Photo:Launchmetrics Spotlight/Roksanda; Courtesy of Holzweiler;Courtesy of Frolov
It's that time of year again. The air is getting chillier, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back, and people are considering unpacking their sweaters from storage. But for style-conscious folks, only one thing consumes every thought in our brains: fashion month. Every September marks when editors, buyers, stylists, and style devotees worldwide scour the internet to see the latest street style images, runway stills, and celebrity ensembles. Stumbling upon the latest trends, discovering new brands, and getting ample styling inspiration can be enthralling.
But that doesn't mean it doesn't come without its own pitfalls—e.g., spending an egregious amount of time scrolling trying to keep up with the latest trend reports from Copenhagen, Milan, Seoul, Paris, and so on. Luckily for you, we've got you covered. Our team just ran through the streets of Manhattan to report on New York Fashion Week, and with London Fashion Week officially wrapped, we figured we'd do even more heavy lifting for you by reporting on the eight biggest trends from spring/summer 2024 collections. Sure, fall just started, but it's never too early to learn about what's coming down the pipeline or from across the pond! Consider this your one-stop shop for everything you need to know.
1. Exposed Button-Downs
Photo:Courtesy of Emilia Wickstead; Courtesy of 16Arlington; Launchmetrics Spotlight/Burberry
In recent seasons, we've seen designers use styling as a way to revitalize staples on the runway, and London's spring/summer 2024 collections were no exception. Across various runway shows, the emphasis on styling was most clearly encapsulated by a trend we're dubbing "exposed button-downs," which is a roundabout way of describing an "unkempt" version of layering the traditional button-down. Instead of having a neatly tucked-in shirt, designers embraced hemlines and materials that exposed the separate. At Burberry, Daniel Lee styled an oversize shirt with a miniskirt so that the tail ends of the top would be peeking out underneath. Similarly, we saw a midi shirtdress styled underneath a pleated denim skirt and matching blazer at Emilia Wickstead. And then there was 16Arlington's collection, in which oversize poplins were half-tucked into skirts made from sheer latex sequins, putting both items on full display. If there were ever a trend more suited to make the staple button-down feel fresh again, it's this one.
2. Lost Lapels
Photo:Courtesy of Tove; Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images/Srvc; Courtesy of 16Arlington
Next to an emphasis on styling this season, we saw London's design set focus on what they do best… designing. It was all about the nitty-gritty details this season, and that's no more apparent than with one particular trend: collarless suiting. While losing lapels may make staunch tailoring fanatics flip, the iterations on the spring/summer 2024 runways can make anyone a fan. Case in point: In Tove's collection, a softly structured silk suit in a burnt brown billowed down the runway sans lapels. If Tove's show was all about using a lack of collars to convey softness, then SRVC's collection was all about embracing soft power through reworked tailoring. Simply look at how a collarless blazer was made to feel more dynamic through sharp shoulder pads and leather in a bold plum.
Possibly the best example of the delicate balance of soft yet structured tailoring could be found at 16Arlington. Marco Capaldo noted that the collection centered "feminine and masculine dress codes meeting on the runway like strangers crossing paths on a city street or in surging traffic." That was manifested most adeptly through a longline charcoal-gray coat with curved shoulder pads and a crew-neck line with no lapels. Every iteration of this trend served as a reminder that some losses can be a gain—at least when it comes to suiting.
3. All in the Hips
Photo:Courtesy of 16Arlington; Courtesy of JW Anderson; Launchmetrics Spotlight/Richard Quinn
Another way designers played with tailoring this season? Through the wide adoption of voluminous dresses. Not to be mistaken for drop waists or bubble hems, this trend is characterized by silhouettes that are exaggerated in the hips through the usage of pointed bodices, tulle skirts, and pannier-style pleats. The variations of this silhouette ranged from playful to pragmatic—the latter being adeptly represented through a slate-gray leather corset dress with pannier pleats at 16Arlington. More playful iterations could be found elsewhere, including in Richard Quinn's S/S 24 show. Known for his penchant for extravagance, Quinn transformed the quintessentially British tea-length dress by adapting the silhouette to have a sultry deep-V neckline and waistline that darted out dramatically. If that weren't enough, he added embellishments and a bow to emphasize the fit-and-flare shape of the frock.
But it wasn't just Quinn who emphasized gaiety through this dress style—so did Jonathan Anderson. As shared in JW Anderson's show notes, the S/S 24 collection was all about "putting playfulness in pragmatism and pragmatism in playfulness. Clothes meant to be used, misused, and toyed with. …Proportions that shrink, curve, tilt, expand. Clarity and purposefulness with a crafty bent." That aim was evident through how Anderson transformed a simple cotton T-shirt dress by playing with proportions to create a skirt that curved outwards. Though some variations of the trend may feel like a far cry from being practical for everyday life, you gotta give them points for being crafty.
4. Sheer Drapes
Photo:Launchmetrics Spotlight/Supriya Lele; Launchmetrics Spotlight/Aaron Esh; Courtesy of R.l.e
Sheer fabrics have been trending for a while now, but it's safe to say they're here for the long haul. With London's spring/summer 2024 shows, we saw designers shift from creating pieces wrapped up in the shock value of a "naked dress" to something else entirely. Of course, sheer textiles are already inherently avant-garde, but British designers chose to up the ante by shifting the focus. It was less about this textile's visible opacity and more about the malleability of this material, which was evident through how experimental designers were with draping.
