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Future Sep 11, 2014 4 min read

The top 10 trends at New York Fashion Week SS15

So that was New York Fashion Week. In a flurry of shows, presentations, dance performances, and plays – what stuck? Which trends will define SS15 and create the most buzz com...

So that was New York Fashion Week. In a flurry of shows, presentations, dance performances, and plays – what stuck? Which trends will define SS15 and create the most buzz commercially? The Apple’s Watch timely (apologies) launch marks a new era, finally taking irksome connotations of ‘wearable technology’ away from Silicon Valley and into the covetable fashion space. Whilst the gadgetry grabbed many of the week’s headlines thanks to excellent press-courting, the week also delivered some exciting new direction in wearable-wearables. Here, we share our top 10 trends for SS15.

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1. Color palette

Color for SS15 is exciting: the poster paint shades of red, yellow, blue and green felt positively raucous compared to the mute pastels of the past summer season. The all-over whites we’ve been seeing for two seasons are returned, most notably at Michael Kors, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Victoria Beckham, but they felt freshest when paired with slices of sunshine yellow, truest red, high energy blues and grassy green. The bolder still took these colors in their own right: a divine pair of billowing green pants at Delpozo, a fringed Yves Klein knit at Milly, Kors’ radiant yellow buckled smock and a traffic-stopping tomato skater dress at DKNY.  The graphic combo of black and white attracted a big following: Narciso Rodergiuez, Opening Ceremony, Versus, Rodarte…we could go on, but take our word, it’s a trend.

2. The Top Designer

There were huge efforts during NYFW to garner attention, and to rework the norm – Opening Ceremony’s play, Gareth Pugh’s display and Polo Ralph Lauren’s incredible Central Park 4D spectacular. There were also shows which took attendees on trip – Thom Browne’s shuttlecock models and lawn mower not least. So perhaps it is a surprise, or perhaps it is a sign that the true fashion audience, the global consumers of fashion, are more interested in product, as they buzzed more about a designer whose only trick is a relevant, practical and desirable collection than the flamboyant performances. This week, Michael Kors’ optimistc, breezy and preppy collection of florals, garden party dresses and Spring outerwear pushed the right buttons.

3. Theme: 1970s

Are designers hankering for their lost Summer of Love? The 1970s theme made an impact, laced through the shows of Karen Walker, Diane von Fürstenberg, Phillip Lim and Coach, or stamped firmly across the front of shows at Derek Lam, Tommy Hilfiger and Anna Sui. In flared and fluted trousers – gently at Coach, dramatically at Alice + Olivia – in jumpsuits, high-necked tees, crochet knit and suede outerwear, the references were all there. However, the retail hits will veer away from kitsch pillaging of entire 70s looks, instead opting for an essence of the decade in cuts, garments, colors or print, but not all. Karen Walker excelled with this.

4. Theme: Asymmetry

Things are on the wonk for SS15 – a major theme across the week, asymmetric cuts were seen at every turn. Spliced fabrics, bias cut forms, uneven hemlines, one-shouldered garments and unexpected layers define this look for Prabal Gurung, Lacoste, sass & bide and Creatures of Comfort. The addition of peplums strewn across a shoulders at Rodarte and at trouser waists for Zero + Maria Cornejo adds to this topsy turvy world, a dizzying tumble of fabrics falling off and taped onto the body.

5. Garment: Wide trousers & culottes

They were a commercial hit for SS14, causing a stir late in the season, and their luxury profile has risen with Fall’s new designer arrivals in the last month, so it is fitting that culottes have been given another runway outing. For SS15 culottes came in leather and suede, they were printed, outrageously oversized or straight leg, basketball loose: do with them what you will, just buy into the trend. Legwear got looser across the board – calling these new strides flares seems passé and reeks of retro: instead these pants are elegant, fresh and full-bodied SS15.

6. Garments: Shirts & shirt dresses

So simple, and yet here we have it: the white shirt is back, without having gone too far. Boxy white shirts were worn under strapless dresses and tucked into drawstring pyjama pants at Suno, sleeveless or in dress form at Peter Som and contrast collared or bib-fronted at Boss. The white shirt will be SS15’s styling prop – Marc by Marc Jacobs elevated them to preppy connotations by shoving under dresses and slogan sweaters and cropping them to bare acres of flesh. Michael Kors’ double-cuffed versions were a lot more sensible but no less stylish.

7. Print: Stripes

The print of the season – stripes were rolled out across New York, on Breton tops at Michael Kors, set widely on maxi dresses and casual tailoring at Peter Som, in go-faster accents at Alexander Wang and as a trim to everything at Rodarte. Make it multi-coloured, opt for monochrome, throw in a metallic, go wide set or zig-zagged – anything goes, just use it.

8. Print: Florals

There’s two ways to take SS15’s florals. The first, a la Victoria Beckham, Altuzarra, Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors is to make them big, bold and color-drenched. These over-saturated blooms sing on allover looks, on maxi dresses, across suits and placed provocatively on gowns.  The second option feels quite new – stripping the florals away and saving the foliage, as seen at Diane von Furstenberg, Rag & Bone and Yigal Azrouel.

9. Print: Gingham

It’s not often a trend arrives from nowhere and is easily identifiable as ‘of’ a set season, but gingham has swooped in and claimed SS15 as its own. In Altuzarra’s sexed-up shirt dress, in Diane von Furstenberg’s shell top and matching city shorts and in Oscar de la Renta’s crop top paired with gauzy midi skirt, that is where you will find SS15.

10. Theme: Summer texture

Texture is a huge trend for Fall 2014 and savvy designers know that customers who’ve warmed up to the idea of tactile layers won’t cool off just because the sun is out. The SS15 runways were full of innovative play with surface, in unusual lace at Oscar de la Renta, Phillip Lim and Rodarte and perforations and latticework at Alexander Wang, Altuzarra and Theory. Fringing on garments, knits, accessories and footwear was big news according to Proenza Schouler, Thakoon and Tory Burch and suede came into an out of character summer use at Derek Lam, Jason Wu and Karen Walker. Quilting, embossing, sheer panelling and crinkled hems added to the foaminess of SS15 – it’s a compelling mix that will merchandise well.

Download the full New York Spring 2015 Trends report for free here.