The year 2020 has really been one for the record books, and due to the new way of life, the Autumn/Winter 20/21 Fashion Designer shows looked a little bit different. Despite most being presented in innovative socially distant ways not previously seen, this didn’t stop the Designers coming through by showcasing standout trends that will no doubt filter down to find their way into your wardrobe this season.
In a move away from novelty and frivolity, many of this season’s most noteworthy looks were focused around both inclusivity and timelessness. The result was a classically vintage approach to presentation, with pieces that can be easily incorporated into our day to day attire. From the colours and cuts, to the focus on accessories and styling; here is a round-up of the on-point Autumn/Winter 20/21 Fashion Trends to keep your eye out for.
Autumn/Winter 20/21 sees a rich colour palette of jewel tones and warm neutrals. Each can be combined in a variety of your own personal combinations. This season’s stand out combinations were full of strength and personality, as the individualistic among the collective takes centre stage. For the best guidance, as always, we look to this season’s Pantone colours palette for the high notes to focus on. A bold and complementary selection of Autumn-Winter hues that encourage self-expression, with an increased value on longevity and timelessness. Here is a closer look at each colour from Pantone’s Fashion Week palette for Autumn/Winter 20/21.
This bright, terracotta orange will bring some energy to your Autumn/Winter outfits, ideal for some staple knitwear or outerwear. A perfect pairing for the sleek texture of leather, accentuate the buttery softness and bring a vintage 70s vibe to your look.
This mid-tone cherry red will instantly warm up any outfit and simply radiates cheerfulness and optimism. A bold red lends itself well to accessories, long gloves and felt hats particularly. It is also an accent feature in a traditional pattern such as a plaid or tartan. To make a real style statement, go all out with trousers or even a two-piece suit.
This muted beige is universally flattering and has an enduring simplicity that’s perfect for Autumn/Winter. Its versatility means it is suited to any piece and has an earthiness that connects well with the neutral autumnal environment.
True Blue/Classic Blue
Named Colour of The Year 2020 by Pantone, this confident blue is reminiscent of a twilight sky. It’s a versatile shade that can be either classically formal or joyfully glamorous, depending on its pairings.
A vibrant citrus yellow/green that will bring some, often needed, life to your Autumn/Winter wardrobe. Green Sheen is an ideal match with dark and neutral tones that will help your outfits stand out from the crowd.
Think Millennial pink but all grown up, with a dusty hue that brings romance and sophistication to your clothing. It’s especially effective when realised in high texture fabrics like silk, lace and corduroy.
This mid-tone blue-green is effortlessly elegant and lends itself beautifully to accessories and eveningwear. The perfect balance to Samba, it is ideally matched with black and neutrals and makes for a bold style-statement that’s perfect for the cooler months.
Burned Henna/Fired Brick
A deep and powerful red brown that’s perfect for incorporating into patterned pieces, seasonal crushed velvet or paired with black for a vampy, edgy look.
This pastel orange-pink adds a delicate touch to layered Autumn/Winter outfits by with a warm tone that’s more traditionally associated with summer. Perfectly paired with this season’s classic Military Olive to bring a feminine edge to the look.
This intense deep berry-red screams Autumn/Winter and is best approached in an all-over style with boldly coloured dresses and coats. If you want to dip your toe in the water, experiment with Magenta Purple in jewellery or small accessories.
Pantone’s five classic colours are designed to be mixed and matched, offering rich combinations that will inspire and elevate your Autumn/Winter outfits.
Described as a smooth and subtle off-white, this pale shade simply exudes elegance, either worn on its own or paired with deeper hues. Think of it as a grown-up nude that will bring a warmer note to classically monochrome looks.
A touch darker than Classic Blue, this almost black tone offers a new take on a refined option for day-to-night dressing. Offering more than plain black, Blue Depths brings an air of mystery that makes it all the more sophisticated. When worn with tailored silhouettes it emanates an ageless appeal, making it a colour that you will want to return to again and again.
A classic grey is always a welcome addition to any colour palette, and this season’s blue-tinged Sleet is one that speaks to an ageless distinction. Perfect for the staple knitwear of the season, Sleet is also smart and elegant when matched with any of the pinks, blues and oranges of the Pantone selection.
This earthy olive green is such a versatile Autumn/Winter hue, with an innate ability to round off both understated and out there looks. While typically incorporated into more utilitarian styles, Military Olive can work well with many of the more classic silhouettes of the season. Seen on the catwalks in all areas, from knitwear and pleated skirts, to coats and suits.
For more on the Autumn/Winter 20/21 Colours, check out our Autumn/Winter 20/21 Colours Guide.
Autumn/Winter 20/21 sees flowing, feminine fabrics that are designed to flatter the figure while feeling comfortable on the skin. Patterns are mostly large-scale and boldly coloured, with florals, polka dot and animal print adorning the runways of Europe and America.
Tailored heritage checks are also having a big moment, with houndstooth, tartan and tweed featuring heavily this season. Not just relegated to outerwear, the perennial print can also be found on skirts, dresses and trousers. Along with their usual muted earthy browns, this season’s checks were given the psychedelic treatment by multiple designers such as Miu Miu and Dries Van Noten, while others introduced bright jewel tones that ensured their tartans and plaids stood out from the crowd. At Vivienne Westwood, who famously integrated traditional British prints in her punk-rebellion, a bold, bright orange check was combined with voluminous sleeves and a cinched in waist, consolidating some of the season’s biggest trends into one cohesive look.
