New York Fashion Week Spring 2018: The Highlights

New York seems to be in a peculiar place at the moment. On one hand, you have designers abandoning their spots in the city in exchange for spots in Europe, while other big-name designers have all together left behind the traditional runway shows and opted for lookbooks and presentations, leaving New York in quite the predicament. However, as newcomers flood into New York for a shot at international fame, the electricity that runs through the veins of the city ceases to die out. And in turn, that electricity gives the American fashion community the jolt it’s been needing for the past few seasons.

Cushnie Et Ochs

Cushnie Et Ochs has become a celebrity staple at this point. Every season, Cushnie Et Ochs’s band of loyal silver screen mavens storm red carpets around the globe, showcasing the brand’s body-conscious design. Very rarely will you find someone who can find a fault in the duo’s designs; it’s equal parts delicate and sensual while being headstrong and unapologetically confident. This season was no exception, taking inspiration from Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s game changing use of gender defiance and self-expression, which fits perfectly with the brand’s narrative: Liberated.

Solace London

When it comes to making a great collection that’s equal parts wearable and artistic, designers should look no further than using texture and movement in their designs. This season, Solace London proved just that, creating multiple shapes out of the sheer movement of the fabric itself. But rather than just relying on soft fabrics to get a point across, Solace London used tougher materials like PVC, leather, and denim to contrast the fluidity of the silkier materials, creating a confident wardrobe that stays perfectly on trend with whats going on in the fashion world these days. Another pleasant aspect of the show was its colour scheme, which can best be described as a dessert lover’s dream with creamy browns and tart pinks and citrus hues catching the eye right away. The ball heeled mules are a fun little addition as well.

Ulla Johnson

There’s beauty in the ethereal, and designer Ulla Johnson knows that. Fashion these days has branched out into a do anything and be anything industry, which is something to celebrate. But sometimes it’s simplicity and light-as-air design that creates a truly beautiful collection. Think of it as a breather from the sensory overload that often accompanies fashion in this day and age. However, delicateness doesn’t mean weakness for the designer. Instead, the lightness and transparency of the ensembles create a strong sense of self-empowerment and self-aware sensuality that gives a modern twist to the traditional notions of femininity.

The Row

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have solidified their brand The Row as one of New York city’s most on trend and important fashion houses of the 21st century. Season after season the twins have pumped out collections that carve out niche spot within the fashion community. Now, clothing from The Row may not be for everyone, and that a good thing. Because The Row was never meant to be a brand that appealed to the mass market. Instead, the brand focuses on amplifying one’s physical beauty with simplicity. Very rarely do you find brands that focus solely on minimalist designs that’s beautiful without the bells and whistles. But that’s exactly what you’ll find at The Row (this season’s collection is no exception) where fluid frocks and coats float across the floor in light and neutral shades, while comfortable silhouettes round out the collection by creating an effortlessness.

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5 Lessons to Learn from New York Street Style

There’s no question about it, New York is the epicentre of fashion in the United States. But unlike other fashion capitals around the world, New York doesn’t get its fashion inspirations from the select few at the very top of the fashion industry. Instead, the very lifeblood of the City’s fashion comes from the people, from the everyday fashion lovers that walk the streets of the bustling city. Which is exactly why the fashion community should look towards not only the City itself but the people within it to mould and create their own personal styles. Because when it comes to style, New York’s got it going on!

A little bit of Rock & Roll

New York has always been a rebel city at heart. And the same goes for its citizens. Here, fashion blogger Sirin adds the perfect amount of punk rock to an everyday look by adding a simple black motorcycle jacket and a pair of black ankle boots to a pinstripe blue dress. It’s a look that balances rock glam and everyday wearability into one easy to digest package.

Be As Eccentric As You’d Like

The beauty of New York is that you can be whoever you want to be and no one will love you any less for it. Unlike other places in the United States, New York is a dizzying melting pot of sights, sounds, lights, and people. Where everyone can come together and share a little bit about themselves without fear of prejudice. And Farfetch style and creative VP Yasmin Sewell understands just that. Pair prints, colours, and wild accessories together to create a cacophonic fashion moment. You just might inspire someone else to come out of their fashion shell!

