NEW YORK — What’s unfolding in the world is reflected and refracted in all sorts of ways.
At New York Fashion Week, which wrapped last month, trends for next spring and summer (and a sampling of things for this fall) were a melange of philosophical ponderings, activism manifested as apparel and, sometimes, just striking clothes with no other purpose than to swoon shoppers into falling in love with fashion all over again. Meanwhile, the industry’s who’s who continue to pontificate about what New York Fashion Week should look like these days: Is it a stripped-down runway show? A flashy presentation? A marathon of both scattered across the city? For now, who knows, but these lingering questions (mostly) didn’t distract too much from soaking up designers’ latest offerings.
Here’s a roundup of some of the top trends from the week to be on the lookout for in the coming months …
• The American dream, deconstructed: What happens to a dream deferred? This season, it turned into lots of collections with a potent message. At Calvin Klein, chief creative officer Raf Simons blended “American horror” with “American beauty” for a read-between-the-lines commentary on the country’s political climate (including cotton nighties done in prints from Andy Warhol’s “Death and Disaster” series). Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne highlighted the ebb and flow of cultural identities in places such as New York City. The phrase “Come Again,” splashed across the seat of trousers and backs of jackets, drove home the brand’s pro-immigration stance.
• Glitter and glitz: Designers pulled out all of the stops for spring when it comes to showcasing the interplay between fashion and art. Intricate bead work, garments dripping in sequins and metallic touches made for a dazzling display of pieces (almost!) too pretty to wear.
• Girl power: Rally cries of female empowerment were alive and well on the runway. While some were in your face (like Namilia’s pearl-adorned vagina suits and shoes), others were celebrations of the complexities of femininity, including Alice + Olivia’s feminist-themed presentation that reimagined New York’s Chelsea Hotel as a hub for female contemporary artists as its backdrop.
• Color pop: Shake off the winter doldrums next spring with vivid pick-me-up colors — orange, deep lime green, electric pink and sunshiny yellows were particularly popular, often worn from head to toe. On the contrary, so were romantic pastels (powder blue, blush and mint). These softer shades added balance to some collections and, overall, to the season.
• Prints in bloom: Florals? For spring? Nothing groundbreaking there. But bouquets of full blooms bursting forth in collection after collection were a welcome complement to some of the more serious political and social statements made by other designers.
• Trend to watch: Hair accessories, with an emphasis on thick fabric headbands with a boho-chic sensibility.