February 18, 2011 8:49 pm

New York fashion week trends

News from the autumn/winter 2011 women’s wear shows
 
Runway designs by (from left) Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta at New York fashion week©Getty

From left: Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta

Hot commodity

We all know the prices of gold and silver are going through the roof, so in a sneaky bid to suggest an alternative, designers abandoned their usual love of gilt-edged bling in favour of the fashion equivalent of costume jewellery: lurex. Whether gold, silver, or any metal not made in nature in between, the material nods to the 1970s (as long as the ghost of recession and possible oil crises hovers, so will that decade), but has a kitschy sparkle to lift the working wardrobe that is wholly contemporary, whether worn as an accent piece or as the main component of an outfit. It’s not just for the disco anymore.

Not your father’s grey flannel suit

Don’t roll your eyes, don’t bother to smother the yawn, don’t let your ears make a decision before your eyes. Sure, when one hears the words “grey flannel trouser suit”, all sorts of boring, even discontented, corporate associations leap to mind (not to mention Gregory Peck in the film of the same name), but look again. Specifically, look at these assorted re-inventions of the suit by New York designers, determined their clients should have professionalism and individual style, too. Wide-legged, geometric, slightly street, loose and luxe, one look apparently can work (pun intended) for all.

Mad for plaid

Blame it on the royal wedding and all that talk of St Andrews University, the place William and Kate met, but it seems even designers who long ago declared independence from the empire can’t help being inspired by ye olde homeland and the romance of what is about to occur. How else to explain the explosion of tartan (aka plaid) on the runways of New York, where it was patched together, draped and transformed into everything from jackets to evening gowns? A myriad of ex-colonists threw a sartorial celebration – though whether we will be over the whole thing by autumn, when these clothes actually hit the stores, is a question worth considering.

Vanessa Friedman’s review of the New York shows. For daily coverage of New York and London, go to Vanessa Friedman’s blog, www.ft.com/materialworld

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