Friday, September 17, 2010

New York Fashion Week: In six months, this is what you'll be wearing

Credit: Imaxtree via The Cut

 So, spring 2011. I know - it seems decades away.  We're just starting to buy sweaters. We're just getting excited about being able to wear pants out at night without suffering from heat exhaustion. It still has to get cold and snowy before we can really think about wearing spring clothes. But buyers need to do their jobs, and so we have New York Fashion Week in September.

New York Fashion Week wound to a close yesterday, and over the past seven days, we have had a great look at what styles and trends will be huge for spring 2011.

Over the next couple of days, I am going to show you what looks rocked and what did not. But for now, here's a roundup of what you can expect for spring:

1. Looks like neutrals and muted tones will continue to be huge through spring. Alexander Wang showed a mostly white collection. Donna Karan's clothes were mostly creams and beiges. Even Diane von Furstenberg, who does not shy away from a bold, colorful print, went for a softer palette.

2. The Mad Men effect continues to be huge, with retro styles all over the runway. Full, longer skirts were everywhere, as were Katherine Hepburn-inspired, wide-legged, high-waisted pants. This also means were looking at a slightly more conservative spring wardrobe. (Ladies in DC, rejoice. We can finally be conservative and look chic, not straight-laced.)

3. The more conservative style also means that menswear will still be big for spring. So splurge on that super feminine yet vaguely androgynous suit.

4. Some things never change. Florals are always big in spring. And why not? You think spring - you think flowers. So it's not really innovative or a departure, but we saw florals in pieces from Jenny Packham and Tracy Reese.

My untrained eye thought that collections overall went for unique spins on simple, easy-to-wear looks, putting the new in neutral and the mini in minimalistic. Designers went for soft and fluid and feminine without showing overtly girly looks. These pieces are going to be totally wearable come spring - and definitely not boring. Just remember to take a tip from designers like ADAM and Marc Jacobs: throw in a pop of color, whether it's a red shoe or a flower in your hair.

I think that these collections are a reflection on the fashion industry's reassessment of what's important. Post-Recession, women want to show, not tell, that they know what's stylish and glamorous. They don't need to wear the Louis Vuitton label plastered all over their handbags to show off their taste. A simple, neutral piece will showcase impeccable tailoring and impressive structuring. Too much color and overwrought design would distract from the quality of the garments. These clothes are as much a status symbol as their predecessors, but without being blatantly so. And that's what makes spring 2011 styles so attainable.

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