13 AW18 trends to think about now (plus what I’m not going to buy)

Salvatore Ferragamo AW18 Fashion Show by Sonny Vandevelde

Even with temperatures in the high teens and low 20s, there’s an autumnal bite in the air. Can you feel it? The September issues are getting me in the mood for knitwear and plaid, the idea of blankets isn’t so alarming, and I’ve started lighting my scented candles again. Here’s what I want to wear for AW18…

1/ BLANKET STYLING This look is going to be unescapable. Part poncho, part blanket, Ports 1961 does it best with its classic felted numbers smothered in graphic typography (below), while McQueen’s scarlet blanket offers high drama. Closely related: Calvin Klein’s quilts. Raf’s being honoured for championing American quilt making by the American Folk Art Museum in a zhuzzy gala in October. You can buy a quilt-style Calvin Klein blanket from Barneys here.

BELOW: Ports 1961
Ports 1961 AW18 blanket dressing

BELOW: Alexander McQueen Aw18 in Vogue
Alexander Mcqueen aw18 in UK Vogue Anton Corbijn


While we await Kim Jones’ SS19 debut Dior menswear collection, consider the cross-body mini man bags that he created for Louis Vuitton (below). Not only are they less obvious, the men’s bags are usually significantly cheaper than the women’s. There’s certainly a move towards smallish bags, although there’s also a trend for doubling up. I like the Loewe Gate very much (below), and although I’m not ready to go fully fashion vegan yet, there’s definitely something rather appealing about Stella McCartney’s flat-as-an-envelope bags (below).

Meanwhile if you must have a big bag on you at all times, I can vouch for the Laurie bag from Mallet & Co. These come in beautifully dyed natural calfskin with a contrasting nappa lining and the proportions have been properly thought out to offer elegance with sturdy practicality. Designer Nicholas Knightly came from top design jobs at Louis Vuitton and Mulberry, so let’s just say he knows his way around a luxury bag.

BELOW: Louis Vuitton Homme AW18
Louis Vuitton menswear aw18

BELOW: Loewe Gate bag
Loewe Gate bag

BELOW: Mallet & Co bags
Mallet & Co luxury leather bags

BELOW: Stella McCartney AW18
Stella McCartney AW18 bags

I’ve been wallowing in nostalgia all summer. So far I’ve managed to resist the lure of the bucket hat (but I secretly still really want one) but I may have to succumb to the cult Boy’s Own tee. Read more about why the second summer of love of 1988 is still relevant now and don’t forget to diarise Jeremy Deller’s rave documentary screening at Frieze London in October…

BELOW: Boy’s Own T-shirt
Boys Own generations of house T-shirt

I can’t get enough of these. At the moment, they’re cropping up at David Beckham’s Kent & Curwen, The Basement and my latest preppie discovery, Rowing Blazers. I like these men’s upcycled patchwork tops (below).

BELOW: Rowing Blazers
Rowing Blazers rugby shirt

I’m on the hunt for a smart-casual boot to wear with straight cut jeans – ideally an understated western boot. The Calvin Klein toecap ankle boots are good but not tall enough. Toga’s are great but excessively pointy. I may have to search out some vintage deadstock. In the meantime, I’m also very tempted by these quilted Chanel boots (below) – the toe shape and heel height are just right.

BELOW: Chanel AW18
Chanel aw18 boots

The idea of pink as a feminist power statement has been knocking about for a few seasons and continues for AW18. If a full on pink trouser suit is too much, the db blazer option is a good alternative, as nailed by Valentino (below) and & Other Stories here.

BELOW: Valentino AW18
Valentino AW18 pink jacket

I love, love, love all the arty earrings doing the rounds. Peter Pilotto has been collaborating with jewellery designer Marco Panconesi on earrings and bracelets made of resin, rope and stone; they look amazing. Marni’s art teacher earrings and Aligheri’s irregular gold and pearl drops are close runners up.

BELOW: Peter Pilotto jewellery
Peter Pilotto jewellery

We’re going to be seeing even more co-ed runways in the next few seasons as brands see the benefits of showing both men’s and womenswear on one unified runway. Ferragamo showed how to do it with gender-fluid classics morphing into each other.

