Report from the Runways at New York Fashion Week: Fall/Winter 2017

NYFW buzzes with trends for Fall and Winter collections

By Faith Hope Consolo
Photographs courtesy of designers

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is one of the world’s largest fashion industry events. Among the “big four” of fashion weeks, with the others being in London, Milan, and Paris, the New York event is held twice a year, with designers’ fall/winter collections shown in February and spring/summer collections shown in September.

This parade of fashion exhibitions takes place at various locations around New York City; Chelsea Piers, MADE studios Skylight at Moynihan Station in Midtown, which is owned by New York State’s Empire State Development, Industria Studios and Skylight Clarkson Square in SoHo are among locations for recent Fashion Weeks.

Despite the snow, I was able to attend some of my favorites this season, from Feb. 9 to Feb. 16. Of course, watching shows and presentations is a big part of Fashion Week, but street style is also part of what makes it so memorable. Inspiration is drawn by what other people wear, and it’s also a great way to spot new trends and support my favorite designers.

Each season of NYFW comes with a slew of upcoming trends, styles, and looks that have the industry buzzing.

Photos from Calvin Klein.

Let’s talk about the trends.

The NYFW fall-winter 2017 just capped off with hints of trends that could hit shopping racks in the months to come.

Styles that reigned supreme

Cold one shoulder — the asymmetrical neckline is ‘in’ again.

Capes camouflage as long sleeves or are cut like slits on the shoulders.

Colorful collaborations

Rainbow stripes borrowed from the ’80s adding a dose of childlike playfulness to a dark fall-winter wardrobe.

Green with envy from last year’s military-inspired olive to lush emeralds, the runway was sparkling.

Catwalks were kaleidoscopes of crazy color combinations, bordering on optical illusion, exploding in prints and patterns for the season.

Black and white monochrome was in the forefront and everywhere.

Romantic and feminine looks

Burgundy, velvet, jumpsuit silhouette, wide-leg trousers, intricate embroidery, loads of lace, paillettes, adornments and embellishments. There is a revival of “new romantic” bursts of summer colors ­— not a typo — for fall-winter!

Powerful women and political statements

This year, the NYFW focus wasn’t just on the clothes; many shows reflected the political climate. New York designers led the way in using the catwalk to send messages about the Trump administration and the political atmosphere in general. For example, Public School showed red baseball caps that read “Make America New York,” and Prabal Gurung closed his show by sending models out in a series of T-shirts with messages including “I Am An Immigrant” and “Revolution Has No Borders.”

Body positive runway

Body positivity has been popping up more and more often at New York Fashion Week. Christian Siriano continued to stress inclusivity, as 10 of his new styles were worn by plus-size models — twice as many as last season. Victoria’s Secret Angels Karolina Kurkova, Iskra Lawrence, Candice Huffine and Marquita Pring were among those who helped present his “People are People” theme. J. Crew featured “real” women, Michael Kors cast Ashley Graham, and the 65-year-old Jacky O’Shaughnessy walked in the Tome show. Kanye West cast the hijab-wearing model Halima Aden in Yeezy, and Nigerian designer Maki Oh filled her presentation entirely with women of color.

No matter what the trend of the moment is, we’d like to think that kind of sentiment will always be in fashion.

Photos from Calvin Klein

Here were some of my favorite shows …

Raf Simons’s debut at Calvin Klein as chief creative officer of the brand lived up to all the expectations. Women’s and Men’s collections were shown on the runway, unisex designs infused with both pale, muted colors and bolder tones. Models of both genders dressed in almost identical looks; modern clothing is not gender-specific concepts. Kept with American style — power suits, varsity sweaters and quilts alongside the newly launched denim and underwear campaign — the relaunch of Calvin Klein was a smashing success.

Marc Jacobs: made a statement with his simple and quiet show; no music to mark the beginning, no curtain drawn to reveal the runway, no lighting, just two long rows of folding chairs, which faced each other, to form the catwalk. There were fewer guests, and he insisted on no social media during the show. He put the focus on the clothes as he sent the models across the empty Park Avenue Armory floor. To exit the show, you walked past the models, who were sitting on folding chairs, with cell phones pointed toward the guests!

Photo from Oscar de la Renta & Monse

La Perla was all about female empowerment. The show opened with Naomi Campbell, and the star-studded lineup featured several Victoria’s Secret Angels who came straight from Tommy Hilfiger’s runway in Los Angeles a few hours earlier. Kendall Jenner, the face of La Perla since November, debuted her new chin-length bob as she closed the show in a shimmering nude gown. The theme was all about sexy sophisticated, and slip dresses were worn alone as overwear instead of underwear; bustiers were incorporated into dresses, and cleanly tailored pantsuits made the most powerful statement on stage. The venue was most impressive, staged as a British manor overflowing with flora (as well as real grass shipped from Atlanta and birds chirping over loudspeakers). Each of the house’s six chambers embodied a stylistic theme — from wool suits in the study to corsets in the bedroom and gowns down the grand staircase.

Carolina Herrera moved downtown to an industrial space on little West 12th, and along with the move shifted to a simpler type of beauty. The show opened with a series of her trademark crisp, white shirts in new shapes, some accented with black velvet. There was a Victorian-meets-modern vibe to many looks, and, for evening, there was a series of pale pink gowns. Herrera is elegance personified.

Oscar de la Renta & Monse at Gallery 1, Skylight Clarkson Square, was two collections in one, not to mention one of the most highly anticipated shows of the week. Monse designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia debuted their first collection for Oscar de la Renta, with the stipulation that they would design for de la Renta, but they were keeping Monse. The show opened with Monse … sparkly gowns, cut-up shirts, no intermission, and then the Oscar models debuted. Classic Oscar dresses with fabulous new energy!

Photo from Oscar de la Renta & Monse

On Valentine’s Day, Tory Burch served hot chocolate with marshmallows in heart-printed cups at her show at the Whitney Museum of Art and put hardcover books of love poems on every seat. She did not disappoint with effortless, casual chic, always with a twist.

Carmen Marc Valvo’s presentation models, perched on one side of a crowded studio, took turns stepping in front of a photographer with a wind machine, posing and moving as the shutterbug shouted directions. It was like something out of a fashion movie. The images were displayed in real time on an enormous wall for the crowd to see. Wow, just wow!

Upon entering the Badgley Mischka show, you were met by vignettes of women dressed in luxe sportswear in various states of repose on lounges, chairs, even a bed. Genius marketing; this is the new Badgley Mischka furniture collection, created by Mark Badgley and James Mischka. The clothing was breathtaking as well, and quite honestly I wanted to purchase it all.

Ralph Lauren’s show at his women’s flagship on Madison Avenue transported you to another time, another place. Fresh white orchids were covering every wall, butterflies with flapping wings and a bird-chirping soundtrack, along with the glow of crystal chandeliers, took you away to an exotic location. Lauren has taken the “see now, buy now” concept to new heights. Just as the show ended, up it all went for sale online. This was my absolute favorite!

It was another amazing edition of NYFW, and I can’t wait to see how these designer trends translate into prêt-à-porter. Look for it all soon in the fashionable stores near you …

Happy Shopping!

Faith Hope Consolo is Chairman of Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group in New York. Recognized worldwide as the “Queen of Retail,” Consolo is renowned for her expertise as a consultant and retail broker who has been instrumental in revitalizing and sculpting retail corridors across the nation and beyond. Her client base includes top-tier fashion names as Buccellati, Ivanka Trump, Cartier, Versace, Jimmy Choo, Giorgio Armani, Fendi and Yves Saint Laurent.


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