NYFW Trend Report, Part 2: A Feminine Rebellion

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Now that Marc Jacobs has closed New York and the fashion crowd has moved on across the Atlantic, it’s time to reflect on the latter batch of Spring ’16 trends. The mood is at once strong and delicate, and the emphasis is on the subtler aspects of seduction and femininity, thanks to strategic flashes of skin and a particular attention to detail. Here, the rest of my favorite NYFW trends:

1. Up-to-the-Hip Slits
Marc Jacobs delivered a high-powered, cinematic show that made sparks fly, and what’s the perfect compliment to an ode to retro America, a little bit of grungy plaid, and plenty of sparkle? Super-sexy, asymmetric slits, of course. Skirts topped with confetti-like embellishments, long-drifting ribbons, and glimmering, floor-skimming maxis and gowns feel like they are made to show some – scratch that – a lot of leg. In a similarly revealing mindset, Greg Lauren, who’s known for performing powerful plays on utilitarian basics, showed a streetwise yet sensual take on draping, and Narciso Rodriguez’s ever-expertly executed silhouettes, which feature asymmetry perfected and are sure to show off a great pair of gams brilliantly.

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2. Drawing the Line
Michelle Smith of Milly served up a more organic, nature-oriented collection than seasons past, and her alternately bold, classic vertical and colorful knit stripes, as seen on culottes, lean mini dresses, and full-flowing maxi dresses, played a nice counterpoint to the clean cottons. Calling her collection a “dream of Africa,” Sophie Theallet imbued thick panels of stripes into her voluminous skirts and rustic, hand-touched textures, and inspired by trips to Mexico and the Mediterranean, Naeem Khan indulged in oodles of opulent embellishments, then switched up the mood a bit with glistening, jetsetter-striped separates and some vividly-striped evening gowns for a fresh take on black-tie dressing.

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3. Single-Shoulder Dresses
If there’s one style of gown the New York designers want starlets to embrace come awards season, it’s the single-shoulder dress. Lean and simple asymmetry is the name of the game at Narciso Rodriguez, where a folded neckline here and a single bold shoulder there reflect strength in femininity. With a neutral palette and beading for miles, Badgley Mischka took things a step further with the complete single-sleeve, and Marc Jacobs showed a number of one-shoulder dresses; a sexed-up and stripped-down lace gown, balanced out by a serious slit on the opposite side is a particular standout.

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4. The Full-Shoulder Reveal
Then again, if the off-kilter look isn’t your thing, a number of designers are going all-out with the embrace of the bare shoulder. Milly let her tops and dresses drop and an off-the-shoulder cut feels just right when your top is little more than a crisp ruffle or your cocktail dress has full, belled-sleeves. Ever ethereal, Marchesa sent dreamy wafts of frothy tulle in the shades of sunset down their runway, with skirts as full and big as the shoulders are naked. And Michael Kors alternated between ’90s-era simplicity and all-out evening drama with plenty of his classics. Among the best: the broadly ruffled white blouse.

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5. High-Sparkle Sequins
When head-to-toe sequins are cast in red, white, and blue, as well as a variety of kooky prints, you know you’re going to get noticed. And that’s exactly what Marc Jacobs wants for his Spring ’16 woman. Paying homage to old Hollywood, as well as some of his own long-standing favorites, like teeny tap shorts and military-esque jackets, he delivered quirky glamour with a capital G. In a similarly extravagant state of mind, Reem Acra achieved full-on decadence with a Middle Eastern-inspired mélange of vivid hues, exotic accents, and nonstop beaded sparkle. Finally, J. Crew combined the colorful stripes trend with sequins, and the result is a casual take on evening dressing. Or vice versa, if you prefer: a fancy take on daytime attire.

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6. Hot Under the Collar
Show your shoulders, cover your neck, and indulge in a cutout or two! The high halter-necked dress is a black-tie standby, and this season it’s looking sexier than ever. Just check out Greg Lauren’s super-sheer, crinkled take and thigh-grazing mini variations. Or Naeem Khan’s superbly draped satin dresses topped with crystal-encrusted collars and saturated silks finished with a flourish of ruffles. Always expect innovation from Proenza Schouler. This time, Jack and Lazaro used bananas as a metaphor for their clothes; they wanted their clothes to “peel way from the body,” and this materialized in many of the collars, some with tidy, angular cutouts and others featuring girlish bows. Consider the need for a statement necklace altogether eliminated.

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