Following fashion month, we predicted which AW20 trends would go on to garner real-life acclaim come autumn. Genderless bows — worn in a tomboy style around the collars of models at Celine, and more feminine-like hair embellishments at Chanel — extra large belts, BDE (Big Dress Energy), and leather were some of the most standout moments from the season.
But a lot has changed in six months, and what was desirable pre-COVID-19 doesn’t necessarily work now. And now that autumn is almost here, it’s not necessarily the fringed leather trousers that we want to reach for. Luckily, in addition to showy accoutrements like embellished collars, billowing fringe, and Western-style corsets, the AW20 fashion season also had its fair shade of quarantine-ready trends.
It’s as if designers — from Paco Rabanne’s Julien Dossena to Rick Owens and Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga — knew something was coming. How else would they have predicted our need for layers and layers of cozy wears for what will undoubtedly be a season spent indoors, away from friends and wrapped in only the most comfortable of clothing? Or, for that matter, garments that resemble the confines of our own homes (read: carpet dresses and quilted jackets). Or, ensembles designed for the end of the world? Did they have a really good astrologist? A crystal ball? Either way, we’re grateful for their foresight.
Ahead, we’ve lined out the AW20 fashion trends that will actually get us out of our sweatpants this coming season.
Before the pandemic, quilted coats were used as comfort wear, for when we couldn’t be at home curled up in bed and, instead, had to get up and commute to the office in chilly autumn weather. Now, many of us don’t go to work. Home is our office, and quilted blankets are galore. But sometimes, we need a reminder of what life was like when we didn’t work on the sofa — or worse, in bed. That’s what this trend is for. Slip on a warm, quilted coat (that is, once it’s not 35 degrees outside) by Balenciaga or Ganni, and step outside. You'll feel like you’re wrapped in a cozy blanket even while out of bed.
Covered in intricate jacquard patterns that you would typically find on carpets, these print-forward garments by the likes of Acne Studios, Marine Serre, and Paco Rabanne are a must for autumn. Similar to a big, quilted coat, a carpet coat or dress will feel like wearing a piece of home. Opt for pieces made of luxe velvet (like at Marine Serre), and pair with heavy, medieval-esque jewelry (à la Paco Rabanne), for a stylish touch.
At the height of quarantine, matching loungewear sets were all anyone wanted to wear. Entireworld was selling out of them almost immediately upon restocking, as were brands like Richer Poorer and Pangaia. Come autumn, though, as some of us prepare to return to work, sweatpants may not be an option anymore. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still find comfort in a matching set. That’s where these co-ords courtesy of Lacoste and Arthur Arbesser come in. They’re still comfortable and easy to throw on and go, but also elevated. Take the look a step further up the fashion ladder with a matching skirt and turtleneck set, like those presented at Carolina Herrera.
Perhaps the most prominent trend of the AW20 season, the untailored look first showed itself in Copenhagen during Ganni’s runway show, where creative director Ditte Reffstrup paired an oversized pinstripe suit with a prairie collar and lug-soled rain boots. Later in London, both Preen and Margaret Howell offered their iterations of the slouchy silhouette, with ‘70s-style three-piece suits at the former and belted and billowing trousers at the latter. In Milan, Alessandro Michele’s behind-the-scenes Gucci catwalk showed a model wearing a pair of plaid puddle pants with a pink satin blouse, bow-embellished mesh gloves, and wire-rimmed glasses, while Tod’s offered a boy-ish alternative, styling a camel-coloured oversized blazer with baggy, blue trousers, sneakers, and a backward poplin shirt. And the best part? The bigger the suiting, the better it is for taking Zoom calls on the couch. What? You’re still technically work-appropriate.
When Rick Owens, Marine Serre, and Balenciaga showcased AW20 collections designed for what appeared to be the end of days, COVID-19 panic had already started taking hold of Europe, making the sci-fi scenes at each of the aforementioned shows — from water-covered catwalks on an all-black backdrop at Balenciaga to an intergalactic escape at Marine Serre — even more unnerving than intended. Now that we’ve become used to wearing masks, gloves, and clothing meant to distance us physically from others and protect against the spread, these collections aren’t so scary after all — in actuality, they’re more practical than any others presented during fashion month.
Sweaters for autumn aren't exactly groundbreaking. But somehow, despite advances in knitwear rarely surprising us, this season’s selection felt fresher than those before it. It’s as if designers like Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta and Jil Sander’s Lucie and Luke Meier were aware of our future need for cozy quarantine sweaters (as many as possible!) even before we were. Crystal ball or no, we’re more than ready to double (or triple) up on our knitwear once the leaves fall and the temperatures drop come autumn.