This month’s New York Fashion Week was primarily a virtual affair, with designers opting to release their collections via video or photo slideshows, but there was no shortage of buzz around the brands that did show.
One major moment was a surprise runway appearance at Proenza Schouler from newly minted IMG model Ella Emhoff (you may also know her as Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter who stole the inauguration fashion show in a sparkle-studded Miu Miu coat last month). Donning a relaxed-fit pantsuit — one of our favorite styles du jour — sans shirt, Emhoff, 21, rocked a hip mop of curls and round nerd-chic glasses. Power dressing, but make it Gen Z.
The look is a sign of our sartorial times: In this pandemic, when we’re at home dreaming of more stylish days, trends are yours to take and make your own. Whether your fashion fantasy involves cocooning yourself in head-to-toe knits or sporting stilettos and a decadent dress, designers offered everything from the practical to the truly fantastical.
Here, six trends we’re eager to embrace post-pandemic.
The new knits
For fall, designers served up some very witty knits: Victor Glemaud styled two-tone sweaters with matching cable-knit hot pants perfect for a night of Netflix while snuggled under a blanket, while Staud’s slouchy styles topped roomy maxi dresses. Meanwhile at 3.1 Phillip Lim, a minimal, monochromatic sweatsuit proved that all it takes is a classic camel coat (paired with removable mittens!) to take this trend seamlessly from the sofa to your favorite outdoor dining spot.
One shade of green reigned supreme: Dubbed “leprechaun” according to Pantone’s fall 2021 predictions, the hue falls playfully somewhere over the rainbow — and between emerald and Kelly. Kim Shui’s spliced separates were infused with the perky shade, as were looks from Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-based designer Theophilio’s hotly anticipated collection. (We’re partial to this athleisure-infused skirt suit.) Anna Sui’s take was head-to-toe — right down to the leaf-print mask.
Because who couldn’t use more? Designers served up electrifying collections packed with playful pieces that you couldn’t have a bad day in. Collina Strada brought double the fun via layers and psychedelic prints, while Studio 189 showed multicolored skirts with flouncy tiers that suggest twirling (at home, on your own, why not?). And in a runway video, during which the models all smiled brightly, Zimmermann’s pastel patchwork finale gown swept the show.
Comfort dressing during a pandemic? Definitely not groundbreaking, but thankfully designers aplenty offered fresh takes on the ubiquitous cozy vibe. Thakoon took knit suiting and piled it with sweaters — lots and lots of sweaters. Bevza bundled up models with balaclavas, while Gabriela Hearst (who was also worn by first lady Dr. Jill Biden for last month’s inauguration events) showed a sumptuous floor-length cape that’s picture perfect for snowy days.
Warning: These are not your typical power pantsuits. Prabal Gurung’s oversized take — right down to the extra-long hem — is boldly hued and layered with extra-long strands of pearls. Rosetta Getty carried over spring’s love affair with leather and layered relaxed suiting with pinstriped tunics. And at Proenza Schouler, the quiet but chic blazer (modeled by Emhoff) and loose-fit pants showed that fashion week is still serious business.
For those with sweatpants fatigue, rejoice! Glamour glittered on runways aplenty. Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill (who became a household name after Biden donned her designs during the inauguration) served up cocktail frocks bursting with embellished fireworks, while Christian Cowan’s sexy neon bodycon minidresses — styled with matching thigh-high stilettos — showed us how to rock some serious swag from the comfort of our beds (Judith Leiber martini-shaped purse optional). For otherworldly inspiration, Tia Adeola’s ethereal feather gown is a true fashion moment in flight.