Rifling through vintage warehouses, car boot sales and charity shops elicits a joy like no other. Unearthing a one-of-a-kind gem that has a rich story behind it (who wore this tapestry evening bag and what treasures did it hold?) is one thing; owning something no one else does is another.
With a booming circular fashion scene fighting the damage caused by a hugely polluting industry, shopping secondhand has never been so vital. Thankfully, the most thrilling trends to come out of AW19’s fashion month are easily recreated with pre-loved pieces.
From raiding grandpa’s hand-me-downs to a Princess Diana-inspired femininity, meet four key trends for autumn that we’re reinterpreting with vintage. Race you to the kilo sale!
For the past few seasons, we’ve been looking to the ladylike aspects of grandma’s wardrobe for inspiration, from sumptuous silk scarves to shimmering pearls. Now, though, it’s grandpa’s time to shine, with designers across the big four fashion cities paying homage to pops. With waistcoats, argyle sweater vests and oversized cardigans seen at Victoria Beckham, JW Anderson and Molly Goddard, we’re spoiled for choice on the slouchy outerwear front, while chunky brogues and patchwork trousers have replaced the pleated skirts we wore last season. If in doubt, stick to slubby textures and heritage fabrics (reading glasses and chain not required).
The ‘90s called! Sure, the decade has been referenced and reinterpreted every way under the sun, but AW19’s catwalks looked away from the Kate Moss minimalism that’s overshadowed the rest of the decade and turned instead towards the angst of the Seattle grunge scene. Think Marc Jacobs’ '93 Perry Ellis collection meets Kurt Cobain and you’re halfway there. A marked moodiness seen at Alexander Wang, Ashley Williams and Christian Dior (featuring red and black tartan, XXL band tees and kick-you-to-the-kerb boots) is making us embrace our dark side this season.
While so many glorious movements and moments were born in the ‘70s (Soul Train! Studio 54! Charlie’s Angels!), we're donning a more refined take on the decade this season. Hedi Slimane’s surprising embrace of ‘70s-inspired femininity saw faux fur coats meet lace-up heeled boots on AW19’s catwalks, while corduroy and paisley were present everywhere from Chloé to Gucci. Our favourite throwback detail making a return? The severe dagger collar: the bigger, the better. Think autumnal hues in tactile fabrications, plus a healthy dose of psychedelia, and you’re on the right track.
Embrace the lifestyles of the rich and famous this season. From ruffled collars and cuffs via dripping diamonds and sleek silk, the wardrobes of the bourgeoisie took centre stage on AW19’s catwalks. While we’ve been referencing Princess Diana’s ‘80s suiting and ‘90s athleisure looks for years, it’s her country pursuits style we’re channelling right now. Swishy fishtail skirts, pussybow blouses and proper evening bags were on the agenda at Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Burberry. Summon your inner Sloane Ranger, darling.