Even though sports luxe have served us well for so long, they were not the lead story of this year’s NY fashion week. With the first global fashion week drawing to a close, it is perhaps with an industry-wide sigh of relief that we welcome newness to retail’s radar. In New York, designers scaled back on the acres of white seen in recent seasons, and added some soul to the muted, spacey looks of the last two seasons.
Most notably, designers thought and created in terms of functionality. With the city’s Polar Vortex still fresh on everyone’s electricity bills, what was shown this week was covetable because it suited the city: its women, its climate and its past-times. In retail, that’s a mighty fine mix. We’ve been tracking data across the week, monitoring consumer reaction and pitching the new directions against commercial data to analyze the timing and scale of what’s up next. EDITD brings you 10 trends from NYFW, which you shouldn’t miss!
1. New York’s Color Palette
The Fall 2o14 palette gives retailers options. Whilst bright reds and oranges burst onto the runways at Victoria Beckham, Peter Som and Prabal Gurung, there was also muted comfort in greys, oatmeal and soft navies at The Row, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander Wang and DKNY. The areas speaking with the greatest commercial potential were in the maroons at Lacoste and the vivid blues at Proenza Schouler. Retailers will be pleased to hear that pastels force their way through to Fall, softly in pink, peach, lilac and turquoise at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rodarte, Dion Lee, Opening Ceremony and Creatures of Comfort.
2. Designer of the week: Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs stole the crown as NYFW’s most talked-about designer, beating the next closest, Michael Kors, with 24% more online mentions. Having Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier at the reigns of Marc by Marc Jacobs (now to be known as MBMJ) didn’t result any fewer hits from the much-loved line. The brand has a knack of tapping into the now – offering us all the week’s biggest trends alongside updates on the items women are coveting already. That translated into a militant androgyny, be it one in pigtails, with wide trousers, turtle necks, plaid prints and denim, dished up with biker jackets and side serve of Victoriana. The footwear will have high commercial value too – a move on for the successful Marc Jacobs snow boot, in a boot-soled trainer hybrid, perfect for bounding New York’s frozen pavements.
3. Trend: The Great Outdoors
The Winter hit New York hard this year, and though designers won’t have known the conditions when they begun their collections, there is a common consensus that we must armor ourselves from extremities of climate. The coat is the focus of many collections and designers ramped up their functionality here in zipped up, funnel-necked and body cocooning forms. From outerwear, we work inwards and notice fur and leather shell tops layered over turtle necks that are worn high to protect from icy chills and wide trousers cut short to avoid the inevitable slush. Layer functionality with utility, throw plaid print under shaggy faux fur, make the whole thing waterproof and cinch the waist in with a belt. This makes for a tough, complex and compelling story marrying sports luxe versatility with grunge attitude.
4. Trend: Androgyny
More popular than the 70s trend taking third place, an androgynous vibe swept the breadth of the runway shows this week. The shows have something in common: it’s the near absence of floral prints, the toughness of leather, the severity of the greys and navies, and the female form buried under roll necks, boxy knits, bombers and gender-neutral trousers. Key components of this trend are the wide pant, generously tailored in grey suiting, the button down, buttoned up to the neck, a textured shell top, a sweater and a squarely cut jacket lined in shearling and pocketed for utility. There’s nothing kitsch or camp in the new season androgyny – this fierce breed picks the best from both worlds.
5. Sweater Stability
Good news for retailers, for whom the sweater was AW13’s most popular trend: the reign of this garment continues. It was hard to spot a show without a sweater and truly anything goes here. There were cropped sleeves at Cynthia Rowley, sheer at Rag & Bone, fur-fronted at Rebecca Minkoff, striped in leather at BCBG, oversized at Opening Ceremony, plain at Charlotte Ronson, humorously printed at Oswald Helgason…need we go on? Pushing this garment into new realms was the sweater dress, seen at DKNY, Zimmerman, and Tibi. Go even further and we detected a return of the 90s oversized hoodie, spotted at Altuzarra, Yigal Azrouël and J.Crew.
6. Get Textured
Each season has some sort of texture story, whether it’s super shiny metallic or gossamer sheers. But Fall 2014 rewrote texture into a headline story of its own, in a heady mix of shaggy furs, crackled leathers, shiny finishes, bristling pony-skin and bulkiest knits. It’s a sensory overload, be that in huge overblown silhouettes at The Row, squeaky puffa jackets at Opening Ceremony or a cacophony of colored furs at Diane Von Furstenberg. Retailers should get creative; it’s evident that scale here is everything and the boldest win!
7. Turtle Attack
Double chins rejoice, for you shall be hidden come Fall, or so says Victoria Beckham, M by Missoni, Peter Som, Prabal Gurung, Edun, Opening Ceremony, Rodarte and Tory Burch. In jersey tops, knitwear and sweaters, the roll neck was a key detail in New York ideally suited to the layering which underpins both of the season’s key trends. There’s currently very few turtle necks on the market, so retailers can expect fast wins from this speedy trend which will span luxury to value markets.
8. Wide Strides
Skinnies skipped out of the limelight for NYFW, with designers instead showing more generous cuts in legwear. DKNY showed roomy denim, more genderless than the Mom jean, alongside wide leather pants. Luxe tailored and square culottes were also popular trouser shapes and 3.1 Phillip Lim did their roomy strides in prints, pastels, with pockets, with seatbelt fastenings, and somehow made all look elegant.
9. Leather Lives
Despite suede and fur making an impression for Fall 2014, leather is the one. Leather is visible in full skirts, shell tops, in the sleeve of a sweater, in bomber jackets and trenches, in culottes and wide trousers shirts. Yigal Azrouël is your one stop shop for shape direction, whilst Derek Lam’s patchwork skirt of many colors wins our hearts.
10. Plaid Story
Plaids and checks are not shifting from retail’s most treasured print for Fall. They were everywhere: Araks, J.Crew, Vera Wang, MBMJ, Thakoon. They came in grungy forms (Rag & Bone and Rodarte) crisply graphic (Lacoste) and over-sized (3.1 Phillip Lim). With over 12,000 plaid womenswear products currently online, the consumer is already well-versed in what to do with this one.
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