As we all know, Fashion Month can be overwhelming. From keeping an eye on your favourite street style stars, to watching out for emerging designers and everything-in-between, staying on top of the trends and break-out moments from New York, London, Paris, Milan, and increasingly important Copenhagen Fashion Weeks is a full time job (our jobs, to be exact).
Cutting through the noise that is front row drama and endless catwalk videos on your IG stories, we're here to deliver you some must-have information. Namely, if you're going to invest in one thing from the season, what should it be? Or, which styling tip could you borrow, using items you already own? And finally, which trends should you wait for a convincing high street dupe at a price that feels like a 'steal'?
So, without further ado, here’s our fashion month break-down, city by city, for the thrifty fashion girl.
Buy - Fendi
After 54 years at Fendi, one of the three brands he was creative director of, Karl Lagerfeld passed away days before the AW19 show.
'The bond between Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi is fashion’s longest love story, one that will continue to touch our lives for years to come' said creative partner Silvia Venturini Fendi in a press release.
If you are to buy one thing from Milan Fashion Week, therefore, let it be Lagerfeld-era Fendi - be it his reworked baguette and peekaboo bags (designed by Silvia Venturini but cult items under Lagerfeld) or more recent indulgence in the historic logo.
Borrow - Prada's 'Ugly' Eveningwear
Whilst last season Prada was a veritable feast of tie-dye and Blair Waldorf hair bands (we call it playful primness), this time around things got a little darker.
With Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (as well as it’s subsequent film adaptation) and The Addams Family’s Wednesday Addams as her inspiration, it’s no wonder Miuccia Prada’s AW19 show was a little frightening.
And whilst we’re sure the no eyebrows look would work just as well on us as it did for the Hadid sisters, Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner, we’re going to borrow the show’s pretty ugly styling tips instead.
This means pairing cocktail dresses with heavy-duty boots and layering delicate silk with Miss Trunchbull-style tweed.
Steal - Versace's Safety Pins
In a nod of subtlety, models walked through a massive Versace safety-pin for the AW19 runway during Milan Fashion Week.
Inspired by that dress Elizabeth Hurley wore in 1995, the show was an homage to the era, featuring ‘90s super Stephanie Seymour, the grunge aesthetic as well as a playlist including hits such as Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.
And whilst we adore the slinky dresses, it's the gold safety pin we can't get enough of.
'The Versace Safety Pin from the 1994 Spring-Summer Collection marked an era of contrast.' The Versace Instagram read before the event, 'Once a symbol of décor on punk apparel, the golden pin shown on the runway characterised silk evening wear for the first time. A juxtaposition of bold opposites that has since defined Versace at its core.'
So we're going to buy a pack of these and wear them as hair pins, attached to earring hoops and necklaces, as well as on our favourite LBDs.
Extra Large Safety Pins, £8.99
Our very own stomping ground, London transforms for two weeks of the year. The dichotomous city's grand and grubby nature is reflected in the hotbed of emerging designers, keen to prove their stuff post-fashion course, alongside heritage brands. The result? Lots of fun.
Buy - Rejina Pyo
Now in her fifth year, Rejina Pyo has proved beyond doubt that her ever-expanding brand is worth investing in.
The Instagram-favourite dress shapes, seen on the backs of every fashionista wedding guest for the last few summers, have continued to evolve, with slinkier offerings replacing the structured dresses of the past.
Whilst we adore these silhouettes, her outerwear and accessories have truly piqued our interest, and so we're going to be investing in her stylish yet quirky brown bag this time around.
Rejina Pyo, Olivia croc-effect leather tote, £490
Borrow - ALEXACHUNG's neck scarves as head scarves
We don’t want to sound over simplistic, but literally any styling tip Alexa Chung backs, we wholeheartedly adore and (like her own school teacher) will be sure to copy.
The style icon and designer’s ‘Off The Grid’ AW19 show saw some models with neck scarves tied over their heads in a style not too distant from Dot Cotton’s own fashioning (or Brigitte Bardot, if that’s your thing).
Vivienne Westwood’s catwalk similarly featured the accessory, and we love the make do and mend ethos.
We’re going to repurpose a scarf we have already tied to a bag, or worn around our neck ,to achieve the look, just like Blanca Miro did for the Burberry AW19 show.
If you don't have the fabric, then try one of these to mix up an otherwise dull outfit.
Steal - Feathers
Shrimps, JW Anderson, 16 Arlington, Richard Quinn and Roksanda all featured whimsical feathers wafting down the runway during their shows.
And, whilst we'd love wear a Quinn gown embellished with floating feathers, we don't have quite the budget. Therefore, we're going to take our beauty editor's lead and D.I.Y one of our favourite London Fashion Week trends by sewing on feather trims to our t-shirt sleeves.
Faux Feather Trim, 99p
The first of the four fashion capitals of the world, New York Fashion Week promises unparalleled model diversity, break-through talents and, of course, a Marc Jacobs closing bonanza.
As ever, it delivered, giving women of all sizes and ages their moment on the runway, newcomer Tomo Koizumi broke the internet with his BDE (big dress energy, duh) and Jacobs' voluminous offerings were the perfect conclusion to the long week.
