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9 runway-approved wardrobe staples to invest in now

After a marathon stint of back-to-back shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, fashion month is finally over. Only the most memorable collections have managed to stimulate as much conversation as bedbugs in the aftermath – creepy crawlies were an unexpected hot topic on the front rows – while certain celebrity appearances have also remained top of mind among team Vogue (Taylor Russell’s armour-like Loewe look deserves a special mention).

Judging by the beach-ready woven accessories at Bottega Veneta, boat shoes at Miu Miu and flip-flops at Chanel, designers were laser-focused on delivering playful, holiday-worthy wardrobes for spring. However, there were a handful of transeasonal styling tricks that can be utilised now, such as the elegant sequinned-skirt-and-sweater combinations at 16Arlington, the wax jackets at Prada and the flurry of red dresses seen in every city. Here, we propose nine new season style hacks to adopt this autumn.

The look-at-me midi-skirt

Marco Capaldo, co-founder of 16Arlington and BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winner, made a strong case for daytime sequins at his London Fashion Week showcase. Shimmering paillette-covered skirts were worn with slouchy knits and court shoes, proposing a new office uniform for the fashion set. Further desk-to-dinner midis came courtesy of Erdem, where foiled lace versions were paired with metallic bow-adorned flats, and Dries Van Noten, where sheer skirts were worn with beaded V-neck vests.

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The throw-on jacket

The barn jacket got a high fashion update at the spring/summer 2024 shows. In her Runway review, Vogue’s Nicole Phelps noted the ubiquitous chat around Miuccia Prada’s worn-in styles, which were paired with high-waisted pencil skirts and blouses as opposed to country attire. Then, of course, there was Erdem, who opened his showcase with an opera coat made in collaboration with Barbour, crafted from floral textiles and waxed cotton jackets that the late Deborah “Debo” Cavendish – to which the show was dedicated – wore in the park at Chatsworth House.

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The LRD (little red dress)

The LRD (little red dress) gathered momentum this season, seen at Bottega Veneta, Khaite, Fendi, Huishan Zhang, Proenza Schouler and Sarah Burton’s final outing at Alexander McQueen, to name but a few. It’s punchier than its humble counterpart, the LBD, but it can be just as versatile. Consider it a party essential.

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The teeny-tiny kitten heel

Long live the kitten heel! Friendly stilettos were all the rage on the runways, realised as everything from pointed pumps to knee-high boots and sandals. Valentino’s came with heels barely half an inch off the ground, Altuzarra debuted sleek satin mules, while Prada models balanced on heels in the shape of the brand’s triangular logo. Meet your new wear-anywhere (and everywhere!) shoe.

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The statement belt

Belts can be a highly practical addition to an outfit, but at the spring/summer 2024 shows their purpose went beyond just a cinch. Tom Ford’s newly-appointed creative director Peter Hawkings borrowed from his predecessor’s playbook – Nicole Phelps remarked that the collection was “a bit like a greatest hits playlist” – and included a sculptural belt buckle from spring 1996, slung around the waist of a black maxi dress. At Saint Laurent, belts were central to Anthony Vaccarello’s silhouette: utility boiler suits were nipped in the middle with classic leather styles.

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The pastel piece

Pastel shades were a saccharine alternative to the retina-searing red hues that lit up the runways. Sorbet palettes run a risk of looking outdated, but this season’s takes are anything but sickeningly sweet. See: the lilac dresses at Courrèges, Versace’s lemon-soaked offering and Paloma Elsesser’s draped maxi at Ferragamo.

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The holdall-clutch

This season’s bags were less about the actual shapes themselves, more about the way they were held. The “tuck-and-go” grip was popular this season, epitomised by the overflowing top-handle bags at Miu Miu, which were curled nonchalantly in the crooks of models’ arms. Ditto 16Arlington, where the brand’s signature pocketed Kikka bag was held close to the chest. Forget handles, it’s time to “clutch” your bags this season, however full of stuff they are.

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The layering polo top

From Loewe’s chunky cardigans to Tove’s clavicle-peeping jumpers, there was plenty to see on the knitwear front at the shows. The piece we’re backing for SS24? The polo top, which brought preppy flair to the collections. Emilia Wickstead’s yellow cap-sleeve style, Miu Miu’s nautical navy versions and Gucci’s waffle knit have our vote.

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The fancy flats

Fancy flats have dominated for several seasons – and their reign is set to continue next year. Choose your fighter: Mary-Janes and jeans (as seen at Chanel); sparkly ballet pumps and dresses (Loewe) or lace-up metallic flats and tulle skirts (Molly Goddard). Or, you could even recreate The Row look 14 with a pair of towelled hotel slippers.

Image: Imaxtree

This article was originally published on Vogue UK.

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