So what's in store for autumn? From Burberry's baubles to 1970s-style satchels, Carola Long gives us her guide
Anglophilia – tweed, tartan, the Union flag, regal ermine, and hunting jackets all made an appearance on the catwalks.
British Style Genius – step away from Gok's Fashion Fix, with its haphazard haberdashery, in favour of this new BBC2 series, airing mid-September, which explores what makes British fashion so distinctive. Stellar contributions will come from, among others, Kate Moss, Twiggy, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.
Bad girls – at Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière's sci-fi take on film noir was inspired by the French actress Simone Signoret in Les Diaboliques; and John Galliano's muse at Christian Dior was the husky voiced seductress Mrs Robinson, as played by Anne Bancroft in The Graduate.
Costumes – cinematic sources of inspiration include Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, which showcases neat 1930s glamour, with perfectly set curls, red lips and haute-couture suits, and Brideshead Revisited, with Louise Brooks-style bobs, drop-waisted dresses, and men in three-piece suits. Just leave the teddy bear at home.
Comme des Garçons and H&M – the hottest collaboration of the year (and the hardest to second-guess).
Costume jewellery – from Art Deco necklaces in industrial-looking metals at Lanvin, to lozenge-shaped beads at Burberry, it's basically a case of the chunkier and bolder the better. If you can barely lift your neck/wrist due to the weight, you have probably captured the look perfectly.
Decorum – when even flesh-flashers Cavalli and D&G shun the big reveal, it's time to cover up. Prada's high-necked lace dresses exuded an austere sexuality; Bottega Veneta's shifts were the ultimate in luxurious understatement (far left).
Economising (strategically) – don't just go for cheap clothes, buy a few quality key pieces then update them with costume jewellery. A silk blouse, a pair of bejewelled flat shoes (Pedro Garcia,£240, netaporter.com below) shift dress à la Bottega Veneta that will work for day or evening, a leather biker jacket, and a mannish wool coat (try Banana Republic) or a belted wrap coat (Whistles has a chic one at £275) will work for this season, and the next 10 years.
Food – head to Flash, the new pop-up restaurant from hip hangout Bistrotheque, at the new GSK Contemporary show at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1 November. (www.bookflashnow.com) Also, try the new afternoon tea (rosewater champagne optional) at the Nicole Farhi shop's restaurant (020-74998408) in New Bond Street.
First Lady chic – not since Jackie O has politics looked so stylish, and so in tune with the zeitgeist. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's minimalist Dior shifts and flat shoes, and First Lady hopeful Michelle Obama's way with belts show that understated sophistication is the winning ticket.
Gareth Pugh – making his Paris show debut this season, but not before he has redesigned the Moët & Chandon VIP room for London Fashion Week. Apparently, it will offer an "abstract hint" at his new collection.
Headwear – hairnets were elevated from their "cheese counter" image with lattice-cut leather versions at Prada, swimming caps appeared at Miu Miu, models at Louis Vuitton wore curled black hats that looked like leather shavings and there were feathers galore at Galliano (below, left). Hat maestro Stephen Jones was the man behind both the silver toppers at the Comme des Garçons menswear show, and the coloured stetsons at Dior.
Ink – some might say it's just another word for midnight-blue, or navy, or blue/black. Either way, it's the word and the colour du jour. More flattering than black, and much fresher for evening.
Jackets – for a more low-key, relaxed look and fit, go for oversized, boyfriend or double-breasted styles.
Kohl – more is more when it comes to creating some gothic drama in the eyes department.
Lace – find the femme fatale's fabric of choice on dresses, blouses, bags, tights and even shoes. A word of warning: cheap lace may make you look like a Cher impersonator.
Matina Amanita jewellery – the Thai designer's collection of rings made from gold-plated silver and set with semi-precious stones and glass was inspired by the architecture of some of the world's greatest cities. Available from Matches (left from www.matches-fashion.com, £516).
Manbags – from animal-print totes at Prada for the daring, to quilted rucksacks by Raf Simons at Eastpak for the more practically inclined.
Nicholas Kirkwood – the creator of the season's most darkly glamorous shoes. Find them in Harvey Nichols new shoe department, opening September. He has also designed some exclusive pairs for Liberty's House of Heels.
Over-the-knee boots – Sixties sci-fi-inspired footwear, as seen at, among other designers, Halston and Sergio Rossi.
Peplums – while one hesitates to be so prosaic as to question the purpose/ place of this small skirt-like flounce in the modern world, it does emphasise the waist nicely, and assumed a new moulded architectural feel on the futuristic black dresses at Balenciaga. The peplum also popped up at Prada, and at Bottega Veneta at the base of some jackets.
Paisley – a key component of the new uptown-hippie look and a big menswear trend. Check out Oasis's collection of pieces featuring Liberty paisley (bottom left, £70, 01865 881 986) and other prints.
Queen – HRH's unwavering signature style and love of headscarves was an unlikely source of inspiration at D&G (below). For other alternative fashion icons, try Edward Scissorhands – so goth, so Gareth Pugh; and Supergran – could this pioneer of head-to-toe tartan actually be check-lover Henry Holland's secret muse? Oh, and Charlie Chaplin – note the bowler hats at Chanel, tailoring everywhere, and the fake moustache-as-bizarre-fashion-accessory that was spotted at this summer's festivals. Expect to see canes for spring-summer 2009.
Ribbons and bows – the catwalks were aflutter with more ribbons than a gymkhana pony dancing around a maypole. Luella adorned both bags and models' hair with trailing ribbons, while Lanvin featured giant costume jewels on ribbons as pendants.
Satchels – look! Hands free! The giant bag, aka the osteopath's bête noire, makes way for a more laid-back, Seventies alternative, such as Luella's version (£1,500, 020-7518 1830 left).
Trousers – be they of the peg, banana, or seven-eighths variety. But if you're worried that the cropped, voluminous style will give you the silhouette of a turnip, there is an easier option in the form of straight cords. Uniqlo's versions in numerous different coolours are smarter thanjeans and elongate the leg.
Undercuts – and unflattering haircuts generally – the pageboy/ Tudor bowl haircut has been gaining a disturbing momentum among male models and hipsters.
Vogue Fashion – your comprehensive guide to over 100 years of style, by decade and designer, published by Carlton, £20.
Wrinkles – Sass & Bide's ruched and crinkled "rat" leggings already have a waiting list of over 100 people at Browns Focus. Despite the unfortunate name.
Xanadu – "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure-dome decree" declared the invitation to John Galliano's autumn/winter collection. Silk dhoti trousers, sensual bias-cut Hollywood dresses, and absinthe-fuelled belle époque decadence offers an antidote to the austerity.
YSL – the subject of a new and timely retrospective by Hamish Bowles and Florence Müller, featuring over 160 pieces by the late, great French designer who gave the world Le Smoking and the Mondrian dress. Available in September, published by Abrams, £25.
Zips – essential detail for capturing that authentic, and anarchic punk look.