statement tee by Alice + Olivia.
YORK — What’s unfolding in the world is reflected
and refracted in all sorts of ways.
New York Fashion Week, which wrapped last month, trends
for next spring and summer (and a sampling of things for
this fall) were a melange of philosophical ponderings,
activism manifested as apparel and, sometimes, just
striking clothes with no other purpose than to swoon
shoppers into falling in love with fashion all over
again. Meanwhile, the industry’s who’s who continue
to pontificate about what New York Fashion Week should
look like these days: Is it a stripped-down runway show?
A flashy presentation? A marathon of both scattered
across the city? For now, who knows, but these lingering
questions (mostly) didn’t distract too much from
soaking up designers’ latest offerings.
a roundup of some of the top trends from the week to be
on the lookout for in the coming months …
American dream, deconstructed: What happens to a dream
deferred? This season, it turned into lots of
collections with a potent message. At Calvin Klein,
chief creative officer Raf Simons blended "American
horror" with "American beauty" for a
read-between-the-lines commentary on the country’s
political climate (including cotton nighties done in
prints from Andy Warhol’s "Death and
Disaster" series). Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow
and Maxwell Osborne highlighted the ebb and flow of
cultural identities in places like New York City. The
phrase "Come Again," splashed across the seat
of trousers and backs of jackets, drove home the brand’s
and glitz: Designers pulled out all of the stops for
spring when it comes to showcasing the interplay between
fashion and art. Intricate bead work, garments dripping
in sequins and metallic touches made for a dazzling
display of pieces (almost!) too pretty to wear.
power: Rally cries of female empowerment were alive and
well on the runway. While some were in your face (like
Namilia’s pearl-adorned vagina suits and shoes),
others were celebrations of the complexities of
femininity, including Alice + Olivia’s feminist-themed
presentation that reimagined New York’s Chelsea Hotel
as a hub for female contemporary artists as its
pop: Shake off the winter doldrums next spring with
vivid pick-me-up colors — orange, deep lime green,
electric pink and sunshiny yellows were particularly
popular, often worn from head to toe. On the contrary,
so were romantic pastels (powder blue, blush and mint,
for example). These softer shades added balance to some
collections and, overall, to the season.
in bloom: Florals? For spring? Nothing groundbreaking
there, as fashion editrix Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep)
reminds us in the 2006 film "Devil Wears Prada."
But bouquets of full blooms bursting forth in collection
after collection were a welcome complement to some of
the more serious political and social statements made by
locks and dewy skin: When it came to hair and makeup,
less was more. Models’ loose waves, sometimes
partially pulled back, bounced as they sashayed down the
runway, peppered by the occasional slicked-back pony or
a no-fuss chignon with a strong center part. In most
cases, bold makeup was kept to a minimum. When stylists
did choose to pump up a look, they did it with a dab of
bright shadow in the corner of the eyes or a colored
eyeliner applied in a deconstructed way to just part of
the upper or lower lids.
to watch: hair accessories, with an emphasis on thick
fabric headbands with a boho-chic sensibility.
now/buy now: Some brands (Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic
and Canadian plus-size brand Addition Elle, to name a
few) are still experimenting with a runway-to-retail
concept, in hopes of translating the bump in exposure
during New York Fashion Week into sales. However, after
about three seasons of hyping this shift as the future
of retail (and Fashion Week), interest in sending
in-season pieces down the runway seems to be declining,
with the likes of Tom Ford returning to the
long-standing tradition of previewing collections about
six months in advance.