#NYFWSS20: The Trends You Need To Know

Has New York Fashion Week returned from the sidelines? (Yes!)

Heading into New York Fashion Week, many showgoers were quick to slump to their usual discernment for the jam-packed, overcrowded week: to question its impact and, in a broader fashion, if the biannual event is, you guessed it, dead. But what they didn’t expect was designers to fight back and deliver. From Michael Kors Collection, whose show was set to an orchestral version of Don McLean’s hit “American Pie”, to Prabal Gurung, whose politicized sashes added relevance to spring 2020, it seemed New York was indeed — pardon the pun — great again.

And trends were aplenty. A few to note: the tried and true bohemian vibes at Ulla Johnson and Rosie Assoulin, a pedal pusher revival seen at Maggie Marilyn and STAUD, larger-than-life bags at Jonathan Simkhai (his debut bag collection, in fact, that the designer launched in a tech partnership with Apple Pay) and Barragán, pastels at Tibi and Sally LaPointe, feathers (of the filoplume sort) at Christian Siriano and Cong Tri. And so, so much more.

What all of this means, however, will make more sense as we reach the end of the Fashion Month gauntlet. So, for now, we’ve dissected a few of New York’s spring 2020 trends that we’ll be wearing come next year. See you in the streets!

Proenza Schouler
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.
Brandon Maxwell
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.
Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images.

The New Working Woman
Several designers, like Proenza Schouler and Tibi, introduced a vision of revamped suiting — that suits don’t have to be two or three pieces, but could be four and five. And, taking a note from season prior, they can be any color you want. It’d seem colors and silhouettes typically reserved for Casual Friday’s have been infused into business attire, recharging the traditional idea for working women often limited to a blazer and a skirt. Suits have never been less boring (and jeans have never been more formal).

Jonathan Cohen
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.
Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images.

An Americana Revival
We'll say it again: Ask anyone making their way through the Fashion Month circuit about American versus European fashion and they’ll probably reply that American fashion is “over”. But a few designers — Jonathan Cohen, Michael Kors Collection, R13, Ulla Johnson — added Americana themes to their collections: clashing ideas of quilting and patchwork, denim, and military motifs. The act of sewing the American flag onto a jean dress in rows of rainbow may not be the most innovative interpretation of freedom and pride, but you can’t say it isn’t pretty. All of this is to say, however, that the aforementioned motifs added to the shared idea that New York Fashion Week might be alive and well after all.

Photo: Peter White/WireImage/Getty Images.

Spring Goes Dark
Designers like The Row, Khaite, and R13 — all of whom have embraced lighter colors in the past — went dark this season, showing what felt more like a fall collection than spring. With last season’s bright palettes at Versace, Sies Marjan, and more, there’s more reason to think that color palettes based on to seasons may soon be a thing of the past.

Zero + Maria Cornejo
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.
Gabriela Hearst
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.

Sustainability & The Beginnings Of “Recommerce”
The sustainability conversation is not slowing down. But many designers weren’t quick to use sustainable materials this season, excluding the few who made it a larger part of their show’s message — like Collina Strada, Maggie Marilyn, Alejandra Alonso Rojas, and Gabriela Hearst (whose latest show was carbon neutral), etc. But other brands, like Rentrayage and CDLM, are introducing another sustainability technique: re-commerce, or the reuse or reselling of clothes that already exist. Could a circular retail model soon be fashion’s next big move?

Marc Jacobs
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.

It's Cool To Be Queer (But Only In New York)
From Gypsy Sport, to Vaquera, to Deveaux, Marc Jacobs, and so many others, New York seems to be the only fashion week of the four that approaches queerness in fashion as a recurring theme. Living authentically and using fashion as a vehicle for that has always been inherent to New Yorkers and their clothes, but it’s a theme we’d like to see more of when it comes to European houses who often seek inspiration from queer communities without reflecting them on their runways or in their campaigns.

Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images.

Theatricality = Virality
Fashion Month, as jam packed as it is, is a time for designers to cause commotion and add their brand to larger industry conversations. Savage x Fenty, Pyer Moss, The Blonds, and TOMMYXZENDAYA put on break-the-internet level spectacles to present their latest designs. The impressions across social media alone were enough to soften the blow of the budgets required to pull these shows off. And sales are sure to soar. But it solidified the idea that fashion shows really aren’t so different from traditional theatre.

Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.
Vera Wang
Photo: Albert Urso/Getty Images.

Introducing: The New Wonder Bra
Now that Victoria’s Secret has been dethroned, several fashion brands took to the drawing board to create their own versions of best-selling, viral bras — Vera Wang, Gypsy Sport, Priscavera, Self-Portrait, Collina Strada, and more created their own versions of the Wonder Bra. And the way they styled them made them all the more covetable: under blazers, on tops of T-shirts, or even built into dresses. These will be fun to see next season.

Christopher John Rogers
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.
Brandon Maxwell
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.
Christian Siriano
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.

A Return To Glamour
A lot of designers relied on easy, trusted fabrics this season: satin and silk, from Cushnie, Alejandra Alonso Rojas, to Brandon Maxwell, Christopher John Rogers, and more. Where this might sound simple, it could signal a return to power dressing in recent seasons — a style that doesn’t have to mean a suit as much as it doesn’t mean giant poufs of tulle to take up one’s rightfully deserved space, rather clothes enhance our best assets from the inside out.

Pyer Moss
Photo: Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images.

Menswear Grows Up
Sandy Liang, Pyer Moss, Coach 1941, and 3.1 Phillip Lim included menswear in their spring lineup; they ranged from your typical skater guy (slip on sneakers, vintage tee, and chinos) to a more formal, almost glamorous portrait of masculinity. It’d seem that when it comes to menswear, New York isn’t yet ready to let go of streetwear overtones, but new ideas are on the horizon.

Credits Hero Image Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.
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