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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New York Fashion Week f/w 2017: The Highlights

This season, fashion has entered a literal limbo. Many brands opted to show presentations and lookbooks rather than runway shows and others chose to leave their host cities to show elsewhere (we’re looking at you Proenza Schouler and La Perla). Apart from the chaos of fashion week itself, many designers were left with the task of creating collections that are not only relevant to today’s trends, but also relevant in response to the year’s unsteady and frightening beginning. The uncertain future of artistic freedom in the United States has made its impact on artists and designers around the world. Many have chosen to step back and tone down their collections for the sake of letting the important issues rise to the top, while others have stepped up to the task of opposing the current state of affairs in the US through their art. However, even those who’ve taken jabs at the US presidenct have done so in a very minute and almost unnoticeable way. Which has led this season’s collections to come off as more uninspired and, ultimately, underwhelming. Although not very politically charged, there were still a few collections that managed to stand out during New York’s fall 2017 line up. Fashion lovers rejoice, you still have something to cheer about in this sea of uncertainty.

Photo: Inez & Vinoodh

Nili Lotan

Sometimes the cure for a fashion drought is to look toward the brands that mainstream fashion tends to look over. Nili Lotan, a name that I presume only die-hard fashion lovers would recognize, presented a collection this season that would quench the thirst of even the most trained fashion eye. This season sees Lotan visiting extreme proportions with her trousers — think exaggerated palazzo pants. She created a slouchy and relaxed look that mirrors many streetwear trends happening right now, but it doesn’t come with the added overly casual “hype-beast-urban-Instagram-chic” look that seems to be dominating runways everywhere. As a whole, the collection is a smart and elegant reimagining of current trends that are bound to appeal to the most fashion forward millennials and style veterans alike.

Photo: Luca Tombolini

Delpozo

Josep Font has established himself as the new king of architectural design. His work for Delpozo has now solidified his place as one of the most forward thinking and interesting designers in the world right now. For his fall 2017 collection, Font has taken his traditional avant-garde designs and infused them with a 1960’s sense of futuristic space age design. Models walked out in knitted sweaters that continued all the way up to the model’s heads, creating a Jetsons-like space helmet that brought back memories of designers like Pucci and Courreges. Designs that didn’t incorporate Josep’s retro-futurism relied on the refined and modern elegance that brought him so much praise and fame during his introductory seasons at Delpozo. One smart feature was the addition of elegant billowing gowns that are perfect as any last minute award show additions for trendsetting celebs looking for a more forward-thinking silhouette for this year’s awards season.

The Row

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s now iconic house has hit cult status among fashion aficionados. With their staple black and whites, the Olson’s very rarely moved into the realm of colour with the only variance from black and white being a bright lipstick red and a muted mustard yellow. Now one would imagine it would be extremely difficult to create a collection that stands out using only white and black, but the Olsens have turned this into a science. They blended their go-to relaxed silhouettes with a refined tailoring that rivals that of the ateliers employed in Paris’ iconic fashion houses. The overall tone this season seemed to exude a masculinity, with many of the looks employing straight legged trousers and duster coats to give the collection a “harder edge.” Yet the Olsens’ expertise for design fuse what would be an extremely overbearing masculine silhouette with an elegant and refined air of femininity.

Photo: Monica Feudi

Zimmerman

European whimsy can be one of the hardest things to find in New York. The New York woman, more often than not, is a more relaxed and streetwise woman to her European counterpart. However, at this season’s Zimmerman show, the designer showed us that a New Yorker can also paint a fairytale for herself among the towers of steel and glass. Ruffles, a trend that has been dominating the fashion world for a little over a year now, was the grounding feature that pulled the entire collection together. Allowing for the collection to go from outright fantasy to the wearable and reasonable for the everyday woman. One of the most eye-catching and pleasing features of the collection were the additions of stripes, plaids, polka dots, and sequins, which gave the collection a modern and relevant appearance that can quickly be lost when a designer relies solely on romantic designs.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos

Alexander Wang

The Alexander Wang brand has become a go-to for any hip and influential millennial. But in the last few years, Wang’s brand seemed to be losing what made it so interesting and appealing to the youth of the fashion world. Fortunately, Alexander Wang’s fall 2017 collection went back to the brand’s roots and gave fashion lovers around the world exactly what they had been missing from the brand in recent years. His collection felt dark, moody, and modern, alternative, yet completely wearable, which is the perfect mixture for selling clothing in this day and age. Where fashion is more concerned about looking different (in a controlled and uniform way) rather than in a jarring and completely out there way.

Photo: Umberto Fratini

Self-Portrait

“Give the people what they want” seemed to be the direction that Self-Portrait designer Han Chong took this season. Stepping away from his usual lacy dresses and pretty things, Chong presented a collection steeped in New York cool. Plaid coats hit floor length while dresses in denim and Prince-of-Wales check came in ruffled and asymmetrical silhouettes. More whimsical looks were paired with slightly high waisted shorts to give them a more youthful and relevant appearance. Velvet dresses gave the collection its dose of modern and elegant evening wear, which has been a difficult feat for many young designers, especially in today’s street trend-obsessed society. Some looks like the ruffled polka dot and floral print blouses and dresses seemed a little disjointed with the modern edge the collection presented, but not enough to put off potential buyers looking for something a little more street relevant but refined.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos

Cushnie et Ochs

One of the biggest delights during NYFW was Cushnie et Ochs. Now in its 9th year of gracing the runways of New York, designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs have managed to stick to their guns and catapult their namesake brand to cult status among the fashion crowd and celebs alike. This year, the designers once again presented a collection deeply rooted in feminine sexuality and the beauty of the female body. Their staple cocktail length dresses were given a dose of modern minimalism, leaving only the fabric, fit, and models’ natural curves rather than gimmicks to wow onlookers. The ice blues and bold citrus yellows helped add colour to the monotonous black and white of the collection, while surprise pops of sequin paillettes hinted at what the designers may be cooking up for future collections. The most appealing looks came in the form of various decollete-baring dresses and a few two piece pant numbers that were sprinkled throughout the collection.

Photo: Frame

Frame

It’s a tried and tested fact the Swedes are masters at creating minimal and relevant clothing that understands today’s trends but moves to the beat of its own drum. And for designers Erik Torstensson and Jens Grede of Frame, the statement couldn’t be more appropriate. For Frame’s fall 2017 collection, the design duo has created a collection that mirrors this and last season’s most coveted trends — denim, 70’s eclectic rock chic, velvet, leopard print, shirting, androgyny, etc. — and infused them with a nordic sense of stylish ease. For example, rather than creating an outlandish reinterpretation of the Vetements suit that has been dominating the runway, Torstensson and Grede introduced a perfectly relaxed pantsuit that borrowed from last year’s dominating androgynous look and gave a fresh and less gimmicky appeal. Suiting that used 70’s inspired fabrics and prints à la Gucci were designed to stand alone, rather than be direct interpretations. Probably the biggest defining trait that Frame’s fall collection has is the designers’ ability to capture everything that is happening now in fashion in only 13 looks; something that takes even the most seasoned fashion veterans 40 or more looks to achieve. Designers Erik and Jens know exactly what they’re doing. They know who their clients are and how to give them exactly what they want. It’s safe to say that while the Instagram “influencers” will be throwing on the most garish and trend driven designs fashion heavyweights can pump out, the real fashion innovators will be wearing Frame.

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