Sky-high stilettos are a given on fashion runways, but something more down to earth showed up during New York Fashion Week.
Flats! Certainly not in every show – nor with every outfit – but flats (mostly pointy) or lower kitten heels could be found on catwalks during the Fall 2013 collections.
Other trends that emerged during the eight-day previews, which ended Thursday: Peplums, lots of leather, darker colors, some mod looks, trendy materials such as neoprene, longer hemlines (here we go again!) and a focus on cozy coats.
The following are snippets from runway reports by Associated Press fashion writer Samantha Critchell, Amanda Kwan, Jocelyn Noveck and others from the AP.
Fall fashion previews next move to London, Milan and Paris.
– Susan Martin
Anna Sui: The dresses matched the tights, which matched the shoes, which matched the jewelry. It all added up to a real show Wednesday night, with the models performing a little 1960s-style dance before they showed off their outfits. They wore colorful swinging minidresses, including sweater dresses and jumpers, that were fully coordinated with coats and vests.
Nanette Lepore: Stars aligned for Lepore in a collection with a cosmic theme. She said she found herself intrigued by the surfaces and textures beamed back from Mars by the Curiosity rover over the past few months. She was drawn to prints that looked like manipulated images of Earth’s land and water from far away.
J. Crew: Most people know J. Crew, and many can afford to buy the clothes. The company’s presence shows how New York Fashion Week has become a bit more democratic.
Insiders might place a few advance orders for key pieces, such as the rose-gold camp shirt, metallic floral polo shirt and sweatshirt-style cashmere sweaters and skinny pants that featured silver brocade on a purple background.
Badgley Mischka: Mark Badgley and James Mischka are big movie buffs, and it shows in their clothes as they always seem attracted to silver-screen femme fatales. This time, the inspiration was Alfred Hitchcock movies – their favorite being “Vertigo.”
Kim Novak as a muse makes so much sense, Badgley said. “She’s confident with a little bit of a dark, sexy side.”
She also wears polished silhouettes like pencil skirts, fur stoles, halter-top gowns and tops with peplums very well, which fits the Badgley Mischka aesthetic perfectly.
Ralph Lauren: Lauren didn’t just have a muse for the fall collection he debuted on the final day of New York Fashion Week. He had a heroine.
The downtown venue of his runway show Thursday was serene and sophisticated, a very different setting than most, but the models seemed as if they could have stepped out of the pages of a gripping novel set during the Russian Revolution.
Tory Burch: Burch has a confession she shared on the runway: “I love bugs – at least from a design standpoint.”
She decorated a chiffon button-down shirt with scarabs and used jeweled ones on a silk skirt. Embellished dragonflies were subtly placed on some of the shoes – remember Burch’s roots are in accessories – making them an instant, must-have status symbol.
Vera Wang: For eveningwear, if anyone could start the trend for trousers on the red carpet, it’s Wang. Her finale, a rose-printed gray jacquard chiffon blouse and delicate evening robe worn with gray rose-printed pants, would be a strong contender.
Marc by Marc Jacobs: The younger, trendier line of Marc Jacobs was a polished and quiet throwback to the 1960s. He stuck mostly with pantsuits, wool shift or trapeze dresses and coats in solids, accented with a sprinkling of white-and-black stripes and large leaf prints in autumnal red, orange-red, green, purple and a rich deep blue.
Narciso Rodriguez: Rodriguez saw two women – not dressed particularly fancy or fashion forward – who crossed each other on the street one day at just the right moment of a winter solstice. The colors and shapes he saw were inspiring … On the catwalk, the women-on-the-street influence was seen mostly in the orange-tinged outfits, such as a tangerine-colored fleece jacket paired with cognac-colored crepe skinny pants and a high-neck tangerine sheath dress.
The Row: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who won last year’s Council of Fashion Designers of America award as the top womenswear designers, elevated what could have been an ordinary (at least for the ordinary Madison Avenue shopper, since their clothes are quite pricey) peplum skirt suit with expert fit and luxe textures. They pulled off the same trick for pantsuits. Some models wore the layers that the designers are best known for, but the tailored ensembles stood out.
Donna Karan: The opening look – one of the best – was a black, draped “bodydress” with a fluid, almost liquidlike, cape on top. It was modern yet timeless, and wearable to the large base Karan appeals to.
3.1 Phillip Lim: A big sartorial theme was embossed neoprene. Lim began with an overcoat in that fabric, in a fresh grapefruit color. Like many of his inventive creations, it had something detachable, in this case a leather bib. Motorcycle jackets were big, too, and Lim showed a peplum version, paired with a gray pullover, a khaki shirt, and shorts – again in grapefruit neoprene.
Betsey Johnson: The collection veered from the high school dance party looks that the tireless 71-year-old has championed for decades, running toward a junior high school gym class with a lot of cheek. It was an explosion of neon pink and yellow, animal prints and plaids on minidresses worn over leggings.
Tommy Hilfiger: “Classics receive an unexpected twist,” was Hilfiger’s mantra, putting some newness on the catwalk while maintaining a relatable ease that would appeal to his broad audience.
Together on the runway, the collection evoked mod for 2013. The leather argyle pattern shifts and shirt dresses could reintroduce his muses – and fashion icons – Twiggy, Mary Quant and Marianne Faithfull to a new generation.
Thom Browne: He might have caught mainstream attention last month as the designer of Michelle Obama’s Inauguration Day outfit, but no one has to worry that Browne is going mainstream.
The refrigerator-box shoulders, tattered lace, melted roses and big bustles certainly haven’t been the norm on other designer runways during the previews of next season’s styles, but, actually, there were a few commonalities: a patchwork of herringbones and plaids, blown up and shrunken to all different sizes; stiff body-armor dresses; peplums; and a heavy emphasis on outerwear.
Tracy Reese: Perhaps best known for the shimmery pink and silvery-blue dress that Mrs. Obama wore to the Democratic National Convention, Reese and her dresses didn’t disappoint, including a sleek, black, knee-length number with huge, red flowers on it, its dainty shape contrasting nicely with the boldness of the print. There also were animal prints all over the collection.
Diane von Furstenberg: The clothes from the “Glam Rock” collection were von Furstenberg from head to toe. One could imagine her wearing any of the wrap dresses, long her calling card, the jumpsuits or metallic jackets. Maybe von Furstenberg, who first came to the fashion industry in the 1970s, won’t quite be rocking the high-shine silver leather skinny pants, but one can imagine she once did.
DKNY: Donna Karan’s DKNY label features a lot of lipstick-red and hot-pink looks for fall.
Yes, there were tough-girl looks, including a long, quilted bomber jacket and a long, silk-and-jersey dress with sheer panels in black. But it was the brights, and especially the animal-print brights, that lit up the runway.
Christian Siriano: The “Project Runway” alum used the Russian opera as the inspiration for his fall runway show. His vintage-inspired day looks evoke many eras, from the 1940s to the 1960s, and were mostly separates of turtlenecks paired with loose leather trousers and faux fur vests in muted colors such as white, black and camel.
Jason Wu: Wu’s collection was all woman. Not girlie. Not mannish. The clothes were full of strength, with exaggerated shoulders and some military touches, but chiffon pleats floated down the runway. Two outfits were long – as in floor-length – pleated, peplum tops over tuxedo pants, the perfect yin and yang.