It would be an understatement to say that fashion is at a turning point right now. So much of what we used to wear, pre-pandemic, from denim to high heels, feels under threat. But the seasons will shift, and stores will replenish their racks with pieces from the fall collections, which were dreamed up by designers long before thoughts of quarantine entered the public consciousness. Some of these fall fashion trends might seem accidentally ironic in light of current events (like the proliferation of schoolgirl skirts and prep blazers), while others, from cool neutral grey worn head-to-toe or roomy, armour-like outerwear, might just be perfectly tailored to the moment. Here are the top 10 fall 2020 trends.
The Look: Society Girl
Refined, polished and a little retro, this look is all about dressing like you live on Park Avenue, have a toy poodle and spend your days attending luncheons. The trend dips into a few decades, from the ’50s to the ’80s, but remains unabashedly feminine.
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The colour: Grey
No other hue was as prevalent on the fall runways as cool, graphite grey. We’re calling it: What camel and brown was last season, grey will be for fall 2020. Meet the new It neutral.
The buy: Exaggerated Outerwear
Thanks to social distancing, JW Anderson’s coat with its oversized, sloping proportions has never looked more practical. Elsewhere on the runways, Nina Ricci’s parachute topper and Prada’s puffed-up jackets furthered the go-big-or-go-home message.
The comeback: The Fabulous ’80s
After several years of ’70s rule, the ’80s are coming back to reclaim their place in fashion’s nostalgic heart. To be clear: This is not the ripped heather grey sweatshirt and leg-warmer ’80s of Flashdance, but the exuberant, over-the-top glamour of Joan Collins, Pat Cleveland and Whitney Houston.
The look: Back to School
In a time when a return to school couldn’t look more different (or be more of a hot topic in the news), such classically academia-inspired outfits couldn’t look more out of place. And yet, there’s something almost novel about a tartan skirt or a crested blazer.
The Buy: A Leather Coat
The tough, edgy and endlessly aspirational leather coat is the single hero piece from the fall runways, with designers from Fendi to Alberta Feretti offering their takes, whether fitted and slick to slouchy and insouciant. Start your hunt for the perfect one now.
The textile: Sequins
At Burberry, silver paillettes resembled plate armour, while at Celine and Valentino, the look was all about a subtle shimmer. With parties and large gatherings on ice for the foreseeable future, a party-ready sparkly dress might be our only consolation.
The print: Houndstooth
The classic print is back this season, with updates courtesy of trippy trompe l’oeil at Off-White and Marine Serre, and more classic takes at Agnona and Moncler. A great one to dig out from the back of your closet, or search out at vintage shops.
The print: Plaid
Plaid and tartan prints are to fall what florals are to spring. This perennially trendy pattern cropped up at Burberry (where creative lead Riccardo Tisci reimagined the house classic check) and at Marni, where it was cut on the bias for a more unusual take.
The look: Blank Slate
Perhaps the biggest of all the fall 2020 trends was actually no trend at all. Lemaire led the way with a collection that felt entirely seasonless and timeless yet considered and refined. This stylish austerity was also on display at Altuzarra and Sies Marjan. Designers are toning things down—an appealing consideration as we all rethink chasing fads and learn to love simplicity. Sure, you could buy a new black coat as seen at Jil Sander, but chances are you probably have one already. Less is finally more.