Hip Hop Never Dies

To say that New York lives and breathes Hip Hop would be an understatement. Hip Hop has been part of the cultural fibre that makes up New York City since rhymes were first spit back in the early days of the genre. So it comes as no surprise to see that same influence walking the streets of the Big Apple during fashion week. Now Hip Hop based fashion has evolved from the days of wearing Karl Kani jeans and Baby Phat hoodies, and Rapper Dej Loaf is showcasing just that by adding elements of old school Hip Hop and R & B (the elastic waistband sweats and subtle nod to Queen Mary J. Blige) and pairing them with modern fashion staples like the metallic puffer and sneaker boot.

The Wolf of 5th Avenue

If there’s one thing New York has taught business world well (apart from good business itself) is how to pick and wear the perfect suit. It comes as no surprise that those who live in the arguably the largest business trading centre in the world are going to pick up a little something here and there about dressing in dapper duds. Here, author Aimee Song takes the regular everyday suit and injects a whole lot of New York attitude in it by opting for a velvet jewel tone blazer and high waisted short — making the suit look less like Goldman Sachs and more like a Vogue after party ensemble.

Upper East Side Classic

Model Irene Kim perfectly encompasses what it’s like to dress like New York’s most affluent half in this all-black private school number. However, preppy Upper East Side dressing can sometimes be tricky, and teetering into the realm of comical school girl costume may be something that most people fall into. But Kim pulls it off beautifully. When aiming for a preppier look, try to think less “Lunch on the steps of the Met” à la Gossip Girl and more squeaky clean and pristine debutant with an edge.

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Gotta Have it! Must have show stopping accessories from the fall 2017 runway

One interesting thing that most people don’t know about is that many of the world’s most beloved brands and fashion houses actually make the majority of their profits through accessories. Brands like Prada and Dior are tasked with creating new and exciting bags, shoes, jewellery, and more to drive sales through the roof.

Some brands are even blessed with the gift of having almost their entire yearly revenue derived from the sales of their non-clothing goods. That just goes to show how important accessories really are to the fashion industry itself. They aren’t just afterthoughts or cherries on top to add “a little something” to the collection. They’re there to seal the deal on whether one loves a collection or skips it. Here are Novella’s top picks for best accessories of fall/winter 2017.

The Bags

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Prada, Miu Miu, Jacquemus, Chloe, Altuzzara

Prada: As she does every year, Miuccia Prada released a coveted selection of bags that are sure to end up on everyone’s must have list. Ranging from all black and all baby blue shoulders bags, green ostrich feather handbags, nylon satchels, and python skin to fur-covered confections and printed leather bags, Prada outdid itself once again in creating an innovative and versatile collection of handbags for every occasion. However, one bag stood out from the pack. A bag that clearly played off the brand’s fall 2017 collection of book bags. Like its predecessors, this new bag resembles a leather bound book, but this time the entire bag is comprised of velvet, giving the bag a quirky 70’s feel.

Miu Miu: Just like her bags at Prada, Miuccia’s Miu Miu bag collection is another beautiful example of how well-rounded a designer she really is. This season, Prada’s younger sister released a groovy collection of bags that mirrored the collection’s feminine 60’s flare. There were bags with fur handles and bags with large glamorous brooches. But the most interesting pick of the collection was a selection of bags that had “Miu Miu” stitched all over the bag in a stunning psychedelic swinging 60’s font.

Jacquemus: Simon Porte Jacquemus has been one of the only designers of late to actually produce worthwhile collections. And although the statement may seem a little extreme, it’s completely called for in Simon’s case. For his fall 2017 collection, Jacquemus gave the fashion world one of the most creative and innovative bags to date. Gone are the days of his “haricot” bags and wallets — his newest offering comes in the shape of an upside down envelope, mirroring the bags a bourgeois woman of the 1950’s would have worn in Paris. The greatest thing about this bag is that it carries (no pun intended) all of the things that define French clothing (like the gold chain and old world shape) and literally turns it on its head, thereby making the bag distinctly Jacquemus yet still very much French in design.

