Follow us


New York Fashion Week: Top 10 Takeaways

Sandra Halliday
18 February 2019

New York’s fashion week may not have offered up the fireworks we expect from some cities as the very long event included very few big names making statements you simply can’t afford to ignore. But that didn’t mean it was short on trend directions.

Key Looks

Longchamp, Kate Spade, ALC, Cushnie, Carolina Herrera, Tory Burch, See by Chloé

The decade that style remembered: It’s become a cliché to refer to the 70s as the Decade That Style Forgot, and with some justification. But this season designers are remembering it for some of its better style pointers (plus a few of the dodgy ones) with a celebration of almost everything that summed it up. Michael Kors made it really obvious, plastering ‘Studio 54’ over key items, but even without that reinforcement, the look came through loud and clear. So what does that mean we should expect to filter through? You name it… think flares, platforms, gauchos tucked into lace-up boots, culottes, smock dress, jersey dresses, glam rock satins, chubbies, turbans atop a frizz of tiny curls, Love Story casual pieces, long scarves, fitted jumpsuits, skinny knits, and probably a whole lot more.

Clockwise from left: Tom Ford, Carolina Herrera, Proenza Schouler, Co, Marc Jacobs, TSE, Zadig & Voltaire, Tory Burch, Adam Lippes

The simple life: Minimalism, simple cuts, fluid dresses with few details, tunics. All of these feed into an approach that leaves fuss behind and creates a silhouette that skims the body or follows it without hugging it too closely. Colour statements, high-quality materials, and impeccable workmanship are to the fore.

Key Items

Clockwise from left: Coach, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Carolina Herrera, Red Valentino, Apiece Apart, Adam Lippes

Smock dress: A key item influenced by the 70s, the smock dress was seem=n on a large number of runways in lengths from mini down to floor-skimming (as well as hi-lo). It makes the most of the season’s popular floral prints, as well as ruffle and tier details and the strong colour statements that came though in so many collections.

Clockwise from left: Tom Ford, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Coach, Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Karen Walker, Carolina Herrera, ALC

Pantsuit power: The pantsuit is a key item that reflects a basket of the season’s key trends. Whether cut skinny, loose or casual (in materials such as denim), it came come in power colour, the season’s favourite greys, satin shine, stripes and checks, as well as popular corduroys and velvets.  Mix it up a little with a pinstripe jacket and satin pants for a feel that’s more cool, less corporate.

Colour Stories

Clockwise from left: Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, Bibhu Mohapatra,  Apiece Apart, Carolina Herrera, Tory Burch, TSE, Adam Lippes

Sizzling shades: From sunshine yellows, to intense oranges, the power of fuchsia, deep reds, spicy tones, inky purples and vivid greens, this is a season in which colour is a key way to update core pieces. Colour mixes also prove popular with the more brights seen in one look, the better. It’s a key direction for evening, but designers are also pushing it for daytime, leaving behind the usual autumn leaf and berry shades of the season.

Clockwise from left: Oscar de la Renta, Tory Burch,Tom Ford, Tory Burch, Tom Ford, Adam Lippes, Boss Woman

Muted moments: In a New York that seemed obsessed with power colour, muted tones also made a play for a starring role with shades of grey getting the most attention. In felted wools, underrated checks, or soft satins, they feel modern and wearable. But they haven’t the toned-down stage all to themselves with restrained neutrals in the beige and brown family also a top pick for an instant seasonal update.

Clockwise from left: Tom Ford, Sies Marjan, Kate Spade, Boss Woman, Sies Marjan, Marc Jacobs

Soft tones: The global nature of the modern luxury customer and the wide range of climates designers have to create for are perhaps behind a less autumnal approach to colour for the new season and that’s clear with the large number of soft and even pastel tones on the runways. Think surprisingly spring-like mint, pale pinks, understate lavender, icy blue-greens and softened yellows.

Print & material

Clockwise from left: Kate Spade, Alice & Olivia, Beaufille, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, Nili Lotan, Derek Lam 10 Crosby

Animal magic: Animal prints are going nowhere. If anyone thought the trend had run out of steam, NYFW put that idea to bed. From photo-real to obviously artificial, it remains key for outerwear from fuzzy faux fur coats to ultra-padded puffers, as well as for accessories with bags, belts and boots using both leopard and tiger to good effect.

Clockwise from left: Tom Ford, Sies Marjan, Michael Kors, Sies Marjan, Tom Ford, Jonathan Simkhai, Sachin & Babi

Shimmer: Any season that has an obsession with the 70s is likely to be one in which shimmer plays a big part. But the love of shine is also an on-going trend that has seen sequins and satins popular picks in recent periods. This time, it’s intensified by the season’s interest in power colour, by the trend for allover shine and also by confirmation of shimmer as a legitimate daytime choice.

Key Detail

Clockwise from top left to centre: Carolina Herrera, Proenza Schouler, Jonathan Simkhai, Veronica Beard, Sies Marjan, Zadig & Voltaire, Sachin & Babi, Longchamp, Michael Kors

Belt it: If it can be belted, make sure it is. Designers cinched blazers, coats, 70s-style dresses, separates, and more to make the waist a focal point of every look. As a styling pointer, it’s an easy way to update core pieces and create a new look for VM.

Free NewsletterVISIT