Fringed fabrics absolutely must get a mention, with tasselled creations featuring in shows across all fashion capitals. Signifying an imminent return to craftwork, this season’s fringing is in the mainstream and isn’t just relegated to ‘head-turning’ styles. Featured in more refined and tailored styles, it’s has been given a subtle makeover. The overall look is characterful that whispers rather than shouts, with an emphasis on sophisticated details rather than overt fashion statements.
Silhouettes are mostly big and bold this season, with vintage-inspired voluminous pieces cinched in at the waist, dramatic sleeves and upscale volume. Allowing designers to showcase some serious artistic flair, the looks reflect a growing emphasis on the individual woman being seen and taking up space in their industries. Philosophically, the notion of covering up makes the focus more about the woman underneath. At its most extreme, the trend saw cocoon-like evening wear with dramatic bubble hems from Simone Rocha and JW Anderson, though the style can be easily translated into the everyday with wearable balloon sleeves.
We’ve seen the more modest styles hitting the runway, including ultra-wearable below-the-knee skirts and floor-length knitted daywear dresses. Pleats and cable knits bring an extra element of texture to these longer looks, inviting the layering of different fabrics to create a warm Autumn/Winter style. At Jill Sander, a cream-coloured ankle-grazing knit exemplifies the trend with a roll neck and cape top. In a similar vein, trousers were thick and wide-cut, giving the wearer an elegant silhouette that provides the perfect pairing to the cinched in waist of this season’s 70s styles which you can read more about below.
When it came to eveningwear, cut outs and asymmetric hems gave an edgy appeal to feminine fabrics, elevating it from the teenage trend of years gone by. Instead, subtle adjustments are the new way to wear the barely-there look, from column dresses with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it slits to embellished cold shoulders in tailored evening tops. No longer simply placed at the waist, in the coming months you’ll spot cut outs down the arms or across the neck, transforming a once offbeat street-trend into something supremely chic. The look can even be translated to daywear with sophisticated slashes in knitwear and blazers.
There is plenty of vintage inspiration to be found this Autumn/Winter, with a strong focus on 70s styles found in everything from accessories to outerwear. Coats are the real statement-makers of this trend, with oversized, shaggy collars providing an instantly recognisable icon of the era. The 70s look has also made its way into footwear, with chunky heels, platform croc-embossed loafers and classic T-bar heels. Many designers, from Celine to Rochas, took an ultra-feminine approach to the trend, with soles and straps in pink crushed velvet and double-ankle strap fastenings that accentuate the form. Celine in particular nailed the 70s look, with wearable pieces that will translate well to the everyday.
Knitwear is an evergreen staple of the Autumn/Winter season, but this time around, the nouveau knit can not only be seen in cardigans and sweaters but in almost every garment you can imagine. While the full-bodied knitted looks are more at home on the runway, classic coatigans, skirts and long-line cardigans are wearable styles that will no doubt be making their way into many modern wardrobes. Comfy and chic, these versatile winter styles also work brilliantly as transitional pieces, marking the knitwear trend as one that will be around for months to come.
Historically relegated to the bottom of the fashion pile, in Autumn/Winter 20/21 gloves are finally getting their time in the spotlight. Full-length opera gloves featured in many designer collections, running the gamut from muted black or brown leather, to hot-pink crushed velvet and neon satin. Practical as well as chic, they can be easily incorporated into almost any outfit and are an easy way to update your Autumn/Winter wardrobe. Continuing with the leathercraft theme, belts were also a frequent feature, usually wrapped around thickly layered coats and jackets in bold, wide styles made to flatter the wearer’s form.
Statement necklaces like oversized chokers and medallions in ornate metals and jewel embellishments add instant luxury to this season’s looks. When it comes to style, bigger is always better, not just reserved to evening attire but to elevate the everyday. With a much more feminine outlook to show off artisan crafts and artistic expression, rather than the edgy, utilitarian hardware of previous years. While on the runway you may find these pieces paired with anything and everything, for a more wearable take on the trend they should be matched with more minimal tones to let the jewellery speak for itself.
The clutch bag has well and truly made a comeback, but as with statement jewellery it has evolved into a daywear piece as well as an evening staple. You are spoiled for choice when it comes to shape and structure, ensuring there is a shape for every occasion and bringing some instant sophistication to your off-duty looks.
It wouldn’t be Autumn/Winter without a new seasonal take on outerwear. For the 20/21 season, look to leather trenches and shearling styles. Leather coats and jackets have long been a cold weather staple, and this season they are exaggerated silhouettes brought up to date with power shoulders, pleating and romantic ruffling. Though on the catwalks glossy leather had its moments, a classic matte black is the most widespread iteration of the trend, with an occasional vintage inspired piece in a warm brown tan.
A quality shearling coat is a real investment piece, and one well worth making thanks to its timeless appeal. While most of this season’s shearling pieces have gone down the full-length route, more informal bomber jacket styles are an accessible way to work the trend. While it has been a recurring theme over the past few years, the latest shearling interpretations have been given the grown-up treatment with sleeker silhouettes, with many fastened around the waist to help create a more feminine shape.
Both eclectic and versatile, the Autumn/Winter trends of 20/21 are full of personality while retaining a sense of timeless style. This panoply of looks allows individuals to pick and choose what works for them, constructing their own aesthetic, from romantic silhouettes and structured forms, to vintage bourgeoise and refined cold-weather comfort. Looking forward to 2021, the concept is one that is sure to carry forward. Look out for Spring/Summer 2021 collections to give us fresh spins on classic pieces that will breathe new life into our wardrobes.