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Coach Fall 2020 Review: The New New York Uniform

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At a time when all-over leather is a trend every influencer is trying on for size, it should be unsurprising that Coach is poised to expertly assert its dominance. The heritage American brand is known for its leather accessories, after all. For Coach's Fall/Winter 2020 show, the brand enlisted the help of iconic Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry to liven up an already colorful runway with a dose of punk electricity.

One thing that was obvious from a quick glance of the runway was the prevalence of color — coordinated, clashing, all dialed up, even down to the socks and bag. While over the past few seasons there's been a decidedly retro feel to the collections, this season it was a less obvious homage to the past. The brand turned to the estate of New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat for a collaboration this season, with his family both in the audience and his niece walking the show. “Coach has done a great job in capturing the texture, detail and energy of Jean-Michel’s work,” said Lisane Basquiat in a press release post show. “We are really impressed with Stuart’s vision and attention to the spirit of the work.”

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The collab presented itself not only in the color, but in the playful prints (like a graphic style that mimics the look of city blocks), crafty combinations, and the New York-centric styling choices. The prevalence of practical sneakers and flats on the runway speaks to the reality of commuting — even the chicest dresser needs practical shoes to navigate the subway. And just because an outfit is comfortable, doesn't mean it can't be cool.

Some of the most interesting looks came in the form of updated suiting. Teal pants styled with a maroon sweater, tan top, and grey blazer all at once somehow still feels polished instead of chaotic. The same can be said for a skirt and jacket set in mismatched stripes with — you guessed it — a striped bag and top to finish. The message: fashion's old school rules are out the window. Even if you're a "polished" dresser, it's punk to break the rules.

Courtesy Coach
Courtesy Coach

For those who come to the brand for accessories (it is what the brand is known for after all), this season was all about experimenting with your everyday carryall. Most of the offerings were small wristlets in abstract shapes and prints, with a few even emblazoned with the work of Basquiat. While they may not have the same practical appeal to always-on-the-go New Yorkers, they still offer the shopper an alternative to their standard day bag. And since the collection included oversized bags in tandem for a few of the looks, the standard tote and statement bag duo that many city residents favor will have a cool alternative this fall.

Courtesy Coach