NEW YORK — Prognosticating style trends for Spring/Summer 2013 in the middle of New York Fashion Week is a rather unscientific process of trying to absorb endless parades of models, while taking mental snapshots as each saunters by. There are hundreds of designers showing, and the flashier fads always rise to the top of the heap. All of which is to say, it’s not easy.
The job is made all the more difficult when trying to determine which pieces from the runway will catch on with the fashion-forward crowd. Will tastemakers wear all white next summer? Will they take a shine to leather harnesses? The designers showing their fashions on the catwalk for next spring are betting on it.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest themes emerging on the runways across New York — and trends you might just see in stores next spring.
Marc Jacobs received the most attention this week for his Sept. 10 show of Warholian stripes. In contrast to Spring/Summer 2012, his new collection featured deck chair stripes, 1960s makeup, and styling that evoked comparisons to Edie Sedgwick. Y-3 by Yamamoto also showed a penchant for black and white stripes. While Jacobs’s stripes were the most severe of the week, designers such as Alexander Wang, DKNY, and Diane von Furstenberg softened their edges, while Tommy Hilfiger took inspiration from the 1960s dandies.
Delicious, light, creamy yellows were one of the Fashion Week trends that could wind up in your closet next summer. Most designers served up some shade of yellow in their collection. For DKNY it was taxi cab yellow, for Chado Ralph Rucci it was canary yellow highlights to contrast serene white. But designers like Zac Posen and Carolina Herrera took it to delicate heights. This may not have been as widespread as other trends, but it was a personal favorite.
Fashion writers couldn’t get enough of this look that popped up during the first days of Fashion Week. It stayed on their minds and drew the inevitable “Fifty Shades of Grey” comparisons. It started with BCBG Max Azria and then continued on with Jason Wu. By the time the harness made an appearance at the Sept. 9 Herve Leger show, an official trend was born. Speaking of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” it was only a matter of time before gray was deemed a trend as well, thanks to Wes Gordon, Richard Chai, and Rebecca Minkoff.
The heavy fabric may be more closely associated with thick curtains, but lighter brocades showed up on the runways of Suno, Helmut Lang, and Prabal Gurung. In some cases, it was just a small detail of the fabric, but a little brocade goes a long way.
There was no avoiding them. Nearly every designer sent models down the runway in all manner of prints. Some resembled blue and white China patterns, others had the look of wallpaper (we mean that in a kind and loving way), and some were inspired by multi-hued blooms. Prints are a way of life for Diane von Furstenberg (who showed an extraordinarily strong collection this year) and Nicole Miller, who took her prints into the future. But they were also common in collections from Thakoon, Tory Burch, and Derek Lam.
Perhaps fresh off of vacation, the beach was still on the minds of designers such as Charlotte Ronson, who used a subtle interpretation of water in her dresses. Monique Lhuillier used prints derived from close-ups of aquatic occupants, such as birds and fish, the color aqua and hints of the beach showed up repeatedly, most successfully in Zac Posen’s sea foam mermaid gown.
The fanny pack: Most likely wishful thinking on my part, but there were glimpses of the much-maligned 1980s staple. Once a fixture on most pairs of pale wash mom jeans, they popped up a couple of times this week. Fingers crossed they return. Irony and fashion are meant for each other.
White: No surprise here. Every season it’s declared the color of the season. Victoria Beckham showed white (along with a lot of black), as did Rag & Bone and Ralph Rucci. Also, insert every other designer’s name here.
Leather: This is the trend that just won’t go away. It was big last summer, it’s predicted to be big this fall, and it’s showing up again this week. Aside from the harnesses, leather was seen in blouses, skirts, and shorts. The only place it wasn’t seen is the last potential trend for S/S 2013: Jumpsuits.