Call it the often-miserable UK weather, but London embraced outerwear as a key part of its collections offer. And as designers dived headfirst into the cosiest coats, the once-dominant casual parka or puffer was almost nowhere to be seen. The maxi-length wool coat made an impact though. These were cut long and slim, or wider but with a hi-lo hem in order to avoid overwhelming the wearer. Expect the slimmer options to win out at retail as easy wearability remains the guiding principle.
Belted coats both continued the popularity of the summer trench and underlined the waist emphasis that was seen in London for the new season. The casually tied self-belt made the biggest impression and worked as a way to secure a button-free wrap as well as more structured buttoned-up coats.
The checked coat’s popularity reflected the overall importance of checks as a pattern story for the season. Variations on a label’s heritage check jockeyed for position against checkerboards, tiny checks or the oversized blanket variety (looking best on ponchos and capes).
There was an almost-military formality in the large number of double-breasted coats on show, but they looked hugely commercial and also lent themselves to other key trends such as exaggerated sleeve detail and the big colour stories.
Embellishment hit the coats category this time, but while this pushed them into the occasion/evening market, it was kept understated enough to be wearable for everyday life. The easiest way into this look is by the use of diamanté buttons that can transform a classic woollen coat in an instant. Tiny seed pearls can also take a simple coat up another level.
What’s happening in the faux fur segment was particularly interesting. Faux fur used to be obviously fake with non-traditional colours and textures holding sway. But since the well-publicised exit from real fur by almost all labels, designers seem more confident about making their faux look real. It didn’t make a huge impact in London (Shrimps, which is a specialist in this area embraced it the most, of course) but given that saw the trend in Milan too, it’s one worth calling out.