Ready-to-wear, or prêt-à-porter, clothes are a cross between haute couture and mass market. They are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a citywide basis and occurs twice a year. The main seasons of Fashion Week include: spring/summer, fall/winter, resort, swim, and bridal.

Known for balancing modern designs with traditional elegance, Vera Wang is arguably the most prominent designer of bridal wear in America. Wang introduced her first bridal collection in 1990 after fifteen years editing at Vogue and a two designing for Ralph Lauren. After spending more than a decade dressing countless stars for weddings and red carpets in her ultra-elegant, custom-made gowns (even publishing a book in 2001, “Vera Wang on Weddings”), it was a natural progression for Wang to introduce ready-to-wear in 2004.


Ralph Lauren is known for his desire to control every facet of his company’s image: some of his ex-employees tell tales of a control freak with a quick temper and little patience for mistakes. In fact, the whole Lauren saga, with its many reversals of fortune and huge comebacks, was recorded with biting accuracy in the nasty, unauthorized tell-all book, Genuine Authentic.
Women who enjoy the artsy style tend to stay away from the traditional ‘trends’ of the fashion world and love to make a statement with their clothing. Oftentimes they will be the creator of their own fashions, designing and creating their own blouses, hats, and jackets. Each artsy style will be different per woman, as everyone has their own idea of what ‘art’ truly is. That’s what makes this particular fashion style so unconventional and interesting.
Son of Russian working class immigrants, Ralph Lauren has transformed himself into the sophisticated billionaire. His classic and preppy designs all draw upon an image of old world wealth and luxury, and he pioneered the concept of clothes as part of a lifestyle environment. Lauren worked in retail before developing a line of neckties. The brand he established, Polo, is now one part of an empire that includes fragrances, home furnishings and luxury clothing. Today, his five billion dollar business includes several clothing lines as well as perfumes, house ware, furniture and paint.

Rei Kawakubo went to university and studied art and literature, like a lot of bright girls do. But then she taught herself how to design, set up shop, and soon started to change the fashion world. In 1973, she created her own company, Comme des Garçons Co. Ltd in Tokyo and opened up her first boutique store in Tokyo in 1975. Starting with women’s clothes, Kawakubo added a men’s line in 1978. Comme des Garçons specializes in anti-fashion, austere, sometimes deconstructed garments.
It was during this period that many design houses began to hire artists to sketch or paint designs for garments. The images were shown to clients, which was much cheaper than producing an actual sample garment in the workroom. If the client liked their design, they ordered it and the resulting garment made money for the house. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy.
As previously mentioned, punk spirit seized the London shows and definitely filtered into some during Paris. Alexander McQueen and Dior are two major luxury brands turning the rebellious signifiers of this look on their heads (studs! leather! mohair hole-y knits! plaid!), but you'll also find some homegrown talent pushing things into even wilder territory. Even if the more extreme ends of this trend aren't going to translate into the mass market, expect to see many tartan creations hitting shop floors over the coming months…
In addition to bovver boots, a treasure trove of key pieces to plunder awaits you: Some you may own already (dig out that camel sweater), but a few entirely new-looking items will probably be worth the hype (that JW Anderson trench coat is going to sell out so fast). We chart those below, as well as all of the teeny-tiny details that make a difference, like a choker necklace—they're back—as well as the most of-the-moment colours, prints, fabrics, silhouettes, formulas and overarching themes that make up autumn/winter 2019's top trends. From dark floral dresses (Paco Rabanne wins) to the kind of tights every fashion girl will wear when the centigrade drops (with crystals on, please), here's what's what for autumn.
Stella McCartney went fresh from graduation at Central Saint Martins to chief designer at Chloé in 1997. Le Style Stella – a raunchy mix of rock ‘n’ roll and girly glamour – established Chloé as the best selling label in Paris and its designer as a card-carrying member of the fashion aristocracy. In 2000, McCartney left Chloé and signed a deal with the Gucci Group to launch her successful signature label.
In the City of Light, during the years from 1927 to 1940, Schiaparelli’s reputation for daring designs grew steadily. Soon, Parisians developed a passion for her unusual dresses, sweaters, and accessories. Her signature style always encompassed some whimsical elements, such as lobster motifs or skeleton ribs and bones (made with trapunto quilting); however, the construction of the garments themselves was often quite strict and tailored…this dichotomy made for original pieces that were often “knocked off” by other designers.
Women who enjoy the artsy style tend to stay away from the traditional ‘trends’ of the fashion world and love to make a statement with their clothing. Oftentimes they will be the creator of their own fashions, designing and creating their own blouses, hats, and jackets. Each artsy style will be different per woman, as everyone has their own idea of what ‘art’ truly is. That’s what makes this particular fashion style so unconventional and interesting.
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