1. Gucci on the high street
If you’ve seen any of the following in Zara or Topshop – shaggy faux-fur coats, pussybow blouses or floral dresses that look like 1970s upholstery – then you’ve already spotted the beginnings of the Guccification of the high street. This is all thanks to the brand’s new creative director, Alessandro Michele, who hastransformed Gucci from a purveyor of bling-tastic yacht chic to a haven for glamorous geeks, and has won the hearts of the fashion industry in the process. High-street homages are everywhere; spectacles and a bobble hat are the finishing touches.
2. The muse
The fashion industry has decreed that Wes Anderson’s most stylish character,Margot Tenenbaum, is this season’s muse; her shabby fur coats and grubby eyeliner exactly what the industry wants to achieve right now. We don’t disagree, but we think the much-missed Deirdre Barlow is an even more apt inspiration: she did oversized glasses and prim blouses on a 1970s north-of-England budget while Anderson was still in short trousers.
3. The fantasy ride
This Ford Fairlane 66, seen with Lara Stone in the current H&M advert, encapsulates all you need to know about the bleached-out vibes fashion is feeling for autumn/winter, in motor form.
4. But are we doing the 70s or the 80s this season?
Forget the Labour leadership – this is the crucial debate of the moment. Actually, we’re doing both. Most of fashion has been mining the 70s in a big way, but Jonathan Anderson has gone to the 80s. Think multicoloured oversized jackets, baggy knee-high boots and huge mismatched plastic earrings at his eponymous label, JW Anderson, and neon zigzag belts, big-shouldered coats and lurex dresses at Loewe, where he is also creative director. This is entirely wearable if you don’t go too OTT: Zara’s matching lurex pleated skirt and top is a good place to start.
5. Clever knitwear
Fashion and culture seem bizarrely convinced that the thicker your knit, the sharper your brain, with Aran jumpers and cable knits used as shorthand for authenticity and intelligence. See: Max Mara’s autumn/winter collection, which was inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s Ulysses-reading bookish side and the black-and-cream chunky cardigan she wore in her final windswept photoshoot, and Ben Whishaw’s stripy woollen jumper, worn as brainiac Q in upcoming James Bond film Spectre. This is an easy one to recreate on the high street, particularly from October, when lovely knits take centre stage in the much-anticipated collaboration between former Hermès creative director Christophe Lemaire and Uniqlo.
6. School-bully hair
So-called “meh” hair has recently been huge in fashion. Figuratively, not literally – this kind of ’do is flat and messy; exactly the opposite of that big, bouncy, blow-dried, X Factor judge look. Trust Mrs Prada to be first to rebel, presenting models with severely scraped-back ponytails. We’re calling this school-bully hair, because we last saw it in the toilets at school, when we were being relieved of our lunch money. Try it if you dare: great for emphasising cheekbones, terrible for reviving bad memories and causing migraines.
7. Poking your collar over your jumper is a thing again
Of all the allegations levelled at Rebekah Brooks, this may not be the one you remember, but in 2012 the fashion industry accused the former News of the World editor of killing off the Peter Pan collar. Finally, fashion has recovered enough to offer a similar look – pointed collars in interesting fabrics (chainlink metal, chartreuse silk and striped cotton at Prada, Dior and Miu Miu) layered over snakeskin pinafores or thin-knit jumpers, offering all the joys of a collar with none of the Leveson-inquiry associations.
8. What’s the coat of the season?
If Withnail checked into the Grand Budapest Hotel, this what he would wear: brown, oversized, a bit military, very Gucci. Zara has the perfect one, available at the end of September; there are similarly oversized maxi coats at M&S and & Other Stories.
There has been much debate over whether 2015 is the Chinese year of the sheep, goat or ram, but in fashion there is no such ambiguity. Danish model Freja Beha Erichsen was photographed for the cover of the Wall Street Journal’s style magazine wearing a shaggy white coat and cradling an adorable lamb with sooty paws; turbo-vegetarian and anti-fur activist Stella McCartney put faux fur on her catwalk for the first time. Resistance to faux fur, and faux shearling, seems futile.
10. Is the polo neck still on-trend?
Polo necks have become so ubiquitous that at Emilia Wickstead’s last fashion week show, Charlotte Dellal, Yasmin and Amber Le Bon, Daisy Lowe and Alexa Chung found themselves in a five-person front-row polo-neck pile-up. But fashion still loves them: Loewe, Jonathan Saunders and Victoria Beckham are among the dozens of designers still producing them and, in November (UK release), Michael Fassbender will pull on a polo neck for the Steve Jobs biopic.
11. WTF is Dark Victoriana?
There has been a lot of talk about this trend in the style mags – think of Miss Havisham’s threads dyed black, all dark layers of lace and mesh – but it is probably best ignored until party season. This is evening gothic. FKA twigs did it brilliantly at the MTV Video Music awards on Sunday night; a less naked version would be just the thing the best-dressed person at the office party might wear this Christmas.
12. Timing is everything
While the glossy magazines are shouting about the new season now, there are still months before some of the best pieces hit the shops. Take Topshop’s resort collection, in store on 14 November, which is a riot of vaguely 70s unexpectedness: its pink crushed-velvet suit goes against traditional ideas of good taste and judgment and will be all the more loved by the fashion crowd for it.
13. Sheer black tights are back
British Vogue’s September issue decrees it so. Pair them with something tough and modern – such as ankle socks and Doc Martens – rather than anything too smart, or you may find the Melanie-Griffith-in-Working-Girl overtones overwhelming.
14. Balmain for H&M
Every season, one designer/high street collaboration causes panicked shoppers to elbow each other in the face, and this November it will be Balmain for H&M. The brand is all about expensive, body-hugging, high-octane glamour – its key proponents are Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner – so this is a rare chance for fans to own a piece of a collection that is usually several zeros out of their price range.
16. Dressing for Instagram
The peacock has been an endangered species for a few seasons in fashion, witheven the exhibitionists of London fashion week tending to be swathed in navy-blue cashmere. This season, though, maximalism has returned, with outre accessories, brash patterns, bold shapes, bright colours and a hodgepodge of 70s and 80s styles defining the season. Many place the blame at Instagram’s door, and some of the most eye-catching items seem to have been designed with “likes” in mind. Examples: Anya Hindmarch’s autumn/winter collection – all “Men at Work” and speed camera road signs, with the odd custard cream clutch – and Moschino’s emoticon-emblazoned backpacks, plus Topshop, Monki and New Look on the high street.
17. The boot debate
Fashion says this is the season of the over-the-knee or mid-calf boot but, in real life, something a bit easier to wear and more flattering is bound to take precedence. We’re betting on the classic patent Chelsea boot, which will protect you from puddles while offering a pared-down counterpoint to other sartorial experiments.
18. The Mansur Gavriel bucket bag
These cost £325, a lot less than most fashion “It” bags, but are the most talked-about totes of the moment. Last season they sold out and are still changing hands for more than £400 online; the next drop comes to Matchesfashion.com at the end of September.
19. Styling tips courtesy of Hillier Bartley
Former Marc by Marc Jacobs duo Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley are launching their own label this season, and the styling represents the louche, eclectic flavour fashion is desperate to achieve now: silky blouses tucked into trousers; three inches of white socks above black loafers; majorette fringing on bags and coats; maxi coats tied with what look like curtain ropes.