The kind of complete wardrobe overhaul that used to herald a new season is a thing of the past. With an emphasis increasingly placed on a sustainable approach to shopping, fashion designers are less about moving things on in an entirely new way every season.
Changes are more subtle. That is not to say that spring/summer 2020 does not bring lots of newness. "It's definitely a season where there are lots of things happening; there is definitely a move on from autumn/winter," says Brown Thomas Fashion Director Shelly Corkery.
This season sees a shift towards a bolder look than much of the pretty, midi tea-dress styles of previous seasons. "Florals are important," Shelly says, adding that prints are tending towards big and bold tropical styles for the later, summer months.
"There is all that clean fashion coming through," Shelly says. Black and white, or all white, are big trends; the high-waisted Miu Miu shorts, pictured left, as well as black full-length dresses, wouldn't look out of place in colder months. Tailoring continues to come through as a big trend - sharp tailored jackets to wear over loose dresses; or full trouser suits.
The bright colours from Victoria Beckham's spring/summer 2020 collection are key: green, pink, yellow and blue. "There's a big splash of colour this season; all the tropical, paradise-island themes coming through. It was lovely and fresh, an explosion of colour," Shelly says.
For those who have become accustomed to the comfort of midi lengths, there's no need to panic. If anything, Shelly says, lengths are getting slightly longer. The midi skirt was a key piece in a number of collections, with hourglass shapes popular. If we're looking back, it is again to the 1970s and 1980s. This season sees a focus on big shoulders, which is a reference to 1980s power-dressing, but this time around, oversized shoulders are softer, and appear in more casual looks, such as party dresses and peasant blouses - such as the Miu Miu blouse, pictured left - rather than office-y styles.
"It's keeping it feminine, but slightly different," Shelly says, adding,"There's incremental change between autumn/winter 2019 to spring/summer 2020 in some areas. Brands are really looking at what they're doing, and not changing anything radically. Once you buy well, you can continue wearing things for a few seasons, and update with maybe a new trouser or a new midi skirt, a new blouse or a new jacket."
A carefully curated wardrobe - the 2020 vision.
Photography by Andrew Nuding
Styling by Darren Feeney
Words by Liadan Hynes