, to metallic or cut-out, designers displayed how masculine suiting could work for different occassions.

aw16-clashing-prints

The clashing prints trend is likely to be the most difficult one to incorporate into an everyday wardrobe but with so many designers across all four fashion weeks showing these eclectic looks, it has provided a range of outfit inspiration. One key component to this trend is making sure the colours of each print complement or match each other in order to clash but still be aesthetically pleasing. This technique also allows you to clash pretty much any piece of clothing, which is why looks with trousers, skirts, dresses, jumpers and more were presented for AW’16.

aw16-tartan

I feel like tartan has almost become a staple for the Autumn Winter season. Every few years it comes back onto the runways and regardless of it’s trend status, you can always see women wrapped up in a tartan scarf during the coldest days of the winter months. For this season it was mostly showed in the form of some gorgeous coats but a few designers, such as Alessandra Rich and Chanel sent tartan dresses down the catwalk too.

You can also check out the Pinterest board I made for my work to go with these visuals here.

N.

images are all my own work, with the runway images originally from vogue.com/fashion-shows/fall-2016-ready-to-wear
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