From flourishes with swingy movement to unapologetically tactile fluff to out-of-the-bedroom silhouettes, these are the most major elements of style we’ll be wearing come fall, fresh off the New York runways:
Fear not the power of fringe. If you haven’t embraced it yet – perhaps it’s always been a little too “boho” for you – Fall ’15 is the time, as fringe has never looked more glamorous. Thank the likes of Tom Ford, for his mean, all-black, and multi-tiered takes; Joseph Altuzarra, for countering his coolly, unbothered pantsuit with a fringe-tasseled saddle bag; Marchesa for translating their glistening, evening-ready beads into vivacious fringe; and Ralph Lauren for giving his earthy ponchos plenty of sway. A little fringe reaps major benefits.
2. Patchwork and Texture-Blocking
Marc Jacobs countered his checkered dresses with broad stripes of crinkle-effect patent leather. Tom Ford delivered thigh-high (actually, more like crotch-high) boots with retro block of Technicolor curves, as well as denim pieces with leopard-print or indigo-blue fur panels. Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte took their runway’s disco queens to the next level with a hodgepodge of lace, feathers, sequins, and sheerness. Coach imbued their dresses with handkerchief-print motifs. 3.1 Phillip Lim went for a graphic shake-up of magnified plaid patterns, zipper-accented paneling, and playful layers. When it comes to statement pieces and everyday basics alike, a “more is more” attitude will take you places.
3. Slip Dresses
If you invest in one new dress silhouette come the fall season, it has to be the slip, hands down. One-part ‘90s-era minimalism and two-parts boudoir-sexy, the silk-satin slip dress is light and languid, forcing us to embrace a softer yet extremely bold (no bra required) kind of appeal. Prabal Gurung cut his loose, paneled, and gauzy, while the boys of Rag & Bone layered theirs over cozy, long-sleeved tops and trim, cropped trousers. Finally, the king of the minimalist slip dress, Narciso Rodriguez, injected elements of hand-drawn pattern play into his shoulder-baring, spaghetti-strapped numbers.
4. Block Heels
While platforms and stilettos will never go completely out of style, one heel shape stands out this season: the chunky but not too chunky block heel. Seen at Calvin Klein Collection, where zipper-accented go-go boots received a modern revamp; Marc Jacobs, where white patent-leather peep-toes were paired with sheer black tights for an offbeat take on evening accessorizing; and Honor, where they translated their Spring ’15 collection sandal into a blend of metallic texture and muted suede for Fall, the delightfully comfortable and functional block is where it’s at.
5. Black and White
When simple black and white looks this good, who needs – or notices a lack of – color? Designers like Narciso Rodriguez (think crisp, bold lines and clean, lean shapes), Stuart Vevers at Coach (he colorblocked their leather and shearling-trimmed winter coats, while keeping the palette easy and neutral), Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen of The Row (oversized white button-downs, wide tunic tops, obi belts), Francesco Costa at Calvin Klein Collection (‘60s-mod shift-dresses, jumpers, and breezy suiting), and Vera Wang (boy-meets-girl overcoats, fisherman sweaters, and wool Bermuda shorts) all decided to make the two polar-opposite shades of the spectrum the focal points of their collections.
6. Coordinating Bags and Coats
Just ask the likes of Proenza Schouler, Victoria Beckham, and Boss: Nothing speaks of vintage-inspired yet magnificently modern polish like a perfectly matched bag-and-coat combo. Jack and Lazaro’s went for a monochrome yet rather abstract interpretation of full-ensemble unity, while Victoria’s soft, foldover clutches pair wonderfully with her roomy, sculptural coats and Jason Wu turned up the heat on his wickedly colorblocked charcoal-gray ready-to-wear pieces for Boss by completing them with on-par shoulder bags.
7. Decadent Furs
From the scaled-up coat collars at Altuzzara to J. Mendel’s elaborate intarsia patterns and multi-textured mink techniques to Marc Jacobs’ chevron mink and leopard-print top-handle bags to the hyper-functional, multi-seasonal detachable linings and gilets at Jason Wu to the jaguar patchwork mink pieces at Oscar de la Renta to the voluptuous ombré fox robes, mega-cuffed coats, and pillowy muffs at Michael Kors to the pieced and patchworked shearling coats and trapper hats at Ralph Lauren, fur is by all means a must. Whether you take yours as a mere flourish (which can sometimes prove more impactful) or an all-encompassing piece of outerwear, the choice is up to you.
8. Midi-Length Skirts
Why the mid-calf skirt? Whether it’s a clingy knit number from Victoria Beckham (note: hers pair perfectly with her above-the-ankle leather boots), matte crocodile-paneled variation from Jason Wu, swingy, studded black dress for Alexander Wang’s neo-Goth vixens, relaxed A-line take on shiny PVC from Derek Lam, or brightly colored bohemian confection from Thakoon, the midi-length skirt is the great compromise of lengths. It can take you from day to night, while revealing just a flash of leg with minimum commitment.
Altuzzara embraced the sexy side of tweed by pairing his somber Prince of Wales plaids against oversized fur collars and sheer lace dresses with slits up to there. Inspired by menswear-loving Yankee ladies like Katharine Hepburn, Derek Lam served his tweed suits with multi-button jackets and roomy wide-leg trousers. Rodarte is suddenly making dark, checkered tweed feel ultra-glam and evening-worthy, after pairing their parkas with sequin miniskirts and their smart blazers with skintight, lace-injected leather drainpipes. Indeed, tweed is not what it used to be, so next season, don’t underestimate its surprising sensuality.
10. Cinched Waists
While the slip dress suggests a slinky sort of shape, when it comes to more structured dressing and outerwear, it’s all about emphasizing the waist. Whether you’re belting your fur gilet à la Jason Wu; topping your ladylike coat with a chunky belt or finishing off your prim suit with a skinnier variation, courtesy of Oscar de la Renta; or lightly cinching the sash of your wildly printed Derek Lam trench, a waist is a terrible thing to waste for Fall ’15.