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With New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 around the corner, now seems like a perfect time to look back at the top fall trends from last spring’s NYFW, to get us excited about what we’ll be wearing this season, if nothing else. While the political climate these days may be pure tumult, designers kept things relatively subdued on the runway, with fewer theatrics and more focus on strong, wearable clothing.
Not that current events didn’t seep their way into collections in one way or another: some of it was literal, with brands sending out models in T-shirts with protest slogans such as “We Will Not Be Silenced” and “Love Is The Resistance” at Prabal Gurung and “Be The Change You Wish To See In The World” at Alice & Olivia, or Trump-inspired hats reading “Make America New York” at Public School. At other times it was more subtle, with threads of power dressing and patriotism woven through the offerings in the form of pantsuits, ’80s-style padded shoulders, Western details, and even a straight-up American flag skirt at Calvin Klein.
Among the more traditional trends were ample metallics, all-over plaid, and swingy fringe. A few favorite colors of the season also emerged, including deep burgundy and all sorts of bold yellow and sunshine-y gold.
Read on for 12 trends that are poised to sweep fashion for fall 2017:
Soft and slouchy or trim and tailored, suits were a near-constant feature on the fall runways. And with a panoply of styling options to probe for inspiration—like, say, trading the classic button-down for a graphic tee, as at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Oscar de la Renta—there’s no reason we can’t all harness the power of the pantsuit next season.
Fire up your Boomerang app: fall’s best party pieces are made for shimmy-shaking. Whether strategically deployed on the hem of a skirt or cascading down the length of a dress, fringe added a sense of playfulness to many collections.
If there was one color that ruled the runways from the first show of the week to the last, it was burgundy. Rich, deep, and regal, the shade proved ideal for monochromatic looks, and elsewhere paired well with periwinkle or bright red.
The United States may be a bit of a scary place for many people right now, but that didn’t stop designers from taking inspiration from the country’s more hopeful elements. For his first season at Calvin Klein, Raf Simons sent out an ode to American youth to the soundtrack of David Bowie’s “This Is Not America,” which included quilted parkas, sheer-torsoed varsity sweaters, and plenty of denim, along with the most literal tribute: a swingy stars-and-stripes flag skirt. Elsewhere, Western motifs reigned, showing up on grommeted leather jackets, fringed shirts, and prairie dresses at shows from Alexander Wang to Coach.
Call it tartan, plaid, or check—it was everywhere this season, used on Wall Street-worthy pantsuits, preppy pleated skirts, mannish coats, and even an evening gown or two (lookin’ at you, Jenny Packham).
Yellow isn’t always the easiest color to wear, but for fall, designers turned to more forgiving shades of goldenrod and saffron. It looked especially appealing in eveningwear, presenting a fresh alternative to the LBD at Monse, Jason Wu, Cushnie Et Ochs, and beyond.
“Self care” may be among the most popular phrases to emerge out of the past year, and on the runway it translated into plush cocoon coats, oversized sweaters, and generous silhouettes. Comfort: one trend we can always get behind.
Let’s Get Political
Brands that may have shied away from overt political statements in seasons past let their views known this week with parades of protest slogan T-shirts, the CFDA’s pink “Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood” buttons accessorizing runway looks and final bows, and even a made-for-Instagram moment at Adam Lippes with models carrying signs reading “My Body, My Choice” and “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” at Washington Square Park.
If there’s one place where the nipple has decidedly been freed, it’s the catwalk. Besides Calvin Klein’s boob-baring sweaters, there were sheer tops at Adam Selman and Zadig & Voltaire, strategically-paneled pieces at Narciso Rodriguez, and new takes on the ever-popular red-carpet naked dress at Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu.
Calling all magpies: designers offered all sorts of ways to dress like the disco ball of your dreams this season, from a slouchy sequin dress worn over a camel turtleneck to a Studio 54-worthy suit covered in over one million Swarovski crystals (Brandon Maxwell, you hero, you).
In a week when showgoers braved 30-degree weather in bare legs and coats shrugged off-the-shoulder, designers proposed a welcome array of actually-practical outerwear. Shearling, especially, was a popular choice. It came luxe and lacquered at Proenza Schouler, on the kinds of coats fashion girls will be lusting after all season; at Yeezy the look was humbler—though this being Kanye West we’re talking about, we don’t expect the price tag to match. At Marc Jacobs, Kendall Jenner strutted the city sidewalk in a fuzzy jacket (in burgundy, natch) that tipped its hat to ’90s hip-hop culture.
The twisted shirting trend that dominated last season is still going strong for fall, with sliced-and-diced pieces ruling the runway at Public School, Monse, ADEAM, and beyond. At Milly, creative director Michelle Smith chose “Fractured” as the theme of the collection, which manifested in sequin dresses with slashed hems, oxfords pieced together this way and that, and sweaters torn practically in two. Symmetry is so overrated, anyway.