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Spring 19 catwalks: the buying directors' verdicts

Now the spring 19 womenswear catwalk season is over, four of the industry’s leading buying directors reveal their top shows, key trends and must-buy products.

Ww trends comps2

Ida Peteon, womenswear buying director, Browns

How would you sum up the spring 19 season? Spring 19 has been very exciting – lots of newness and creativity. There have been a lot of new trends dominating the runway and we’ve seen an incredible wave of new talent across all of the different cities. There has been a great energy and the weather in Paris was been amazing.

Surf trend

Surf trend

Surf trend

What trends stood out?

I’m obsessed with the tie-dye and surf references, and embracing femininity is back. Tailoring continues to dominate the catwalk and cycling shorts are everywhere – if it’s not a cycling short, it’s a Bermuda-esque take. There is definitely a continued nod to the noughties – cargo pants featured heavily. Yellow is one of the key colours of the season, alongside red and orange. Vinyl and PVC are still key, and there are a lot of hiking boots and references to technical performance.

Were there any key items?

The Jacquemus straw bag was amazing. The Jaws tank top from Calvin Klein. Amina Muaddi’s vinyl pump with crystals, Materiel’s red leather dress, Balenciaga’s yellow silk dress and the feather top from Attico.

What were your favourite collections?

In New York, R13 was my absolute favourite. Sander [Lak] at Sies Marjan continued to impress with his beautiful flowing tailoring and colour blocking, too.

There were so many great collections in London, but Molly Goddard and Rejina Pyo both stood out.

As always, Fendi delivered in Milan. I loved the embossed leather cycling shorts and the logo-print PVC coats. Attico also had the most beautiful collection in a stunning setting [a renovated penthouse].

Cycling shorts trend

Cycling shorts trend

Cycling shorts trend

In Paris, Valentino delivered one of its strongest shows to date, with dresses to die for. Balenciaga was an immersive visual experience – with its insane show space [a video tunnel] and a move away from the street trend that has dominated the catwalk. Jacquemus delivered on both setting [the Italian embassy’s gardens] and collection, showing the perfect summer dresses and accessories.

 

Ww trends comps3

Ww trends comps3

Laura Larbalestier, group fashion buying director, Harvey Nichols

How would you sum up spring 19?

I think fashion weeks generally have felt less crazy this season than usual. It has also felt quite clear what direction brands have taken in terms of trends and new items. Many collections felt like natural evolutions for brands, despite some controversial shows in Paris.

What trends stood out for you?

White trend

White trend

White trend

White is a key trend, which gave the season a sense of purity. We also saw a lot of strong colours coming through. In terms of prints, tie-dye and check still feel more important than florals.

Were there any key items that stood out?

The Loewe macramé bag captured the more nomadic feeling of the season, and hats also seem to be a key accessory for spring 19.

Bold colour trend

Bold colour trend

Bold colour trend

What were your favourite collections of the season?

In New York, Area was the highlight for me – the collection is fresh, young and cool. It was really nice to see.

Rejina Pyo in London was beautiful. She knows exactly what we all want to wear. The mix of colour and print felt like the spring wardrobe we are all looking for.

Tie dye trend

Tie dye trend

Tie dye trend

In Milan, Marni felt modern and feminine in a refreshing way for the brand.

In Paris, Balenciaga was the standout show for me. It felt the most modern and of the moment out of all the collections I saw this season.

 

Ww trends comps4

Ww trends comps4

Tiffany Hsu, fashion buying director, MyTheresa

How would you sum up the spring 19 season?

With Gucci opening Paris fashion week it seemed a little longer than before – it’s normally clustered together with the standout shows towards the end.

Paris had some interesting highs and also some less surprising moments when it comes to commercial styles. In general, it was consistent with some key shows and focused trends.

Resort-ready trend

Resort-ready trend

Resort-ready trend

What trends stood out? Resort and vacationwear were definitely a trend. At Saint Laurent, this ranged from the introduction of swimsuits to the palm trees in full view and water filling the catwalk.

Loewe and Chloé also both referenced resortwear, not to mention Thom Browne’s American seaside-inspired collection which was filled with laid-back Californian vibes.

Altuzzara shell shoe

Altuzzara shell shoe

Altuzzara shell shoe

Were there any key items that stood out? The Jacquemus giant straw bag was of course a shout out from Paris, and a great transition from its famous La Bomba hat, which took over everyone’s Instagram’s this summer.

The sea-shell shoes from Altuzzara added to the beach theme that was present all season, as did the oversized visor glasses and raffia Gate bag from Loewe, which I think will be a huge hit.

What were your favourite collections? In New York, Calvin Klein for the cult, stand out tailoring and silhouettes. In London, JW Anderson for his minimalistic yet detailed approach this season. And Loewe in Paris for the incredible set design (right), experimental styles and intricate detailing across all of the ready-to-wear. The new selection of bags played with new textures and fabrics for summer.

 

Ww trends comps5

Ww trends comps5

Sasha Sarokin, fashion and buying director, The Modist

How would you sum up the spring 19 season?

The spring 19 season was defined in terms of colour and bold shapes, and the strong 1980s trend, which truly stands behind the season’s fierce femininity.

It was definitely an exciting season – there were quite a few new debuts in terms of designers and houses. Each one brought a surprise in his or her own way, and Paris Fashion Week was the perfect end to a buzzy season.

1980s trend

1980s trend

1980s trend

What trends stood out? As mentioned, strong colours definitely stood out – shades such as hot pink or lemon yellow mixed with neutrals. The pure pigment cobalt blue is back, and it’s mixed with emerald green and white.

There’s a strong feeling of “global nomad” – a lot of handicraft work and macramé with a very bohemian feeling, as if the woman has been travelling and seeing the world, collecting special pieces along the way.

Yellow trend

Yellow trend

Yellow trend

And then, the suit is the absolute must-have. It really is all about the oversized, menswear-inspired suit. So, it’s a blazer, which can be a few sizes too large, worn together with really oversized men’s trousers.

Often, it will be worn with either a pair of clean white sneakers or understated heels, and the hair will be pulled back with big sunglasses.

Plaid was also hugely important – it’s not going away and it’s stronger than ever. We’re seeing plaid and gingham

Blazer trend

Blazer trend

Blazer trend

for spring, as well as the more traditional Scottish tartan being reinterpreted in various shapes.

Were there any key items that stood out? The oversized men’s blazers clearly stood out in a lot of the collections. It will most definitely be a must-have for spring 19.

What were your favourite collections this season? In London, Roksanda and Richard Quinn’s shows really stood out. In Paris, the Petar Petrov presentation always impresses while being perfectly on trend.

 

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