What does a self-contained woman look like in the age of #MeToo? As designers attempted to register the shift in attitude post-Trump, post-Times Up, and post-My Job Should Not Include Abuse, reflecting the popular sentiment of empowerment with their very seams, sleeves, buttons and hemlines, the Fall 2018 season only served to underline what great fashion has always been about: making women feel good.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t buzzwords. Numerous designers discussed the notion of “protection”, explored most literally with Hazmat suits and boots (Calvin Klein) and more commercially via myriad heavy tweeds and a “one coat good, two coats better” approach to autumn layering (Balenciaga, Givenchy, Marni, Prada).
Many more discussed the idea of clothes as “armor”, via leather dresses and head-to-toe animal print and a nod to the subversive spirit of the Seventies. On that note, the armor theory was posited most eloquently by Alexander McQueen‘s Sarah Burton, who talked about metamorphosis and “all the expressions of femininity”, but with the characteristic honesty that meant she responded to a question about whether a bombastic pink fringed dress was a moment of feminist reckoning with: “I just thought, why not? We’re in fashion.”
Still others spoke of the need for calm. See Jonathan Anderson at Loewe – “I wanted a calmness, a confidence, a look which is grounded” – or Natacha Ramsay Levi at Chloé: “You never get too much into one direction. You always balance more.” As for “diversity”, that buzziest of watch words that often has a tokenistic application? It’s finally registered with casting directors, and models of color and maturity are walking runways with refreshing frequency. Lexicon down, and with winter well underway, welcome to the biggest trends of the new Fall 2018 season.
Now Read: Fall 2018’s Biggest Trends
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk.