TREND REPORT: WOMENSWEAR S/S 19

Rhiannon D’Averc gives you the lowdown on what to expect over the coming season, and into 2019. With input from the WGSN’s briefing and their statistics on sales, stock, and designs, presented by Kirsty Sears and Anna Ross, Senior and Associate Womenswear Editors respectively.

One of the key messages for the upcoming season is that accessories are seeing a bit of a slump, while footwear is on a new high. This means picking out statement shoes and clothing that give your look as much punch as it needs, rather than going overboard.

Let’s take a dive into some of the big trends you’ll want to follow as the season evolves.

Soft Power
This look is all about tailoring, but taking it to more of a softer dimension. Lounge silhouettes and pastel colours can help to define this wintry look. Go for power dressing, but then pare it back with trainers and a t-shirt. Taking inspiration from the 80s and 90s, this style can tie into some of the other big trends for this season.

Subtle Imperfections
Why does everything have to be so perfect? An asymmetric zip, a knotted hem, a creatively draped front: these are all elements to look out for. They give the subtle impression that something might slightly be off, but in a very deliberate and creative way. Draping is up more than 149% in the WGSN figures, while knotting is up 77% and asymmetry is up 33%. These are big looks to watch out for. Scarf dresses are great for showcasing an uneven hem. Twisted tops are also big: tight-fitted but knotted or wrapped at the waist, worn with either wide leg trousers or cropped with a slim leg.

Reclaiming Sexiness
There was something utilitarian about recent seasons, something less sensual, less sexual. Now we’re ready to reclaim sexiness with a lot of sheer dresses, slit-bottom trousers and skirts, and cut-out dresses. These sensual looks can really turn up the heat. Think of asymmetric cut-outs in unusual places, like at the waist, and sheer dusters worn over short dresses. The wrap maxi is also great for boudoir style, with ruffles and layers, and it’s been big in resort shows. You could also wear the bustier top with a square or sweetheart neckline, with micro button details and puff sleeves.

Modern Prairie
The boho favourite, prairie, has been given an update for this season. Think clean Western looks that are more tailored, with scarf print mix dresses paired with trainers to pull the look back. This is all about bringing that prairie girl back into the city. The pieced midi is a key trend, with panel prints combined with sheer, lace, or high shine fabrics.

1980s Nostalgia
Yes, it’s been here for a few seasons, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. Ruching is now the big trend to look out for, as well as leg of mutton sleeves making a big comeback. Also having a new heyday is the resort shirt, which you are going to be seeing versions of everywhere. Acid-washed denim is the colour for your jeans. This season is all about putting the 80s into the details, rather than necessarily the big shapes it has been previously. A key piece includes the blouse with leg of mutton or puff sleeves, a nipped in waist, and slight shoulder pads, worn with jeans. Thrift your shirts with tropical prints and vintage looks to get that resort feel.

2000s Influences
Get ready for some serious nostalgia, millennials – your decade is finally coming back around. Think cargo pants and slip dresses in particular, and pull out those tribal prints and dragon tattoo-esque mesh shirts. It’s the most horrifying style of the decade, yet we kind of love it.

Linen Lounge
Here’s an upscale update for linen textures. Think basic separates such as roomy trousers paired with knotted shirts. This is part of a movement towards sustainability, also, with linen a good canvas to begin with. Wide leg trousers are certainly the way forward this season, and you can add deep pleats for a new take.

Downtown Modesty
Modern fashion is experiencing a huge surge in popularity, and that’s no doubt the force behind this new trend. It’s all about long dresses with sleeves and soft drapes, a sense of female empowerment that shows that covering up can be sexy too. Add on the prairie take for a double whammy of on-trend looks. The term ‘modest fashion’ itself is up 500% year on year in Pinterest searches, so use that as your inspiration.

Contemporary Traveller
Boho strikes again with this look, which is all about giving the style another level of sophistication. Think rust colours and deep maroons instead of ditsy florals, even if some of the shapes might remain the same. The double hem jean is an interesting addition which could make or break a look.

Colours
So, what colours will we all be wearing? Yellows have doubled in the past season, so look out for not only Gen Z Yellow but also sherbert yellow, perfect with tailoring. Soft blocks are in, think pale pastels with electric tone brights. Pink and lilac are also having a big moment.

Rust and earth tones fit with bohemian styles, combined with deep maroons at the same time. Wear them all together for a complete look. Primary red is also here in a big way and can be worn head to toe with accents of pink or white.

Pink lilac is the new street style colour you will be obsessing over, worn on denim and sweaters. Fruity oranges are perfect for activewear and streetwear, and often both at once. Soft peppermint is the colour for the sophisticated dresser, and it will be evolving into A/W 19/20 as neo mint.

As for your prints, look to outsized blooms in psychedelic colours worn head to toe, or opt for pastel checks and stripes with pops of black. Art camo is your thinking woman’s print, with abstract paintings and colours – and even a little bit of tie dye.

Scarf prints are going to be opulent, nautical, and paisley all at once, all clashing, and worn all over. Pop checks are vibrant colours worn on standard tartan or checks. Then there’s toile de juoy, pastels worn on modern designs, cotton, denim, and statement dresses.

Textures
As for your textures, how will it feel to dress in S/S 19? You’ll run your hands over languid silks in optical colours on slip dresses, and then feel the rough texture of humble linen in natural and undyed tones. Natural skins like snakeskin will be in – but only if they’re faux.

In terms of details, think lots of micro buttons everywhere you look, smocking and ruching across tops and blouses, and crossover fronts such as halter necks and side ties. Utility details like belts, draw cords, and hardware will be taking over festival looks.

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