New York’s coat game is strong
Thankfully. Gone are the days when the New York fashion week ideal meant bare legs, a white cashmere coat and a driver on standby. There’s some serious embracing of geological practicality this week. Which is good when it’s minus 15C and weather forecasts are non-stop “frigid temperatures” and “life-threatening winds”. Shearling was a winner at Coach and Donna Karan. Diane von Furstenberg has coined the phrase “evening parka” while the padded parka has gone haute at 3.1 Phillip Lim and the Uber app has replaced the driver on standby vibes of old.
Hat hair is OK
That thing where you’ve been wearing a beanie and then you take it off inside and your hair is kind of stuck to your scalp and a bit static-y. That’s a bonafide hair and beauty reference now thanks to DKNY and Alexander Wang. Not sure whether the intention will translate so well, but it sure is easy to achieve.
No one wants to see your neck
We’ve mentioned it already but in fashion right now there are so many polo necks that we need a new word for them. There were neoprene funnels at DKNY, ones with ball details at Alexander Wang and gigantic steroid-injected woolly ones at standout show Victoria Beckham. They were used as a layering device at Tommy Hilfiger and to create a 60s vibe at Edun and a 70s vibe at Thakoon. Meanwhile, off the catwalk, editors were embracing the Rihanna endorsed flandana – a fleece/bandana hybrid – with Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine wearing one over her polo necks and others wearing silk Saint Laurent scarves as bandanas.
Street style and catwalk style have merged
See above. Time was when catwalk style was on one side of the fashion fence and street style the other. But then the latter began to rival the former for influence, extra collections have speeded up fashion’s cycle and now, aesthetically, there is little difference between the two. The tropes of street style look-at-me-now-faux-fur and sporty details and I’m-wearing-it-all-at-once layers are now standard on the catwalk. See Tommy, Opening Ceremony and Coach. All bore the hallmarks of street style. The only difference is that the models are younger.
Complicated minimalism is a thing
It sounds like an oxymoron but the theory is this: Céline opened the floodgates for simplicity, everyone has dashed through and now, in order to update it as fashion moves on, designers have started undoing it a little with asymmetric hems (Beckham and DKNY), frayed edges (Edun), deconstructed flappy undone zips and layers (see what Phillip Lim did to an army bomber jacket). Meanwhile, belted kimono details over weepingly beautiful minimalism added gentle complication at The Row.
The Saint Laurent influence is not going away
You can’t blame designers. Hedi Slimane’s vision shifts product fast. Hence his affection for the rock’n’roll 60s has infiltrated other catwalks. At Edun, where Alexa Chung sat front row, there were suede go-go thigh boots and sharp leather Carnaby Street tunics. The Saint Laurent influence could also be seen in Diane von Furstenberg’s backstage-meets-boudoir dresses. And I think we all know who we can blame for the rash of 10-denier tights on the catwalk right now.
Sturdy is chic
Not a term you usually hear in fashion, but between heavyweight coats and layers and satisfyingly stompy boots it seems fitting for next autumn. There is no lightness about footwear at all. Victoria Beckham’s calf boots were a chunky-heel loafer hybrid and Coach had biker boots with shearling tongues. Alexander Wang’s all-black collection, with ball-and-chain details and Frankenstein boots, made the models look as if they hung out in those piercing shops in Leeds that sell marijuana leaf lighters.
Opening Ceremony caught the essence of New York
Now that fashion is so speeded up and the points of difference between the various fashion cities have been slightly rubbed away, it can be hard to know what New York fashion stands for. So props to designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon for their Opening Ceremony collection, which captured perfectly the essence of Brooklyn chic by showing amid an exhibition of unseen Spike Jonze photographs from the 1990s. Cue perfect slouch trousers, skater belts, excellent layering and a Kodak-moment colour palette.