After a whirlwind five weeks amid coronavirus fears disrupting the runway circuit, the Fall 2020 womenswear shows wrapped up in Paris, setting the tone for the upcoming trends retailers will be backing.
Our Analyst team has sifted through every collection and applied their knowledge of what’s working commercially, giving your business an edge on the competition. Read on as we present the trends that are going to be a hit next season, all confirmed by retail analytics.
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Big silhouette energy
Va-va-volume continued to be a defining theme across all cities, proving the staying power of puff sleeves, supersized silhouettes and frill details. Party dresses with extra oomph arriving for summer have already grown 64% YoY, so their presence again in the fall shows reaffirms their future ‘it’ status. Despite the seasonally darker palettes, take inspiration from bold juicy hues as seen at Moschino and Halpern, as well as soft pastels a la Simone Rocha to further promote as a hero piece.
Designers played with shapes to create drama. Look to Fendi and Annakiki, who opted for bustier and corset silhouettes against blown-out sleeves. While Balenciaga placed emphasis on extreme shoulders and Jil Sander favored all-over oversized. Voluminous sleeves were also noted across shirting, which can easily be incorporated to update modest blouses.
Fabrications that create volume is an easy way to slot products into overarching themes. Hi-shine fabrics and ruching played into fashion’s continued obsession with nostalgia as a fun nod to the ‘80s. Tulle, chiffon and lace ruffles lent themselves to the hyper-feminine themes that continued to be a popular message on the Fall 2020 runway.
Another way to incorporate space-occupying shapes is with duvet dressing – a welcomed trend especially as the weather cools down. Rick Owens championed ‘would rather be in bed’ couture with extreme padding and draping. While Proenza Schouler and Moncler showcased more commercial adaptations with cozy fabrics, quilted outerwear and capes.
An elevation of the loungewear trend currently occupying retailers’ assortments and celebrities’ social media feeds, duvet dressing takes comfort to the next level. This trend will stand out most in outerwear in the form of puffer jackets. However, it will also lend a hand to knitwear with snuggly cardigans, capes and oversized sweaters.
Keep phasing in mind when ranging Fall/Winter 2020 outerwear styles. In 2019, August was the key month to range new drops – ahead of the cold weather but post mid-season sales.
A styling technique that’s already successfully transitioned over into the mass market, brands can take fresh inspiration from this season’s interpretations. Warm neutral and biscuit shades were the standout color palettes with beiges and chocolate browns of note at Bottega Veneta and Laura Biagiotti. A delicious gingerbread hue applied to leather co-ords and boilersuits were seen at Fendi and Nº21 – a color to keep in mind as ‘the new neutral.’ Outside of neutrals, Burberry incorporated head-to-toe khaki – a breakout trend this season within color. While soft blues and pale greys were also a strong colorway for tonal dressing.
This versatile theme is easily adapted for athleisure and loungewear, as well as workwear and layering trends. Ensure color options are available across separate pieces such as outerwear, trousers, skirts and sweaters with accessories so consumers can build their own look.
Check out how the four cities’ color palettes boiled down in comparison to the last two seasons:
Our image recognition software detects the color of every product online so retailers have full visibility of the seasonal hues to invest in. Reach out to a Retail Expert to see our color wheel in action.
The witching hour
A story that was gathering pace during the Spring/Summer 2020 shows, gothic influences were noted across all cities for fall with many designers shifting into dark mode. Rodarte took direct inspiration from Dracula showcasing hooded capes. Then crosses stood out at Gucci and Philipp Plein. While religious iconography appeared at The Blonds and Simone Rocha.
Victorian-inspired dresses and corseting complemented the theme, where all-over black leather was the fabric of choice across many shows. When accommodating this look into your own range, explore animal-friendly alternatives to keep costs low and attract the expanding vegan demographic. For footwear and accessories, look to chunky lug and tread sole boots, and Matrix-inspired sunglasses.
Western vs. equestrian
From cowgirls to posh jockeys, there was no shortage of riding influences across all cities. Equestrian themes were subtle, but impactful at the likes of Tory Burch and Roland Mouret. For the most commercial items within this overall theme, look to jodhpurs or skinny pants and cinched-in blazers. For retailers looking to embrace the horse girl aesthetic for Fall 2020, merchandise these core products with riding hats and boots.
A trend spanning womenswear and menswear, Western themes emerged as a more casual sister story to equestrian dressing. Prairie dresses, heavy fringing and cowboy boots were favored by Etro and Palm Angels. Denim was also featured prominently and is a safe category to invest in for this trend by adapting patchwork, frayed edges and denim shirts with yoke detailing into ranges.
Nostalgic influences were apparent across many product categories and themes. However, it was especially used in partywear with designers paying tribute to many past eras for going out and occasion dressing.
Sequins and metallics were some of the cities’ biggest fabric and color choices. They added to the over-the-top opulence in attention-grabbing pieces such as plunge-neck midi dresses and disco mini skirts. Versace and Ashish took back the ‘60s and ‘70s with optical prints and bold color choices, while Off-White included retro cut-outs.
Halternecks were spotted on mini dresses during London Fashion Week, giving legs to the already prominent ‘90s and ‘00s trend. While the shoulder-emphasizing styles that spanned all cities were a clear reference to the ‘80s.
Following popularity in London and Milan, long evening opera gloves were seen at the likes of Valentino and Givenchy. Consider investing in metal chokers and bangles as directional lines for the part period.
Bad and bougie
Luxury and wealth were clear directions for Fall 2020 as decadent and heritage fabrics such as fur textures and tweeds took center stage, alongside tailoring and skirt suits. Dior took to the runway to redefine ‘ladylike’ dressing, merging androgynous suiting and ties paired with checkered skirts amidst a backdrop with blazing feminist messages.
Checks and plaids, an essential component of this overarching theme, emerged as one of the strongest patterns during the Fall 2020 shows. Animal print, which dominated over the past few seasons, appeared to have taken a backseat this season for the application of checks. Currently in the mass market, the two prints are closely aligned as retailers started to shift into checks for new styles arriving at the start of 2020. Watch this space.
Was sustainability a focus?
London Fashion Week set the stage for sustainability with designers Vin + Omi showcasing upcycled suits and knitwear, as well as repurposing vinyl film posters into dresses and coats. Anya Hindmarch once again abandoned the runway, launching the ‘I am a plastic bag’ collection, a callback to the designers iconic ‘I am not a plastic bag’ tote. This time, tote bags made from recycled plastic were showcased in the windows of its London stores, which were filled with plastic bottles to further highlight the issue of waste in fashion. Burberry hosted a 100% carbon neutral runway show by avoiding air transport and using electric vehicles. The movement coincided with the launch of the brand’s ‘regeneration fund,’ which aims to support future carbon insetting projects in its global supply chain.
In New York, Gabriela Hearst continued to champion sustainability with her collection consisting of previously unused fabrics and repurposing old stock. Other eco-friendly efforts across the cities included models protesting the climate crisis on Pam Hogg’s runway, a 100% biodegradable unisex boot at Bottega Veneta and upcycled apparel and bags created from leather offcuts at Maison Margiela.
For full coverage and analysis of the runway shows, log in to read our Womenswear: Fall 2020 Cheat Sheet. Don’t forget to sign up to our weekly Insider Briefing email for all the latest data-backed reports straight to your inbox.