Here we are again! Back in New York City and the energy is palpable, from the searing late-summer sun to the mad dash between Lincoln Center and Milk Studios (and everywhere in between). But it’s what’s going on inside that’s really stirring up our spirits, which kicked off with Givenchy’s Pier 26 show that paid homage to September 11th, as well as the house’s new city of show choice. The mood for Spring ’16 feels fresher and brighter than ever, and with that, meet my favorite trends of the season so far:
1. Sheer Genius
Speaking of Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci’s opulently ethereal collection gave way to plenty of sheer texture, with loose silhouettes, asymmetrical angles, and suggestive mesh overlays for a mood that is out of this world. Looks like we’ve moved on from the lean slip dress to the lacy negligee. Evidently in a similar frame of mind, Jason Wu applied one simple yet effective word to describe his latest: “Glamour,” a matter he knows more than a thing or two about. Tailored jackets with frayed edges framed completely sheer tops, and ’90s-reminiscent dresses, topped with ruffles, do more than hint at lots of skin. Finally, Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo of Tome delivered a delicious way with deconstruction with peekaboo panels and texture to tease, all inspired by retro disco vixens, like Jerry Hall. If there’s one word for what all this sheerness translates to, it’s seduction.
2. Top of the Crops
The crop top is having more than just a mere extended moment. It has now firmly cemented itself as a viable force in your wardrobe. But come Spring ’16, expect to only see mere slivers of skin (unless you’re looking to the streetwise babes at Alexander Wang who are embracing the full mid-torso reveal) for a classic take on cocktail looks. Take your pick: Jason Wu’s full-bodied separates, which alternate between the overtly glimmering and a modern take on menswear-inspired prep; the gorgeously girlish pieces at Carolina Herrera, where she played with lively textures and shades of pink; or 3.1 Philip Lim’s (who’s celebrating his 10th anniversary this season!) funky take on femininity, featuring flower-appliquéd bandeau tops and exaggerated drawstring pants and shorts.
3. Pajama Dressing
If you thought the notion of wearing your silken pajamas for cocktail hour and beyond is a trend that’s dead, think again. Nicknaming his latest collection “New Bohemia,” Thakoon unapologetically delivered crisp chambray robes complete with piping and miniskirts that look an awful lot like men’s boxer shorts (in the coolest way possible), while Givenchy took the concept of old-fashioned lace underpinnings to new levels of languid, evening-worthy decadence and Creatures of Comfort belted their gauzy, super-loose monochrome separates, resulting in a polished sort of insouciance. Dressing to the nines has never been this welcomingly comfortable!
4. Easy Does It
Fashion is having a moment of ease. Spring always suggests a lighter mood, and a few of my most beloved designers have taken the laidback vibe into loose, flowing shapes. Like Derek Lam, who found a muse in Nina Simone for his fuss-free skirts, belled sleeves, ribbed-knit sweater dresses, and air-catching caftans. And Victoria Beckham, who delivered a sure-to-sell-out lineup of effortless swing dresses and slide shoes. Calling herself “a sponge” backstage, it’s evident that she’s soaked up a SoCal mentality, what with all her trips to Los Angeles, as seen on the surfer-babe screen prints and splashy blocks of bold color. And Altuzarra sent out purposely wrinkled linen dresses, wide-leg trousers, and open midi skirts with high slits made for moving out for a most relaxed take on city dressing.
5. Beaded and Embellished
Bring on the accents! Just because many designers are reflecting a more relaxed mood, don’t think all things beaded, sequined, bejeweled, and sparkling are not up for grabs come spring. Monique Lhuillier revealed an upbeat mood with a palette of ultra-bright jewel tones and perfectly executed smatterings of floral accents to match, while Altuzarra looked to his partially Spanish roots for inspiration, brilliantly reflected in dresses outfitted in allover sequins and exotic accents, as well as appliquéd jackets for loads of shine, and Jenny Packham put a feminized spin on the style of rock ‘n’ roll legends like Mick Jagger and David Bowie. Shimmering wildflowers and slinky evening beadwork prevail.
6. Low Cuts and V-Necks
The collarbone and clavicle are having a moment! The deep V-neckline is attention-grabbing and bold, but when it’s balanced out with a loose-fitting silhouette, it works without being too obvious. Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne used the low neckline to bring a sense of sexiness to their otherwise sporty and almost androgynous monochrome separates. Adam Selman played with retro Hawaiian motifs and “bad girls,” and the result is vibrant, youthful, and lots of fun. Finally, Prabal Gurung paid respect to the womanly form with brightly-hued simplicity of shape and high degrees of sensuous appeal.
7. Jumpsuit Around!
Think single-step chic. The always easy all-in-one is hotter than ever, and this time, it’s being seen in a host of highly sophisticated interpretations, to boot. Take your pick, whether you want to get all decked out or go for day-to-night simplicity. Elect Altuzarra for crinkly linen that amounts to an easy, naturalistic feel; look to Diane von Furstenberg’s mixed prints, silky texture, and unrestrained lines, which pay homage to a full 40 years of her label; or check out Tibi for lightly ruffled, summery fun in the form of a khaki playsuit.