With the second week in the month-long international showtime drawing to a close, data generated by the event is pouring in. We monitor the ways in which online fashion influencers talk about the designers and trends exhibited, applying metrics to what worked, and what didn’t. And while the treacherous UK weather in the past week has dominated much of the mainstream press, the fashion world sought solace in the newness shown by London’s talent.
Here, we’ve pulled together the 10 London trends with biggest commercial potential, and highest volume of online chatter for Fall 2014.
It’s the second winter where the traditional seasonal palettes have been thrown out the window. AW14 was a riot of colour, in intense hues with oranges well-backed by Thomas Tait, Giles, Christopher Raeburn, Antipodium, Preen and Burberry. Boldest, brightest red shone through as the second biggest colour story, seen at House of Holland, Jonathan Saunders and Matthew Williamson. Pastels proved resilient, with grey blues, blush tones and heathers showing at Whistles, Issa and Burberry. At the more muted end of the spectrum, greys and khaki served their part in androgynous stories.
2. Designer of the week: Burberry
Burberry beat off the competition of Mulberry (who, although not showing a collection were the week’s second most talked-about brand, with their much-hyped Cara Delevingne announcement), Peter Pilotto and Topshop Unique, to become London’s most talked-about designer this week. Christopher Bailey taking the helm as CEO for Burberry hasn’t dented the impact of what he puts onto the runway, and this season was sublime. Bloomsbury-set inspiration saw painterly flora, draped scarves, daubed geometrics and heavenly lace in a palette marrying pastels with woodland shades, silk with furs. Sometimes it felt springlike, at others well-wrapped; Bailey has become a master at speaking to his global customers, and this conversation in particular will translate beautifully.
3. Theme: Texture
Texture was one of the trends we covered in real-time for The LFW Daily this week, and it was the story making most impact on the runway. A cacophony of surface texture is the only real rule here, with shaggy furs, wispy feathers, high-shine PVC, weather-enduring shearlings and crackled leathers all given a new season makeover. Topshop Unique worked well at this, combining teddy fur sweaters with leather skater skirts, splicing lace with jersey, fur with leather. As with all the big trends at LFW, layering is key.
4. Theme: 90s
In puffer jackets, bombers, sweaters and hoods, with slogan tops, chokers and houndstooth, the 90s made their presence felt. The theme was overt at Nasir Mazhar, whose models were fit for TLC MTV Creep-era with their branded elastic showing above wide-legged tracksuit pants, stomachs bared in crop tops, chunky boots trimmed with marabou. Scaling the theme back were the likes of Antipodium and House of Holland, who fused the 90s with 60s, or Topshop Unique who fused the 90s with now.
5. Garment: Roll necks
Let’s keep this simple: mark our words, turtle necks are big news for AW14. And if you can’t heed our advice, listen to Paul Smith, House of Holland, Topshop Unique, Holly Fulton, J.W. Anderson, Pringle and Joseph.
6. Garment: Oversized Outerwear
Coats got scaled up this season, tempting the storm-battered front row with their pillowy, cocooning forms. Every style of outerwear received the enlarging treatment, including bombers (Jonathan Saunders), parkas (Preen), puffers (Christopher Kane), military coats (Joseph), furs (Fyodor Golan) and capes (Bora Aksu). It makes retail sense to produce large-proportioned outerwear – not only does it suit this climate, but consumers can layer more beneath.
7. Garment: Wide Strides
Lose, languid pants were a thing in New York, and they’re a thing in London too. Wider legwear was the order of the day, in culottes at 1205, pyjama bottoms at Paul Smith, denims at Sister by Sibling, dungarees at Margaret Howell, floral prints at Topshop and tailored suit pants at Joseph. Anything goes, just keep it loose.
8. Theme: Androgyny
Sports luxe has transformed, shedding its hardness but keeping its functionality. It’s become androgyny of two sorts: firstly a boyish practicality with a technical, all-weather edge, shown best by Christopher Raeburn and Belstaff. The second strain is a luxe, grown-up vibe, with genderless suiting, a muted palette, high necks, lose legs and plenty of drape – Joseph and 1205 stand out here. The androgynous story contrasts well against the pastels, florals and colorful furs seen elsewhere, and offers retailers a strong contrast to other headline trends, ideal for visual merchandising.
9. Detail: Quilted
Quilting details have been buzzing around for a while now, but AW14 brings them to the fore, tying together several themes succinctly. Puffer jackets at Topshop Unique, Christopher Kane and Peter Pilotto sit at the functional end of quilting and pay homage to the texture trend. Meanwhile, bombers, both oversized (Jonathan Saunders) and over-long (House of Holland) make use of the traditional diamond shape quilting, and slide themselves into the 90s trend. House of Holland also worked quilting into evening wear, in a boxy silver taffeta top, worn with matching skirt. This alluded to the furnishing finery in an aristocratic stately pile and will no doubt be picked up by the highstreet.
New York was unequivocally about plaids, and yes they were out in force in London, but in classic forms, like the tartans at Margaret Howell or the double breasted Prince of Wales blazer at Richard Nicoll. More attention-grabbing in London were the florals, which were wallpaper-inspired at House of Holland and Paul Smith, and Bloomsbury-infused from Burberry and Topshop Unique. Stripes got a reworking too: at Jonathan Saunders they were oversized and played out wonkily on bias cut dresses, for Matthew Williamson, the circus-y sequins were optically dizzying and camped up with a smattering of stars.
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