There was a lot of chatter around New York Fashion Week. A number of major designers chose to show elsewhere (decamping to Paris and L.A. both), but there was still plenty to celebrate during the U.S.'s bi-annual turn on the calendar. Thanks to the energy and creativity coming from a new school of younger designers, along with reinvigorated spirit from the city's longtime staples, the best trends from New York Fashion Week's Fall/Winter 2020 season give you plenty to get excited about.
Typically, NYC is a city known for its ability to mix grit and glamour on the runway. You can expect Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta to evoke elegant images of an older, glitzier city. Then, downtown labels like Eckhaus Latta and Area aren't afraid to show off the more experimental side of the city. It's this contrast that makes New York such a special place to fashion insiders. It's a city bursting with emerging talent — some like Bode and Christopher John Rogers are already raking in major awards — that has helped revitalize a fashion space that has seen some tough losses in recent history, including the closing of two major retailers in Barneys and Opening Ceremony. As the first fashion week on the month-long multi-city haul, New York has the power to set the tone for what's to come. That tone this season: that it's worth celebrating the past, but it's necessary to focus on the future.
Read on for the seven trends to know this fall, straight from the runways of NYFW.
NYFW Trend: Caped Crusader
Fall is the time when you once again begin to consider your outerwear. While the trenches and blazers of the past few seasons still had a strong presence on the runway, 2020 marked the return of a different silhouette: the cape. At Michael Kors, the designer reimagined dresses and blazers with an elegant sweeping fabric attached. A more sleek silhouette also popped up at Carolina Herrera, Longchamp, and Gabriella Hearst. Meanwhile, at Proenza Schouler, a blanket style made for a take on the trend with an avant garde twist.
Over-the-elbow evening gloves have made a return not only among the runway, but among the street style set as well. These elegant accessories were the choice du jour worn with some of the best gowns from designers like Christian Siriano, Marc Jacobs, and Christopher John Rogers. Though a leather driving glove may be a more practical choice for everyday, it's hard to deny the instant elegance of these silky, long designs.
NYFW Trend: Conscious Clothing
While eco-friendly isn't a new term by any means in the fashion industry, this season designers looked to new ways to challenge the typical fashion cycle. At Eckhaus Latta, the label worked with luxury re-tailer The Real Real to source the footwear for the show instead of buying a set of new styles. Collina Strada designer Hillary Teymour is known for focusing her shows around social justice issues and this season she enlisted the help of actor Sasha Frolova, who read facts about climate change as models danced down the garden-themed runway (with all of the set later donated to the Elizabeth Street Garden). For Jonathan Cohen, a partnership with Swarovski allowed the designer to play with recycled crystals and pearls, incorporating them into the collection in a way that felt entirely natural. In NYC, it seems that these young designers are helping to lead the climate-centric conversation at fashion week.
NYFW Trend: Boots On The Rise
The fashion industry has yet to forget the sweeping popularity of Stuart Weitzman's prolific 5050 boots, which were the style popularized by celebs and trendsetters alike. Now, the over-the-knee silhouette is back at everywhere from Tory Burch, to Khaite, Tom Ford, Ulla Johnson, and more. This time around, the fit is a bit looser, but still holds the same impact when styled with a mini dress or with jeans tucked in.
NYFW Trend: Heavy Metals
While there was also plenty of the traditional silver and gold on the runway this season, it's worth noting that there were a number of non-traditional takes on metallic that felt every bit as glamorous as their sterling or karat counterparts. Colorful shine at Christopher John Rogers, Sally Lapointe, and Area were especially pleasing to the eye.
NYFW Trend: Belt Your Blazer
Typically, it's shoes or bags that take the prize for most-coveted accessory, but for fall, it's impossible to ignore the prevalence of belts. They were used to cinch the waist of gowns and coats alike at labels like Brandon Maxwell and Michael Kors, but the most popular take for fall seems to be cinching a blazer securely around the waist. Whether it serves to add shape to an oversized style, or it's simply meant to add a pop of color or texture, you'll want to consider getting creative with your belting this year.
NYFW Trend: Couture Textures
Sweeping feathers and frothy tulle may not seem the most practical choices when it comes to dressing for the everyday duties, but you'll want to find a reason to dress up in the months down the line. The delicate fabrications and voluminous cuts often relegated to couture gowns are finding their way into the collections of NYC's heaviest hitters.
NYFW Trend: Cool Quilting
Puffer jackets earned their fair share of buzz over the last two years, but the oversized designs helmed by Balenciaga are being traded in for a fresh take in the form of subtle quilting seen everywhere from Adam Lippes to Anna Sui. Coach's leather jacket has a puffer-like appearance, while at Bevza the brand played with cozy separates you can mix and match.