NEW YORK - If spring 2015's runway looks - shown last September - were all about pared down, futuristic silhouettes, expect this fall's fashions to take you on a journey to outer space.
At this year's Fall Fashion Week, ending Thursday in New York, three-quarter length skirts and cocoon coats have been both cozy and commanding. Expect to see midriff top and matching skirt (or pant) ensembles - also among the week's top looks - trending from spring into fall.
It seems the higher-waisted - and the skinnier - the pants, the better, but mini bell bottoms will likely replace those tapered at the ankles. And watch those hemlines rise on those tailored pants: Ankle-length trousers and yes, even culottes have moved into the realm of modern.
Instead of color-blocking, think fur-blocking on otherwise simple jackets and coats. And the real trick to wearing a fur - faux or real - will be to effortlessly toss a stole over just one shoulder, Marlene Dietrich-style. (See Jason Wu's wow-worthy collection from this week to see how it's done.)
Expect cold-weather whites to be more sunny-day bright than warmer ecru.
When done well, as was the case with collections by Diane von Fürstenberg, BCBG, Costello Tagliapietra, Son Jung Wan, and Veronica Beard, these looks are so good that they are enviable. Stunning 1930s silhouettes meld into '70s funk with a dash of '90s minimalism.
But some were perplexing.
Kanye West x Adidas Originals was a collection of flesh-toned body stockings paired with stocking caps, bulletproof vests, and holey sweaters. Fashion-forward space-age vibe aside, I don't think anyone is yearning to live in a postapocalyptic world, so it didn't quite work.
Alexander Wang's all-black collection proved to be another head-scratcher. It included many wearable pieces such as cropped leather moto jackets and very high-waisted, ankle-length trousers. Wang trimmed coats with silver spikes. But the presentation seemed unnecessarily Goth. Kendall Jenner, who also walked the New York Fashion Week runways for Diane von Fürstenberg in a delightful white dress, was hardly recognizable.
Here are some trends from New York Fashion Week (and the designers who nailed them).
Grown-up rocker chic
Both Tracy Reese and West Philly's Dom Streater clad the first of their runway models in black-and-white prints, with hair pulled back in severe ponytails and accessorized with headphones and sunglasses. While Streater's collection, inspired by royalty, stuck with the black-and-white color story for kimono-style dresses and jumpsuits, Reese expanded her palette with red, cropped-top, A-line skirt sets, zebra-print coats and really smart tonal pantsuits. It was edgy in a '70s kind of way.
Nicole Miller was inspired by folklore and mythic arts, so she worked with falling star prints and celestial constellations. But Miller dropped her hemlines over the knee, so her very 1970s grouping with its mini-bell bottoms and quilted jackets might possibly pass the boardroom test.
Considered frumpy for a long time, the longer mid-calf skirt will trend fresh next fall. Philip Lim took a modern approach to the 1930s, tucking a mohair sweater into a midi-length A-line burgundy leather skirt. Jason Wu's cropped pants and skirts in rich olive greens and jeweled turquoises hit mid-calf in a funky way. Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis, the duo behind Suno, mixed winter florals into a leaner silhouette that had severe 1930s elements - clean, longer hemlines - and playful ones from the 1970s, such as tied blouses and patchwork patterns. And Son Jung Wan's old-school shapes were fashioned in neons. Fuchsia coats, orange pantsuits, and mint-green sheaths bordered on breathtaking.
Shine dominated the fall 2015 runways, but we've moved way beyond tacky, sequined sparkle to a foil-esque look.
Zac Posen worked a bit of sparkle into a red skirt and sweater look. Carolina Herrera's sparkle looked delicate as threads in slate gray evening gowns. And Alice & Olivia's Stacy Bendett did skinny pants and minis in shiny brocades and diamond checkerboard prints. Smart. Noon by Noor's design team Shaikha Noor Al Khalifa and Shaikha Haya Al Khalifa maxed out on metallic - in a good way - with an array of shimmering shirt dresses and trenches.
Deep, deep décolletage
Pulling off these v-necks will require a nearly flat chest. Still, designers known for girl-power mantras, such as Donna Karan and Diane von Fürstenberg, showed pantsuits, skirt suits, and dresses with a lot of potential spillage. A lesser known, yet soon to be equally as important womenswear designer, Misha Nonoo, fashioned a black jumpsuit with a not-so-deep V. Maybe these designers were thinking they'd be layered over blouses or turtlenecks for daytime wear? Maybe?
Joseph Altuzarra coolly dressed models in fur stoles and skirts with thigh-high splits, lace and skirts with thigh-high splits, and leather and skirts with thigh-high splits. You get the picture? Tory Burch's gorgeous, mostly slate-gray-with-shades-of-marsala collection, inspired by a trip to Marrakech and London, was very '70s - complete with chic bowed blouses paired with slitted skirts. And neither Dennis Basso nor Prabal Gurung was afraid to show a lot of leg - on sliplike dresses. Thank goodness for all the capes and three-quarter length coats that went with them.