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COS’ latest collection offered up 90s minimalism with a twist

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The fashion brand took over London’s Roundhouse for its AW21 show at LFW

Combining bold and innovative silhouettes with a sustainable outlook, this season’s COS show was a spectacle of colour and textures. Taking place at London’s historic Roundhouse, and set against an atmospheric backdrop of draped fabrics and projections, the event marked the brand’s London Fashion Week debut. It brought together artistic portraiture and moving images, digitally live streamed on YouTube and the COS website. 

With models including activist Janaya Future Khan, actor Jodie Turner-Smith, and supermodel Raquel Zimmermann, the collection embodied the brand’s timeless signature aesthetic – but with a twist. Made from repurposed and organic materials, iconic garments were elevated and redefined for an intentional and long lasting wardrobe. Here’s what went down.

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THERE WAS PLENTY OF COLOUR

This season’s colour palette is a masterclass in tonal dressing. Think: fresh neutrals paired with rich, autumnal shades; winter whites, camel, and stone juxtaposed with vibrant yellows and royal blues. Heritage prints such as checks, stripes, and houndstooth were also given a fresh twist, with tactile fabrics and textured yarns for that classy flare.

RELAXED, OVERSIZED, AND LAYERED

There was a distinctly retro feel to the womenswear this season. Enlarged collars and lapels were paired with rounded sleeves and geometric prints, while 90s-inspired minimalism inserted some executive realness to the sharp tailoring and pinstripes on show. The knitwear was equally striking: Heavily weighted yarns were combined with sweeping statement necklines, creating a sense of structure and tactility.

SUSTAINABILITY WAS KEY

Long gone are the days of wearing a piece of clothing only to throw it away the following season. With a distinct focus on sustainability, the collection was crafted from responsibly sourced fabrics and recycled and repurposed fibres. What’s more, the garments are adjustable, meaning that the pieces can be customised in an array of shapes and styles. The possibilities are endless!

THE MENSWEAR HAD A UTILITARIAN SPIN

Laidback and effortless was the mantra for this season’s menswear, as models strided down the runway in minimalist garms that took cues from classic streetwear. Inspired by 1970s jacquard and landscapes, earthy shades were combined with pared-back essentials and denim for an understated, relaxed look.

THE ACCESSORIES MADE A STATEMENT

Leather handbags featured striking structures engineered to origami-like precision. Blown up to oversized proportions, they had statement-making thick straps and elegant tones of browns, blacks, creams, and deep reds. A standout was an electric yellow faux fur clutch, which injected a burst of colour to the pared-down feel of the garments on show. Elsewhere, chunky brogues and high shaft boots demonstrated an elevated take on modern classics. The perfect essentials for a capsule wardrobe.