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Empowering Trends – Autumn/Winter 18/19


For Autumn/Winter 2018/19 the overriding concept designers aspired to portray throughout their collections were sentiments of empowerment and enabling women to feel good.

This notion naturally arrives in conjunction with the topical cultural buzzwords that are currently circulating the industry, such as #MeToo, Times Up and My Job Should Not Include Abuse; collective movements that encourage liberation, diversity and equality.

The message of strength and power translated on the catwalk, with bold, head-to-toe animalistic prints, the leather dress that means business, and captivating capes that channel our inner superhero…


A wildly unapologetic array of animal prints covered the catwalks in true style for Autumn/Winter. Emitting independence, power and shameless self-promotion, there arrived an awe-inspiring dichotomy of wild spots and stripes, from zebra to tiger and leopard to ocelot, with the most daring appearing head-to-toe. Dolce & Gabbana, Max Mara and Victoria Beckham all paraded the racy leopard via chic tailoring; Balenciaga went bold in monochrome zebra, whilst Ashley Williams and Tom Ford rendered their animal prints with striking shades of red and pink.


What other fabrication portrays “I mean business” better than the strong albeit sensual aura of leather? Forget silk and velvet that dominated last season, the autumn catwalks favoured the leather dress to such an extent that it seemed as though almost every designer ladened their collections in it. Miu Miu went short and sassy; Loewe chose ankle-length and irresistible; Hermés demonstrated all-in-one and dominatrix-like, along with Tod’s, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Sonia Rykiel, and Huishan Zhang all championing their individual interpretations of the leather, albeit faux-leather, dress.


Adopting a literal empowerment brief, designers looked to crusading women in the fields of politics, film and fashion to channel a new love affair with the cape. An ethereal updated on last seasons puffer jacket, capes – reminiscent of superheroes and all that is strong and powerful took the lead as Autumn/Winter’s must-have cover-up. Loewe and Saint Laurent curated a sharp and structured aesthetic whilst comfortable and cosy blanket-esque addition were illustrated by Isabel Marant and Missoni.

Words by Kate Farley

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