In the words of Anna Wintour, there were indeed “two schools of thought” this season at New York Fashion Week. The collections presented at the vast majority of womenswear shows for Spring/Summer 2016 can easily be sorted into two sections: one featuring romantic, textured, Spanish-inspired fashion; the other drawing heavily on the influences of hip-hop and performance art culture. Some of the biggest trends to hit the runway this season are, surprisingly, incredibly wearable. Here are 10 of the biggest and most accessible trends for 2016 (and 3 you might want to avoid!):
Think Spanish flamenco dancers and romantic shapes, as the runway this season was awash with collections of textured gowns and full skirts. Peter Copping for Oscar de la Renta paved the way for this trend with ruffled, layered dresses. Delpozo presented tiers of fairy-tale style chiffon ruffles, whilst Philip Lim experimented with high necked, Victorian-esque ruffles. Proenza Schouler took the trend to the next level and presented a collection full of feathered skirts.
The fringe trend seen this season is less cowboy or bohemian-inspired and more of a sleek, understated textural addition to pieces. Alexander Wang had it on hem jackets and the along the sides of long dresses. At Serena Williams for HSN fringe appeared along one side of a suede skirt, while Rebecca Minkoff’s collections included the trend everywhere from bags to jackets. Marc Jacobs had floaty, fringed and tasselled skirts teamed with bulky jumpers and jackets. Michael Kors’ take of soft fringe on tough black was a striking contrast.
Stripes were everywhere this season- in fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a collection for Spring/Summer 2016 where it didn’t feature. It was clear just how versatile this trend is as each show took its own spin on the traditional pattern. Marc Jacobs built on last season’s nautical vibes, whilst the majority of Ralph Lauren’s pieces featured striped patterns, primarily in navy and white. Isa Arfen’s take on the trend featured bright colour blocked stripes.
A progression of a trend that was seen on almost every runway and red carpet last year, the off-the-shoulder trend is continuing to prove popular with designers. Givenchy presented a black off-the-shoulder dress, whilst Proenza Schouler’s collection included a monochrome pantsuit. Prabal Gurung also experimented with combining this trend with flowing fabrics and pops of colour- most notably orange.
Pleats are not going anywhere! Designers from Tibi to Carolina Herrera presented delicate and feminine pleated skirts in pastel colours- primarily in shades of pale pinks and off-whites- whilst Monique L’Huillier’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection featured full-length pleated dresses in an array of colours, most striking in deep pink.
Alexander Wang’s show this season was heavily influenced by hip-hop and street culture. Oversized baseball jackets, hoodies and 90’s inspired crop-tops were on display in muted colours such as black, white, and army green. Marc Jacobs’ circus inspired show also drew heavily on old school Americana and featured a number of letterman-style jackets and varsity sweatshirts.
- 60s – 70s
It was both interesting and refreshing to see contrasting takes on the same decades from different designers. Diane von Furstenberg presented a collection of 70s inspired bohemian dresses, whilst Jeremy Scott’s vision for Spring/Summer 2016 featured a parade of 60s miniskirts and splashes of neon pink, yellow and orange. Rodarte also put a spin on the trend by having the focus on 1970s-esqe gothic inspired texture and ruffles.
Compared to similar approaches to minimalist fashion that has been seen on the runway in recent seasons (which has been very structured and boxy) this season’s take on the trend was much more flowing and feminine. Few could do minimalism better than Calvin Klein: they led the pack with no-fuss shapes and a predominantly white colour scheme. Jason Wu for Boss Women followed suit with a tailored but elegant collection in muted colours and Carolina Herrera sent a number of understated looks down the runway.
Florals? For spring? Ground-breaking. Sorry Miranda Priestly but there’s a reason that this trend makes an appearance almost every season. Florals are the ultimate fail-safe spring trend and Kate Spade proved why they just keep coming back. Floral patterns on full, floaty skirts were the order of the day – the models even posed among bunches of real roses. Having the floral patterns on a colour palette of black, white and grey kept this trend fresh and interesting. Delpozo presented a fairy-tale like collection that had floral patterns teamed with chiffon skirts and intricate beading.
- Flat shoes
It’s about time! This trend makes a lot of sense considering the amount of models who lost their balance this season alone walking the runway in towering heels. Designers all across the board embraced the flat shoe – ballet pumps and mules were the most popular in collections from Zac Posen to Public School and Derek Lam. Even Victoria Beckham- who herself is rarely seen without stilettos- included a variety of flat shoes in her show.
Then there’s these…
These 3 trends might be best left on the catwalk:
We’ve all been tempted to try this at one time or another, but if your pyjamas cost thousands of dollars like the ones at Alexander Wang or Prabal Gurung, then you’d want to wear them all the time too.
- Face jewellery
At first glance, the models in Givenchy’s Spring/Summer show may have looked like they were simply en route to a strange masquerade ball, but they were in fact wearing full face jewellery: with pieces attached to their noses, mouths, eyes and cheeks.
- Flesh coloured leotards
Kanye West’s sophomore Yeezy show at New York Fashion featured a host of models in military style overcoats, moth-eaten sweatshirts, and flesh coloured, skin-tight leotards. Best leave that to… actually, no one should wear those. They’re so awful we can’t even show you a photo.