Runway Fashion for Fall 2020

If we’re all still avoiding going out in public this fall due to the pandemic, I’m not sure just how many new clothes or new fashions any of us need.  But since it’s fun to daydream and plan, and you might just need to get out of your pjs occasionally, here’s what’s on the high fashion runways of Paris, Milan, London and New York for this fall.  Maybe you can put together a look you adore and keep it in readiness!

Thematic dressing is everywhere this fall.  Your outfit should follow a theme and it should have at least one dramatic element.  (Wait ….. is this life advice too?  Hmmm ….. digressing here ….)

1960s mod, Victorian, grunge, preppy/equestrian, and monochrome are the main themes on the runways right now. 

How To Put Your Chosen Theme Together:  This fall’s themes have certain elements that are essential.  Pick your theme and be sure to include at least one of this year’s essential theme elements.

1960s mod:     -mini-skirts

                        -patchwork garments or accessories

                        -geometric prints


Victorian:         -blouses with ruffled necks or bows at the neck

                        -small fitted jackets

                        -ruffled skirts

                        -floral prints


Grunge:           -slip dresses

                        -combat boots with skirts


Preppy/Equestrian:     -plaids or argyles

                                    -sweater vests


                                    -knee high boots

                                    -pleated skirts (long or short)


Monochrome:           -the entire outfit is comprised of shades of one single colour (for example, an outfit completely in shades of green), including shoes and accessories, although sometimes a single piece of simple jewelry provides contrast, such as a silver chain. 


Major Pieces for Fall 2020

Certain looks were repeated standouts on the runways for this fall.  Colours, items, garments.  Perhaps one of these belongs in your closet?

1.  The skirt suit. Often shown in tweed, this suit has a jacket and skirt of the same fabric.

2.  A red dress. Solid red, not a print.  All styles and lengths were shown, but almost every designer showed a red dress. 

3.  Chain link jewelry. Big links.    Tough looking necklaces, bracelets (think old-school identity bracelets) and earrings.

4.  Head to toe leather. Entire outfits in leather.  Long leather trench coats were everywhere too, shown over jeans or monochrome outfits.

5.  Sequins, lame, metallic leather.  Everything from tops to jackets to purses and pants got the shine treatment.

6.  Long fringes, at least 3 or 4 inches, on skirts, boots, bags and sleeves.  Not exactly western or cowboy-style, not exactly flapper style either.  Just a fringe adding drama and movement to classic pieces.

7.  Monochrome covered-up looks in skin tones. From light beige to dark browns, these were suits or long sleeved tops with pants or long skirts.  Basically, neck to ankle was covered in a flesh shade.  Styles and specific garment items varied but the colour story and covered-up aspect remained the same.  Be sure to pick close to your own skin tone for this.  It doesn’t work when someone pale wears dark brown.

8.  Underwear as outerwear. This kind of fits the grunge or Victorian themes, with camisoles, slip dresses and corsets on display.

9.  Knee high boots. Worn with dresses or with jeans or pants tucked in.  The boots were heeled or flat, slouchy ankles or fitted.  Always in a solid colour and no embellishment.

10. 1940s silhouette. Bigger shoulders or puffed sleeves with a trim waist.  This fits the Victorian theme too, although there were several stand-alone 1940s style dresses or suits out there on the catwalk.

11. Blouses with bows tied at the neck. Definitely reminiscent of the 1980s.  Bows were also appliqued and pre-tied on a neckline, or at the waistline on dresses.  If appliqued, the bows were usually in a contrasting colour.

12. All Black. Monochrome black outfits with ruffles and layers, controlled by a narrow waist.  For example, a ruffled blouse and layered skirt worn with a wide leather belt and knee-high boots was a frequent look.  Very Victorian or funereal-pirate in feel. 

13. A column maxi-dress. A turtleneck, long sleeved, close-fitting maxi-dress in subtle shimmer was shown by many designers.  For example, a brown slightly sparkly fabric that glimmers or shimmers when the wearer moves.  Not sequins, though.  This was more subtle.

14. Ponchos and capes. These were generous and flowing.  Comfy looking too.

15. Big overcoats with large shawl collars in fur. Usually these were trench coats in a generous cut, although there were some shaggy fuzzy long coats too.  Basically, the ponchos, capes and overcoats all make a major statement when seen from a distance.  What they all had in common was drama!  (Very reminiscent of 1980s hip hop and rap star ‘glamour’).

16. Skirts, skirts, everywhere skirts.  All lengths from super short (1960s mod) to super long (Victorian or straight-cut maxi or preppy pleated).


How To Put it All Together:

Go for the drama.  Don’t be tentative when you try any of this season’s looks.  It’s all about extremes.  Try one of the following approaches, but be sure to wear it with attitude and confidence!  You know you look great!

1.  Go head to toe.  Try all one fabric (eg., plaid tweed, or maybe leather) and have your entire outfit in that fabric.  Or try all one colour (see our blog post on going monochrome). 

2.  Go luxe. Try a luxurious fabric, such as leather, or tweed, or shaggy faux fur, or glitter.  Go for an entire garment in this fabric, not just small bits of trim. 

3.  Go large scale. Coats, ponchos, long skirts, fullness in sleeves or skirts.  Oversized chain link jewelry, extra-long fringe.  Go big or go home.

4.  Go for shock value. Shock their expectations. Try the underwear as outerwear look.   Or intentionally add one major element that doesn’t fit somehow  (such as a conservative blazer over a corset or a mixture of Victorian and grunge thematic elements). 

And that’s it.  Fall 2020.  I hope you are able to indulge your fashion fantasies and wear one of these great looks, even if you have to add a coordinating face mask.