by Camilla Ridley
Our guide to this season's most wearable trends and how to make them work for you
With the sudden drop in temperature this week and swathes of golden leaves underfoot autumn is finally here. It's now time to hang up that sundress and embrace the fabulous trends this new season has to offer. While you may have been away or perhaps enjoying some sunshine here in the UK, our design team have been hard at work analysing the winter catwalks and developing an on-trend winter collection that marries the latest looks and the most sumptuous silks with a selection of sassy new styles that have been ingeniously tailored to flatter everyone's body shape. So with this in mind, we thought we would run you through this season’s most wearable new trends and introduce you to a selection of ‘must-have’ versatile new pieces that will transform your winter wardrobe.
From just glancing at the recent catwalks in London, Paris, New York and Milan as well as the media that surrounds these events one can get a really good understanding of the key looks for this season. Above all two things that really stand out. 1. Individuality is in. Even the way the frows are dressing has changed with very few recognisable labels now on display. Or as Anna Murphy, the Fashion Director of The Times recently put it “It’s about smaller luxury brands. It’s about being yourself not a brand.” The second thing we’ve noticed is that femininity is once again being celebrated with clever, universally flattering styles back on the fashion agenda. And within this umbrella movement, a number of versatile, wearable trends and styles stand out for us.
The New Bourgeois
The "New Bourgeois" looks dominated the catwalk. From the Autumn/Winter Ready to Wear shows - (left) Tweed midi skirt from Celine, (right) Etro's Pussy-bow belted maxi dress with tweed blazer.
"Anyone who so much as glanced at the autumn/winter 2019 shows is likely to have noticed the stand-out emergence of this season's biggest trend: retro sobriety that paid tribute to the Seventies bourgeoisie” Vogue. All pussy-bow blouses and horse-bit detailing, the trend pays homage to the nonchalant glamour of "the bourgeois socialites found in Notting Hill and the left bank in Paris in the late 1970s.” and in our humble opinion effortlessly blends flattering femininity with an assured touch of chic urban edge. And while some of you may wish to dive headlong into a world of Parisienne salons and cafe culture the thing that makes the bourgeois look so wearable is the way the iconic pieces can be matched with wardrobe staples like jeans or knits to create a more paired down every day look.
The Perfect Pussy-Bow
The Pussy-bow blouse remains a strong feature of this season's aesthetic. (top left) Ridley London's gold silk pussy-bow blouse, (top right) The Duchess of Cambridge spotted in a violet pussy-bow blouse paired with black trousers, and (below) a ruffled variation on the catwalk from Celine.
“If you haven’t already got your head around the fact that the pussy bow is cool, you need to. Now.” Anna Murphy The Times The Pussy-bow has been a thing for a few seasons, and it certainly featured highly in our autumn-winter collection for 2018. However, this piece has suddenly transformed from the occasional sighting to utter ubiquity for this winter. Pussy bows were literally everywhere at the new season shows and they’ve already proved a firm hit with discerning celebrity and royal dressers alike. The eye-catching bows soften every outfit and create a flattering visual distraction which helps to draw the eyes up from the waist towards the wearer’s collar area and their face."It’s no wonder this garment is considered to be a symbol of femininity” stylefavourite.com And they’re easy to "Pair with jeans for the perfect "lunch-with-the-girls" outfit, or add a pleated maxi or pencil skirt for a great office-appropriate style”. Notesfromastylist.com
The Must-Have Midi
Catwalk favourites including Chloé (top left) have featured tweed midi skirts while the latest Michael Korrs collection (top right) featured printed floral midi skirts. Our autumn Ridley London collection features a variety of both tweed and printed floral silk midi skirts which can be tailored for a perfect fit.
The other staple of every belle du jour’s wardrobe is without a doubt that enduring everyday skirt cut at this season’s flattering just below the knee length. Complete with boots…..While Catwalk favourites including Gucci, Celine and Chloe have injected a full slice seventies revival into their collections with toned down tweeds, at Ridley we’re not quite so prescriptive. For us, while there’s definitely merit in matching plains with a pattern, we also realise that many of our customers while enjoying following the season's "must have trends", also like to embrace a bit of individuality. Our skirts are available in a range of revival weaves and prints from more muted to bold retro florals. And of course a range of this season's obligatory tweeds and tartans. And for those who prefer their skirts a little longer, our flattering maxi skirts are also available in the complete range of patterns and prints. Worn for a more paired down day look with a jumper. To complete the Bourgeois look, knee-high or even longer leather boots, preferably with a bit of a slouch in the leather, were everywhere. Always with a block heel, but in any colour that takes your fancy.
