Wardrobe reboot: Nine key trends for the year ahead
Think tie-dye is for hippies and crochet is only for your granny? Think again - some daring new looks are coming your way, writes Meadhbh McGrath
January may call to mind shuddering thoughts of gym gear and Lycra, but it's not all doom and gloom: it also heralds a new year of fantastical fashion. What will our wardrobes hold in 2019?
Plenty more leopard print, for a start, plus this summer's marigold craze is back for spring and athleisure is popular as ever. But next season's biggest trends favour the daring, and if you're resolving to dress better this year, we recommend going bold and taking on one of the standout looks from the catwalks, which are bound to filter down to the high street, too.
That doesn't have to mean risking a plunging micro-dress or adorning your hips with XXL pockets. Just don't shy away from trying something new - we say dive in now and give your wardrobe an immediate new-year refresh.
Don't worry, this time around, the look is more chic and zesty than beach bum. The once hippie-dippy pattern is about to go from far-out to in: at Prabal Gurung, it came in the form of vivid knitwear paired with feathered skirts and smart boots; Stella McCartney offered up her signature laid-back luxe with tie-dyed denim and pastel t-shirts; Prada presented tie-dyed sparkly party dresses with satin headbands and Proenza Schouler spliced up tie-dyed shirts with acid wash denim.
The 70s revival continues apace, and the latest trend to see a comeback is folksy netting and crochet. Ratty old knits from the cupboard won't do, however - it's time to freshen up with a more modern interpretation. Chloé went typically boho with an ankle-length gown over a violet bikini, but there were edgier looks, too: JW Anderson paired swaying crochet strands with leather headscarves, blazers and sturdy boots and Alexander McQueen presented evening-appropriate gowns. We're looking forward to seeing unruffled daywear and glam iterations for nights out.
Beige is the colour of the season, largely thanks to Burberry's many neutral trench coats. Max Mara showcased tailoring in classic camel and biscuit shades, while Dior drew inspiration from balletic blush and nude tones. It may sound boring, but it looks fantastically sleek and sophisticated, especially when worn head-to-toe - the simplest fashion upgrade to instantly lift your outfits and make you look a dash more expensive.
Bows are big news for 2019, exploding from gowns and blouses at Valentino, Richard Quinn and Marc Jacobs. But we prefer a more subtle take: the hair bow. Kate Middleton set off an avalanche of copycats when she tied a velvet ribbon in her hair last November, and there were whimsical accessories on the catwalks, too, from Emilia Wickstead's bow-bedecked ponytails to Miu Miu's delicate black headbands.
Acid wash denim
The 80s are still going strong, but here's one comeback we weren't expecting: acid wash denim. There were some wince-inducing turns, such as Isabel Marant's puff-sleeved mini with matching slouch boots, but there are pieces we could get on board with: Proenza Schouler's denim blazers provided a cool contrast for leather boots, wide-leg trousers and tie-dyed shirting, while Dior paired jeans with sharp tailored jackets for an elegant look.
Sure to be next season's trophy piece, the utilitarian style makes for an effortlessly cool off-duty uniform, but it can be belted and topped off with spike heels and glittering earrings for easy evening glamour. Classic khaki and cream were popular at Alberta Ferretti and Stella McCartney.
Unfortunately, the Kardashian-approved trend for cycling shorts has broken through to the mainstream, but we have yet to be persuaded that anyone can pull off Lycra and a leather coat. Far more convincing were the looser, tailored shorts set to replace your usual summer skirt. Try Rejino Pyo, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Tibi and Marc Jacobs.
The 80s power shoulder is getting bigger this season - and you can go as big as you like. Marc Jacobs set the tone with a supersized suit, since spotted on Lady Gaga, while boxy blazers ruled at Givenchy, Isabel Marant and Victoria Beckham, paired with everything from party dresses to utilitarian trousers. The cut is loose and androgynous.
Call it nostalgia, or the fixation with utilitarian workwear, but, happily, it's a far cry from the Punkyfish octopus trousers that reigned in the early 00s. Stick to neutral tones or try smart black for a glamorous alternative to formal slacks.