Trend, or Bust: When Fashion Capitals Collide

With another Fashion Week season (capital F, capital W) behind us, editors and stylists are pouring over the images and notes from hundreds of shows in New York, London, Paris and Milan to determine what designer ideas make the cut to become the next big Trend (capital T). Nivetha Sundar (MA Fashion Journalism) reports on five creative threads connecting these fashion capitals.

Politically Speaking

To protest political discord, designers have created an environment supportive of women’s rights and other social issues. During NYFW, Christian Siriano, Jonathan Simkhai and Prabal Gurung showcased garments emblazoned with political messages. London promptly followed suit with Ashish Gupta defending equality in glitter mayhem. Designer Bora Aksu, on the other hand, chose subtlety by channeling the 20th century Suffragettes in Britain. When it came to Paris and Milan, both cities chose hats as symbols. Dior models wore black leather berets (a nod to the Black Panther Party) and Missoni featured pink cat-eared beanies made famous during the recent Women’s March on Washington, D.C. Speak your mind, wear your mind!


From left – Christian Siriano, Prabal Gurung, Ashish Gupta and Bora Aksu


From left – Christian Dior, Missoni and Versace

Over-Sized Dreams

Designers went above and beyond for all things oversize from overall silhouettes to fragments. Apart from the cinched waists, Prabal Gurung showed chunky knits with straight bodices and fluffy sleeves. London took a more traditional approach to broad features with Mulberry’s Thatcherite Collection, as per Vogue UK. In Paris, Isabel Marant showcased her ‘80s style suits complete with big belt buckles and shoulder pads. The wide-legged pants looked like they could have been the most comfortable thing to wear on the planet! In Milan, Anteprima added striped overcoats and black puffer jackets to the oversize line up.

From left – Prabal Gurung, Mulberry, Isabel Marant and Anteprima

Velvet All Around

Velvet made a very fashionable appearance on runways everywhere. New Yorker Christian Siriano featured a body-hugging, floor-length gown and a shoulder-baring cocktail dress in shades of orange. Dion Lee included roomy track pants and a zip-front puffer coat in bright blue. London upgraded velvet to graphic patterns and prints. Thanks to fuchsia musings by Peter Pilotto and appliqué jellyfish by Mary Katrantzou, “velvet now is light and lithe”, gushed Vogue. Meanwhile in Milan, Blugirl and Alberta Ferretti took center stage with ethereal embroidered gowns in dark velvets. Saint Laurent spread velvet fever to Paris with innovative cocktail dresses. What a way to cope with winter blues!

From left – Christian Siriano, Dion Lee, Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou


From left – Alberta Feretti, Blugirl and Saint Laurent.

Fringe Benefits

This is a case of high style “hanging by a thread”! Fringes made a global comeback in all the flapper-esque glory. New York was fired up by the party pieces from Michael Kors, Marchesa and Erin Fetherston, who offered confidence and seduction with their cascading silk fringes brushing the legs of models as they strutted on the catwalk. London took fringes for an unusual spin as House of Holland featured Southern themed looks that resembled a cross between “Hoedown and Rodeo”, as Elle UK suggested. In Paris, Balmain once again lived up to the animalistic, raw energy of its recent collections. Prada and Emilio Pucci took a vibrant turn in Milan with bright neon colors in contrasting combinations.

From left – Michael Kors, Marchesa and Erin Fetherston


From left – Balmain, Emilio Pucci and Prada

Silver Surfing

Metallic sheen was all the rage this season with designers everywhere going strong for silver. In New York, Proenza Schouler had shiny fabrics sprinkled throughout the collection whereas Leanne Marshall took to satin with bellowing gowns in luxurious silver. London-based designer Osman sent his models down the runway in knee high silver stilettos and sequined madness skirts. Milan channeled ‘80s power dressing silhouettes with an intergalactic vibe in AnnaKiki’s show. Style Cartel noted that models dressed in silver bodysuits represented a cinematic mashup of Blade Runner and The Hunger Games. Paris turned silver in outerwear with Chanel and Off-White embracing the color fit for the most stylish of winters. Silver is the new gold.

From left – Proenza Schouler, Leanne Marshall, Osman and Christopher Kane


From left – AnnaKiki, Chanel and Off-White


Text by Nivetha Sundar (MA Fashion Journalism)