Skip to main content

18th September 2012

The Top Trends of A/W 2012

Elizabeth Harper outlines the styles set to dominate this year’s Autumn/Winter fashion season

The catwalk shows for Autumn/Winter 2012 have provided us with an eclectic mix of looks and trends to suit any style, preference or mood.  Here we have a break down of some of our favourite showcased trends which we predict will become major players on the high street:

Baroque is all about using rich colours and textures in order to create an opulent, bold look with a distinct feel of heritage and grandeur. Its feature on the catwalks coincides with the cinematic release of Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina, whose nineteenth century Russian courtly atelier is an excellent embodiment of the Baroque look. It can be accentuated through strategic accessories; cuffs are back this season, this time embellished with jewels and studs in order to add a sense of luxury. In addition, heirloom-esque jewellery such as rings, necklaces and hair accessories were seen on the models at Dolce and Gabbana. Grown-up and glamourous, Baroque relies on an acute attention to detail.

Surrealism was a big talking point on the catwalks of Diane Von Furstenberg and Mary Katrantzou. Furstenberg’s use of bodily features was relatively subtle, with its strong, basic colour scheme reminiscent of pop art. The most notable examples were a body con dress covered with repeated clashing monochrome arms and hands, as well as a black patent leather bag furnished with a pair of gold lips. Katrantzou, more renowned for her overwhelmingly colourful and exciting graphics rather than her subtlety, also kept things bright and repetitive. However, her kaleidoscopic maze print meant that any accessories were rendered null and inappropriate, while make up also remained minimal. Confidence is a must if this look is to be pulled off well; in terms of surrealism, it’s all or nothing.

One of the most wearable and adoptable trends was Gothic Romance. This actually has a number of sub-trends within it, making it adaptable to your sartorial desires and needs. We are normally accustomed to seeing florals in the spring collections, yet this season they have been taken into winter. Unlike their soft and delicate spring counterparts, these winter florals are imbued on dark, bold backgrounds, with Alexander McQueen going one step further in making them 3D. In addition to this gothic shift for florals, we can see that designers have toughened the look further by teaming and layering them with various degrees of soft leather and lace. Contrasting with what we have seen of the vamped-up florals, the use of leather has been toned down considerably, casting aside the memories of Louis Vuitton’s seemingly dominatrix approach to the material. Although leather is now more demure, it is no less chic. It is merely softer and more lady like, but maintains the sleek rebelliousness that only leather can provide.

Winter floral+leather+lace= Gothic at McQueen: photo by GoRunway

Obviously, as with all other seasons, it is each to their own; the floor is yours to ultimately decide what to put on your back. These trends stand out to us due to their element of durability. Whilst Oriental and space themes were prominent in some of the shows, the likes of  which are inevitably going to filter down to Topshop and River Island et al, it is unlikely that they are trends that will stick for very long after the end of January. My advice would be to invest in the staple pieces. This will keep you feeling up to date without committing your entire student loan to your wardrobe. Most importantly, it will be money well spent as these staples stay relevant for many seasons to come.



Elizabeth Harper

Elizabeth Harper

Fashion Editor

More Coverage

Natsu Fest: The Last Dance – What’s next for Manchester’s community clothing brand?

From an early collaboration with Wagamama to starting a music festival in his backyard. We sat down with student clothing brand owner Dhara Nat Sufraz Patel to talk everything Natsu Clothing.

Making a statement: Fashion in politics

From Minion suits to social movements, find out why fashion in politics has been making a statement for so long.

Beyond the Bimbo: Can the Barbie movie redefine female stereotypes?

We consider the implication of the new Barbie film on the image of pretty women – will it perpetuate already degrading stereotypes, or subvert them?

Don’t take skincare advice from TikTok: Listen to a dermatologist

We take a look at the UK’s recent obsession with skincare to decipher who to believe, where to shop, and what’s best for your skin!