Welcome back, New York Fashion Week!
We were all kind, all optimistic and all armoured with very nice words about the virtual reality existence that fashion brands and their shows have surrendered to in the past year-or-so. The excitement and sweet, sweet sincerity about the return of runways; the return of a real-life audience; the return of after-parties, however, make it quite clear: there’s nothing like a show experienced in real-time, in-person. The runway looks certainly did not disappoint in the few days counting down to the also-revived Met Gala — it was the bold, the brash and the beatific that led the way. Understandably. For the joy — the fun! — in clothes; in the institution, the designers, the people that keep this industry alive.
Below, just a handful of trends we saw, loved and can’t wait to wear.
Trend #1: Hey, Your Bra’s Showing
Call it merely an evolution of the Gen Z-staple cropped top, or call it a sartorial repercussion derived from our inability to extract limbs from the things we choose to wear (or not wear) as we amble around the house. Whatever you wish, underwear as outerwear — be it a bralette-adjacent top or corset-inspired tank complete with strips of boning anchored from ribcage to hipbone — was a ubiquitous sight across Spring/Summer 2022 shows, from Michael Kors’ opening look à la a red-lipped Kendall Jenner, to the triangle variations tucked beneath dopamine-bright cardigans at Coach.
Trend #2: Wallflowers Need Not Apply
There’s a healthy modicum of responsibility that comes with making entrances in full-body paillettes worn like an armour; like sheaths of chainmail donned pre-battle. The kind plated and sparkling at TOM FORD, encasing neither bodycon nor the genre of gowns you’d expect drifting along a long stretch of scarlet-red carpet. Instead, they’re embellishing everyday silhouettes. The tank top. The ribbed-knit. The basics rendered very much not so this season. On the topic of OTT designs, there were, too, an abundance of feathers at Prabal Gurung; top-to-toe satin at Christian Siriano; very fringed separates at Proenza Schouler. A season of fashion that’s all joy, all deep breaths and all — damn it, look at me.
Trend #3: Strapped In
The area extending from the crown of your head to your décolletage? Prime real estate. It’s the space with the most screen time on FaceTime. On Zoom. On whatever chat applications you use to maintain some sort of truncated connection with long-distance friends, lovers and relatives. To keep those fair few inches interesting, Jonathan Simkhai makes a case for a very strappy yoke. Eckhaus Latta headlined with strips of the ribbed-knit fabric anchored at the armscye, tumbling past the upper arms. Maryam Nassir Zadeh, too, with spaghetti string-ties all asymmetric; then, layered; then, knotted and tethered across the shoulders like webbing.
Trend #4: Crafty
While you were collecting supplies for tie-dye, beaded necklaces and knitting and embroidery and crochet last summer, you’d be remiss not to imagine your favourite designers with the same knee-jerk inclination. Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of Proenza Schouler made way for Kauai, for example, and sent their swishy, fringed designs down the runway with handmade leis from Maui. Joseph Altuzarra celebrated his NYC homecoming with shibori-dyed separates on a runway opened by none other than new-mother Gigi Hadid. Gabriela Hearst, always a proponent for craft, started her show with knit maxis embellished at the hips and ribcage with woven inserts handmade in collaboration with Naiomi Glasses and TahNibaa Naataanii of the Navajo Nation.
Trend #5: A Cold Summer
There’s something to be said about transseasonal collections, with designs named for Spring/Summer sauntering down runways cosy in knits; in big coats; in anoraks; in shearling; in tartan check and brushed surfaces and houndstooth prints perhaps much more familiar emblazoned across collections another season away. Most patent was Coach’s homage to Bonnie Cashin, a titan that made the brand a household name upon her helm, and someone superlatively described as a designer that “cut some of the best outerwear American fashion has ever seen.” We’re all going to need coats in a couple of months anyway. Or, on vacation — fingers crossed.