Marked by the return of in-person shows and the feeling of genuine excitement–an emotion that has been notably absent for the past few seasons–New York Fashion Week is back! A testament to the resilience of the fashion community and our collective desire to dress up again, themes of rebirth and renewal dominated the runway as playful trends emerged.
A kaleidoscope of colors and prints made its way across the runway this season as designers found a psychedelic escape. Inspired by mushrooms, the designers at Rodarte developed their mother’s mushroom drawings into a print, as seen on cape dresses that expanded as the model walked to look like a mushroom blooming. Historically print-averse, Brandon Maxwell also presented psychedelic prints like mushrooms and swirls, while Kim Shui and Maisie Wilen played with contrasting groovy colors and patterns.
“Just because we have to be more responsible, it doesn’t have to be boring,” said Phillip Lim of his most recent collection that features second-generation fabrications and thoughtful details. This season, designers brought updates to traditional minimalism, playing with colors, textures, and prints while sticking to simple silhouettes and an eco-conscious mindset. In his debut runway show, Peter Do presented cut out suiting, floral embroidery, Swarovski crystal adorned coats, and an overall attention to detail. Jonathan Simkhai similarly reworked staples like coats and maxi dresses by adding fringe hems and chain straps.
Hoping to emerge from the darkness of the past year, designers viewed their runways as instruments of transformation. Badgley Mischka sees their current customer as a butterfly: someone cooped up for so long but ready to emerge. Their spring collection featured motifs tied to spring and rebirth like blooming florals and butterflies that were designed to float as the wearer walks into the room and spreads their wings. The butterfly motif carried over to Cynthia Rowley and Zero + Maria Cornejo. “It’s about rebirth,” Cornejo said, “coming back to life.”
Sheer styles brought romance to the runway as designers explored a less is more approach to eveningwear. Models at Naeem Khan and Christian Siriano wore sheer one-shoulder dresses in sequins and lace. Bibhu Mohapatra took an ethereal approach with a tulle gown that floated down the runway and Staud presented a more casual knit variation. Searches for sheer dress are +16% to last year and market adoption is up +9% in the last 30 days.
Classic suiting is getting a revamp for next spring. From floral embroidery to crystal embellishment, designers found new ways to elevate the timeless blazer. At Altuzarra, blazers featured fringe detailing and bishop sleeves, while Prabal Gurung turned the volume with satin floral fabric at the hip. Searches for oversized blazer are +67% to last year and social buzz is +126% to last year.
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