Autumn/winter 2020 fashion trends
The autumn 2020 fashion trends that will shape how we dress this season
It has been a difficult few months for many fashion brands: for every cancelled wedding there were fewer occasion-wear purchases; closed shops meant cancelled orders and, sometimes, bankruptcy for brands; factories converted to PPE created gaps in supply chains.
But as lockdown has eased over the last few months and we've rediscovered the joy of dining out with friends and dressing up for the occasion (any occasion) we approach the new season with a renewed sense of optimism and the joy of putting on our gladrags, whether or not we have anywhere to go.
Speaking of which, it remains to be seen how we'll be safely able to celebrate the end of 2020 (a sentiment that even the most hardcore New Year's Eve refuseniks will surely be able to get behind) but expect intimate gatherings and al fresco celebrations where possible. Rather than party dressing as we know it, the latter will call for a statement coat and thermal layers – something to think about when coat shopping this season.
The end of summer has been particularly noticeable this year, and is even more bittersweet than usual as many parents are sending their children back to school for the first time in months. That back-to-school vibe resonates beyond educational settings though, with September's possibilities for new beginnings offering a chance to build on the life lessons we learnt in lockdown.
While some of us head back to the office, others commit to continued working from home and yet more adopt a hybrid of the two, workwear will need to be protective and persona-projecting while providing comfort and joy: from Zoom-worthy collars to the blazer that will help dress up a pair of luxe joggers.
Read on for the Culture Whisper guide to the autumn/winter 2020 trends to know. Culture Whisper is your curated guide to the best of London. We may earn a commission for items purchased through our retailer links.
The Matrix style
Cult classic The Matrix, and its genre-defining costumes, were one of the key references on the catwalks this season. We saw skintight vinyl, tiny sunglasses and all-black everything, but the key buy is a luxe leather (or vegan leather) coat.
The fashion cardigan
The most practical piece of clothing ever has been given the designer seal of approval this season with versions that range from kitsch to grunge to trop chic.
The future of partying is yet to be defined, but the need to add a bit of lustre to the everyday has never been more apparent. Lucky then, that sequins, chainmail and fringing make repeat appearances this season.
Tartan and plaid
From heritage grids to clan tartans, checks were bouncing all over the catwalks once again this season. Outerwear, suiting and knits are the focus, but, as Gucci's floor-sweeping number attests, nothing seems immune to the charms of plaid.
The ladylike look isn't going anywhere but androgyny speaks to the ease and practicality which we've needed from our wardrobes over the last few months. Louche layers add a sense of ease, making a worthy rebuttal to the prim polish of capes and skirt suits.
The Zoom collar
Oversized, pointed, embroidered: pilgrim collars have been having something of a moment this year, helped in large part by the proliferation of video calls and the need to wear something that frames the face without being overly distracting. The look is here to stay, even if all those Zoom quizzes are not.
Ladies in red
Scarlet, garnet, crimson, ruby: the catwalks were awash in shades of red with everything from dresses, trousers and coats in the look-at-me hue. Take note of the styling at Valentino where an otherwise elegant look was completed with seriously stompy boots, a surefire shoe of the season.