At the recent round of autumn/winter 2023 runway shows, fashion editors and influencers from London to New York were treated to opulent detailing and a sprinkling of bygone glamour. Cue a flurry of feathers and crystal embellishments at Gucci and Bottega Veneta. As for the colour charts, fiery reds sizzled at Prada and Ferragamo, while Fendi opted for burnt orange. Elsewhere, a delicious mix of oversize tailoring and sculptural dresses, together with the return of noughties essentials - think low-slung jeans and ballerina flats - made the headlines.
All eyes were on Burberry, the hottest ticket at London Fashion Week, where Daniel Lee's blockbuster debut as creative director didn't disappoint. As well as unveiling a new logo for the British heritage brand, Lee put a new twist on the famed trench coat which was oversized and trimmed with faux fur lapels. Meanwhile, a deconstructed version of the car coat was updated in a softer silhouette. Blankets also featured in the collection, either draped around model's shoulders or cut into cocooning overcoats, resplendent in the signature house check. Elsewhere, ducks were a recurring motif repeated across colourful clashing shirts and dresses to whimsical effect.
Crafted from 89% responsible materials, Stella McCartney presented her most conscious winter collection to date. Highlights included the first-ever luxury handbags crafted from MIRUM® – a plant-based, plastic-free and circular alternative to animal leather, while trademark boyfriend blazers and double-breasted coats packed plenty of punch thanks to exaggerated shoulders and nipped-in waists. As for the wispy georgette dresses and strong-shouldered skirt suits crafted from luxurious, responsibly sourced wool, you'll wish you had them to hand right now.
Inspired by the humble black tie and its dressy history, Pierpaolo Piccioli's collection for Valentino was a triumph in monochrome. Here, white shirts and black ties fused together to form new variations of both the little black dress and dramatic cocktail gowns. Bold stripes and squares were the basis for oversized statement coats, while lipstick red could be seen on shirt dresses and slouchy knits. There was no end to the clever cuts and sharp silhouettes. After all, when it comes to creating impossibly beautiful contours and billowing shapes, trust Piccioli to tear up the rulebook and turn tailoring on its head.
After showing in London and New York in recent seasons, Sarah Burton marked her return to Paris Fashion Week with an all-encompassing collection which had its roots in "human anatomy, the anatomy of clothing and the anatomy of flowers". There was an abundance of pin-sharp silhouettes such as beautifully tailored black suits, sumptuous leather coats and wide-leg tuxedo trousers with built-in heels. Other standout pieces included an elaborate silver beaded bustier in the shape of an orchid, a perennial favourite for the house. Printed X-ray versions of the flower were also to be found on sculptural dresses and on the hems of trench coats.