Five key ready-to-wear trends for fall 2016

As summer draws to an end, it's time to start thinking about wardrobe updates for the new season. Drawing on the fall/winter 2016 catwalk collections, the upcoming season's major womenswear trends encompass sensuality and ramped-up femininity, with pleats, sheer fabrics and bared shoulders.


Maison Margiela - Fall-Winter2016 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula

Here's a look at some of the biggest trends in store for women's fashion this fall. Nearly all the major labels chose to honor the female form in an understated, reserved way this season, with designs that suggest rather than reveal. This translates to long-length pieces with slits or sheer finishes, cinched waists, bared shoulders and fluid, floaty fabrics. All in all, the season's looks have a laidback feel, giving pride of place to comfort rather than overtly sexy styles.

Chic pleats

Summer 2016's must-have pleated skirt has given designers ideas, carrying the trend through to the fall/winter 2016 season. Bringing a light, comfortable and sensual feel, pleats have worked their way into long and short skirts, dresses and even tops. Pleats were spotted at Maison Margiela, Diesel Black Gold, Valentino, Vionnet and Bottega Veneta. Plus, Issey Miyake showcased two new technical procedures boosting fluidity of movement and creating all kinds of optical illusions.

Spotlight on shoulders

On a similar note, shoulders are being shown off this season with asymmetrical tops and dresses, as well as with cuts leaving them entirely bare (Christian Dior, Elie Saab, Mugler, Anthony Vaccarello, Ermanno Scervino, Alexander McQueen). Although some fashion houses kept shoulders covered, they were still structured, sometimes with exaggerated eighties styles, like at Saint Laurent and Jacquemus.

Silky soft fur

Whether brightly colored, autumnal or in sophisticated white, fur is set to take center stage in this season's looks. Used in small touches or for entire garments, fur was given pride of place by labels such as Moncler Gamme Rouge, where it adorned collars, coats, skirts and even hats. Fur was also spotted at Paul & Joe, at Valentino in multicolored pastel shades, at Saint Laurent in bright red and electric blue, at Chloé, at Versace in a variety of colors and, of course, at Fendi.

Sheer, floaty fabrics

Dresses get an almost spring-like vibe for fall/winter 2016, getting lighter and floatier and becoming virtually transparent. This season's gowns are a simple veil, with super-fine fabrics, sheers, embroidery and netting hinting at the female form for a sensual rather than sexy effect. This trend was seen at Sonia Rykiel, Giambattista Valli, Valentino, Andrew GN, Chalayan, Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander Wang. The season's hottest look sees a very lightweight dress worn with a long, heavy coat.

Prints go wild

Although they never really exited the ready-to-wear arena, animal prints will be back in a big way for fall/winter 2016-2017. They'll be seen in touches here and there, like Kenzo's tiger-print collars, as well as in full-on animal-print ensembles. In the fashion jungle, Sonia Rykiel opted for python print, Givenchy mixed python and panther motifs, and Dior went for leopard. Blumarine brought animal-print to accessories, along with Roberto Cavalli.  
 

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