New York City spent the month of February getting pounded by snow. Normally, this would make for a logistical disaster of a fashion week. But, with the pandemic-induced transition to digital events, New York Fashion Week's Fall 2021 trends can be taken in without the risk of slipping on ice or falling into a slushy puddle.
This year, you may feel like you're missing out on the usual street style and celebrity front-row looks in NYC, but there is still plenty to inspire you from the designers who call the city home. With many of the bigger names in the U.S. sitting out fashion week or shifting their show schedule, this season there was lots of room to check out the latest designs from the next generation of thought leaders in the city. This season, designers are still keeping their focus on comfortable, practical pieces — lots of knitwear, relaxed silhouettes, and neutral colors from industry favorites like Proenza Schouler, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Jonathan Simkhai.
Below, find a breakdown of the six trends to know now for Fall — all live from New York.
NYFW Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: Just Bundle
Repurposing your summery staples may not inherently feel like a trend, but as the fashion industry moves towards prioritizing timelessness and long-term clothes ownership, brands are leaning into the idea of repurposing lightweight summer layers with the addition of one key piece: a killer coat.
NYFW Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: Big Knits
Good news if you're feeling a bit of sweats-related burnout: Knitwear is here for you. Next fall, designers are offering up not only your usual two-piece knitted separates, but also maxi-length dresses that allow you to blanket yourself up comfortably. At Ulla Johnson, full-volume sleeves and cable-knit texture made the trend feel especially primed for cold weather. Meanwhile, at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Bevza, there were options that felt a bit more transitional and could double as a late-summer coverall.
NYFW Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: Fringe
Fringe re-entered the fashion vernacular last year thanks to Bottega Veneta's much-photographed shearling coat and clutch, but more subtle iterations have found themselves in New York, serving as an extra bit of texture and adornment to coats and blazers. Jason Wu, Jonathan Simkhai, Cinq a Sept, and Proenza Schouler all adorned outerwear with this low-stakes (yet entirely eye-catching) detail.
NYFW Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: All-Out '80s
Nostalgia is running high, and one era particularly on the minds of designers right now is the '80s, a time of high-glamour, high-volume, and high-heels (not exactly a mirror of reality). With whispers of a roaring '20s arriving on the heels of the pandemic, New York trendsetters like Prabal Gurung and Alexandra O'Neill at Markarian (who recently dressed Dr. Jill Biden) are betting on a shopper's desire to start dressing up again.
NYFW Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: Cream On Cream
If you're more one for keeping things simple, it can't get much more pared back than all-white everything. New York's minimalist contingency offered their own takes on sleek and sophisticated, with layered creams and ivories all in different materials. The one message ringing loud and clear: After labor day, wear white with abandon.
NYFW Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: Keyhole Cutouts
This spring, cutouts — at the hip, back, or shoulder — are poised to be a top trend. But, for fall, there's one style, in particular, to keep an eye on: the keyhole. Either just below the bra line or on the upper chest, this little circle of skin was highlighted at Sandy Liang and Jonathan Simkhai alike.
NYFW Fall/Winter 2021 Trends: Mixed Prints
Alongside the season's traditional plaids and jewel-toned abstract prints, you'll find a surprising number of floral styles on this season's runway, often contrasted against the aforementioned traditional options. The key to pulling off the unexpected contrast come fall is to mix together clashing prints in related color palettes. There's no need to go for anything too matchy-matchy.