NEW YORK -- Another summer is wrapping up, so it must be time to start thinking about -- next summer. That was the philosophy of New York Fashion Week, which concluded last week after eight days of runway shows and presentations previewing the trends for spring and summer 2013.
Although many things remain the same, it's the surprise element that keeps fashion week interesting. This time, many designers outdid themselves with fashions that were not only bold but also different from the blitz of metallics, animal prints and neons that have paraded down the runway for the past few seasons. While some collections still featured them, they were accompanied by softer color palettes, salutes to solids, leathers, bare-some-bod cutouts and more. Designers also seemed to drink from the same inspiration pool this year, with many crediting nature and faraway lands (India, the French Riviera and Latin America, to name a few) as their muse.
The cross-section of celebrities spotted in the front row also seemed more diversified than in past seasons, when lesser-known reality stars tended to outnumber more recognizable actors, athletes and artists. While reality TV and Internet sensations still had their places on the invitation lists, so did Oscar de la Renta, Ivana and Ivanka Trump, Kirstie Alley, Martha Stewart, Ryan Lochte, Mandy Moore, Kelly Osbourne and Paula Abdul.
Street style at New York Fashion Week
Guests at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center explain their personal style. (Video by Sara Bauknecht; 9/18/2012)
Here are some of the trends you'll see in stores in a few months:
Monochromatic trumps multicolored: A switch from last spring and summer, clothes that incorporated color-blocking took a backseat to fashions that focused on a single hue from head to toe. For a dab of visual variety, some looks paired a top that was a shade lighter or darker than the ensemble's pants, skirt or jacket.
Pattern palooza: Designers have been challenging their creativity with unique patterns for a few seasons now. Next year, they continue with everything from faces and flowers to watercolor prints and even rosy ginkgo tree leaves. Meanwhile, geometric standbys, like stripes, were envisioned in fresh ways. Some outfits combined multiple prints.
Spring-like colors: Colors are a bit more subdued next season. Rather than electrifying oranges and shocking pinks, regulars on the runways included soft-yet-bold corals, buttercup yellows, lilacs, lime and mint greens and some lingering traces of tangerine, the 2012 Pantone color of the year. For fans of the neon explosion that dominated stores this summer, brights are still here. All-over neon may be out, but neon shoes and accessories are now the go-to way to give softer looks a jolt of personality.
Futuristic fashions: Figure-fitting silver, gold and teal fabrics with some sheen gave apparel a space-age feel. A few designers amped up the ambience with astronaut-like headgear and techy eyewear.
Show some skin: There will be plenty of opportunities to expose sun-kissed skin, thanks to midriff-baring bralet tops and dresses with peek-a-boo cutouts.
Brights vs. darks: Black and navy are courting pastels and brights within a single look. Sometimes, the contrast was achieved by mixing eye-popping pants with a black top and wedges. Other times it was executed by adding embellishments and patterns in deeper hues to predominantly light-colored apparel for a dose of drama and edge.
Sporty silhouettes: It's the best of both worlds -- clothes that are close-fitting enough to flatter the figure, yet roomy enough to be breathable and comfortable for summer. The product: a look that's chic and relaxed.
Leather lovin': Sometimes, it was easy to forget which season a collection was for because of all the leather pieces designers turned out. But they styled them for the warmer months in a spectrum of colors and selections, such as moto jackets, lasercut maxis and bodycon dresses.
Sara Bauknecht: firstname.lastname@example.org. First Published September 18, 2012 4:00 AM