With the first week of SS14 shows drawing to a close, we’ve looked to our commercial and consumer data to understand which trends will mean big business for the industry next season. Oozing functional luxury, no huge new statements emerged, but we mustn’t forget it’s still a fragile climate for the industry. Save for Thom Browne’s mania, the week passed by in a blur of fantastically wearable, super-commercial collections. The good news for buyers is that with the thousands of global consumers tapped into the event online, it will sell.
Here’s our Top 10 New York take-homes.
1. New York’s Palette
Fall’s boozy maroons and deep navies get recharged for SS14. Opening Ceremony and Tommy Hilfiger give us punchy red alongside a lurid turquoise. Meanwhile, the sulphuric yellows at Phillip Lim matched his mineral theme, and it was a shade also featured at Zero + Maria Cornejo. Edun, Hilfiger, Monique Lhuillier and Christian Siriano contributed to the generous portion of orange in the shows, whilst ice blues were invested in by Prabal Gurung, Tracy Reese and Lacoste.
But the biggest commercial stories perhaps don’t make for the biggest headlines. The most common colours appearing in New York were the acres and acres of white and the continued celebration of all things monochrome. Remember, black and white items were SS13’s best selling shades.
2. Most Talked-About Brand
Despite not showing his mainline collection until Friday, Marc Jacobs finds himself scooping the crown for most talked-about designer of the New York Shows, beating last season’s Michael Kors into 2nd place by scoring 17% more online mentions.
Marc by Marc Jacobs showed a shimmering collection of metallic leathers, lustrous and languid suits and slouchy vests and pyjama pants. Part figure-skater, part rock band, this is MJ at his consumer-friendly best. All eyes will be on the main show tomorrow.
3. Key Shape: Cropped Tops
The cropped tops which were such a hit for SS13 are staying firmly on the trend radar for SS14. Across the breadth of brands, designers went crazy for the midriff in New York, including 3.1 Phillip Lim, Proenza Schouler, DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger. In fact, the style is remaining commercial in the current Fall season, with 1,432 new products having hit online retail in the last month. Update the current t-shirts with stiff, boxy cuts or crossover shapes.
4. The Silhouette: Wide & Free
Designers may be playing it safe with familiar themes, but the silhouette for SS14 does get an update. A wider fit and squarer cut was employed by Suno, Opening Ceremony, Rag & Bone and Christian Siriano, to name a few. Light and loose outerwear, boxy sweats and tops, and most crucially, wide cropped trousers are key to this look. Fabrics ranged from fluid silks, to metallic leathers.
5. Theme: Sports Re-Match
We’re all pretty well-versed in the whole sports luxe thing – it’s been around long enough now. It was, however, the most talked-about theme of the week. So instead, let’s focus on the updates. More 90s references with the repeated appearance of spaghetti straps and slip dresses, more neoprene (see Tommy Hilfiger) and piping, everywhere. Given her close proximity to a global sports star, perhaps it’s no surprise Victoria Beckham has this trend wrapped up. See her take for a masterclass in snappy sports-tinged dressing played out in a strict palette.
6. Fabric: Gauze
Injecting a new lease of life into an otherwise familiar season, were the gauzy textures at Helmut Lang, DKNY, Jill Stuart, Vera Wang and 3.1 Phillip Lim. The pieces you need to know about? Lim’s gauze sweatshirt with metallic geode-print embroidery and Lang’s 90s salutation of camisole dresses. Get sheer.
7. The SS14 Accessory
Perhaps consumers didn’t ask for it, but like it or not, Birkenstocks are back on fashion’s cool list. You can thank Celine’s furry SS13 versions for this one, and now NYFW brings them into SS14. Whether it’s classic Birks like at Edun and Trina Turk, or ‘shoes’ as at Creatures of Comfort, Band of Outsiders, Helmut Lang and Suno, summer footwear gets camp, and not in the glittery sense.
If that doesn’t appeal, the pointed-toe brogue will also be a popular trend, seen at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Peter Som and Creatures of the Wind. With only 226 styles currently on the market, compared to 4,635 normal brogues, this is a great way to update a successful footwear trend.
8. Theme: Retro Revisited
Less vintage, more retro, the nostalgia for SS14 is edged with fun. Perhaps thank Miuccia Prada for her part in Prabal Gurung’s sublime sherbet-shaded offering, complete with silk bombers, car coats, neck scarves and va-va-voom dresses. Creatures of the Wind were singing from the same hymn sheet, with bowling shirts and polo necks lifted with metallics and jacquards.
9. Theme: Explorer
Things took a worldly turn in New York with the prevalence of the safari trend which has been a undertone for a couple of seasons. Diane Von Furstenburg gave it her seal of approval with prints: a cork print, animal skins and a Serengeti digital print splashed across a maxi dress. The Row kept things more sombre, with crinkled georgette, long layering and nomadic palette. Look to Suno to lighten the atmosphere, with zebra motifs, straw-brimmed hats and a safari suit just the right side of Wild Thornberrys.
Prints didn’t take as prime a position on the New York runway as in other seasons, with designers instead focusing on colour. However, floral prints got consumers talking on social sites, knocking plaid from it’s punky first place last season. Stripes were the second most-talked about print story, working well with the explorer theme at Altuzarra and in the boyish shirting at Alexander Wang. Graphic prints raised their profile this season too – think geometric, digital and slogan-drenched.