We’ve all heard that old line about accessories making or breaking a look, but nowhere was it proved as soundly as the runways of the fall 2015 shows. In New York, London, Milan, and Paris, nothing was catching our eye quite like all the extras. Here’s your guide to the top twelve trends to know about now, so you can start prepping your wardrobe for the seasons ahead. Consider it your Fashion Week cheat sheet.
A New Twist on a Classic
How’s this for pearls of wisdom? The once fussy country club staple was given new life at shows like Givenchy, where models’ faces boasted pearls from seemingly every plane; Chanel, where they looped over sheer, bow-tied blouses; Dolce & Gabbana, where they decorated demure updos; and Stella McCartney, where they took on a life of their own, twisted into contorted whirls, primed for takeoff.
Your New All-Terrain Vehicle
The lug sole has left the trails behind and is primed to hit the city sidewalks; toughening up patent leather ankle boots at Balenciaga, brogue detailed boots at Michael Kors, shearling-lined tall bikers at Coach, and rave-ready platforms at Alexander Wang.
Get a Grip
When it comes to the It bags for fall, all you need to do is a get a grip—on the nearest top-handled trunk at Louis Vuitton, front-flap bag at Giambattista Valli, or crocodile case, at Alexander McQueen, of course. The look was softer in shape at Prada, Marc Jacobs, and Christian Dior (and the latter two styles also boast a long shoulder strap for an easier sling over the shoulder), but the season’s message was all in the wrist: Keep your most stylish status symbol close at hand.
All in the Details
If you ever doubted the importance of the little things, well, let us set you straight: From Prada to Balenciaga, from Chanel to Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana, the emphasis was on all things shiny, pretty, and easily pinned, whether onto an elegant twisted updo or a party frock. Tuck a brooch into your ensemble for just the right amount of sparkle for the season ahead.
From Proenza Schouler’s croc-print monochrome satchel to The Row’s plump, friendly tote and Chanel’s suede sling-over-your-shoulder shopper, the new season’s carryall is hands-free, totally compressible, and very cuddly: Meet your new main squeeze.
Look, you don’t have to go full Cruella de Vil (faux is always a possibility!), but you do need to know that next fall is all about a touch of fur. From the fuzzy-soled slip on loafers at Gucci to the plumed sleeves at Marc Jacobs, the smooth pony-skin boots at Derek Lam (or their wilder, snowstorm-ready counterparts at Fendi), the exaggerated pom-pom scarves at Céline—even the headphones at Dolce & Gabbana got in on the game.
Whether it was handfuls of crystals, a sparkling coating of glitter, or shiny metal studs, shoes and boots stole the spotlight this season. And there were several unexpected renditions of the look to give Dorothy’s shiny Mary Janes a run for their money: At Emilio Pucci, slinky knee-high boots had a graphic energy, while Céline‘s wicker basket midi heels came finished with what looked like pearl-studded brooches.
Velvet has traditionally held a noble place in fashion history, worn by kings, queens, princes, and the like. It only makes sense that fall’s return to Victoriana would be grounded by a velvet shoe. At Alberta Ferretti, the red buckled shoe came with regal airs and graces, while at Givenchy and Dries Van Noten, sturdy ankle boots had a sophisticated coating.
On the Block
After a season of flats, designers looked to higher ground for fall, but thankfully without altogether abandoning the idea of comfort altogether. Measuring little more than two inches off the ground, the modish block heel came through at Miu Miu, Calvin Klein Collection, and Bottega Veneta, among other runways. In that sense, the trend for chic happy feet still has legs.
Legs for Days
Blame it on fashion’s seemingly endless obsession with leather skinny pants, but the latest footwear trend for fall extends the idea of the slinky legging right down to the toes. Christian Dior, Edun, and Alexander McQueen showed second-skin boots that disappeared into the hemlines of skirts and tunics (were these pants, boots, or both?). And at Marc Jacobs, high-shine skintight knee-highs lent prim full-skirted looks a subversive undercurrent.
The single earring trend of seasons past gathered speed for fall, with every version on the jewelry statement you could imagine. They were mismatched eighties club-kid style at J.W.Anderson, glittering and shoulder-dusting length at Gucci, and seemed to cover almost every inch of the ear—and face—at Givenchy.
If you’ve a soft spot for spring’s gladiator sandals, then the new lace-up footwear promises a smooth wardrobe on into fall. Jonathan Saunders and Giambattista Valli both showed knee-high versions of the look, and designer Phillip Lim even made a case for the lace-up mule.