As usual, there’s no one clear group of trends – instead there are noticeable patterns of influence, shape, colour and motifs. The two main reference points for retro-flavoured fashion are Victoriana with a Gothic tinge – and youth American fashions of the 50s and 60s.
“I think my favourite trend for A/W 2012 is the 50s/60s school-inspiration,” says Carine Broncowitz. “It’s close to my personal tastes in fashion and hairstyles, so it will be easy for me to include in my work. I’ve already drawn varsity jackets or skinny cigarette pants.”
“Suddenly turn-ups are in again, as are stiff collars and rolled back sleeved – which is all a nod to 50s Americana,” agrees Jo Bird. “Being a massive rockabilly fan this can only be a good thing – Prada’s hot rod shoes are the perfect example: heels on fire.”
To Carine, what’s interesting about the current take on vintage stylings is that it’s about more than just creating a pastiche, but combining them with modern tastes to create something that’s both new and old. “It’s just a question of balance,” she says. “Mixing the retro inspirations of the season with the more modern lines of today. You have to find the good equation.”
Jo is also excited by the vintage-tapping trend for gothic Victoriana with Lux Russian folk detailing and studding. “The devil is very definitely in the detail. Burberry’s stand-out campaign showcased flat-caps, studded umbrella handles and gloves, and military boots.”
Shiny boots and buttons
The military fetish that will be popular as the days get colder draws more on dress uniforms than in-theatre camo, and again there’s essence of the Victorian about them – sometimes with a Steampunk edge. David Buisan is pleased by this as “I always like to add details of military style in my sci-fi themed artwork.” His work also draws on fantasy influences, which he says will allow him to have fun with the also-popular animal prints and motifs, perhaps mixing with knitwear.
While the Olympics has dominated the British landscape for the summer, it hasn’t had much influence on the fashion world – except perhaps that there’s a trend towards boldness in colour from some designers that matches the oversaturated palettes of London 2012.
“A/W 2012 is a big leap from the previous seasons of understated minimalism and simplicity, its all about optical indulgences. You have to jump in and be bold” says Caroline Tomlinson. “Striking tribal patterning and vibrant colours are back on the radar for this coming season – bright oranges and strong purples, which is great news for me as purple is an old time forgotten favourite of mine.”
Another artist who’s enthusiastic about more in-your-face fashions is Sandra Suy. She says that she loves “the total print trend, prints from head to toe, mix of paisley, florals colour spots here and there, is a good way to experiment with colour and textures.”
As with retro trends, for most designers there’s a balancing act going on here, with over-the-top patterns being contrasted with elegant tailoring. Sandra notes the trend for concave or convex curves in clothing’s shape, citing “clothes [that] sculpt the silhouette to make a wasp waist or make it disappear under a voluminous coat.”