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The new runway rules — 11 wearable trends from London Fashion Week

 (London Fashion Week autumn winter 2023)
(London Fashion Week autumn winter 2023)

It has been a riotous few days at the capital’s 40th London Fashion Week. Want to know what to wear next winter? Victoria Moss and Joe Bromley have the lowdown.

Trainers are over, loafers are in

Saul Nash (Chris Yates/ Chris Yates Media)
Saul Nash (Chris Yates/ Chris Yates Media)

Save a handful of exceptions (notably Labrum’s Adidas Samba collaboration), loafers took over the sneaker as this fashion week’s dominant shoe. Nowhere was this more surprising than at streetwear aficionado Saul Nash’s show — but his “no hoods/no hats/no trainers” dress code played into the Nineties London garage club scene rules. “The question was, how do you take sportswear and dress it up to get in? That was the starting point for this collection,” he said. Answer: school type shoes from Sebago worn with ombré, neon green tracksuit bottoms; they look just as good (better?) than they do with a chino. JB 

Your old vest

 (JW Anderson)
(JW Anderson)

No your eyes are not deceiving you, yes that really is a primary-school classic pointelle vest and knickers on a catwalk. JW Anderson’s sweet tour through the idiosyncrasies of British-tinged nostalgia saw him take in everything from Seventies M&S undies to grandpa slippers and giant tweed overcoats and remix it for a new generation. Not to mention the Mrs Merton wigs which Anderson described as “this idea of glorifying age and at the same time glamorising it”. VM 

A Grecian dress (drama)

 (Erdem)
(Erdem)

Erdem’s latest outing at the British Museum saw him move his front row up into the Duveen Gallery. There his ode to Maria Callas’s 1953 performance in Medea unfolded in front of Pheidias’s much-contested Parthenon Sculptures (Elgin Marbles). Slightly awkwardly he’s added fuel to the Greek cultural minister’s fire, who is aghast at the insensitivity. International relations aside, he did whip up some rather delicious chiton-esque draped dresses adding to a burgeoning trend also picked up on by Roksanda and 16Arlington. VM

The trapper hat

 (Preen by Thornton Bregazzi)
(Preen by Thornton Bregazzi)

Prone to a bad hair day? Here’s a treat. Giant trapper style faux fur hats popped up in a surprising amount of places. Both Emilia Wickstead and JW Anderson popped them atop model’s heads; as did Preen by Thornton Bregazzi in the husband and wife’s excellent comeback show. Paired with their dramatic eiderdown skirts and patchwork sweatshirts, we’re sold. VM 

The Saltburn effect

 (Dunhill)
(Dunhill)

The film flopped at Sunday night’s Baftas, but there’s no doubt sprawling country-house style murdered on the catwalks. Nowhere was this more true than at Dunhill, the 1893-founded menswear brand, which saw its historic codes revisited by new creative director Simon Holloway. In the very proper green and deep red rooms of the National Portrait Gallery’s Duveen Wing, formidable portraits peered upon intimidatingly elegant men. Most rah were high waisted corduroys worn with striped rugby shirts, white socks and embroidered velvet slippers, while silk cravats, tan driving gloves, and the neckerchiefs made for stately-appropriate accoutrements. As for women, Rosamund Pike’s character Elsbeth could be felt in the aristo-eccentricity of many designers; mostly at Molly Goddard and her fizzy pink tulles, where Pike made a surprise front row appearance. JB 

The red hot dress

 (Roksanda)
(Roksanda)

There were gasps when this heavenly swathe of silk came out in Tate Britain, where Roksanda unveiled her stellar collection which took its super stylish cue from Le Corbusier. Billowing, woven tassel strewn perfection, frankly. Also note the FitFlop (yes, a new collab) pairing too. Comfort and glamour? We’re so in. She’s not the only one backing a major Ferrari-red frock moment either — 16Arlington’s Marco Capaldi whipped up a Phoebe Philo-Celine-ish draped number, while everyone from Huishan Zhang to Chet Lo and David Koma popped one in. Your next party season look is waiting for you. VM

Pick up a cowboy shirt

Molly Goddard (Ben Broomfield @photobenphoto)
Molly Goddard (Ben Broomfield @photobenphoto)

You might have noticed the whole cowboy thing bubbling under for a while. Everyone at the shows is doing a version on the boot, Pharrell Williams threw the whole Wild West at his most recent Louis Vuitton show. Beyoncé has, of course, gone country, too. If this has felt alien to you sartorially, then Molly Goddard’s sweet cowboy shirts might turn your eye. She was taking cues from “miniature cowgirl outfits and things like Oilily and weird patchwork kids clothes.” Her take with its pretty rose embroidery and pearlescent buttons is very, very tempting. VM 

Shimmy in a tinsel skirt

 (16Arlington)
(16Arlington)

Cocktail skirts are big news again — especially when worn idiosyncratically — it’s a pop of glam on your bottom half you’re going for here, not head to toe OTT. 16Arlington’s floor-sweeping silver tinsel number is spot on. So much swish! Note the styling: demure black knit and overcoat mixing in a little hint of the corporate-core trend which is gearing up all over the place. VM

Just add (faux) fur

Simone Rocha (Ben Broomfield @photobenphoto)
Simone Rocha (Ben Broomfield @photobenphoto)

While real vintage furs swept the trend-conscious show goers, the catwalks saw faux fur reclaim a spot en vogue. In a welcome pivot away from bubblegum eyesore shades — a rut fake fur got stuck in on the high street — it all came in natural shades. At Simone Rocha, beaver-brown faux opera coats were complete with crystal appliqué, and played on her idea of Victoriana teddy bears. At Roksanda, it was all pale, cream faux, sleeveless jackets bound by leather, tied belts while Erdem knitted cocoon coats in looped stitch alpaca in black and ivory. All the better to mob-wife in. JB 

Your new 9-5

 (Tolu Coker)
(Tolu Coker)

In more unlikely TikTok trends to note, Gen Z are now very much into what their parents wore to work in the Noughties. The new nine to five wardrobe has all the swivel chair staples — pinstripes, white shirts, narrow reading glasses. At Dilara Fındıkoğlu, the Turkish-British emerging designer’s collection, Barbie actor Hari Nef draped herself against church pillars in a banker’s shirt and jacket coiled into a skirt, while the top half was all breast exposing, sheer panelled corset vests and latex gloves. Emilia Wickstead mirrored the 50/50 approach; sweaters and shirts on top, pop-shade, floral embellished mini skirts on the bottom. But it was British-Nigerian designer Tolu Coker who brought her more jovial touch to the fad; grey waistcoats were worn with oversize-striped shirts, cargo trousers and blown up bowler hats. Pour yourself a cup of ambition, etc. JB 

Pop on a pop sock

 (Emilia Wickstead)
(Emilia Wickstead)

In styling tricks we wouldn’t have backed working out, the 15 denier black pop sock is proving to have quite the staying power. Show-goers were rocking up all over town in them, paired with knee skirts, and yes, loafers. Emilia Wickstead styled this season by tastemaker Harry Lambert (the man behind Emma Corrin and Harry Styles’s looks) had a definite cool-over. The Mad Men mood was brought up to date with these off-kilter touches. Note also the V neck sweater worn with an open neck shirt. Time to bring it all out again. VM