It's Summer on the Runway

The runway trends to nail in the sunny season

summer trends

Images: REX Features

As varied as the micro trends spotted on the latest international collections were, neo-nostalgia as a theme reigned supreme. Fashion has been making a gradual yet visible return to trends and styles favoured in past decades, over the past few seasons. By no means an idea that is new to fashion, this current wave of reminiscence sees an emphasis on being uniquene. Trends like polkadots have returned as perfect classics – Escada even came through with a dress that looked like a remake of the dress Holly Willoughby wore to the polo in Pretty Woman – but traditional shapes have been revised with stunning hues, clashes and contrasts that break the rules. For the fashion enthusiasts, this summer is all about standing out with individuality, breaking the hard and fast rules and finessing your own stylish lane. Confidence is vital.

Pull off your most stylish personas, this summer with five of the top trends we've spotted on the catwalks.

The New Neutrals


There is no better way to break-away from the moody and gloomy atmosphere of winter than to break out all the brightest items in your closet. Summer is finally here and the runway looked like a colourful fashion party. We saw brights in different variations, a trend that dates back to Valentino’s Fall/ Winter 2018 haute couture collection where designer Pierpaolo Piccioli showed that colour can be carried right through to your eyelids with a plunging neck floor length dress. Since then, Versace has showed a psychedelic clash of stripes and print characterised by colour in their latest collection with contrasts created with briefs, stockings, polonecks and a bright orange jacket. Still, nothing has stood out quite like Max Mara’s dazzling yellow asymmetrical midi dress and jacket coord. And Fendi naturally showed how you’d go about wearing your brights if you fancy yourself as “not one for brights”, dipping into rusty earthy tones and adding an optional pop of a yellow or orange may just be the trick for you this season.

Linear Living


No matter how they are worn, striped pieces are the perfect way to stand out from the crowd. They are both playful and refined and this summer they are even bolder than before. Keeping with the theme of a bold, summer you, don’t avoid horizontal or diagonal stripes. Be adventurous and play around with different sized stripes, pairing different colours and widths, just keep the background as close to white as possible. But don’t be too intimidated to do the most, like in Dries Van Noten’s SS19 collection where he showed that the worst that could happen is a lot of fun and even more impact.

Desert Skin

animal print

Winter nomad looks have evolved with the heat of summer. Animal print styles made a major return to runway collections ushering in a wave of painterly skins from zebra, snake, giraffe to all the feline skins you can imagine. Off-White’s ethereal lime green snakeskin look set the perfect tone for the direction to take sheer outfits in, this season. At the same time, Miu Miu raised us the idea that animal print can just be pop paired with cream silk wide leg trousers under a floor-length frilly gown in their cruise collection. One can only appreciate Tom Ford’s depiction of sultriness with the corset that matched the jacket offset with tassels that carve out the shape of your hips, another tactile contrast of different types of femininity. If you can’t commit to a full look of prints, maybe all the more stylish is to look into how you can accessorise with dainty scarves, nail art and even heels.

Florals are Forever


While there’s enough to get into for maximalists and minimalists alike, the standout motifs are large and sometimes even hallucinogenic blooms, this season. Elie Saab’s head-to-toe floral boots and shorts look shows that “too much” is only a relative concept, while Isabel Marant’s cut-out halterneck dress allows wildflowers to have a daintier side. In true Alexander McQueen fashion their take on florals was a textured juxtaposition between toughness and softness, the delicate balance of femininity, while Altuzarra came through for the people who want to less print and more colour, with their sparsely printed yellow coord three-piece that also included a bikini top.

Pretty Polka Dots

polka dots

Polka dots have been springing up on runways since AW18 and haute couture collections, making a slow but apparent comeback in collections by Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Burberry, Max Mara and most recently Prada’s SS19 offering. One of the prints that strike a perfect balance between playfulness and sophistication, you can go bigger and better like in Jean Paul Gaultier’s SS18 Haute Couture show, subtle but statement-making like Elie Saab’s embroidered tulle, or nearly overbearing but just the right dose of dramatic sophistication with Max Mara’s SS19 trench. Your aim should be to join the dots as you see stylishly fit because every way seems to be the right way when you do your measurements correctly.

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