An example of this ingenuity was on full display in Supriya Lele's spring collection—an icy-blue sheer dress featured cutouts that were brought together again by a draped train reaching from the hips all the way across the shoulders. In a similar vein, we saw this material played with at Aaron Esh's runway show. Olive-green chiffon was bunched at the waist and then wrapped around the neck to create a blouse with a small train in the back. And then there was R.l.e's collection, which made transparent materials feel more approachable through a white sheer tank with a contrasting silk cowl draped over it that covered the bust. The designers' dedication to draping in their spring/summer 2024 collections made this textile riskier than before without having to compromise wearability.
5. Train Takeover
Photo:Launchmetrics Spotlight/Roksanda; Courtesy of Tove; Launchmetrics Spotlight/Simone Rocha
If you thought London's designers were already getting liberal with the fabrics they used for draping, you might want to think again. With spring/summer 2024 runway shows, we saw a total takeover of one specific trend: trains. While they're typically associated with occasionwear, British designers ignored the long history of trains to create more approachable versions. By no means did these adaptations lose their full formality. Rather, they went the distance to bridge the gap between ready-to-wear and eveningwear. For instance, at Roksanda, eggshell silk rolled down the body like water on a windowpane—it made its fullest streak in the form of elongated sleeves that verge into the train territory.
Roksanda's version may have been more on the formal side, but Tove's was something you could imagine wearing on a special Thursday night. Tailored trousers were styled with a draped asymmetrical blouse with a train billowing behind it. And then there was Simone Rocha's show, which featured a black minidress adorned with massive bows and a long black train. Each was an example of how designers walked the fine line between casual and formal perfectly to create this trend.
6. Reworked Trenches
Photo:Courtesy of JW Anderson; Launchmetrics Spotlight/Phoebe English; Launchmetrics Spotlight/Burberry
Question for you: What staples embody London? Everyone might initially think of different items, but it's safe to say that the trench coat is a quintessential part of every Londoner's wardrobe. In part, that's due to the country's gloomier weather, but it also has to do with the fact that British designers are constantly revisiting this item—or at least they were with their spring/summer 2024 collections. Across the board, we not only saw trench coats play a pivotal part in runway collections, but designers also reworked them in ways that revitalized this staple. For instance, Anderson put his signature spin on the basic by creating a pistachio-green trench with a cinched-in waistband.
But it wasn't just at JW Anderson that we saw this outerwear given whimsical touches. It was also a part of Phoebe English's collection. Upon further inspection, a seemingly simple white trench coat was far from minimal, as it had an asymmetrical button line and a rolled-up collar. And then there was Lee's second collection for Burberry, which paid homage to the atelier's long history of creating trench coats with a twist. One coat from the Burberry S/S 24 collection notably featured a zipper across the waistline, giving it multifunctionality. Though a seemingly small detail, it was the biggest indication of this staple's ability to surprise and delight us (if done right).
7. Tied Up
Photo:Courtesy of Holzweiler; Launchmetrics Spotlight/Di Petsa; Courtesy of Tove
Remember a few seasons back when clothing with wraparound ties was all the rage? Well, they're back… at least in the minds of London's design set. Before you pass this trend off, you should know that versions of it were far from reductive. In fact, designers made the tie-up element feel elevated by using it to dramatize the form. You can see that on full display in Holzweiler's collection—an open floral-printed shirt was clasped together by crochet ribbon wrapped around the waist. In the case of Holzweiler, it was a styling hack used to add the perfect nipped-in waist to the shirt, but for Tove's collection, it was less about functionality and more about reorienting the outfit's focal point. A white bodysuit went from simple to showshopping when the top's dramatic keyhole cutout was further exaggerated by ties wrapped around the waist multiple times.
But the best example of all had to be in Di Petsa's S/S 24 collection. As designer Dimitra Petsa noted in the brand's show notes, the collection focused on growth and change: "As we grow, the love we receive becomes more and more conditional, so this collection explores that sense of loss and growth. … It represents different phases of the journey to self-love and the nostos of unconditional love. A broken Venus is being healed." That intention is embodied through a white minidress that looks like it's been slashed to the point of falling off the body but is being "mended" by ties that wrap all around the bodice down to the lower thighs. With such a thoughtful approach to tie-up elements this season (both through styling and storytelling), we can see ourselves getting all tied up in this trend again.
8. Rose Garden
Photo:Courtesy of Frolov; Launchmetrics Spotlight/Simone Rocha; Courtesy of David Koma
Lastly, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention one trend from London Fashion Week that was in full bloom on the spring/summer 2024 runways: florals. Don't be fooled; these aren't your typical floral prints. Nor were they even as straightforward as the rose appliqués we've seen take over in recent seasons. Designers made florals feel like they had grown by digging into new creative territories. One example of this was in Frolov's collection, in which the creative director used floral appliqués to convey their Ukrainian heritage. In Frolov's show notes, it's mentioned that each flower drew inspiration from the artist Zhanna Kadyrova to create sculptural-like appliqués that adorn multiple pieces, including a chocolate-brown semi-sheer gown. The rich culture of Ukraine was front and center in Frolov's collection, but this was not the only brand to draw inspiration from its roots.
In David Koma's notes, the British brand details that the inspiration for its S/S 24 collection was an image of "young Elizabeth II riding a Royal Enfield 250 motorcycle during her military service in the early '40s." The juxtaposition between royalty and "bad girl" energy was on full display in how a black tailored coat was styled with a high-slit maxi skirt to expose patent thigh-high boots and adorned with rose appliqués. Koma may have used English roses as the reference point, but Simone Rocha took the assignment literally. The brand's runway show was punctuated with multiple sheer chiffon dresses, tops, and skirts that had pale-pink roses stuffed inside them. While not pragmatic for long-term wear, it was, nonetheless, beautiful. From sculptural embellishments to real-life stems, the London-style set proved once again that only they can pull off making the world and the runway their rose garden.