Truly great design is transformative. Case in point? An ’80s-style power suit; just putting one on has the effect of making you stand a little taller and hold your head a little higher. Championed by fashion powerhouses Chloé, Proenza Schouler and JW Anderson, SS20’s take on this closet classic features exaggerated proportions, traditional pinstripes and feminine flourishes in the form of flowing ribbons and crystal embellishments. Can’t wait to get your hands on one (or more) of these cutting-edge suits? Stay a step ahead by shopping for louche separates now. Pair yours with graphic-inspired heels to update your 9-5 look, or if it’s an effortless weekend outfit you’re after, simply add luxe slides.
Warm-weather leather might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s set to be SS20’s biggest breakout trend. Building on fashion’s recent preoccupation with all things The Matrix, the rainbow leathers that dominated the collections show that the industry’s most-directional designers – among them Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia and Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller – are pushing this mood in an entirely new, and infinitely more cheerful, direction. Getting a jump-start on this soon-to-be-huge trend is as simple as thinking beyond black when you’re next shopping for the perfect leather trench, biker or pants. Meanwhile, if it’s an equally soft yet faux alternative you’re after, look no further than cult brand Nanushka.
Fashion’s fixation with ’90s style has been building for a few seasons now – but for SS20 it’s set to reach dizzying new heights. No longer simply concerned with novelty trends, designers focused on evoking the minimal mood that defined the decade. The move was spearheaded by needle-pushing labels including Prada – whose collection paid homage to the brand’s own rich heritage – and Bottega Veneta, which, under sartorial alchemist Daniel Lee, has become the label of the moment. Give your look a ’90s make-under by investing in classic pieces such as slip dresses, tank tops, barely there sandals and second-skin knits – in muted shades, of course.
THE NEW NECKLINES
Sartorial extroverts, rejoice! After season upon season of decidedly modest designs, feminine, romantic and downright sexy dressing is back on the agenda for SS20. We saw it in everything from sheer fabrics to rising hemlines, but nowhere was it more apparent than in the emergence – and in some cases, revival – of a host of revealing necklines. At Khaite – a highlight of NYFW – the sweetheart neckline, a retro favorite, was given a modern update. Meanwhile, Saint Laurent and Versace sent risqué, sci-fi-inspired shapes down the runway. These plunging styles are not for the faint-hearted, so work up to these daring designs by opting for bandeaus and exposed shoulders this season.
IT’S A LIFESTYLE
Held over four weeks, across the four fashion capitals – New York, London, Milan and finally Paris – it’s fair to say that fashion month is a marathon. Editors, buyers and influencers alike watch innumerable shows from sunup until sundown, meaning that one of the most daring things a designer can do is to show a little restraint. For SS20, the most accomplished contemporary labels did just that. At The Row, precision-cut tailoring was softened by the addition of sports-inflected knitwear, while Brandon Maxwell preppily layered crew-neck sweaters over oxford shirts. The purity of design (you probably already have these failsafe pieces in your closet) recalled the lifestyle brands of the early noughties, thanks in no small part to the insouciant styling – think pushed-up sleeves and open collars and you’re on the right track.
The models featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown