New York Fashion Week has a vibe that is both international and fiercely homegrown. The city’s identity – the home of both imported celebrities and of streetwise born-and-breds – gives an ‘anything goes’ feeling that is difficult to pin down. Where it might be easy to pigeonhole Paris style, or Stockholm, or Tokyo – what does New York style look like? And this is why it’s worth poring over the collections at NYFW; it’s insouciantly youthful in that it cannot rest on its sartorial laurels as London can with country heritage, or Tokyo with bubble-gum quirk, or Paris in head-to-toe black and a cigarette. With no New York failsafe, the designers must set the game. Perhaps because of this, New York attracts the newbies – the Olsen twins, Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes all launched their brands at NYFW. The freedom and variety of the city make it a safe place to cut your style teeth. And with that in mind, here are five of the best outfits from the bright young things (or old souls) of N-Y-C so far:
A perennial street style snapper’s favourite, the SS14 collection was remarkable purely because of its sheer wearability. Suitable for the office, the beach or the bar, this girl is just, well, comfy. This look is making cullottes (instead of skirts) and boxy tops (instead of constrictive shirts) acceptable, smart workwear. Put your Spanx and your sky-high pointed courts away ladies – and thank Opening Ceremony for the relief.
A dab hand at va-va-voom ladylike silhouettes, you’re going to want to be dressed in Lhuillier for date night come Spring. An unusual splash of colour such as this paprika red among an otherwise very muted palette across the NYFW board gives an Ibiza reminiscence to the approaching grey of autumn. Lhuillier turns her hand to natty little skirt suits in salmon pink too, but let’s face it, this dress is a knockout.
A pretty established shortcut to style is to wear your boyfriend’s clothes, no? And Joseph Altuzarra knows it. Pair a pencil skirt with a pinstriped man’s tunic, and hey presto, my favourite look, ever. The oversized look was a recurring theme throughout the Altuzarra show, with pinstriped ponchos, jackets and yet more pencils skirts featuring. Part Hamptons glamour, part disheveled drifter, this look is a classic how-to on pairing something big and baggy with something small and sexy.
Too often in catwalk fashion do we think, ‘yeah that looks good, but how the hell am I supposed to wear it?’. Not the case with this simple beyond simple look from the Brazilian fashion house. Its worth splashing the cash just for fine material, because this look is a keeper – whether its a work day, a weekend shopping or even a wedding, this dress does it all. The colour is almost universally flattering as well.
The sheer romance of this dress makes me love it. Yes, I’ll never actually wear anything like it, and yes you will resemble a petit fours if you do. But the Carrie Bradshaw-esque swish combined with the gentle floral embellishment that runs through the whole of Mohapatra’s collection is an appropriate sartorial summary of all that NYFW is about. A little glamour, a little femininity and a little internationality all at once.
Now all we have to do is wait for the high street imitations…