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GFW19: The biggest trends


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Graduate Fashion Week is the place for emerging designers to take to the catwalk to showcase the latest up and coming styles. 

There were plenty of new trends to look out for at GFW - there were nods back to the past, huge statement pieces and sky-high heels, to name but a few.

Image credit: Camille Dupont

It was hard to narrow down, but here is our round-up of all the biggest and best trends we spotted at GFW this year:


Lanxin Zhang (Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts) // GIF credit: Ruby Naldrett via GIPHY

It's no secret that Killing Eve's Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is the most stylish woman on television right now. In season one she stole our hearts in an incredible tulle bubblegum pink Molly Goddard gown, and this is one look that has inspired designers across the globe. At GFW, pink tulle and ruffles were a huge trend - with Villanelle-esque looks hitting the catwalk left, right and centre.

Season two has just hit our screens, so it'll be interesting to see if any of the assassin's looks make it into the 2020 trend round-up. 


Kanon Hayata (Osaka Institute of Fashion) // GIF credit: Ruby Naldrett created via GIPHY

Yes, really. Over the past few years, super high heels have fallen out of favour and have been replaced by kitten heels and their block heeled counterparts. GFW made a huge case for the return of the stiletto, with many of the models rocking back-breaking heels on the catwalk. So stock up on the blister plasters and brace yourself because stilettos are back.

Neon and sportswear

Steph Starkey (Northumbria University) // Image credit: Camille Dupont 

The past few years have seen a huge resurgence in the looks of the 80s, but this year it was the turn of the early 90s to make their comeback. Rave culture was huge back then, and with raves came a lot of neon. At GFW neon was a big presence, but it was used more subtlety than it was back in the 90s - bright colours were woven through accessories, bringing a touch of glow without being overpowering. 

Another big trend in the 90s was sportswear, and no we're not talking sports luxe - we're talking shell suits and Reebok Classics. This is something that made a comeback at GFW too, with chunky retro-looking trainers, garish logos and lots of velour being a big staple on the catwalk. It's good news for those of us who aren't into stilettos, as it looks like the borrowed from your dad trainers are here to stay for another season. Hurrah!

Hair accessories

Bridget Petry (RMT) // GIF credit: Ruby Naldrett via GIPHY

Hair accessories are the it item of right now, so it was no surprise to see an array of headbands and clips on the catwalk. In particular pearl-embellished accessories were a huge trend, with designers using them to dress up their looks and, in some cases, juxtapose against more grungy styles.

Luckily for us, the high street is full of all things hair accessories, so it's an easy style to get onboard with. Remember, when it comes to clips... less is definitely not more.

Statement earrings

Lisa Gerstenfeld (Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts) // GIF credit: Ruby Naldrett created via GIPHY

If statements weren't being made through hair accessories, they were being made through earrings. Bigger really was better when it came to jewellery, with chunky, neon styles being a favourite throughout the shows. When it comes to accessories this year, anything goes! So channel your inner Pat Butcher and live your best life. 

In previous years, accessories have been understated in order to let the garments do the talking - but this year that couldn't have been less of the case!

Matchy - Matchy

Guo Zixuan (Bejing Insititute of Technology) // Image credit: Ruby Naldrett

For many people, matching your accessories to your outfit is something reserved for the likes of your grandmother and the Queen - until now. Finding a pair of shoes in the exact same hue as the rest of your outfit is a LOOK. At GFW we saw full green, yellow and white looks... if it’s good enough for the Queen, right?

Fun slogans

Amy Plant (Birmingham City University) // Image credit: Camille Dupont

We love a slogan as much as the next person, so when we spotted Amy Plant's 'Just Came For The Ba Hons TBH' jacket it truly was love at first sight. Slogans were tongue-in-cheek and didn't take themselves too seriously. It was also interesting to see them styled in different ways; embroidered onto dresses and printed on blazers rather than the usual t-shirt. This season, let your clothes do the talking.


Novelty bags

Imma Boccia (Accademia Della Moda Iuad) // GIF credit: Ruby Naldrett via GIPHY

Shopping trolleys, suitcases, briefcases and even dolls heads… the bigger and more novelty the bags the better. Whilst they might look a bit strange at first, this is sure to be a trend that will catch on – remember when we were all adamant we wouldn’t be seen dead in dad trainers? Well, at least you’re looking FASHUN on your trip to the supermarket.



Li Shuangdonhai (Donghua University) // GIF credit: Ruby Naldrett via GIPHY

Whilst the catwalks were awash with a rainbow of colours, there was one that was a clear standout: white. From dresses to shoes to bags to headbands, everything came in shades brighter than Simon Cowell’s teeth. If the white stiletto isn’t quite your thing, an easy way to inject the trend into your wardrobe is through a bag.

Socks and sandals

 April Unsworth (UCLan) // GIF credit: Ruby Naldrett via GIPHY

Something we'd usually associate with our grandads and other uncool middle-aged men, socks and sandals have forever been a fashion don't. But there was not a show at GFW this year that didn't have some form of socks and sandals combo.

You can pick a matching shade of socks to your shoe for a more subtle look, or go full-out high fashion by picking a patterned pair and clashing.

These are just a few of the trends we spotted this year, and we can't wait for next year to see what the graduates of 2020 have to offer!

See all of our Graduate Fashion Week content here.

Lead image credit: Camille Dupont

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