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NYFW trend to go: ultra casual, ultra luxe

Sandra Halliday
10 September 2019

It’s no secret that fashion has become increasingly casual in the past few years and this is even affecting the labels that have built a massive business on the back of the refined, the elevated and the frequently-more-formal.

So the Tom Ford show at NYFW acted both as a further sign of Ford easing up on formality and confirmation that ultra-casual (but with an ultra-luxe edge) will be a key trend for SS20.

We’re likely too see a lot more of this during the current Fashion Month and while some will be even more casual while others will likely pay lip service to dressing down, Ford got the mix just right and should be an inspiration for any label targeting almost any age group.

So what are the key elements?

Sports origins: Forget tracksuits and obviously sporty pieces but do opt for sports-casual influences. That means drawstrings and elasticated waists on skirts, pants and shorts from micro length to maxi. Also add soft vests into the mix as the ultimate in simplicity dressing. Sporty nylons are a key materials choice but fluid silks also lend themselves to the look.

Tom Ford

The jumpsuit: Already looking set to be a star piece for the season based on the shows so far, the one-piece here is both resolutely casual and totally geared for a day-into-might lifestyle. In soft silk jersey or fluid wovens, it uses functional details like elasticated waists and necklines as primary decorative details.

Tom Ford

The crop top/bralette: For Tom Ford, this was a luxury breastplate in high-gloss power colours or stark black. But imagine it in slightly less elevated materials and it becomes an affordable option for the mainstream. Sat atop a pair of drawstring-waist fluid pants or mini short, it took the look into party time but worn under a sharply tailored blazer (yes, tailoring still had its place as a foil for the casual edge), it became an easy daytime look.

Colour: The point about the casual-luxe style is that there’s just about something for everyone. And the same goes for colour too. Ford went from one extreme to another with the style working-in searing greens, intense pinks and oranges, as well as a more understated palette of soft nudes, gentle whites and black.

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