Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Derek Lam, Carolina Herrera
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From chequerboards to Greek pottery, kinetic swirls to giant gingham, next summer will be one of clearly defined contrasts.

At first glance it may look like the political stand-offs evident in countries like the UK, France and US have been translated by designers from London, Paris and New York into battle lines etched on fabric. But look a little closer and the yin-yang relationship is not about opposition but about relationship-building and the way the mix of (non)colours works together.

There’s nothing wishy-washy about these carefully drawn lines (and squares and squiggles). Whether the message of harmony and balance makes it out of the closet is another matter – but don’t let that affect your decision to add it to your wardrobe.

Donna Karan, Altuzarra, Rodarte, Proenza Schouler

Fringe benefits

We should have seen this coming: after the feather free-for-all of autumn/winter, where could designers go in search of 3D movement but to the fringe? Unlike the famous festival in Edinburgh, however, this trend encompasses everything from indie to establishment. It can be both elegantly ethnic (see The Row) and out-there extreme (Rodarte) – not to mention everything in between. In every case, it gives garments texture even in the hottest climes and is a clever way to extend even the shortest hemlines. And that doesn’t even begin to touch on its benefits when you go dancing.

Alexander Wang, Victoria Beckham, Tommy Hilfiger, Reed Krakoff


New York is known as the home of sportswear – but in the past that has actually meant separates: function-driven fashion solutions for real life. This season, however, designers have embraced a pretty literal interpretation of the term, offering up clothes actually inspired by sport – from baseball to tennis, running and even cricket. Maybe it’s the hoo-ha about the various Olympics maybe it’s the fact that workout brands are getting more fashioned-up, so fashion brands are defending their territory. Whatever the reason, performance gear is making yet another foray beyond the playing field.

Vanessa Friedman: New York Fashion Week: Designers hone their look

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