Chloe: Chloe has always been a staple in exceptional bag making and this season just another testimony to that statement. This season’s it girl bag has to be Chloe’s white sand coloured circle crossbody bag. The adorable bag is the perfect run around bag that matches any outfit, plus the brass coloured metal handle adds that perfect bohemian touch that Chloe has always been known for. And the best part is that the bag looks as if it will be available in a multitude of neutral and dark colours to suit any preference and need!

Altuzzara: The last bag on the list is by far the most traditional of the bunch, but that isn’t to say the bag is in anyway doughty or matronly. This Altuzzara handbag came in a stunning array of complementary colours that suited every look in the collection perfectly, which is also a plus. But the best part about this season’s Altuzzara bag had to be its simple design and decoration. There were no gimmicks here. Just a beautifully designed leather bag with an accompanying flower that would make even the most elite of New York’s Upper East Side squeal with delight.

The Shoes

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Gucci, Tory Burch, Maison Margiela, Rochas, Thom Browne

Gucci: Leave to Alessandro Michele create a cowboy inspired 80’s ankle boot that actually looks amazing. During his latest Gucci show, Michele sent out a real throwback of a shoe that was completely off colour to what has been going on at Gucci. The bright white bootie comes complete with an almost Wild West/almost Eastern European embroidered floral design that fits the brand’s outstanding new vision perfectly. On top of that, the boot itself is perfect for the 80’s revival trend that has been sweeping the fashion world this season.

Tory Burch: Tory Burch is a brand that has more recently been associated with wealthy soccer mom chic, rather than high fashion fallal. But this season, the American brand looked as if it was trying to shed its current plateau and engage new customers. And the shoe of the show did just that. This beautifully ornate Tory Burch heel burst onto the catwalk with one thing in mind — to make a statement. And that it did. The stunning heel pulled out all the stops to command attention; the sculptural heel, European style brocade pattern, and a beautiful oversized bow harked back to imperial French court glamour. It’s safe to say that Tory Burch is finally making fashion and that’s a wonderful thing.

Maison Margiela: The incomparable John Galliano has made a new name for himself at Margiela since his arrival at the iconic Belgian house. Every season it seems that Mr. Galliano has fresh and innovative ideas for his clientele’s eyes to feast on. For this season’s Margiela show, Galliano presented a knee length boot in an ever-so-relevant 70’s inspired silhouette. The boot, which features an ultra feminine pencil thin heel and deep ochre coloured python print, resemble the same heeled boots that independent and fashionable women wore back in the 1970’s, making it an instant buy on any trend followers must have list.

Rochas: Rochas has always been spot on when it comes to gloriously elegant women’s clothing. This season at Rochas, viewers were treated to the most darling of pumps one could ever imagine. The shoe, which looked to have taken inspiration from 1950’s fetish heels and Marie Antoinette court shoes, are as prim and proper as any shoe can get. And that beautifully placed heel makes the entire shoe look even more delicate and glamorous.

Thom Browne: Thom Browne has never been one to shy away from designing things that many would consider outlandish, but that’s exactly why he’s on this season’s “best of” list. For his winter wonderland inspired show, Browne created a heel that features his trademark all-American brogues crossed with an interesting hollow wedge heel made to look like a figure skater’s blade. The shoe is a testament to how amazing a designer Browne is. Not only is the shoe perfectly designed to fit, it also carries one of Thom Browne most easily recognizable trademarks. On the front of the shoe, a small shirt and tie can be seen peeking out from right under the ankle, showing any potential customers that Thom Browne’s quirky suiting is never too far away.

The Hats

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Christian Dior, Loewe, Coach, Adam Selman, Marc Jacobs

Christian Dior: Berets have been the go-to headpiece of the season and the hardworking ateliers at Christian Dior were definitely paying attention. For fall 2017, Dior had berets coming down the runway in full force. Part French go-to, part pro-feminist statement. The berets conjured up images of strong warrior women ready to fight for female freedom and independence.

