Earlier this month, VAMFF kicked off in high spirits despite the news of the coronavirus arriving on Australian shores. But by the end of the second week, runway events were cancelled amid government calls to avoid public gatherings.

In terms of street style, we saw a lot of laid-back layering and separates, often with an effortless trench thrown over the top. Tonal dressing remained strong on the runway, with colour pops in lavender and soft greens such as mint and sage. Earthy caramels were common, too.

We spoke to street-style photographer Danielle Castano, stylist Jade Leung, Arnsdorf founder Jade Sarita Arnott, and this year’s VAMFF National Designer Award winner and Esse Studios founder Charlotte Hicks to get their takes on this year’s coming trends for autumn/winter.

What street-style trends did you see this year?

Jade Leung: Blazers and suiting in all cuts, prints and colours. It's beautiful seeing trends move away from lazy streetwear toward more colourful, feminine fabrics. See Romance Was Born, and tailoring via Camilla and Marc.

Danielle Castano: It seems there’s been a return to the moderate heel, and with it a slightly more ‘dressed-up’ look. Where sneakers and athleisure have ruled for seasons now, this year I noticed far less of this, and more of a simple, but neatly put together dressed up look. Like this one worn by founder of street-style blog Chronicles of Her, Carmen Hamilton.

Jade Sarita Arnott: This year we saw suiting and tailoring remain a strong theme, as well as a fluidness to fabrics and styles, like our relaxed suit trouser. Neutral and monochromatic styling was also strong.

Charlotte Hicks: Trends are always a hard topic for me and Esse. Our ethos is so much about avoiding trends. [We] should be about investing in timeless pieces that last. That being said, understanding the ‘mood of the moment’ … is so important. The trick is finding that balance.

Which trends from last season should we retire in 2020?

Jade Leung: I think we can finally retire that Balenciaga sock sneaker!

Danielle Castano: Chunky sneakers. Although I think these do live on with millennials still.

Jade Sarita Arnott:** There seems to be a move away from athleisure, and people are generally dressing up more.

Charlotte Hicks: Try not to buy things you think you’ll retire in a year – and if you do, find ways to reinvigorate them. Sure, you might invest in things you might only wear on special occasions or bring out to enjoy every now and again. But make sure they’re extra special, beautiful, even art forms themselves. And most importantly, that they’re made to last. I always think about the clothes I might like to pass onto a daughter one day.

If 2019 was all about streetwear and logos, what's 2020 going to be defined by?

Jade Leung: 2020 will hopefully see the end of heavily branded everything and will see us dress with more consideration to shape and tailoring. The trench and other amazing outerwear pieces will take centre stage this year. Oroton's presentation of colour-blocked looks, with a few takes on the classic trench, was a delight. Special mention must also go to Viktoria & Woods.

Danielle Castano: 2020 will be all about sustainable approaches to basics, and a more logical and pared-back approach to dressing. Think trench coats over shirts and jeans. Nothing ground-breaking, just good, easy-to-wear forever pieces that don’t seem excessive. Think Scanlan Theodore staples (tailored pants and shirts), Ena Pelly recycled faux furs, and Dion Lee for one-off statement pieces.

Jade Sarita Arnott: We’re facing such unprecedented times at the moment. With most people around the world working from home, I think we’ll see a rise in loungewear and pieces that are comfortable to wear in a new, more relaxed working environment. But at the same time, there’ll be a swing the other way with a desire to dress up and use clothing as a way to cheer ourselves up, express ourselves, and communicate through social media.

Colour can also play an important role in how you feel. At the moment, lemon or pale blue really helps raise my energy and vibration. But be guided by your own intuitive response to different colours. I find this most effective when you dress from head to toe in the same colour or tone.

Charlotte Hicks: 2020 is going to be a trend towards avoiding trends! I think it’s going to be about less is more, investing once and investing right. I think everyone is about to become a whole lot less frivolous about the way they shop. That is going to affect trends in a big way.

Which pieces and styles are overdone right now?

Jade Leung: The puffy sleeve can be put to rest after being given a very long, tiring run over the last few years. We can replace it with more slinky, soft fabrications. Manning Cartell gave us a modern take on the event dress this season with carefully draped, one-shouldered dresses.

Danielle Castano: Teeny tiny, useless bags that don’t fit anything. I’m talking to you, Jacquemus. No one has the time or money for useless stuff like this.

Jade Sarita Arnott: People should stick to styles that suit them and that they feel their best in. This is the quickest way to develop your own personal sense of style that transcends trends.

What’s one key piece you have to have in your wardrobe right now?

Jade Leung: I’m focusing on adding more leather, and a trench. And a leather trench! As always, Scanlan Theodore offered some stunning looks from head to toe in leather. Knee-high boots were also a wonderful key trend. Strateas Carlucci also presented some stunning leather pieces.

Danielle Castano: A beige, oversized men’s-style blazer. I got mine at Zara, but the Frankie Shop have some great options.

Jade Sarita Arnott: We’re heading toward wardrobe pieces that have a modern, contemporary feel. Pieces that play with proportions and detailing that reworks classic styles.

Charlotte Hicks: I have our Black Jersey Blazer on the back of my chair every day. Masculine, refined but relaxed. It’s easy and comfortable, and trans-seasonal with this crazy ever-changing weather, too.

Which local labels hit the nail on the head this year?

Jade Leung: Strateas Carlucci was a stand-out for me as usual. Always the perfect balance of great fabrics and classic pieces made for longevity, but with a modern twist. I also loved Viktoria & Woods, with their colour-toned, layering pieces.

Danielle Castano: I think Viktoria & Woods always do a great job of injecting a bit of trend into their core range. This year their silhouettes are great.

Charlotte Hicks: I love what Mndatory are doing for men (although I have my eye on some things for myself like this puffer jacket). Also Arnsdorf – always beautiful right down to its soul.