The verdict on London Fashion Week is in. From maximalist animal print to madder carmine (look it up!), get a jump on next season's trends with our handy trends cheat sheet. Read, click and absorb - and you'll have next season's wardrobe sorted. You can thank us later...
Where The Wild Things Are
When Tom Ford paraded his flash, bang, wallop concoctions of patched animal prints and eye-frazzling furs down the runway, our suspicions about the season's wildest and most tactile trend were confirmed. And if you're not ready to attempt head-to-zebra print and technicolour (faux) fur, take a look at Burberry's ladylike and restrained take on the trend.
Black and white is one of the biggest colour stories for Spring/Summer 2013 thanks to Marc Jacobs and his Op-Art extravaganzas for Louis Vuitton and his eponymous label. For Autumn/Winter, this trend gets a chic overhaul, and designers played with intricate and delicate combinations of black and white, often with delicious embellishment, for evening wear.
Designers well and truly gorged on print this season. But if the idea of matchy matchy conjures images of sartorial restraint exhibited by the likes of Kate Middleton and ladies who lunch, think again. This is about a celebratory riot of printed separates that happily teeters on the excessive. Christopher Kane's covetable camp above provides a case in point, and we loved it when the pattern is explored on contrasting textures, as was brilliantly executed on Unique's runway.
Ah, fashion is a fickle beast. Not so long ago, layering was a goner and clean simple lines were the only way to go. But next season layering is back with a vengeance. Frankly you're not properly dressed unless your outfit encompasses a skirts (or dress) over trousers, shirt tails are poking out under a crop top, or sheer long layers over an opaque mini. It's about using your body to create a patched and two-dimensional masterpiece. Not convinced? Take a look at Erdem's seriously chic take on the trend above. Anyone who thinks of laying black chiffon over ivory ostrich feathers is clearly a genius.
The conventional proportions and lines of clothes are disturbed, and pieces structured as if suspended architectural forms. This is the androgynous, mannish trend that has been knocking around for the past few seasons, but smartened up. The focus is on the shoulder; they are exaggerated and rounded, with the most extreme examples seen at Mary Katrantzou and JW Anderson (see above). Get you head around it now because we predict that this silhouette that will define the season ahead.
The New Length
When it comes to fashion's pecking order, the poor old shin is pretty much ignored. Knee-length? Sure. Ankle-skimming? Absolutely. Thigh-high? Definitely. But shin-length? Not so much... But things have changed: from Burberry to Mulberry (above) to Jonathan Saunders, the LFW catwalks were crammed with shin swinging trousers and straight-cut skirts that stopped mid-shin. Trousers are wide-legged and tailored, while the flippy extended skirts often featured a coquettish slit. Only the very brave will attempt this length with flats. Our tip? Nail the trend by teaming these shin-skimmers with knee-length heeled boots.
Yep, we had to look it up too. Madder carmine is a kind of purple red that's deep and rich like glass of good wine. And we clocked it on just about every runway at London Fashion Week.
By Libby Banks