11 Breakout Trends from New York Fashion Week

I like to treat fashion month as a vision from the future. In America, New York Fashion Week is our main catalyst of clothing trends to come. At a glance, this year’s fall / winter NYFW may have seemed . . . subdued, perhaps even expected. But I disagree, and so do a lot of fashion critics, namely Anna Wintour, Vogue’s Editor in Chief.  

With over a hundred shows in the span of 7 days, fashion week is the most exciting and overwhelming time for a haute couture enthusiast. There’s no question that certain motifs made an appearance in multiple ways this season. 

Thanks to trickle-down, pieces that are hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars will be represented and reinterpreted by retailers with more affordable price tags. The fun part is watching the trends build in popularity as fall and winter get closer. Pay attention to fashion week, and you’ll always be one step ahead of the game.​

1. Keep it Natural

An awesome feature of this season? The clothes did the talking. Makeup and hair are no doubt part of the ensemble of any look, but we saw more natural hair texture and minimalist makeup styles than ever before.

2. Adornment for Days

Chandelier earrings, as well as oversized accessories, brought instant glamour to the runway. Shoulder-brushing earrings paired well with the simple hair many models were rocking and added an exciting element of sparkle.

3. High Necklines

This may seem like a no-brainer for cold weather, but there might be a larger meaning behind a high neckline. More fabric and less skin were seen pretty much across the board this year. Anna Wintour finds this trend empowering, saying in a video for Vogue “There’s definitely a sense of less exposure, and. . . going into battle.”

4. Coats

You get a coat! And you get a coat. COATS FOR EVERYBODY. No, seriously. There’s a coat for everybody. Whether colorful faux fur is your thing, or leather is more your speed, different patterns, textures, and cuts were designed by everyone from Tom Ford to Christian Siriano.

5. Tracksuits 

Kim Kardashian (and her many look-alikes) sported an array of minimalist tracksuit styles in paparazzi-esque photos promoting the Yeezy Season 6 collection. Other designers such as Alexander Wang, Pyer Moss, and Area included tracksuits and sweats in their lineups as well. Comfy couture? You can count me in.

6. Colors Galore

Last year we saw the dominance of Millennial Pink. This year we can say hello to golden yellows, bright reds, and layers of fuchsia. Washed-out shades of these colors were especially prominent in Ulla Johnson's collection. They're reminiscent of the ‘70s and ‘80s but are made totally fresh when paired with modern designs.

7. Prints

Animal print, plaid, and florals were among the most popular patterns seen across New York. In fact, it looks like animal print is making a huge comeback. Not in the Jersey Shore way, but more of a “I’m a haute couture queen” way.

8. Loose Fits

Oscar de la Renta and Tibi showed quite a few loose fitting pieces in their collections. Many other designers had the same idea, choosing movability and comfort over skin-tight garments. Don’t be fooled, these looks are still chic when paired with killer footwear and sophisticated makeup.

9. Working Woman

Powerful women, unite! We can see modernized ‘80s influence most notably in professional and workplace styles. Alexander Wang’s collection stole the spotlight by putting models in powerful silhouettes and bold colors that make any woman look and feel like a CEO.

10. Candy-Colored Legs

ROYGBIV didn’t stop at the waist. Colorful tights added a touch of playfulness to many ensembles from designers like Jeremy Scott, Adam Selman, and Saks Potts. The hues are more demure than the neon wave of the ‘80s, but still pop as a trend we haven’t seen for years in editorial fashion.

11. Diversity on the Runway

While diversity is anything but a trend, the most refreshing event during NYFW was seeing different kinds of models gracing us with their presence. Models of various body types, sizes, races, and genders worked the runway like they were born for it. And they were. Designers are slowly but surely moving away from the cookie-cutter look and into the domain of representation. Fingers crossed for more to come.

The nuanced boldness of the silhouettes from Fashion Week are meshing strength and femininity into one. There’s no doubt the ‘80s motifs that have taken over in the past year are here to stay, but it’s obvious we won’t be seeing the shoulder pads and teased hair of high fashion’s past. For modern women, long and strong coats, loose pants, and high necklines are paving the way for a comfortable yet powerful look.

In many respects, the use of bright colors and strong shapes is a reflection of the shift that’s happening in the film and fashion industries. Hundreds of women from entertainment backgrounds have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations. The demand for equal pay and respect in the workplace is spreading to empowered women everywhere. This amazing change has clearly sparked the creativity of many designers from NYFW. Onwards and upwards is the only direction to go, so why not look stylish while we do it?

All media sources are linked in the article.