October. I love you for two very important reasons. One: investing in big, cosy Margot Tenenbaum-worthy coats, and two: plotting a winter getaway to wear said item.
My go-to autumn destination? Paris – every time. But what to wear in the undisputed capital of style, long celebrated for its mix of evocative glamour and elevated basics?
More than a fixed sartorial formula – Breton tees, YSL-esque trouser suits, et al – it’s really a question of attitude. Something that was in no short supply on the runway in Paris for SS20, from eco-innovation at Stella McCartney to power walking at Maison Margiela.
Key shows: Dries Van Noten and Christian Lacroix, Balenciaga, Maison Margiela
Style DNA: Minimalism, step aside. Tons of designers forecast a more-is-more approach. See: Dries Van Noten and Christian Lacroix’s secret collaboration with its 1980s-style opulence (Hello, hot pink pouf skirts); Balenciaga’s XXL, paint-box bright, power shoulders; and Maison Margiela’s signature avant-gardism (featuring Leon Dame’s viral runway walk).
Key shows: Saint Laurent, Celine, Isabel Marant, Chloé.
Style DNA: Gear up for (yet another) 1970s redux. Think peek-a-boo layering and louche glamour a la Penny Lane in Almost Famous. Hedi Slimane’s SS20 offering at Celine was an emblem of French bourgeois boho by way of faded denim, shaggy fur coats, flares and prairie-style midi-dresses. At Saint Laurent, it was a combination of high-voltage glam-rock and embellished paisley prints. An easy nod to this trend? When in doubt, a pair of round sunglasses are your best friend.
Key shows: Stella McCartney, Dior, Alexander McQueen
Style DNA: Finally, fashion is waking up to sustainability. As a leader in this department, Stella McCartney’s SS20 collection served as a reminder of the power to push eco-innovation, offering garments made from recycled polyester and organic cotton. “The world is crying out for change and it is our responsibility to act now,” said the British designer and environmentalist. “The younger generation are standing up and telling us that our house is on fire and that we need to respond like we are in a crisis, because in fact it is a crisis.” The idea of connection and craftsmanship to make a piece that lasts was central at Alexander McQueen, where the entire team – from interns to accounts – came together to work on an embroidered dress worn by Stella Tennant. Elsewhere, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s botanical spectacular set for Dior involved a temporary grove comprising of 164 trees, all of which will be replanted around Paris.