Loewe: Jonathan Anderson has been wowing audiences in London and Paris for quite some time now, so it comes as no surprise that the British wunderkind presented another spot on collection for Loewe this season. The collection itself is a mishmash of all of the most beautiful things that Anderson has designed in the past, with the tiniest hint of European village life. This is where the hat comes in. The darling straw hat isn’t overbearing and ostentatious like many straw sunhats that have been shown on the runway. This adds to Anderson’s rendition’s charm. Rather than making the hat comical and theatrical, the small brim size gives the sunhat an air of authenticity and realness.

Coach: Coach is another one of those brands that ran into an extremely commercial plateau for quite a while. However, recently the brand has beefed up their designs and created relevant and exciting collections to lure would-be buyers in. For fall 2017, Coach has managed to design a wonderfully trendy hat for the young streetwear wise dressers of the world. With its fluffy shearling outer layer, the hat seems like the perfect alternative to a beanie for those chilly New York nights.

Adam Selman: Now this may not be the most traditional hat, but that doesn’t take away from how interesting a topper it is. At Adam Selman’s show during NYFW17, audiences were treated to a quirky little birdcage fascinator that was equal parts adorable and badass. Like 1950’s motorcycle gang chicks, the models stormed out with powerful little flowers on their heads and the best part about them is their versatility. Not only could you wear them with jeans and a leather jacket, but you could easily pair the fascinator with a beautiful black cocktail dress for more formal events.

Marc Jacobs: Marc Jacobs has always been fashion’s little rebel. Taking everyday trends from past and present and turning them into high fashion concepts. For his fall collection, the inspiration was clear. 70’s and 80’s urban and hip hop culture reigned supreme on the runway and it was perfectly evident in Jacobs accessories. This puffy hat is a perfect alternative to your traditional winter beanie. Instead of having a regular old boring knitted winter hat, you can have this interesting oversized retro beanie instead.

The Shades

Photos: Vogue Runway | From L to R: Anna Sui, Acne, Anya Hindmarch, Fendi, Sacai

Anna Sui: Anna Sui is one of those designers who has and will always march to the beat of her own drum. Since the early 90’s, Anna has been creating collections that are distinctly her own. This season’s Anna Sui sunnies follow in her great tradition of doing her own thing. The blue sunglasses feature a theatrical angular cat eye that is only further enhanced by their bright cobalt shade. The glasses also perfectly compliment the collections 1920’s/1970’s bohemian chic aesthetic, giving the wearer the glamour of a traditional cat eye with a bright pop of a mod colour.

Acne: The beauty of Acne is in its simplicity. While other brands thrive off of creating elaborate shows and collections, Acne has blossomed into a fashion powerhouse by infusing Swedish minimalism with high fashion appeal. And this is perfectly evident with this season’s sunglasses. The shades for fall/winter 2017 were simple in their construction. Two thin silver arms hold the angular coloured lenses in place to create a psychedelic feel to the glasses. Think John Lennon à la 2017 high fashion mod. But the quirky simplicity of these sunglasses aren’t the only selling points here. The glasses are actually quite versatile. They can be paired perfectly with a casual pair of jeans and a band t-shirt or glammed up with a silk neck-tied blouse, wide leg pant, and a floppy summer hat.

Anya HindmarchAnya Hindmarch’s entry into the industry as an accessories designer must be what pushes her to create an interesting range of accessories that are completely relevant, on-brand, and desirable outside of her own already spectacular clothing lines. Her fall 2017 sunglass collection just goes to show that she understands what her customers want. She could have easily made a pair of sunglasses with a simple frame and lens for her collection, but instead she chose to create a fur trimmed pair of sunglasses that more closely resembled a pair of skiing goggles. The fun, fur trimmed sunglasses add that perfect wintery feeling to an accessory that’s usually associated with warmer weathers and the summer months, giving the overall look a high fashion après ski feeling.

Fendi: Fendi is an accessory giant. Like its other Italian contemporaries, Fendi owes much of its success to its sales in trendy and in demand accessories. Usually known for its outlandish designs, Fendi presented a surprising take on sunglasses by creating a clean and perfectly polished pair of circular sunglasses. The posh specs fit spectacularly with the cool and composed vibe of the collection. It just goes to show that sometimes simplicity really is key!

