Street’s ahead of the catwalk in New York

The real trends at New York fashion week were to be found among the industry insiders strutting their stuff on the streets: here’s what we learned

Fri, Sep 13, 2013, 17:35

In February, Suzy Menkes, fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune derided what she termed “the Circus of Fashion” – the carnivalesque gathering of cameras and street- style darlings outside the shows during fashion weeks. Six months later, the season has changed but the circus is back in town.

And for those of us who don’t have to push past preening pre-teens in their Miu Miu booties to get to our seats, or suffer the indignity of being looked up and down and passed over by the waiting photographers, the “circus” is a decent insight into what the industry insiders are really wearing – which is vastly different from what the catwalks are telling us to wear. These are the taste-makers, the selected few who are granted entry to this elite club.

Midriffs
Oh, how fashion mocks the average among us. Midriffs are a trend now, you see – a trend for people who use words such as “glutes” and “quads” in everyday speech. On the streets outside this season’s shows, New Yorkers took advantage of the mild autumn weather and dared to bare. Some, such as blogger Aimee (pronounced – in all seriousness – “Aw-mee”) Song, of songofstyle.com, went for a double whammy by pairing bra tops with booty shorts and tossing a leather jacket over their shoulders, an insouciant nod to the autumn chill.

Off-white
White was hailed as “the” colour of the season – along with pink, thanks to Simone Rocha and her sold-out Marks & Spencer coat – and the fash pack took the prophecy seriously, rocking out the whites and almost-whites for their car- to-catwalk jaunts. All of this crisp cleanliness raises the question though: do these people not drink coffee? Occasionally sit on dirty seats? Brush against handrails and walls while navigating their way around town?

Print and pattern
Ah, the printed, patterned fabric. Once a novelty, it has become an everyday sight and something that makes a trip to Penneys a visual nightmare, the swirling vortex of lines and circles as nauseating as those Magic Eye books full of elusive “3D” pictures. It’s no surprise, then, that print and pattern made several appearances in New York. Bonus points for those who managed to mix theirs with the midriff trend. See also: Aimee Song.

Chiara Ferragni
If a person can be a trend in and of themselves, then Ferragni has made the transition. Author of The Blonde Salad, a blog she describes as a salad of her life (she’s Italian), Ferragni has been a permanent fixture on fashion’s front row for several seasons. This year, she’s sponsored by Redken – hence a new and exciting hairstyle each day – and has been working every trend into her look: a bare midriff beneath a Topshop jumpsuit, a brightly patterned skirt with a lace top, a strapless printed graphic dress by MSGM.

For every positive . . .
Of course, there are always those who get it wrong – often, to be fair, in an attempt to show just how liberating fashion can, and should, be and to prove there is no merit in following the pack. These goals, while admirable, do little to soften the blow of being papped while wearing cycling shorts and a matching zip-up. Nor do they make a floral tea dress and biker boots a good choice for 51-year-old Anna dello Russo – or anyone old enough to vote. As for top-to-toe monochrome mixed with coloured runners and a furiously patterned bag, well, even the child in the oversized baseball cap is wondering what’s up.

 

Next season we'll be wearing . . . 

Volume As seen at Victoria Beckham, where silhouettes usually follow a very tried and tested, feminine shape. Think boxy tops and jackets and flared skirts. 

Spaghetti straps We better get back to our Mobama arm exercises, because these unforgiving scraps of fabric are back for spring/summer 2014. Seen at Victoria Beckham, Rag & Bone and even on evening gowns at Jason Wu. 
 
Metallic accents Fabrics will go high-tech with metallic thread woven through. Take your cues from Badgley Mischka’s beautiful gowns, or Rag & Bone’s 1990s-inspired light blue velvet.
 
 
#trending
 
Harper Beckham At the tender age of two, the diminutive Harper Beckham cemented her status as fashion’s ultimate young gun by taking her front-row seat at her mother’s S/S 2014 show next to Anna Wintour. Okay, she was on Daddy Beckham’s lap, but her trendy top-knot was firmly in place and she sported a pair of Alexa-like ballet pumps. Even Wintour looked touched. 
 
Naomi Campbell The British supermodel closed the Diane von Furstenberg show in a short tribal-inspired black dress, to a standing ovation from the watching crowd, which included Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer and Jessica Alba. Von Furstenberg and Campbell have known one another for 26 years, said Campbell after the show – longer than many of the current top models have been alive. @NaomiCampbell 
 
Laura O’Grady The Irishwoman reinforced her status as one of our top exports, walking for Maison Martin Margiela and Delpozo in New York, while celebrating her 19th birthday with fro yo (that’s frozen yoghurt, to the uninitiated). Next stop? London, baby! @lauraogradyy
 
Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl Former star of The City and current fashion ingénue Olivia Palermo kept her shades on, Bono-style, for the Rachel Zoe show – but she also brought her paramour, Johannes Huebl, so we forgive the (geddit?) oversight. Could it be that these two are the most beautiful couple in fashion? @TheRealOliviaP 
 
All Saints The Spitalfields-based Brit brand brought its downtown aesthetic uptown for its first fashion week presentation, and it had attendees all aflutter. What’s this – leather? For spring? It may be that All Saints is catering to a particularly British climate, or perhaps its designers just recognise that we don’t all want to dress in head-to-toe florals from March to September. Either way, it was a welcome departure from the sickly sweet candy colours usually heralded by spring. @AllSaints_

 

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