New York Fashion Week (and fashion in general) has weathered several uninspiring seasons, with designers all turning out essentially the same thing - sports chic and/or vintage inspired looks and riffs on whatever Céline silhouette sold well the previous season. This time around, the overwhelming sense of familiarity was still hard to shake; however, a few collections did manage to stand out amongst the 70's-saturated showings that are no doubt the immediate influence of Ghesquiere's Louis Vuitton. Thakoon managed to present a collection that was all his own, and although a few of the looks did seem to reference 2013 Céline in a decidedly 70's color palette, his rendition somehow still felt completely original, with technical fabrications and a new, slightly longer hemline. In addition to the clothes, I love the idea of a shearling trimmed bootie right now, even though the booties at Thakoon - upon further inspection - actually turned out to be quirky wedged mules.
L to R: Altuzarra, Rodarte, Rodarte
One trend that I am loving so far for Fall 2015 is the pairing of romantic lace and masculine glen plaid. Both Rodarte and Altuzarra showed looks that featured delicate white lace and/or immaculately tailored toppers in the traditional Scottish twill. I love the juxtaposition of an airy 70's bohemian blouse or dress with something a little more structured, and I look forward to finally busting out a leather lapel vintage Céline blazer that has been waiting nearly two years for its day in the sun. So far, this season seems like a dream for vintage enthusiasts like myself, who no doubt will have little trouble replicating their favorite runway looks with staple thrift store finds.
L to R: Delpozo, Altuzarra, Rodarte
Most exciting for the vintage fans among us is the (finally!!!) return of seed and bugle beads to the runways. Delpozo showed a highly technical and ultra modern vest top with intricate pleating around the cropped waist and a dusting of tiny beads aligned in stripes from shoulder to bust. Paired with wide-leg copper velvet pants, this look was the ultimate re-imagining of a late 70's evening ensemble. Altuzarra closed his show with a smattering of ethereal beaded dresses that fused Studio 54 sex appeal with an unbuttoned buttoned up Edwardian collar - a fresh and entirely lust-worthy combination. On the other end of the spectrum, Rodarte showed several beaded skirts that looked exactly like the sort of thing you could easily dig up at your local Goodwill, albeit far more luxurious and definitely free of that telltale grandma's attic smell.
L to R: Delpozo, Alexander Wang, Thakoon Addition
The statement sweater is the new statement coat. While outerwear has trended more toward long and lean minimalism as of late, knitwear keeps getting more and more intricate each season. My favorite knit was at Delpozo - a palest blue cable knit adorned with a cascade of hand-crafted blossoms and wooly fringe - although honorable mentions were a studded Aran knit at Alexander Wang and a two-toned fringed number at Thakoon Addition.
L to R: Altuzarra, Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung
Fur was everywhere this season, which should come as a shock considering the shifting paradigms with regard to animal welfare; however, fashion is often at odds with popular culture. See: flapper dresses, Dior's New Look, the bikini. The more taboo or talked-about, the faster the remainder of the industry seems to adopt a trend and facilitate its acceptance by the masses. With the abundance of cruelty-free AND realistic faux options on the market now, though, this is one trend that definitely won't make it past a select audience. Perhaps the abundance of fur on the runways this season is evidence of fashion's stubborn last stand against the zeitgeist, but ethical issues aside, there were some beautiful pieces, most notably at Altuzarra, where a trio of oversized chubbies in cotton candy pink, baby blue, and natural fox - which seems to be the fur of choice this season - topped fluttery evening looks. Prabal Gurung showed a bevy of fur-trimmed parkas and a massive color-blocked stole, and Proenza Schouler's Uptown Mad Max dresses were embellished with tufts of fox and synthetic fringe resembling ostrich feathers.
Altuzarra, Marc Jacobs
On the accessories front, tall boots were the highlight of NYFW for me. As a result of THE Over-The-Knees at Céline Fall 2013, I have formed somewhat of an obsession with finding the perfect pair, and the even more exceptionally drool-worthy mod patent thigh-high versions at Dior's Spring Haute Couture show probably aren't a realistic option for more than one reason. Fortunately, this past season has ushered in a more practical silhouette that hasn't been seen in a while - the mid-calf boot - which, when crafted in a steely blue skin-tight patent leather at Marc Jacobs, felt totally now. Altuzarra showed the other standout pair - a slightly slouchy boho OTK in studded white leather with a feminine frill at the top. Not entirely a novel concept, but perhaps fashion's recent trips to the past offer us a welcome sense of familiarity in a technologically saturated world that is transforming at a mind-boggling speed. Fashion has always championed change, but the seeming lack of progressive aesthetics these past few seasons is masking a more significant gradual shift in the industry's point of view. Finally, everything is "in," or at least, it soon will be.