Kaleidoscopes of colour, return of the shopping bag and more trends from London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018

Traditionally the most conservative on the fashion calendar, this year, maybe the most surprising!

Traditionally the most conservative on the fashion calendar, this year, maybe the most surprising!

(Credit: via Instagram, left: @thelittleang/The Little Ang AW18, centre: @arlette_gold/Ashish AW18, right: @ashleywilliamslondon/Ashley Williams AW18)

London Fashion Week comes hot on the heels of New York and Toronto and just ahead of Milan and Paris – but the designer's showing at the UK capital's biannual fashion showcase set their own rules for the next season. London Fashion Week is traditionally the most conservative on the fashion calendar, which is why the big trend takeaways from the shows for fall are so surprising! From the bold rainbow colours at Christopher Bailey's last Burberry show to the return of the fashion industry's favourite era, take note of these key fall/winter 2018 trends straight from the runway in London.

All the colours of the rainbow

Perhaps the most anticipated collection of London's five-day fashion extravaganza, Christopher Bailey's farewell to Burberry brought a serious splash of colour to the runway. Bailey's final Burberry collection was a celebration of LGBTQ youth, with the brand's iconic plaid reimagined to incorporate the rainbow flag. Rainbow plaid could be spotted on everything from puffer jackets to baseball caps, while supermodel Cara Delevingne's (making her triumphant return to the fashion scene) rainbow faux-fur cape provided a perfect, oh-so-dramatic finale.

"I wanted it to be a reflection of Burberry's past, our present but also my great excitement to see what the future holds for Burberry," Bailey said backstage.

Greek-born, London-based designer Mary Katrantzou offered kaleidoscopic sweeps of colour on her runway as she is known to do. The woman that's made pattern part of her fashion identity exceeded expectations with graphic pops of colour in pastels and beyond for fall.

At Jonathan Anderson's fall/winter 2018 runway show for his J.W. Anderson collection, the runway was also filled with colours, most notably: multi-coloured neon vinyl Converse shoes.

Delhi-born designer Ashish Gupta transformed his runway into a seventies-inspired disco with his signature multi-colour dresses, while designer Jasper Conran showed an elegant collection filled with bright, monochromatic looks for the upcoming fall season.

The luxury shopping bag returns

Supermarket shopping bags have always served as marketing opportunities, so why should we be surprised when luxury designers send overpriced shopping bags down the runway? Case in point: when Balenciaga did its own take on Ikea's bargain Frakta bag the Internet went wild. So, why not do it again...

Leading the pack: Christopher Bailey's highly anticipated Burberry show featured supermarket-style, plastic Burberry-branded shopping bags down the runway.

Other bargain basement-inspired totes spotted on the runway? Ashish Gupta sent models down the runway clutching plastic carrier bags, while models walking Richard Malone's runway carried netted market bags. Fittingly, the young Irish designer told reporters his second show inspired by the markets in his hometown of Wexford.

Sequins, shoulders and even more nods to the '80s… again

Some might say no era's style is as equally loved and hated as the '80s. The last couple of seasons have seen an '80s revival with the resurgence of high-octane glamour, and lots of glitter and sequins. The fall/winter 2018 collections presented at London's Fashion Week continued the trend.

Models walked Ashley Williams' runway sporting some serious Day-Glo makeup and poodle curls wearing everything and anything '80s-inspired. Think: high-waist cotton dresses, ra-ra skirts, ponchos, cycling shorts and neon patchwork fleece.

For Michael Halpern's fall/winter 2018 collection, models strutted the runway wearing an '80s fave: sequinned everything!

Molly Goddard's fall/winter 2018 collection also nodded to the over-the-top glamour of the decade. Set inside a giant kitchen where models swilled red wine after each turn on the runway, Goddard's collection featured puffball mini-dresses, long-tiered "ra-ra" skirts and graphic tights. Elsewhere, Gareth Pugh featured another '80s staple: larger-than-life shoulders.

Christopher Turner is a Toronto-based writer, editor and lifelong fashionisto with a passion for pop culture and sneakers. Follow him on social media at @Turnstylin.