Sacai: Sacai is a brand that has garnered a huge following over the years. And it’s easy to see why. This season’s sunglasses are in fact the most visually stunning, adorned with a number of butterflies framing the arms and lenses. These Sacai delights are perfect for commanding total attention when walking into a room. The one possible downfall of these sunnies may be their theatricality, but that’s also their the biggest allure. The beautifully decorative butterfly wings add an old world whimsy to the glasses that has slowly been coming back into fashion. And why not enjoy these shades all year-round? They would make the perfect winter pop of summery colour and the perfect summer conversation piece.

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Trend Report: New York and London f/w17

New York and London have just finished presenting their takes on fashion’s fastest growing trends. Designers had their hands in everything from florals to plaid, creating a fashion wonderland for all to see and appreciate. However, not every trend was something worth cheering over and not every trend from last year had the staying power to push into this season. In spite of all of that, five trends managed to dominate the runway this season at NYFW and LFW. Some of them are interpretations and modernizations of trends that have been going strong for a little while now, while others are fresh and following the beat of what’s going on around them.

Here are the 5 trends that swept the stage during New York and London fashion weeks:

Modern Plaids

Marc Jacobs, J. JS Lee, Anna Sui, Osman | Photos: Vogue Runway

The staple print of the 1970’s is back again with a vengeance this season. After slowly sneaking into almost every collection under the sun over the past year, this season’s take on the iconic intersecting stripes seems to have a bit more bite to it.

It seems that mustard is the go-to plaid punch colour this season. Designers like Marc Jacobs and Osman have created their own takes on mustard plaid coats that look beautifully modern, yet nostalgically retro.

Now mustard may have been every plaid loving designer’s sweetheart this season, but many other designers opted for more neutral tones instead. At Anna Sui and J. JS. Lee, Prince of Wales check coats and suits came in simple yet punchy neutrals of black and tan that pumped the heritage look of the check with a little youthful pizzazz.

Protest Apparel

Creatures of Comfort, Gareth Pugh, Prabal Gurung, Ashish | Photos: Vogue Runway

Political injustices that have been sweeping across the United States has inspired a plethora of designers and artists to push past what’s been socially acceptable as a collection to create what are now being dubbed “protest collections.

This season has seen countless designers present their personal opinions against the current U.S. presidency by incorporating graphic and stylistic design elements into their collections. For example, graphic tees and sweatshirts were the highlights at Creatures of Comfort, Prabal Gurung, and Ashish. Models strutted down the runway in garments that either directly quoted many of Donald Trump’s ludicrous catchphrases or directly opposed them by sending messages of peace and empowerment.

However, one collection really stood out by breaking down walls and really pushing the boundary of what politically charged fashion can be. This season at Gareth Pugh, models were dressed in military inspired outfits that so closely resembled modern Nazi uniforms that it felt uncomfortable to even watch the show — which was Pugh’s brilliant intention. Model after model stormed the runway in haunting makeup and beautifully tailored military garb that represented Pugh’s vision of what America’s future may look like if a fascist government sinks its teeth into it for too long. The runway music was a cacophonous array of jumbled songs, speeches, and easily recognizable American media that mimicked CIA audios of torture used on prisoners. The collection did not break from a completely black colour scheme, only adding to the doom and gloom that Pugh wanted to express. In the end, the collection is a strong representation of creative visions that designers will start to express as the world around them become little less bright as time goes on.

Alternative Florals

Preen by Thorton Bregazzi, Christopher Kane, Ryan Lo, Erdem | Photos: Vogue Runway

These aren’t your grandma’s delicate peony prints! Fall/Winter 2017 saw some of the most creative and downright unconventional floral prints seen to date. Colours were vibrant and outlandish, designs were ostentatious and gaudy, and the best part was that audiences loved every second of it.

Season after season, designers have slowly built up fashion lover’s appetite for more shocking floral prints. At Preen, one of the last biggest trends, the puffer coat was given a bright injection of watercolour florals. While at Christopher Kane, beautiful budding blooms exploded from simple slip dresses, adding a whimsical fairytale touch to the collection.

At Ryan Lo and Erdem, traditional English florals were spun into unconventional silhouettes to give a modern update to old world Victorian charm.

