Fashion weeks are daunting. Each season hundreds of looks are shown, but their relevance to retail is little-to-none. And that’s no bad thing! We all like a little escapism, and our Pinterest boards look all the dreamier for it, right? But for the majority of consumers, and therefore retailers, what really matters isn’t emulating the new outright, but updating the tried-and-true with accents that evoke the runway’s gospel.
Why does it happen? For one, luxury has had just as bumpy a ride through the economic hiccups as anyone. So it pays to incorporate the new into the reliable. It’s also true that we’re all, from value to luxury, dressing more casually and functionally. So much that it’s become something of a lifestyle trend, and it’s hard to keep re-imagining the functional. The more bells and whistles you add in, the less of those casual vibes you’re going to emit.
So, onto the trends NYFW’s runways suggest you keep on your shop floors for now, and get creative with in Spring ’16. God love ’em, these guys are here to stay.
1. Bomber Jackets
Bombers: the unshakable monarch of recent fashion seasons. Only, the kind you can keep in your closet. New York’s runways were crawling with them, rendered champagne and shiny at 3.1 Phillip Lim, cropped and printed at Lacoste and festooned in appliqué patches at Vivienne Tam. With 39% of bombers currently online retailing in the premium market (ensuring it still has a nice amount of aspirational kudos), and with an average price point of $191.80, you’re safe to stick with this one. Bold color updates (think red, green and mustard), print and lustrous fabrics are a good way to move this forward.
Wide steppers rejoice! Those roomy pants are staying. High-waisted and mid-shin sold fantastically in Spring 2015 and will continue to do well if Tibi, Zac Posen and Opening Ceremony have their way. Looking for a refresh? Inject them with some beachier styling: straight cut, worn on the hip. BCBG Max Azria went full board short, but if that’s a little too chill he also included a gold lamé pair that were less shoreline and more cocktail.
Ho, ho, no, the chilly closing set at one of Summer’s later festivals was not the last you’ll see of fringing! It’ll continue to do its frivolous shaky thing right through to Spring ’16. Fringe trimmed dresses at Edun, Dion Lee and Prabal Gurung. It was slung down the side of pants at POLO Ralph Lauren (jaunty!) and adorned suede bags at BCBG Max Azria. All familiar stuff – and with fringe being one of Spring 15’s bestselling trends, it’s wise to stay acquainted. Alexander Wang showed true commercial harmony using fringe along the zip and hem of a khaki military jacket. A double-trend win that still felt fresh.
4. Duster Coats
They won’t even have time to collect dust (oof.) – they’re back with aplomb for Spring ’16. Sleeved and sleeve-less they appeared in the louche line at Public School. At Zero + Maria Cornejo they were formed of bonded canvas, candy-striped at Rosie Assoulin and cold-shouldered at Givenchy. However it’s Rachel Comey’s lavender velvet incarnation which takes the innovation prize – a breath of fresh air. The shape sold well through Spring ’15 in both the US and UK mass and luxury markets and new stock is still being brought in for fall with a focus on sleeveless and neutral tones. Throw in a bit of color, or unexpected fabric and you’re set for Spring ’16.
We’ve all got a pair. The nice thing is they’ve now transitioned from hungover slacker… chic to bonafide fashion editor cool. This first happened last year, when pajama dressing facilitated the success of printed pants and silk pajama tops were carried on the loose kimono wave. They’re back, and they mean business. (Be it that kind of pillow-propped, laptop-lapped business). Literal takes came from Alexander Wang and Thakoon whose red piped, blue colored nightshirts travelled straight from the Land of Nod. Tommy Hilfiger’s pajama shirt and wide pant set in sunny floral print will see you through all occasions. Play with stripes, piping and prints atypical of bed – the consumer is warmed up to it now and can take the louche style with a heavier dose of doze.
Ok, there’s your safety blanket. But let’s not fool ourselves that recurring trends is a new phenomena. (Just take a look back through Chanel’s archives over 100 years for evidence of that). It would be impossible for an entire industry to redefine itself each season. The internet has just got us used to seeing fresh content and fresh product all the time. It does mean retailers have to be savvy with spreading arrivals out through the season and more adept at picking up on inter-season color and print trends. But that’s nothing we can’t help out with.
Now, which fresh trends is New York priming us to embrace for Spring ’16? Read about the new guys right here.