Buy - Khaite
Catherine Holstein's second solo coming (the creative director's first eponymous label was discontinued in 2009, though she has worked under Vera Wang, J.Crew and more since) is in the form of Khaite, our new (ish) sartorial crush.
Last year, Emily Blunt name-checked the US-based design house Khaite - which means long, flowing hair, in Greek - whilst in an interview with ELLE UK, and since then, we've been hooked.
This season was Khaite's first on-schedule show (the line debuted in AW16), and we could not get enough.
Khaite is 'feminine clothing that [isn't] pretty or precious, that [comes] from a strong and robust point of view' according to Holstein, continuing that the brand, 'brings a fresh, filtered perspective of what is familiar, but uses techniques, fabrics and detailing that make it feel fresh and new.'
We're going to invest in this denim shirt, that is just enough cowboy, and just enough work-appropriate, to be worn over a slip in summer and with a roll neck, midi skirt and boots in winter.
Khaite, The Dena Shirt, £437
Borrow - Staud and Michael Kors' Joie De Vivre
We're going to let you in on a secret - the world of fashion isn't full of stoney-faced, black-wearing, mardy-bums (well, not full-to-the-brim anyway). In fact, the industry has been known to let its hair down once in a while.
Case in point, the Staud (famous for its Instagram-friendly bags) show saw models boogying their way down the runway à la Soul Train.
And at Michael Kors, none other than Barry Manilow closed the show singing 'Copacabana'.
The Hadid sisters, in all their Kors finery, danced with the musical icon and fellow models, and this is the attitude we want to style ourselves in this season.
Steal - Millennial Mint
Remember Millennial Pink? Well, its green cousin is here and here to stay.
On the NYFW catwalks we couldn't help but notice light green - both in pistachio and mint crop up again and again.
Its gelatinous hue was seen at Tibi, in the form of a belted skirt suit (hello colour-wheel tailoring), at Sies Marjan, in frothy dresses and at Marc Jacobs, both in the form of a minimal gown, as well as a oversized, '60s coat.
Thankfully, we don't need to break the bank to hop on to this trend, since all the high-street brands are offering up items in the colour.
Not usually an on-schedule destination (the fashion pack usually heads on a four-city tour of New York, London, Milan and then Paris), but this Danish city's fashion week has been on the up-and-up and, for a number of reasons, is now an important stop on the fashion calendar.
World-revered style stars and a government-encouraged push for sustainability, means that Copenhagen's 'cool to care' fashion is garnering increasing attention and, thankfully, the city has the brands to back it up.
Buy - Cecilie Bahnsen
The hands-down, no-brainer headline act of Copenhagen's AW19 season was Cecilie Bahnsen's sombre and delicate show.
Featuring near bare-faced models with bedraggled hair, Bahnsen imagined her muse lost in the woods, coming close to madness as she struggles to find her way out.
Playing, as ever, with the size and shape of her voluminous and structured dresses, the monochromatic collection styled paired with trainers, for an active, earthy vibe.
Bahnsen's impressive techniques, stellar credentials (she was taught at the RCA and worked under John Galliano) and unusual material compositions (knitwear, silk and plastic are all incorporated in her designs) do mean, however, that her clothes are not necessarily on the 'affordable' end of the scale.
Considering the timelessness of her pieces, though, (plus the very real possibility that one of her gowns could double as a wedding dress if you are so inclined), we think her clothes are worth saving up for, and investing in.
Cecilie Bahnsen, Belle ruffled cotton-blend cloqué midi dress, £1,076
Borrow - Ganni's pattern-clashing style
Whilst the women of Paris are reputed for their effortless chic, and those of London know how to mix high fashion and high-street, it's the Danes whose style is being universally aped at the moment.
Ganni is something of a godmother of Danish style, mixing and laying prints in a haphazard, but obviously deliberate and cool way.
When speaking to Creative Director, Ditte Reffstrup, at the Ganni afterparty, she divulged that she puts leopard-print in every season, to remind people to keep re-wearing items they already own.
This time around, for their 'Life on Earth' collection, we spotted this daring combination.
Now who doesn't already own some slinky bit of leopard print and a fair isle knit?
You best believe we'll be layering the two before the winter's through.
Steal - Copenhagen's emphasis on sustainability
From journalists and influencers being driven around in electric cars and Copenhagen-favourite Stine Goya using recycled sequins (among other ethically and sustainably-minded materials), the one thing we're going to be sure to steal from Copenhagen fashion week is their emphasis on sartorial sustainability.
Firstly, we're going to continue buying second-hand and vintage. Both in our local charity shop and in online vintage stores.
Secondly, we're going to look into made-to-order items, from the likes of mother-daughter duo MaisonCléo and one-woman show Olivia Rose The Label, who hand make items as and when they are requested, with dead stock fabrics to avoid waste.
Thirdly, we're going to learn how to maintain (and even make) our own clothes by going to a sewing workshop, so we can look after the clothes we already have.
And fourthly, we're going to vote with our pound and buy brands when they make a conscious effort to use green alternatives.
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