BELOW: Ferragamo AW18
Salvatore Ferragamo Aw18 by Sonny Vandevelde

You can keep the saddle bag, I’ll take this Dior balaclava instead. My 15-year-old military number from Shepherd’s Bush market needs an upgrade and these peaked suede examples are practical yet have an unmistakable whiff of bourgeois bohème about them. Expect a tsunami of imitations to flood the Zara rails any day now (er, but maybe swerve the Nike one)…

BELOW: Dior AW18
Dior aw18 by Jamie Stoker

The silk foulard was such a big catwalk trend back in February, it’s already trickled down to the street. If you’re not sure you can pull off a headscarf as well as model Giedre Dukauskaite (good luck with that), then go for a small silk square tucked into the neck of a jumper. This is an easy (and affordable) one to try with vintage scarves; if you find the super-thin ones, they’re often easier to work with than brand new scarves. Or try the new Hermes ‘twillon’ skinny scarves to wear with a contrasting oversized silk blouse. I also like what Rockins is doing with its 70s-infused prints. And of course, I love all the Toga interpretations, using silk scarf details as part of their styling…

BELOW: Giedre Dukauskaite
Giedre Dukauskaite headscarf

BELOW: Toga AW18
Toga aw18 deconstructed silk carre

Meanwhile, on the beauty front, the collaborations are the gifts that keep on giving. I’ve been totally wowed by the Proenza Schouler X Lancôme collab. In particular, the double ended Lip Kajal (how do you pronounce kajal?), a lipstick and lip gloss in one, and Chroma eye palette of beautiful waxy pigments. Caroline Hirons has produced an excellent Clean Beauty Decoded Box with Space NK, along with lots of content that unpacks the minefield of ‘natural’, sustainable and vegan beauty that come under the confusing moniker of ‘clean’ beauty. Also, watch out for a L’Occitane collab with Jean-Charles de Castelbajac later in the year.

BELOW: Proenza Schouler X Lancome
Lancome X Proenza Schouler

Portugal is the destination du jour so I’m wondering if P-beauty might be an emerging category? I’m definitely into the idea of Claus Porto’s fragrance line, which has been created by Lyn Harris of Perfumer H fame. The 130-year-old Portuguese soap brand has just launched a delicious sounding Agua de Colonia range of five scents. I like the sound of Agua Clementina, heavy on citrus and musk notes (a current obsession) including bergamot, lemon, grapefruit and mandarin rind infused with lavender, orange flowers and petitgrain. Yum.

BELOW: Claus Porto Agua de Colonia
Claus Porto Agua de Colonia fragrance

My mission to upgrade mundane beauty rituals continues. To accompany the chicest toothpaste known to man, Lebon has added a collection of whitening toothpastes to its organic, Grasse-fragranced oral-care line-up, while start-up Coco Floss is attempting to sex up the dental floss market. Can its happy-making, fruit-flavoured floss make this ritual less of a chore? I’ve also just discovered the existence of Floris rose concentrated mouth wash. It’s expensive, pink-hued and pleasingly packaged – just take my money Floris!

Lebon Whitening vegan and organic toothpaste

BELOW: Coco Floss
Coco Floss dental floss

Finally, do share your thoughts on these dubious emerging trends? Yay or nay…?

SKINNY BROWS All my forty-plus fashion friends audibly shrieked in horror at the sight of Rihanna’s barely there brows on the September Vogue cover. We remember this trend briefly from the 90s (thankfully I didn’t really go there) and have been dreading its comeback. Hopefully everyone’s wedded to their Instagram brows and it won’t take off…

DESIGNER POLUTION MASKS We’re all very pollution-savvy these days; you can’t move for anti-pollution skincare crowding the beauty shelves. But what about the pollution mask as fashion accessory? Would you pay £75 for one? What about a designer one? An Off-White one? Virgil has got you covered

HIGH STREET BOTOX The news that Superdrug will be selling a £99 Botox service has got everyone talking. Personally, I don’t love the normalisation of all these procedures. We have enough pressure to keep up with expensive grooming rituals without the suggestion that this ‘affordable’ option makes it all more convenient. Thoughts?


WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: to come
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