Each autumn we look forward to investing in a great coat (faux fur and check are our favourite trends this season), but it can quickly start to feel like that one piece of outerwear is all you've got going on. So it doesn’t feel like Fashion Groundhog Day for the next five months until the sun re-emerges, we recommend switching it up with some accessories. From '70s mock-croc and snakeskin to practical, could-be-in-the-Highlands hiking boots, the AW18 catwalks threw up plenty of thrills. May we introduce you to autumn's best accessories, here to make the dark nights and short days a bit more bearable...
Make Yourself Clear
With Burberry's transparent trench, Celine's clear carry-on and Off-White's see-through collaboration with Jimmy Choo, this year we had nothing to hide. Perhaps it’s a result of our social media oversharing (what better way to show off your fashion month invites?). Maybe it’s a move towards a playful nostalgia (remember Jellies?). Either way, we’re carefully curating our bag's content and making ourselves clear. And it's not just handheld accessories that advocate transparency; these Neous crystal ball beauties are as much about art as footwear. Use as party shoes, bookends and atop coffee table tomes.
Animal prints – think zebra, leopard and cow – have reached all corners of our wardrobes this season, from coats to co-ords, but we’re more excited by the reptilian takeover of our accessories. This season’s most polished plus-ones are fashioned from either snake or croc (all ethical faux skins, of course), and while Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Tory Burch all had exotic offerings, two mid-range indie brands are leading the way. Miista has become a cult favourite thanks to its '70s-style ankle boots, while Staud continues to lead the pack with its mini chocolate tote. Layer up pieces – more is more.
Get Some Perspective
Wave goodbye to your ridiculously small micro bag, because this season your carryall gets the XXL treatment. Victoria Beckham had models touting bags big enough to climb inside for AW18, while MM6 Maison Margiela and Jil Sander made their oversized accessories the main event. Gucci’s offering was the most statement-making, with its signature serpent motif snaking around the logo. Sure, if filled to the brim, it would be as impractical as the micro bag; luckily we already culled our possessions to fit into that trend...
Take A Hike
If you’re taken by the ugliness of a chunky trainer or the functional appeal of a windbreaker, then say hello to AW18’s most wearable shoe. Whether you reach for Ganni’s performance boot collab with Diemme, or House of Holland x Grenson’s climbing rope pair, there’s a style for everyone. The trick to wearing them everywhere from the office to the pub? Dress down feminine silk slips and florals, which can sometimes feel too saccharine when paired with dainty heels. The hiking boot shouldn’t just be reserved for country pursuits – it’ll soon replace Nikes as the comfort-first commuter’s footwear of choice.
When Raf Simons paid homage to America’s history with silk Western shirts and Clint Eastwood-style cowboy boots at Calvin Klein, people were apprehensive; there’s a fine line between fashion and fancy dress. But thanks to Westworld, summer’s eternal love affair with gingham, and the prevalence of frilled prairie dresses, the trend is here to stay. Still intimidated? Try Zara’s version – severe angles, yes, but the blush tone and patent finish make them a wish list favourite for AW18.
From Balenciaga’s fuzzy fuchsia handbag to Dolce & Gabbana’s embellished shaggy take, AW18’s most fun plus-one is faux fur. In need of some inspiration? Look to Preen by Thornton Bregazzi for Sesame Street-esque primary colours, while Shrimps continues to provide playful patterns for our inner child. Our pick of the season is Topshop’s ladylike number, with its tortoiseshell frame and chunky chain. The tactile bag is AW18’s most comforting trend – just keep it away from sticky dance floors come party season.