While the Triangle shivers under a deep freeze, the latest fashions coming down the runways at New York Fashion Week for next winter promise plenty of cozy chic mixed with a return to some familiar fashion comfort zones – chiefly the ’70s, but with plenty of contemporary flourishes and luxe touches.
The collections, which began Feb. 12, wrap up Thursday at venues around New York City.
With a couple hundred fashion shows, showroom receptions and other special events, there is certainly room for a variety of interpretations of fashion’s direction for next fall. But as always, some key trends emerged.
The fur stole is having a comeback moment, as are big fur cuffs on jackets and sweaters. In fact, fur – real and faux – along with shearling, provided luxurious glosses on necessities.
Capes and caped jackets are also giving the season a certain swing. Big coats and coats with cocoon-shaped rounded shoulders dominated. Who, after all, doesn’t need a good, warm coat, especially with winter weather becoming increasingly extreme?
Roomy pullover sweaters – sometimes paired with a crisp white blouse – worn over a slightly shorter ankle-length tailored pant promise to be a uniform for next fall.
The menswear sensibility – a trend for several seasons now – promises to continue its influence on womenswear in terms of tailoring, as well as the integration of traditional suit checks. Perhaps nowhere was that more beautifully done than in Michael Kors’ “opulence restrained” 1930s-inspired collection.
Elsewhere on the runway, the color palette for next fall seems, for the most part, to be sticking to fall basics – jewel tones, particularly reds and purples, blues and greens; the earth tones of browns and greens; and the mainstay neutrals of black, white and a few shades (though not 50) of gray.
Splashes of the brighter tones of autumn were most vividly showcased in collections like that of J. Crew, which used splashes of citron, and an antique gold also seen in the beading of numerous collections from Kors to Reem Acra.
The ’70s boogie is back
A huge ’70s vibe also boogied its way around the New York shows so much so that one might have imagined some sort of memorandum circulating around New York’s fashion district decreeing that Fall 2015 would be devoted to the ’70s.
Actually though, designers have been flirting with the ’70s for a couple of seasons now.
In many cases, this means that for Fall 2015, expect to see wider pant legs, wrap dresses and skirts, culottes, more jumpsuits, babydoll tops, capes, tunic tops and vests, and a continued dalliance with long midi and maxi skirts and dresses. It’s all very “Fly, Robin, Fly,” as the song said back in the day.
Comfort always in style
But even more than embracing their inner Fly Girl, women crave comfort and warmth. It’s one of the reasons why the whole “athleisure” trend has become such a juggernaut in fashion these days.
While no one sent yoga pants or running jackets down the runway, there were some interesting luxe pieces clearly reflecting the athleisure trend.
Designer Pamella Roland said the more relaxed vibe is reflected in the fashion world’s love affair with the boho chic look.
“We did it with looks that are a little more bohemian, a little bit more loose, doing things like pairing over the knee boots with gowns,” Roland said.
But, she said, relaxed doesn’t equate with letting yourself go.
“I know that a lot of people, like my customers in the South, still like to dress. It’s more about the mood and the feel,” she said. “The message now is that you can do both. You can be dressy and you can also have that more relaxed feel.”
Get ready to layer
Sweaters were big, and roomy pullovers were made with enticingly soft fabrics. Nubbly knits and embroideries like those used in the BCBG Max Azria collection promised a festive touch and sumptuous detail. And everywhere, designers were providing pieces to layer.
All of this adds up to good news for women in the Triangle, say area fashion experts.
“I’m very excited about this season. I’m finding the fashion is really coming full circle with this true ’70s vibe,” said Suzanne Libfraind, owner of Raleigh-based Wardrobe Consulting. “I think a lot of women will really appreciate this trend because of the simple silhouettes. There’s something for every woman. Some will like the hip huggers. Some will like the more flowy pants. Some will like the longer skirts. Some will like the babydoll dresses.”
And Libfraind said the new trends will mesh well with pieces women may have recently added to their closets.
“I think most women have a military-style jacket or a motorcycle jacket in their closet,” she said. “Now we’re seeing those combined with things like a ruffled blouse so you’ve got a very structured jacket with a softer blouse.”
Raleigh-based stylist Mary Michele Nidiffer of StyleFinderID.com said she likes that designers are thinking more about real women. “I was struck by just the wearability of the trends,” she said. “I looked at a lot of shows and certainly there are the artistic and dramatic expressions, but overall, everything is very wearable.
“I think there are a lot of things that are going to translate to what women of the South are looking for and what they’ll want to wear.”
Nidiffer said the bohemian trend is one she sees women embracing, especially since it can be styled up or down and can work for a variety of ages and body types.
“It’s dramatic and romantic and whimsical and I think it’s something a lot of women on different levels can work with,” she said. “It’s not all flowy or all structured, it’s a combination. Women will have options.”