Buyers are sort of like fashion oracles. They attend every show, flick through Instagram like it’s their job (because, well, it is) and have more influence over what we’re wearing than we realise. So when buyers from powerful online department stores, like Chelsea Power of MatchesFashion.com, say something, we listen up.
Speaking to Power ahead of winter, we had a LOT to ask. From the trends worth investing in (green, tailoring and tulle) to the Australian brands that British It girls can’t get enough of, Power is a veritable expert on the subject. Below, she answers all your burning questions on trends, designers and, of course, how to dress for the cold.
Talk us through the top trends that we should be embracing this winter
"Tonal dressing from head to toe overwhelmingly is the biggest trend of the season. The Row, Max Mara, Burberry, Isabel Marant (the list goes on and on!) are designers that embraced this trend on the runway. Our favourite iteration of this is the sophisticated hues of olive green in both leather and cashmere shown by Gabriela Hearst.
Power dressing, with tailored pieces no longer feeling like they were ‘borrowed from the boys’ but designed with the female shape in mind. Power shoulders from Givenchy and Saint Laurent, chain accessories from Acne Studios and Christopher Kane and clever silhouettes from Petar Petrov and Alexander McQueen are all highlight features in this trend.
Ultra feminine dresses, such as the voluminous tulle designs from Molly Goddard or dark florals from Emilia Wickstead, are another highlight and provide the perfect seasonal statement piece."
Which Australian brands are really popular at the moment over in London?
"Moving into the northern hemisphere summer, we always find a great response to Australian brands with both vacation brand and resort collections from our ready-to-wear brands. Australian designers have a natural influence in their design for sunnier climates and we find our UK based customer really responds to them. Albus Lumen and Matteau do extremely well with customers who take a more purist or minimalist approach to fashion, whilst the soft florals from Lee Mathews and Zimmermann are very well loved by our customers this season."
Who are three up and coming brands everyone should know about right now?
"Cecilie Bahnsen is a brand we have been stocking for quite a few seasons now and has become instantly recognisable for her voluminous and feminine designs. We launched an exclusive collection with her last month and are continuing to see the brand go from strength to strength and build their popularity globally which is really exciting. Designer duo Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena, who created Chopova Lowena, have become known for their eye-catching skirts which use upcycled traditional Bulgarian woven fabrics and give them new life with sportswear details. Kassl Editions are new for this season and were instantly a favourite for their outerwear which is inspired by traditional fisherman’s coats."
Do you have any advice on layering effectively in winter?
"Layering gives the perfect opportunity to explore the trends for the season in a way that feels right to your own sense of style—Molly Goddard was a designer that did this particularly well on the runway this season combining different styles and fabrics to create some really interesting and stylish full looks. Ultra feminine, voluminous short dresses can be paired back with straight leg trousers for a more casual style and layering wool and leather in the same colour palette is an easy way to embrace a full tonal look."