Next spring’s women’s wear will fall into one of three camps: sporty, feminine, or feminine/sporty. That’s according to the more than 200 American designers presenting collections at New York Fashion Week, which wrapped up last week.
The spring 2016 collections are an extension of this fall, so the transition into warm-weather looks will be sweet. We’re finally comfortable with a simplified silhouette and color palette, so designers are letting us hang out in this grown-up minimalist space for a little while longer.
“The message is that everybody can wake up and get dressed whatever way they want,” said Jaclyn Jones, senior women’s wear editor at WGSN, a global trend-forecasting agency with offices in New York City.
“One day, we may feel very feminine, the next, we may be more tailored, or it could be sporty,” Jones said. “It’s all about embracing whatever mood you are in.”
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Sporty and daring
The sportier looks are the most daring of the sartorial bunch. Mostly androgynous in nature, these collections hail from the next generation of greats like Alexander Wang, Shayne Oliver of Hood by Air, Maxwell Osborne, Dao-Yi Chow of Public School, and Maria Cornejo of Zero.
The rest of the sporty collections didn’t bother to follow any rules. For example, according to Wang – who celebrated his 10th year in fashion and his departure as top designer at Balenciaga – mesh goes with everything.
Still, while having fun, remember the idea is not to dress head to toe in an olive-leather jumpsuit strewn with cutouts, as Oliver suggested at his spring runway show that was hilariously inspired by inappropriate school uniforms. But instead, work the wearable pieces – the boxy-yet-fitted trousers, mesh T’s, and sheer blouses – into existing wardrobes. You know, black pants go with everything.
A bit of glamour
Femininity, in all of its 1930s glamour, will remain a key piece of the sultry zeitgeist next spring. Industry veterans like Narciso Rodriguez, Michael Kors, and Jason Wu sent many a tailored look down the spring runways, but still continued to assure us that powerful women could flaunt curves and be taken seriously.
It wasn’t just the midi-sheath and cropped-top ensembles that were a nod to women secure in their girly-girl sophistication. Bare shoulders ruled.
Prabal Gurung, whose airy collection was a prayerful call to remember earthquake-stricken Nepal, designed dresses kissed with sunset graphics. Wes Gordon’s sheaths and tops were commanding shades of sunshine yellow. There was something about a punchy, hot-pink top, strapless corset, and orange skinny pants that was alluring by Josie Natori.
A little of both
But my favorite genre was the sporty/feminine blend. There is a certain confidence that comes from wearing sequined dresses with racer-back tops – in the daytime. Thank you, Vera Wang. Carol Lim and Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony decided they would take off-white, the most feminine of shades, and make hoodies they would pair with skirts that feature deep slits. Cute.
Veronica Beard mastered the jumpsuit, the romper, and the pantsuit for next fall. And then there was the brilliance that was Riccardo Tisci’s highly anticipated Givenchy show. In the best example of the democratization of fashion this season, Tisci opened the show to nonfashion insiders, and they were treated with lots of lace and shoulders. We are talking perfect, delicate silhouettes that were as sporty as they were sultry.
Of course, there were the collections that veered left: Diane von Furstenberg remains pleasantly ensconced in the 1970s with rompers and jumpsuits in out-of-this- world prints. Tracy Reese – who announced a partnership with Sarah Jessica Parker – stuck to her now-familiar rocker-chic theme, although slightly softened, and BCBG Max Azria didn’t disappoint with his fresh take on all things boho and patchwork. Check out the bucket hats. And Nicole Miller was inspired by 1980s box radios and graffiti.
Finally, Kanye West showed his sophomore Yeezy Boost collection Wednesday for Adidas. Again, it was futuristic in nature: tattered sweatshirts, cargo pants, and sheer dresses over nude body suits. Some pieces worked. Others didn’t.
It’s odd, and so is Kanye, but you have to give him credit for trying to push the envelope.