NEW YORK — The one consistent trend this week has been the bitter cold. But by day five of New York Fashion Week, more style-oriented trends began to emerge as designers paraded out collections for Fall/Winter 2014. There were some early indications that cowgirl chic might be huge next fall. That trend (fortunately) never materialized. But others emerged, such as the deconstructed boot, which will be coming soon to a store near you. And those dependable winter trends, such as leather, fur, or anything black and white, are also not going anywhere next winter. But there were plenty of unexpected twists. Here are a few.
It’s not just for spring anymore. No matter the shade, no matter the material, designers couldn’t get enough of the color that is generally only a staple after Memorial Day. Pink has been everywhere, from Alexander Wang’s scorching fuchsia to the bright pink lining spotted under a Monique Lhuillier mullet dress, to the salmon pink of Opening Ceremony’s coats, and the vibrant pink of Thakoon’s sweaters and prints. Pink’s big sister red was also well represented on the runways this week.
The midi skirt
There are still designers who happily ignore the elements and present winter collections of miniskirts (such as Tuesday’s Tory Burch show), but many are playing the modesty card for next fall, going below the knee. Rebecca Minkoff’s asymmetrical hemlines (another big trend for Fall 2014) dropped low, Victoria Beckham made her midis sparkle, Suno and Tracy Reese adorned theirs with patterns, and Yigal Azrouel showed his as pencil skirts. Women of America, your knees will be warm next winter.
From Milly’s knit racer dresses to Thakoon’s thick ribbed sweaters, to the knit blanket-like ponchos that cascaded over models’ shoulders at Tommy Hilfiger (he could have made a fortune selling them in the lobby after the show), knitwear dominated the runways. Most striking was the variety. Sally LaPointe showed thick cashmere-wool turtlenecks and Rebecca Taylor’s sweaters were layered over shirts and under coats. The Row put its models in long sweaters with knit midi skirts, giving the illusion that they had jumped out of bed still wrapped in a toasty bedspread. These were a welcome sight to an audience that has been running across the city in below-freezing temperatures all week.
Plaid, plaid, plaid
Not since Paris in the mid-1980s has so much buffalo check been seen on the runway. Preen’s buffalo check was in an omnipresent midi dress. Rag & Bone’s buffalo check came in a bomber jacket (yet another huge trend). But not all plaids came in the buffalo variety. Marc Jacobs showed a tartan-esque kung fu ensemble with ski goggles for men (trust me on this one), Delpozo’s beautiful plaid jacket was feminine in pink (of course), and Badgley Mischka worked some sophisticated plaid into its very “Dr. Zhivago”-influenced show.
Shearling is the new fox (although the old fox doesn’t look to be going anywhere for Fall 2014). More subtle than mink, not to mention cozy, designers such as Ohne Titel, Band of Outsiders, BCBG Max Azria, Yeohlee, and Tommy Hilfiger jumped on the material to line coats and accent collars. Phillip Lim dyed his shearling into bright hues. The trend is just part of the new breed of big toasty coats that are also shaping up to become one of next fall’s staples.
Jason Wu kicked off the menswear-influence trend last Friday when he put his models in very masculine, structured jackets and wide-legged trousers that nearly billowed as they moved. But it’s hard to name a designer that hasn’t featured pants — or at least jumpsuits — this season. Some of this masculine touch is easier to pinpoint on the runway than those subtle variations. Rag & Bone’s collection looked like an all-out tribute to the working man. But the pants, along with big wool overcoats populating the runways for Fall 2014, will no doubt lead women to the closets of the men in their lives.
Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.