The Reimagined Suit

Theory, Thom Browne, Delpozo, Mulberry | Photos: Vogue Runway

Gone are the days of the 90’s power suit. Women now have a plethora of unique and interesting styles that are perfect for the boardroom. At Theory, Thom Browne, and Mulberry, plaids dominated. Adding a retro crispness to the modern suit. But the modern suit doesn’t just rely on a fresh print for an updated look.

At Mulberry and Delpozo, silhouettes were given exaggerated proportions to modernize the everyday suit’s silhouette. Broad shoulders and widened flared arms hark back to exaggerated Dynasty power suits, without leaving a tacky taste in your mouth.

However, the real winner has to be Thom Browne. For his fall 2017 collection, the master of suiting once again deconstructed the traditional suit and put it back together. Giving women the option of strong menswear-inspired looks as well as Edwardian era newspaper boy suits in whimsical gingham check. The collection presents an interesting take on the modern women’s suit. It showed that suiting doesn’t necessarily have to be cold and stoic — it can be interesting and even comical without taking away the commanding effect of the suit itself.

The New Trench

Derek Lam, Margaret Howell, The Row, MM6 Maison Margiela | Photos: Vogue Runway

It goes without saying that this season has been the season of the trench coat. Designers in every fashion capital have stormed the runway with their interpretations of floor-length trench coats, giving them modern updates, and unconventional silhouettes for the modern fashion aficionado to enjoy.

The most colourful of the bunch came from Derek Lam, who presented a lovely trench coat in red leather, conjuring up images of 1940’s Dick Tracey zoot suits. Meanwhile, Margaret Howell, The Row, and MM6 all opted for more traditional hues.

The most intriguing part of the modern trench coat is definitely the new proportions designers have given it. At The Row, trench coats were given extremely streamlined silhouettes by going sans buttons. While trenches at MM6, infused with traditional Japanese designs and tied at the waist with a very thin belt, almost resemble an unfinished kimono. Designs like these give the modern trench a fresh and exciting twist. This isn’t just your dad’s old London Fog coat anymore!

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The Best of NYFW Street Style

Since New York Fashion Week has come and gone, it’s time to reflect on the edgy street style New York had to offer this season. My absolute favourite part about fashion weeks around the world, and especially when it comes to NYFW, is the street style. One thing is for sure, New York knows how to bring it. Outerwear and layering were key factors in nailing your street style game during NYFW where street style is no joke — even the snow, sleet, slush, and the wind can’t stop the people of New York from bringing their A-game to the streets. From camouflage to kitten heels and puffer jackets, New York’s style is still as cool and sophisticated as ever.

Camouflage

It seems like camouflage is equally on the runway — from Yeezy Season 5 and Coach to Alice + Olivia — and on the streets of New York. But it still speaks volumes and is sure to make you stand out.

Trench Coats

New York brought a more chill and relaxed vibe to the classic trench. A hint of layering and cuffed sleeves gives a disheveled yet sophisticated look.

Kitten Heels

Kitten heels were popping up all over the streets. Pairing them with denim is the perfect way to achieve a balanced chill and feminine look.

Oversized Puffer

The go-to way to stay warm during NYFW was definitely the puffer jacket. It was hard to keep track of just how many there were. Regardless what you think about puffers, oversized puffers are statements that keep you warm.

Shades of Yellow

There were more yellow on the streets of New York than the usual flow of taxi cabs flowing through. From bright jackets and purses to more subtle yellow accessories like yellow-tinted sunglasses, the yellow accent was a favourite during this season.

Shearling-Lined

The shearling lined jacket was seen left, right, and center on those who were braving the cold during NYFW. It’s the epitome of warm, badass outerwear. If you’re not into the idea of a full fur coat, this is a happy medium. A classic and fashionable look but with a little more edge.

Plaid

Crowds turned to plaid in all different shapes, styles, and colours. Pairing it with anything and everything, New York brought out the classic in its quintessentially unique ways.

Faux Fur

Nothing says winter is here like fur and the faux-fur game was definitely strong this season. It dominated the street style runway in a variety of styles,  colors, and cuts.

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