New York Fashion Week trend report: What's fresh for fall 2017 (and right now)
February 20, 2017 12:00 AM
Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press
Models wear looks by Oscar de la Renta and Monse. Both collections were shown separately on the same runway until the finale.
Courtesy of the designer
Alice & Olivia
Courtesy of J.Crew
Dan & Corina Lecca
Proceeds from the "People are People" shirt featured in the Christian Siriano runway show will be donated to the ACLU.
Courtesy of Tracy Reese
See now/buy now: Pieces from the latest Ralph Lauren collection are available now. This was the brand's second shoppable runway collection.
By Sara Bauknecht / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
NEW YORK -— Does art imitate life? The question has been discussed for centuries, but at the New York Fashion Week that wrapped last Thursday, the parallels between reality and the runway were undeniable.
Most of what we saw were fashions for next fall and winter (with a few see now/buy now options), but it wasn’t merely clothes and shows for the sake of spectacle. Collections were often charged with a greater purpose — to inspire, protest, entertain or remind us that fashion is art and art mirrors life.
Sure, there were celebrity sightings and gaggles of photographers chronicling street style, but the clothes felt like the focus more than at past shows. At a time when the current model of Fashion Week has been called into question — does it make sense to preview collections so many months in advance? Does anyone care in the digital age? — it was refreshing to see so many fashion shows spark thoughtful conversation and reflection. If that translates into sales, New York Fashion Week still is pretty relevant after all.
A model wears a look from the Alice & Olivia fall/winter 2017 collection. (Elizabeth Lippman/The New York Times)
Here’s a roundup of some of the top trends spotted throughout the week:
Empowering apparel: Designers gave new meaning to the idea of “statement pieces.” Graphic tees with sayings such as “People are People” (at Christian Siriano), “Be the change you wish to see in the world” (at Alice & Olivia), “Make America New York” (at Public School) and “We will not be silenced” (at Prabal Gurung) were a call for unity in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. Some designers infused their collections with fresh takes on women’s suits in a push for gender equality. Others rallied for resistance with militancy undertones and dark palettes.
Outerwear for all occasions: Oversized pieces, puffers, bombers, trenches, maxi coats, A-line styles, capes and capelettes for work and play — we saw them all. They came trimmed in furs and shearling, overlaid in vinyl, embellished with embroidery, splashed with animal prints and done in a wide spectrum of colors.
’90s nostalgia: Everything old is new again! This time, it’s a touch of grunge with checkered lumberjack prints, patchwork denim, slouchy boots, combat shoes and a breath of ’90s minimalism.
Terrific texture: Feathers, sweeping fringe, exquisite beading, lace, metallics, corduroy, sequins, appliques and woven details gave dimension to garments, especially when mixed or layered. Even an everyday striped shirt appeared more interesting when paired with a tulle skirt, furry bag and camo-print jacket accented with a velvet bow, as seen at J.Crew.
Prints in bloom: Florals for fall is a little unexpected. Nevertheless, they blossomed in moody, muted hues on looks by Marchesa, Coach, Badgley Mischka, Delpozo and Dennis Basso. Meanwhile, flowers done in pops of mustard, poppy red and magenta kissed clothes with a hint of spring.
‘Perfectly imperfect’ beauty: Hair and makeup were about enhancing models’ natural beauty, not changing it. Backstage at Proenza Schouler, a piece of paper taped to a vanity mirror read: “Foundation only if needed.” Hairstylists often used water and just a pinch of product to tame a model’s texture, without transforming it. Even when hair was more stylized in a braid (trend alert: a popular look for fall), it tended to be left a little loose and unkempt.
Kate Spade New York's spring 2017 collection is available now in stores and online. (Getty Images for Kate Spade)
See now/buy now: Once again, some designers dabbled in the shoppable runway concept, allowing people to purchase pieces online or in stores soon after they were unveiled at Fashion Week. Club Monaco (clubmonaco.com) shared romantic boho maxi skirts, cold-shoulder ruffled tops and sporty sets in floral prints. Kate Spade New York (katespade.com) channeled the rich colors and aura of Morocco for spring, and the latest from Ralph Lauren (ralphlauren.com) was inspired by a nomadic spirit mixed with exotic sophistication and bold accessories.
Sara Bauknecht: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter and Instagram @SaraB_PG. Catch up on New York Fashion Week coverage on the Post-Gazette’s fashion blog Stylebook at www.post-gazette.com/Stylebook.
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to
email@example.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner.