New York Fashion Week may have ended last Friday, but the fall 2007 trends are just beginning to come into focus. Here, the top trends we can look forward to, sartorially speaking, come September (which will, of course, continue to evolve as the shows get underway in London, Milan and Paris).
AN ARCHITECTURAL MOMENT
Architecture was the buzzword at many New York collections, including Shelly Steffee (who was inspired by Zaha Hadid), Yeohlee (whose jumping-off point was Antoni Gaudi), Diane von Furstenberg (ditto), Derek Lam (the Frank Gehry building on NYC's West Side Highway), Monique Lhuillier (Gehry's Disney Concert Hall) and Y & Kei (Melbourne's Federation Square building). Naum, SANS, Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa and Carmen Marc Valvo also showed architectural-themed collections. In practical terms, this translated to structurally innovative shapes (Steffee, Yeohlee, SANS, Klein) and body-conscious seaming details (Lam, Naum, Y & Kei, Valvo).
ZIP IT, SISTER!
This season will have women the world over crying "Zip it good!" Far from being an '80s punk rock cliché, the thick exposed metal zippers that turned up at Rachel Roy, Derek Lam, Tom Scott, Vera Wang, Abaete, Behnaz Sarafpour, Ports 1961 and Zero Maria Cornejo felt more Right Now than New Wave.
PUSSY (BOWS) GALORE
Me-ow. Feminine pussy bow blouses strutted down the runway at Betsey Johnson, Tuleh, Charles Nolan and 3.1 Phillip Lim, putting one in mind of Maggie Gyllenhaal's oh-so-sexy Secretary. At VPL, designer Victoria Bartlett riffed on the theme by slinging contrasting neckties around the model's tops and tees, offering a cool downtown take on the trend. 'Tis is the season to tie one on, ladies.
Gold and silver separates - lamé and embroidered, shiny and matte - brightened the mood at Vera Wang, Tracy Reese, Phillip Lim, Ralph Lauren, Diane von Furstenberg and Oscar de la Renta, among others. Thakoon did a lovely silver devore dress, Badgley Mischka sent out a red carpet worthy silver-sequined charmeuse gown, Luca Luca showed tinfoil-bright silver leggings, Shelly Steffee offered silver mesh-striped leggings and gold-bead hot pants, and Erin Fetherston offered a girlie-girl take on multiple silver jumpers. Meanwhile, Marchesa, Rodarte and Ralph Lauren ushered in a gold rush, in the form of a slinky lamé cocktail dress, ruffle-hipped party frock and a belted gold leather safari jacket, respectively.
THE SCHOOLGIRL JUMPER GROWS UP
Offering a cool new twist on traditional office attire, simple, short-sleeved wool jumpers were worn over contrast color long-sleeved blouses to great effortless-chic effect at Phillip Lim, Vera Wang Lavender Label, Temperley London, Anne Klein, J. Mendel, Lela Rose, Tommy Hilfiger, Yigal Azrouel and Tory Burch.
THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING (WITH POIRET HOT ON THEIR HEELS)
Mother Russia was the main message at Vera Wang, Yigal Azrouel and Temperley London, while couturier Paul Poiret - the subject of this spring's Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibit - was cited as the inspiration for many New York designers, including Thakoon, Proenza Schouler and Vivienne Tam.
ONE FUR ALL AND ALL FUR ONE
Sorry, PETA. The fur is going to fly in unlikely ways this fall, judging by the New York runways. At Carolina Herrera, there were louche fox-trimmed cardigans and knit-edged scarves with built-in handwarmer pockets, while Chado Ralph Rucci sent out a luxe chinchilla "spiral" bolero and Oscar de la Renta married two of fall's big trends - fur and patent leather - with his brown patent jacket with wolverine trim, and he upped the glamour ante even further by punctuating a fuschia brocade sheath with a wolverine hem. Fur also made a major statement at Tuleh in the form of a spotted fur-lined blue blazer with gold buttons, Michael Kors (floppy fur hats and fox "sweaters"), J. Mendel (furry dresses), Max Azria (a sleeveless fur pullover) and Dennis Basso (ruffled-fur blousons, and tops and handbags trimmed with fur pompoms). Even jersey girl Doo.Ri got in on the action this season with a smattering of fur pieces. Thakoon and Catherine Malandrino bucked the fur trend in favor of entrance-making feathered frocks, while Kai Kuhne sent out both feathered gowns and cropped fur hoodies at his Myself presentation.
Patent leather encircled the waist of a bathrobe coat at Richard Chai, turned up on red bow-ties at Phillip Lim, trimmed a Mod tweed sheath at Tracy Reese, and was fashioned into skintight black leggings at Daryl K and slick black curve caressing coats and dresses at Abaete, and made into a reflective blue dress at Alexandre Herchcovitch. The shiny stuff also appeared in the collections of Oscar de la Renta, Yigal Azrouel, DKNY and Marc by Marc Jacobs.
THEY GLOVE YOU LONG TIME
Who needs sleeves? Elbow-length-and-beyond opera gloves - in all manner of leather, satin and cozy cashmere - warmed otherwise bare limbs at Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Doo.Ri, Gemma Kahng, Tom Scott, Narciso Rodriguez, TSE, Rag & Bone, Anne Klein, Zac Posen, Ports 1961 and Rodarte. Think of it as the fashion world's version of the right to bare arms.
CHECK IT OUT
New York designers went mad for plaid this season. The checked pattern turned up in a big way at Carolina Herrera (floor-sweeping skirts), Betsey Johnson (a '50s-syle topper), Charles Nolan (houndstooth jackets and clutch coats), Tommy Hilfiger (slim trousers) Michael Kors (a fur-trimmed parka), Max Azria (a slouchy bathrobe coat), Marc by Marc Jacobs (baggy cropped trousers), Lacoste (a belted, fringed serape) and Alice Roi (a slim windowpane reefer). Isabel Toledo showed a big-checked topper over smaller-checked pants in her debut collection for Anne Klein, Brian Reyes offered a cute plaid wool button-front anorak-vest, and Phillip Lim took the trend to new heights with a too-cool-for-school oversized red buffalo check carryall he cleverly dubbed "the editor's bag." Yes, please!
BLACK AND WHITE AND GRAY ALL OVER
Black, white, gray and greige were the big news (or, rather, non-news) at the New York collections, with most designers sticking to a rather somber color story for fall with a smattering of jewel tones - lush burgundy, teal, evergreen and purple - thrown into the mix. This starkly graphic ebony/ivory/charcoal palette was relieved by a judicious sprinkling of two primary colors: taxicab yellow (at Kors, Doo.Ri, Isaac Mizrahi, Phillip Lim, DKNY, Cynthia Rowley, Vera Wang, Chaiken, Charles Nolan, Ports 1961, SANS and Donna Karan) and bright lipstick red (Anne Klein, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Bill Blass, Diane von Furstenberg, Gemma Kahng, Chris Benz, Tory Burch, Karen Walker, L'Wren Scott, Lela Rose, Y-3, Naum and Zang Toi). Color me beautiful, indeed.
Photos © Gg/The Bigger Picture Pictures. For additional, larger images from these shows, click here