What’s Trending at New York Fashion Week Fall 2016

The new “buy now, wear now” theory

By Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds
Photographs by Sherridon Poyer

New York Fashion Week has come and gone, but the trends are here to stay. Social media has changed the entire landscape of fashion weeks across the globe — we’ve already seen all the new styles on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook Live and beyond. However, there’s still so much great fashion to anticipate this year.

One phrase that is creating quite the buzz in the fashion world is, “buy now, wear now,” a retail theory designers in New York, Paris and London are starting to embrace. Noted designers like Rebecca Minkoff made their collections available online to purchase immediately following their shows. More and more designers feel strongly about their clients not having to wait several months to wear their off-the-runway looks. With this new concept in place, consumers have the opportunity to purchase current designs that are “on trend.”

In my professional opinion, the “buy now, wear now” crusade has played, to a certain degree, a mindful role in the Fall 2016 runway collections. The principal trends that I have seen in past seasons continue to develop, and in turn create a more transitional approach to dressing. The following are fall trends that I repeatedly saw on the runways of NYFW, Style Fashion Week (more emerging designers) and Couture Fashion Week — all happening in New York concurrently.

There was a barrage of maximalism on the fall 2016 runways during Fashion Week. A visual glitziness dominated this season, from emerging and established designers such as Berenik, Gucci and even Kanye West. Opulence and luxury ruled among designers and street style socialites who have become the style inspiration of many, thanks to their rich party-girl personas and limitless and/or limited fashion budgets.

Gone are the days where you could pull out a solitary theme in a collection, then highlight the common thread among a handful of designers. Today’s inspiration comes from many sources, including eras, people and places, and thus several ideas and references are merged into one collection. It’s a new viewpoint that has the fashion world headed in every direction. The industry is experiencing a shift, and this new dogma seems to align with our craving for distinctiveness and range.

If you take your cues from the runway, this season is all about being ladylike and dazzling. Color, volume and subtle details are dominating the fashion backdrop this season. Fashion enthusiasts are embracing metallic and shiny fabrics, like satin and even velvet! Yes, velvet. Here’s a glimpse of the latest trends and how you can use them to create your signature look.


Along with anchoring earth tones, exuberant pops of vibrant colors also appear throughout the collections. Transcending gender, these unexpectedly vivacious colors act as playful, yet structured departures from more typical fall shades. Blue skies represent constancy as they are always above us. Grays give a feeling of stability, red tones invite confidence and warmth, while the hot pinkish purples and spicy mustard yellows suggest a touch of the exotic.

Prints, Beads and Embellishments

Decorated apparel is making a comeback this season. Look for everything from plaid prints and embroidery to embellishments and beading. Beware of overdoing it; pick one piece and keep everything else simple. Take cues from CoCo Chanel — always look in the mirror and remove one accessory before leaving the house.

Plaid shirt

Plaid shirts are very popular this year, and it is just perfect for a transitional period! It’s going to fit perfectly with jeans, can adapt to any style and is absolutely comfortable and wearable.

Liquid silver

It’s not all about gold. It was gunmetal silver that caught our eye on the runways. Wear with a blazer and turtleneck or with matching accessories.

Biker leather jacket

During warmer days, put on biker leather jacket over a T-shirt; when it’s colder, you can create layers with a long tunic and sweater. Add a scarf as a fashion accessory.

Extreme ruffles

Unusual asymmetric ruffles popped up in the form of pullovers, Gothic-tinged dresses and knee-high boots. This sweet motif just got ultra-cool.

Mixed menswear fabrics

Many females borrow from their boyfriends, husbands, etc., so when various menswear checks like herringbones and glen plaids appeared mixed together on the runways, it was an office-friendly idea we could approve.

Printed scarf

Printed scarfs are ideal for dressing in layers, and are fitting literally every combination!

Integrating these trends into your wardrobe should be a breeze now that you can distinguish what to look for.  E

Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds is Academic Program Coordinator over the Fashion Retail & Management and Fashion Design Departments at The Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur, a branch of the Art Institute of Atlanta.


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