Even though London, Milan and the penultimate Paris often provide more prolific intel into the immediate future of fashion, one thing you can always expect from New York Fashion Week is an extensive lay of the land. The groundwork that will foretell the nuances of future seasons, if you will.
After all, without this city – our City – how would we know to keep an eye on bright lipstick, or low slung Bermuda shorts and pants, fringe details and fabric chokers? The simple answer is, we wouldn’t.
Arguably more interesting this season, though, is that in spite of a few recycled-but-new trends of note, most of what was sent down the runways appeared more like a continuation of past seasons than it did the surge of a brand new one. This is, of course, good and bad.
Good because for the first time in a long time, the clothes are perhaps unwittingly submitting that you don’t need to participate in every single season in some tangible capacity in order to adopt the gist. The subsequent assumption there is that the clothes are about the pure fun and artfulness of fashion rather than the consumption factor. It may be rendered bad, though, because at the start of every season, when the inevitable question – what are you expecting? – is asked, our answer is always, the unexpected.
We’re eager to make due with the hand we’ve been dealt though, so let’s swim on.
While hints of fringe have been imbued in the likes of Saint Laurent’s previous collections, no where has it been as salient as it was at the Spring/Summer 2014 New York shows. While Altuzarra showed it cascading down his model’s chest line in the prototypically Western suede, Calvin Klein, Tibi, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Marc Jacobs opted to use softer, lighter weight fabrics to create movement in their garments. What seems most interesting here in that in suffusing the trend into these collections, their outcomes are fundamentally different from one another – Calvin Klein’s fringe calls to mind an elderly woman’s astute knitting pursuits while as previously mentioned, Marc Jacobs is all about the ornamental throw pillow.
And with those throw pillows come visibly rounded shoulders which, uh, made their rounds during this past season as well. Photographed here you’ll find examples from Proenza Schouler in soft beige, Michael Kors in a tougher cognac-colored leather, Prabal Gurung in electric blue knit, Delpozo, with its sheer paneling and ethereal aura and Victoria Beckham, whose version looks slightly more like an oversize mens coat than it does a cocoon.
At Sass & Bide, The Row, Theyskens’ Theory, Richard Chai and Steven Alan, a nod to skirts worn over pants called back to mind the previous Fall/Winter collection of Dries van Noten, in stores now and continuing to endorse the combination of not a short, flared peplum-style skirt with pants but rather the more recently popular straight mid-length version.
In another nod to what is new but only in that it’s taken inspiration from the previous seasons, the thick metal chokers of collections’ past are now back and appearing as Isabelle Duncan style fabric choker-cum-neckerchiefs which actually bear a more nostalgiv semblance to The Girl with The Red Ribbon. (When she takes it off, her head falls off). Photographed here: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Creatures of The Wind, Ostwald Helgason, Cushnie et Ochs, Prabal Gurung and Tracy Reese.
Meanwhile, where color is concerned, Prabal Gurung, Misha Nonoo, Wes Gordon, Phillip Lim and Rag & Bone put one foot forward in favor of lavender – a nice segue from the additional pastel colors now emblematic of the fashion-sphere but far enough to hold its own beyond the obvious pale pink, blue and green.
In news that will be terrific to relay to the shoesmiths at Birkenstock and the wearers at Fashion Week, for the first time in a long time, several shows this season provided a slew of models wearing flats and only flats. And beautifully ugly ones at that. Photographed here are the iterations from Marc Jacobs, Phillip Lim, Creatures of The Wind, Band of Outsiders and Oscar de la Renta.
We reckon they’d pair terrifically (send ‘dem men running!) with the low slung, California-inspired board shorts of the season care of Phillip Lim, Marc Jacobs, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger and Suno.
Those low slung shorts are different from culottes, though, which were also a trend near and far at Tibi, Alexander Wang, Creatures of The Wind, Adam Lippes and Proenza Schouler. Remember that love letter Amelia wrote to exposed ankles just before the initiation of fashion week? Yeah.
Another trend we really enjoyed watching come to fruition was that of the deep, deep v-necks, reversible and not, indigenous to Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, Reed Krakoff, Ralph Lauren and Rodarte. While we wholly understand this is a trend meant only for the most meagerly endowed chests, it’s exciting to see a non-sexual or promiscuous nod to bearing a body part that is becoming increasingly less taboo.
And while we’re talking nonsexual promiscuity, how about all the sheer paneling at Phillip Lim, Calvin Klein, Helmut Lang, Lacoste and Victoria Beckham? If last season was “all about” the exposed midriff, this one wants to scale back just a morsel of a bit and offer a measly veil of concealment.
…Kind of. If ever there was proof that My So Called Life is still as important today as it was during its initial heyday, it has got to be fashion’s relentless strive to keep the 90s alive. The decade has once again proved once that it’s not ready to depart, which for us, is a point of victory considering our recent investment in a fresh crop of, yes, crop tops and plaid shirts to wear around our waists. Photographed here, modicums from DKNY, Alexander Wang, Rodarte, Rag & Bone, Narciso Rodriguez and Jen Kao.
And on that note, it should make sense that the future of that trend might manifest as a series of slip dresses and negligees, which were featured at Thakoon, Theyskens’ Theory, Wes Gordon, Steven Alan and Marchesa. Now I don’t know about you, but I can totally get behind actually rolling out of bed in a night gown, lacing up my dirtiest white sneakers and walking out the door.
Finally I feel regretful to confirm that Cara Delevingne was not among the most roaring trends last week. Luckily for next week’s round up, she and her dashing eyebrows are everywhere in London. And with that, I drop the mic.
Collages by Charlotte Fassler & Samantha Herzog