Culottes are cool. An integral element of street fashion this Autumm, (top left) outside of New York fashion week in burgundy, (top right) from the catwalk show at Celine. (bottom left) Ridley black silk culottes and (bottom right) from influencer and entreprenuer Olivia Palermo at Piaget.
Following straight on the heel of this summer’s trend for palazzo pants, it’s no surprise to see catwalks studded with the other staple of every stylish 1970’s bourgeoisie, the culotte. And according to the Telegraph’s Hannah Rochelle, the fluid wide-legged trouser is "Perhaps the easiest and most flattering look to adopt with a pair of long boots this season". While many dismiss culottes as unanimously unflattering for anyone whose not a 6 foot, size 6 waif, this really couldn’t be further from the truth, which as always lies in the realms of finding a pair that really suit you. Its all about good tailoring and intelligent styling.
The Retro Head-Turner
While a great deal of media coverage has focused on the everyday embodiment of bourgeois trend, sometimes there’s an occasion that call’s for a little more pizazz than any skirt, blouse and neatly cut blazer combination can deliver. Cue that winter wedding, premier, special anniversary or Christmas party. And that’s where this retro hero comes into its own. Straight out of Scorsese’s Casino or Abigail's Party this dress is going to transform you from the mundane every day into a sizzling bourgeois bombshell. Vivid colours, bold retro prints, flattering maxi length and ruffles, this is no time to hold back in the quest to flatter your femininity. The bold retro approach reflects this season’s trend for big punchy dresses and a celebration of all things floral.
The Retro Head Turner is a dramatic take on the New Bourgeois. (left) Ridley's Jodi Maxi dress. (right) Already seen on the red carpet, a high neck retro maxi from Givenchy.
A Dark Romance
Another big trend dominating the catwalks for this winter comes in the shape of dark florals. While Summer’s take on the floral dress errs on the side of pale and interesting, with white base colours setting the fresh tone for prints of roses, marigolds, and other delicate buds. Autumn, on the other hand, has taken the opposite stance with regards to the motif, instead layering its florals over dark, brooding backdrops. "Seen on Prada, Richard Quinn, Marques Almeida and Paco Rabanne, the dark floral dress is set to be an integral part of our new-season wardrobes. Maxine Eggerberger from Who What Wear: "Styles are unashamdely feminine and floaty which is great for flattering a variety of physiques and shapes. Ridley London's collection of dark florals features both midi and maxi dresses, tops and skirts. This season we have a whole range of dark floral silks from delicate ditsy prints to bold overblown florals.
Darker florals graced the catwalk from (top left) Gianbattista Vali's cinched midi dress, (Top right) Ridley London's chic Carmen Midi Dress, (bottom left) bold flowers against a black back drop from Prada's Milan show and (bottom right) a splash of floral from Alexander McQueen.
"If ladylike elegance feels like too much of a stretch, there's a way to toughen up the trend: by turning towards fetishistic propriety rather than tweeds and twinsets.” Vogue. Certainly we’ve seen an abundance of leather on the catwalks for this season, teamed with crisp white shirts; strict cuts and skyscraper stilettos. "This is boardroom rather than kitchen sink bourgeoisie” Vogue. To pick up on this, our new Ridley London collection for this season includes a number of new products featuring leather: our new supersoft leather skirt cut in a drapey faux wrap-over style, for a slightly less austere look, we recommend pairing this skirt with one of our new dark floral print pussy-bow blouses. Equally, this can be matched with a sweater and ankle boots for a more "off duty" look. Or check out our new Adrianna shirt dress which mixes a very easy, flattering feminine style with edgier leather detailing that will see you seamlessly from day into night. Both of these pieces can be tailored for a perfect fit.
Leather is strong this Autumn with looks on the catwalk from leather accents to strong statement pieces. (top left) from Hermes and (top right) influencer and designer Alexa Chung. Below Ridley London's new black leather wrap skirt which can be tailored to fit.
What we find most exciting about this season is the adaptability of the trends to suit our individual personalities. There's a look amongst these edits that works for everyone, remembering that choice should be grounded in body type and the colour palettes that compliment complexion. (To learn more about colour see our archives https://ridleylondon.com/blogs/news/this-season-s-hottest-colour-could-transform-you, ). Naturally a good fit is the essence to looking and by extension feeling you’re most confident. Feel free to phone or pop into our Ridley & Co boutique in Barnes, London where our stylists can advise you on the latest made to measure silk dresses, jumpsuits and blouses. And the best way to keep up to date is to follow us on Instagram and if you haven’t already, sign up for our newsletter for the latest on events and exclusive offers!