Spring-Summer 2020’s Top Ten Trends

Now that we’ve wrapped up a full fashion month, with hundreds of shows across four cities, it’s time to start answering the question at the heart of it all: what will we be wearing next spring? There were plenty of trends to take into account, but a few main themes were crystal clear: the idea of rebellion, specifically as seen in the sixties era; and a move toward sustainability and repurposing. We were told to shop vintage—or, better yet, pull from our grandmothers’ closets—at Marc Jacobs in New York and Celine in Paris. In Milan, we were encouraged to don earthy materials at Prada, worn-in shearlings at Miu Miu, and intricate yarns at Marni. And there were also nuanced takes on classic suiting, 90’s naked dresses, and some pretty powerful polka dots. Looking for the full report? Here, the 10 trends that have everyone talking.

3-Piece Suits
(From Left to Right) Celine, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Paco Rabanne, Burberry. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

A great suit sighting on the catwalk is a given each season and this time around it was all about the three-piece. Who knew that simply throwing on a vest under your blazer could have so much impact? Designers interpreted the trend in keeping with their own aesthetics, from Hedi Silmane’s little back vest at Celine to Riccardo Tischi’s classic, buttoned up version at Burberry. At Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, the typically masculine silhouette was redefined into a wildly fun and feminine style. The patron saint of the look? The great Diane Keaton in Annie Hall.

90’s Undressed
(From Left to Right) Ann Demeulemeester, Christopher Kane, Gucci, Kwaidan Editions, Saint Laurent. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

The 90’s seem to resonate with fashion’s current crop of designers, and this season more than ever. Some of the biggest shows saw a return of that decade’s signature “naked” dress, from minimalist classics at Kwaidan Editions and Ann Demeulemeester to an exaggerated, art deco version at Saint Laurent. The hero piece of the season was perhaps most impactful on the Gucci runway, where the typically maximalist label surprised everyone with their interpretation of the simple slip dress. Skin, apparently, is always in.

(From Left to Right) Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Paco Rabanne, Givenchy, Valentino. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

While last season may have been all about the shabby chicness of the seventies, this year the collections took us back a decade to highlight the varied, eclectic chic of the sixties. With frocks featuring oversized florals and psychedelic colors, like these from Paco Rabanne and Valentino, the Flower Power era is back in bloom. Marc Jacobs and Givenchy also paid homage to the culturally rich era with bohemian fabrics and folkloric details.

(From Left to Right) Dries Van Noten, Loewe, Thom Browne, Simone Rocha, Matty Bovan. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Perhaps spurred on by the heaviness of the news these days, many designers decided to pump up the extravagance in their Spring 2020 collections. What is fashion, after all, if not an escape from reality? While some gilded the lily in more wearable ways (see ruffles at Simone Rocha or the baroque blazer at Dries Van Noten, which was co-designed by Christian Lacroix ), other labels pushed the aristocratic influence to the extreme. Matty Bovan presented a gown with a silhouette so exaggerated that it might have emerged from the wardrobe of Marie Antoinette herself; a similar, oversized shape was seen again at Comme des Garçons while, at Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton presented a collection that dripped with gold.

(From Left to Right) Givenchy, Max Mara, Michael Kors, Saint Laurent, Sportmax. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

The idea of shorts as the new skirt isn’t exactly groundbreaking, given last year’s resurgence of the hot item, but Spring 2020 put a new spin on the trend with Bermuda-bottomed suits. At Givenchy, an emerald green short suit proved that this style is most definitely black tie-ready while the checked version at Michael Kors was a more playful interpretation. Max Mara, meanwhile, gave us all the options, sending trios of models down the runway bare-calved and tailored to perfection.

(From Left to Right) Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Junya Watanabe, Valentino, Marni. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Already a trend among the street style crowd, fluorescent hues lit up the runways this season. At Tom Ford’s New York show, which was held in a subway station, all the signals were bright and clear. In Milan, at Bottega Veneta, an orange trench coat seemed designed to stop traffic. And at Valentino in Paris there were neon gowns galore.

(From Left to Right) Loewe, Marni, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Marine Serre. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Homespun crochet, earthy organza, and novelty knits were among the craftiest looks this season. At Loewe, a crocheted cape felt like a vintage treasure. At Marni an intricately woven gown blossomed with back-to-nature florals. And original new bohemian Marc Jacobs interpreted the thrift-chic look with a chunky knit over vintage-esque denim.

(From Left to Right) Saint Laurent, Hermès, Balenciaga, Prada, Chanel. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

The spirit of the sixties revival saw the extreme shortening of shorts and skirts into bonafide minis. The abbreviated hems come after a few seasons of more demure lengths—a thigh-flash backlash, if you will. Both Prada and Balenciaga rocked retro mini skirts, while at Chanel, Hermes, and Saint Laurent super short-shorts were the order of the day. If this season is trying to tell us anything, it’s that barely there is here for now.

(From Left to Right) Gucci, Richard Quinn, Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, Comme des Garçons. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

Literally spotted all over the runways: polka dots. From Gucci to Carolina Herrera, designers were going dotty. Where some were more modest (see the adorned trousers at Marc Jacobs), others brands went wild. London’s Richard Quinn offered up a mini dress smattered with the print and in Paris, Demna Gvasalia, served us such an extreme take that we were seeing spots for days.

(From Left to Right) Stella McCartney, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Celine. Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

In keeping with the season’s up-cycled vibe was a resurgence of vintage-esque, patchwork denim from all the biggest brands. Hedi Slimane interpreted the trend with a midi skirt, and at Marc Jacobs, a pair of striped denim jeans felt so lived in that they could have been pulled straight out of the thrift store bin.