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
Left to right: Annie Georgia Greenberg showing off her midriff; Chiara Ferragni; Caroline Issa in off-white; and Johnny Wujek wearing . . . cycling shorts . . . and a matching zip-up. Photographs: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty and Chelsea Lauren/Getty
Naomi Campbell (left) walks the runway at the Diane von Furstenberg show and Laura O’Grady at the MM6 Maison Martin Margiela fashion show. Photographs: Getty
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.
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.
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.
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.