Trend Hunting: NYFW Fall 2014
The run down of the stand-outs from New York Fashion Week
In the world of fashion they say three’s a trend, four’s a party, five’s a disco and six is a cult. Take that to mean whatever you want because we’re going on a journey and this is our sailboat. With that, we present the trends of New York City’s Fashion Week.
Where the plaids of seasons past erred on the side of traditional (stitched in quiet colors with a base of reds) Fall 2014’s look like they did a little bit of acid down on Sesame Street. They were fuzzy, colorful, unapologetically bright. In the case of Calla, Thakoon, Delpozo and especially Altuzarra, these checks were every bit as elegant as their more typical muted tartan counterparts, just a lot more fun.
If this stupid winter proves anything it’s that all anyone wants to do is schlub about in their apartments with down duvets wrapped around them, but since going outside is inevitable it seems robe coats are the next best solution. Christian Siriano brought a nubby, textured blanket to wearable life with green leather accents. Tory Burch and Victoria Beckham latched tailored wool to one side at the hip, while Richard Chai, Altuzarra and Peter Som turned comfort into coats with fabric belts, cinched at the waist to keep the cozy in.
Second Amendment Sweaters
A constant battle in my life is the stretched sweater sleeve. How is it that what was once a solid friendship between arm and fabric becomes, after just one wear, a drooping, bulbous annulment of love? It drives me INSANE. However, Fall’s runways have changed my mind, because sleeves at The Row, Dion Lee, DKNY and Sally LaPointe were oversized and overstretched (and some layered with fur). We now have the right to Bear Arms, which means American Apparel navy knit — you and I are no longer in a fight.
The Candy Kid tone was set at Rosie Assoulin, where a gorgeous white gown was wrapped in rainbowed velvet like a sticky sweet something labeled “Tutti-Frutti” as its flavor. Street-ready versions followed at Tibi, Ostwald Helgason, Thakoon and BCBG — slightly less bright but along the same taffy-colored vein, all of it a fresh departure from (yes, even I’m saying this) nautical navy stripes on white.
A Tree Grows In Fashion
Puppets may have taken over the lumberjack’s monopoly on plaid but trees, it seems, are now having their day. The patterns at Proenza Schouler were that of sliced wood — almost tiger like — as was one silver coat at Creatures of the Wind that leaned slightly more snakeskin than lumber. A wintry forrest was screen-printed on to pants at BCBG, but where Carolina Herrera was concerned, the bark is implied but won’t bite.
Brave New Length
Designers have been playing with hem lengths for a while. There was the crotch-grazing mini just a few seasons ago, then immediately after in direct opposition the calf-reaching bell skirts and board shorts that hit just below the knee. At Rosie Assoulin, Thom Browne, The Row, and Creatures we saw a new length for fall: hemlines will float at the very height we’ve grown so accustomed to rolling and cutting our pants up to.
Though most of their collections weren’t limited to black, white and grey, Karen Walker, MBMJ, Public School, Rag & Bone and Hood by Air all used the simple palette to make a bold statement about sartorial androgyny: the lines are blurred regarding who can or should wear what. The looks are sporty, urban and slightly futuristic — key players this Fall 2014 season.
Snug as a bug in 50 different rugs, layers were loaded on the Fall 2014 runway. Prabal Gurung wrapped up one model in red, practically covering her face so that perhaps she wouldn’t feel winter’s icy wind on her bare legs. Rodarte solved that very issue with a pair of thick wooly socks, but at Marc Jacobs, Victoria Beckham and Tibi, skirts and dresses were layered right over pants for zero chill but maximum cool.
The boots were tall but so much more than your basic black this season: they were faux-laced and strangely Victorian at Phillip Lim, in thigh high suede at Ralph Lauren, glossy chevron at Rebecca Minkoff, melting butter leather at Derek Lam and S&M equestrian at Alexander Wang.
Yearling of Shearling
Designers heard our wintry war cry and they said, “LET THERE BE FUZZ!” Thank you, Phillip Lim, Edun, Opening Ceremony and Altuzarra, for making us look like wonderfully chic teddy bears in a variety of colors come Fall 2014 rather than puffy nylon marshmallows dropped in ash.
Many creatures in the wild use the element of confusion to defend themselves against their predators and a similar tactic of illusion to attract their mates. (Like this crazy ass bird.) Let your palazzo pants (as seen at Delpozo, Karen Walker, Kaelen and Derek Lam) do the same. Your enemies won’t know if you’re wearing a skirt or gigantic trousers, and your potential dalliances will be entranced by the very same question.
Pinstripes and window pane plaid used to only have a home in the corporate workplace, but changing that this season are Phillip Lim, Jonathan Simkhai, Dion Lee, Nonoo and Rosie Assoulin. The print becomes less about board meetings and more about style when detailing is fabulously “off,” like phantom sleeves on what could have been a blazer, or a floating collar above a pristine coat dress. Lean in to that, Sheryl.
Figure Skating Sparkle
Sequins are the shit — any ice dancer can tell you that — but Russian ice is totally unnecessary should you feel the need to glitter like a walking disco ball. At Phillip Lim and Marc Jacobs there was no holding back, no question of, “Do you think we’ve gone too far?” because the answer regarding sparkle is always “More is more.” The sheen was more subtle in all black at Wes Gordon, and completely unique by way of a mustard skirted dress at Delpozo. SHINE, honey. Shine.
And with that, it’s a wrap for New York Fashion Week. Next up: London. See you tomorrow where we’ll sail to the other side of the pond.
Collages by Charlotte Fassler and Samantha Herzog