Even if you’ve never worn a sequin in your life, you can’t deny the power that the shiny stuff can do. Brightening up the runway can’t be a bad thing, especially if your label is Ashish. We saw some designers sporting the sequin last season, and Ashish, as a loyal user of sequins in their plenty saw their multicoloured sequin embellishments glisten as models skateboarded down the catwalk during their SS16 show. Of course, Ashish returned this season with full looks completely covered in brightly coloured sequins. Topshop Unique also added a fully sequinned little black dress into their wearable mix, and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi lit up an autumnal, moody collection of burnt dark colours with candy floss pink sequin looks.
An autumn/winter favourite, velvet, has come back in full force for 2016. Designers to include the luxury tufted material include Roksanda, Thornton Bregazzi, Osman and A.F Vandevorst. Osman used purple grey velvet in suits and long flowing capes to add a current trend to his otherwise historically inspired collection. A. F. Vandevorst used velvet in it’s plenty, reissuing classic floor length slip dresses and strappy head pieces in various colour variations of the material; Roksanda played on the ever popular dark velvet suit with a sophisticated approach, edges lined in contrasting pastels.
Those floral SS16 dresses have seeped their way through into AW16 – some continuing with light, flowery patterns – others in more heavier, darker colours and motifs. Erdem is known for long flowing bohemian dresses and this season was no exception on their prairie-esque floral frocks. Mother of Pearl also reworked the summer trend with neck ties and large sleeves gathered at the wrists, and Peter Pilotto twisted the prairie look with slight gathered ruffles and lace detail on brightly patterned or silk dresses.
This season’s most reoccurring stylistic technique has to be the use of ruffles and frills. Molly Goddard, a Newgen favourite, stands out for her excessive layering on tulle and this season see’s her gathering and ruffling the material to create volume and texture. One of London’s designer greats, J. W. Anderson, also uses a different kind of ruffle to attract attention and act as the distinctive detail of the collection. Elsewhere, Osman uses the ruffled poet shirt, a style descendant of the 17th and 18th century that also returned briefly in the 1970’s and featured as one of Jimi Hendrix’s iconic looks. Osman reuses this timeless style of ruffles to emphasise his collection influenced by Romanticism, styled with luxurious fabrics and deep reds.