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Which Fall/Winter ’18 Runway Trends Are Destined for Commercial Success?

Which Fall/Winter '18 Runway Trends Are Destined Commercial Success?
Mandatory Credit: Photo by CAROLINE BLUMBERG/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

From strong shoulders and statement suiting, to flashes of bold color, Fall/Winter ’18 fashion is on a power trip.

In a webinar Wednesday, Fashion Snoops VP creative, womenswear Melissa Moylan outlined the key style, fabric, color and trim stories from fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris.

Based on the runway, Moylan described a season with dueling point of views: minimalism versus extravagance; natural elements juxtaposed with artificial surfaces; jovial colors and moody hues.

Here, Moylan shares the key runway fashion, color, fabric and trim trends that are poised to have the most commercial success.

Power girls

The decade that introduced “Dynasty” fashion (i.e. sequins, shoulder pads and slinky silhouettes) to households across the U.S. is rearing its flamboyant head again. “On a grand scale, if we were to identify this season with a particular decade, it is definitely the ’80s,” Moylan said.

The trend is strong in silhouettes, specifically “strong shoulders jutting out” from tailored blazers and sweaters, she described. Tom Ford’s ode to excess decade set the tone with sequined covered sweatshirts, re-colored animal prints, sparkly accessories and power suiting.

Sequins and sparkly embellishments are added to daywear. The trend also calls for matching accessories, including handbags, shoes and hosiery in matching prints. Embellished over-the-knee boots, mixed media sling backs and “power clutches” with elongated shapes are among the trend’s big statement pieces. Moylan added that designers are also playing with neckwear, adding pops of color to dark sheer neckties and bows.

Cozy woods

The outdoors, Moylan said, served as a common thread through all of the fashion weeks. Even Chanel dipped into the trend with a collection inspired by autumnal colors and textures.

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Rich fabrics, high pile furs and chunky sweaters reinforce this story’s emphasis on creature comforts, Moylan explained. Oversized sweaters—from chunk knits to delicate mohair—are among Fashion Snoops’ key items for the season. The parka and puffer also earn their keep, especially layered or extra-long versions.

Accessories, however, focus on utility. The riding boot returns in buttery leathers. Combat boots, hikers and totes are redone with shearling on the inside (and outside), while belt bags push a practical message, she added.

New world

Designers’ interpretation of nature runs the gamut this fall, including how it collides with the future. In New World, Moylan said natural hyperreal imagery and pops of colors become huge key points.

Traditional outerwear takes a turn for the unexpected with elements of surprise, including layered outerwear, mixed materials and exaggerated shapes. Artificial and sport-inspired materials like PVC and nylon emphasis the trend’s future forward message, Moylan added.

Those materials carry into accessories like PVC handbags with brightly colored handles. Moylan noted that Lanvin played with the idea of futuristic color-changing materials for its range of printed handbags.


Victorian fashion returns in Oracle, the season’s moodiest runway trend. Moylan said there’s touches of romanticism, however the trend is “much more about witchcraft.”

Here, designers employ an abundance of velvet and ruffles, she added. The maxi dress also comes into fashion, as well as pencil skirts with mid-calf hemlines and capes for dramatic effect. Dark florals are essential to the story, layered on navy or black bases. Jacquards adds a hint of light and shimmer.

Ankle boots with Victorian ribbon lacing and ankle boots in metallic leather and velvet are among the key footwear trends, while opera gloves and decadent clutches become essential pieces for evening.


Designers Tibi, Sportmax and Brandon Maxwell presented a fresh and softer take on minimalist Japanese lines, Moylan said.

The look, which includes menswear-inspired pieces like sweeping overcoats and relaxed suiting, make an instant impact in unconventional colors and color blocking. Pleats feel fresh in joyful colors like yellow and pink.

For accessories, tote bags are trimmed with contrasting colors, square toe footwear takes on a myriad of colorful patent leathers and velvet and fur stoles are modernized in vibrant shades of yellow and purple.

Moylan added that in this trend, any color if fair game. Sapphire, cherry red, “Girl Power” pink and an intense shade of navy that Fashion Snoops calls “Eternal” are among the most popular and commercially viable colors of the season, she said.