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8 Trends I Picked Up from This Year’s Fall/Winter Fashion Week

This year, you and Anna Wintour watched New York Fashion Week from the same place: the living room couch. Fashion Week is beginning to feel all too familiar to 12 months ago. 

Brands like Prabal Gurung and Zimmermann revealed outfits of optimism, hinting that our pre-COVID wardrobe may re-enter the world once more. White polka-dotted gowns, floral prints and flared jeans all flashed the runway. Neck scarves, lace detailing and oversized accessories were also featured. I predict these eight trends will become permanent staples in your wardrobe this year — even if you’re just WFH.

Peek-a-boo lace 

Black lace wrapped around the waist and clung to model Paloma Elsesser’s shoulders in Gabriela Hearst’s ready-to-wear collection. White lace blouses hid under tweed dresses and embellished blazers in Anna Sui’s collection. In the Chanel spring couture collection, creative director Virginie Viard paired a delicate white blouse with flower-embroidered cuffs as the opening look. Like a grapevine, lace continues to find itself in the crevices and crannies of fashion year after year. 

The 2020 CFDA womenswear winner Gabriela Hearst incorporated lace throughout her collection along with knitted or quilted fabrics. Lace sneaks easily into any wardrobe with the use of black bralettes or racerback lace tanks. From there, the pairings are endless: wide-legged khaki pants, silk knee-length skirts, psychedelic purple sweatpants and tie-dye denim shorts. Long live lace.

Single-button suits

Your blazers and button-downs are probably pondering what life is like outside your closet. In the Proenza Schouler collection, designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez presented the division between staying home and the hope they express for the future of the elevated wardrobe. Ella Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter, walked the runway in single-button coats and sweaters all while wearing teddy bear slides — a nod to the quarantine wardrobe. You can still wear your business attire and keep it casual; here’s a blazer from Zara to get you started. Just make sure to lose a button or two — or three. 

Flower power

Let your clothes become coloring books: squiggle outside the lines, paint in electric blues and outline with acid greens. In Collina Strada’s collection, designer Hillary Taymour did not shy away from unapologetic color palettes as well as elements of nature (models literally shape-shifted into raccoons and amphibians). Zimmermann also incorporated a beautiful arrangement of floral prints on mini-dresses and flouncy, full-length gowns. Don’t wait for the weather to warm: throw on a floral-printed turtleneck or jeans with sunflower-painted pockets, and live your flower power fantasy!

Beaded jewelry

It’s all in the details. The Fendi couture show featured dramatic earrings that resembled rays of sunshine. In the Zimmermann fall collection, Nicky Zimmermann decorated belts and earrings in dancing pink and gold jewels. Some beads hung from the trim of sunshine yellow minidresses or fell like teardrops from the model’s collar. Just in time for Zoom dinner dates and virtual job interviews, the chunky statement necklace of the 2010s is back! Style yours with studded earrings or a simple bracelet in blood orange or fuschia.

Wide-rim shades

It’s time to donate your Ray Ban aviators. They’ve served you well, but blocky, wide-rim sunnies have entered the chat. The fashion universe is hinting for bigger and bolder specs. If we’ve learned anything from Elton John’s heart-shaped rose-tinted shades, we know that changing up your sunglasses is well worth it. As witnessed during the Zimmermann show, bug-eyed spectacles in pink marble patterns are a must-have accessory for any ’70s gal or pal at heart. 

Pillow bags

I want to be the one to call it: our handbags used mercilessly to lug around bubblegum glosses, Claire’s keychains and Starbucks gift cards will become the next home accessory. Yes, the Coach Pillow Tabby Bag will be an actual pillow. Yes, I will be adding it to my six existing throw pillows. No, I do not have a problem. While the pillow carried by the likes of JLo, Camila Morrone and Quincy Brown are not for sale yet, it continues to live vicariously in my dreams. 

Cow-print everything

My Neon Cowboys phone case arrived in the mail this week, and since then I’ve wanted to moo-ify my closet. (If you’re interested in more Black-owned brands like Neon Cowboys, here’s five more.) Anna Sui’s fall collection featured cow fur coats, bucket hats and jumpers in fleece-like fabrics. Snake print and cheetah print are now bland flavors on my tongue. The next time I go shopping for a party dress, it’ll have the black and white patches unique to these gentle, grazing beasts. 

Cow print provides the freshness that animal prints in fashion need — all while shifting closer to vegan fabrics and faux furs. 

Neckties

From sleek black neckties at the Victoria Beckham show to silky printed handkerchiefs at the Ulla Johnson and Zimmermann shows, each necktie added a necessary touch to the model’s look. When styling this look, you can pick a handkerchief that matches your shirt or a bold, intricate pattern for contrast, like this one from Madewell. Neckties can also be layered on top of face masks to add a fashionable twist.

This list barely scrapes the style iceberg. With the rules of Fashion Week thrown out the window, there are so many trends still to explore. Happy styling!

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Kalia is currently a journalism major at the University of Florida. She loves getting involved in all things fashion, jamming out to house music beats and traveling to new places. She is currently an active member of the Black Student Union and spends her leisure reading, sketching and working out. You can keep up with all the things she's involved in through Instagram @k.a.li.a.
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