February 14, 2014 4:42 pm

New York autumn/winter 2014 womenswear trends

Big pants

Not the Bridget Jones variety – rather, the wide-legged, generously slouchy, swish-as-you walk kind. Blame it on the overarching trend of the season: a return to comfort dressing – or a simple fashion reaction to the past few seasons of skin-tight rocker trousers. Either way, for autumn/winter the trousers on the catwalk are, finally, almost entirely on the upped-side. This is good news physically (they can hide a multitude of issues) and emotionally too; they have the comfort factor of a good pair of sweatpants. Whether in double-faced cashmere or malleable leather, they can go from office to sofa with just a change of top. Daniel Cleaver and Mark Darcy would approve.

. . .

Feeling sheepish

There’s more than one way to skin a sheep, apparently, judging by the plethora of shearling treated every which way on the New York catwalks. Long, short, dyed, natural, shaved, curly, inside, outside – you name it, a designer tried it. You can understand why: aside from being the most acceptable face of fur, sheepskin has the advantage of referencing the tougher, more functional dimension of luxury that is emerging as the dominant force of the season: it evokes pioneers and the Australian Outback. Plus, it’s very warm. And a bit like having your own portable teddy bear – though maybe we don’t want to get into the psychology of why an adult might want their own portable teddy bear . . .

. . .

Shine on

Fashion week comes between the Golden Globes and the Oscars. And in awards season, a designer’s thoughts turn to . . . red carpet! Which leads to thoughts of . . . shiny metal statues! Which leads to . . . shiny fabrics! Sometimes fashion really is that obvious. Sometimes it also makes subtle-but-pointed references to commodity prices, the 1970s and glam rock or the Vatican bank scandal. But mostly it’s a red carpet/awards season/shiny fabrics thing.

For daily reviews of all the collections as well as slideshows, see ft.com/fashionweeks

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