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Runway Trends

March 5, 2014

Trend Recap: Art Factory

The ’60s have been an inspiration point for several designers across Europe, and we’ll admit, we always have a certain reluctance about retro eras when they’re taken too literally. However, we cannot ignore the optimistic approach in the ’60s cues that are popping up in Paris.


What’s captured our attention is the “graphic art,” which is young, fun, vibrant and is part of the bigger story of art dressing we mentioned in London. New patterns evocative of the psychedelic era are noteworthy, especially when coming from such a broad array of designers—from the master of textiles, Dries Van Noten to the energetic new approach from Valentino, not to mention the recently revived, now uber cool, Kenzo line.

We don’t believe anybody wants to look like they’ve stepped out of an Austin Powers movie. Our advice is to follow the best examples from the Paris runways, borrowing a cue from them—a silhouette (like A-line), a pattern or graphic, or a feature, like a fun color pop. Mix any of those in with contemporary pieces to keep it all truly new and exciting.

If the ’60s silhouettes or patterns don’t do it for you, try incorporating the trend via accessories or shoes, like these ‘kinky’ boots: they feel the way to go-go.

Have fun!
The Fashion Office

Let’s talk about the ‘padding’ that seems to be popping up across a variety of product types on the runways.


Practical puffers are one of the great coat choices for the season. But it’s not just about outerwear; the quilted effect can be seen on everything from tailoring and separates to luxurious textured evening coats and (our personal favorite) the puffer bootie, seen at Chloé. What better way to keep your tootsies toasty?

Shop the look:

Quilted: Shoes | Accessories | Apparel

The Fashion Office

The dress codes for day and night converge with a new love of everyday glamour and extravagance.

A hedonist revival of the ’70s YSL Rive Gauche style is happening with bloggers outside the shows and with designers on the runway—both indulging us with flashy embellishment, metallics, lamés, 24k gold, silver and silky fringe. Maximalism in the new rave with a “more is more” show-off attitude, bringing bling and flash into the bright light of day.

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As the season builds with Paris, the city of elegance offers two contrasting color camps, which we already noted in New York, London and Milan.

For the dark drama of it all, we love the “black on black” we’re seeing—playing with texture on texture. These always elegant looks are dark and brooding and often edgy. Sometimes they harken back to a historical romanticism; most are avant-garde with a futuristic fierceness.

But the big news is the creativity of color on color—palettes and pieces play in an artistic mix. Unexpected combinations are particularly provocative and beautiful.


Shop the look:
kate spade new york pump | Loeffler Randall Clutch | Gucci ‘Liberty’ Sandal

Tildon ‘Loren’ Flat | Opening Ceremony Carryall | Helmut Lang Sandal

The Fashion Office

Runway photos:

February 28, 2014

Trend Recap: The Sweater Set

Our first recap from Paris picks up on the incredible prominence and importance of sweaters, which we’ve seen in every city.

What matters in Paris is the way they are being worn—and what could be simpler than a sweater and skirt ensemble.

But these are deceptively simple looks; they are a highly considered combination—keeping it easy with matching colors or fabrics and adding interest with mixed materials. Note the masterful balance of shape and proportion: fitted versus full; cropped with a longer skirt length; oversized with slim, or statement-making bold and coordinated graphics.

We saw cozy and comfortable take center stage in NYC, and this trend is a similar response for today’s woman who wants options that are easy, practical and versatile.

With pretty, feminine footwear or sexy statement boots, this is a brand-new take on the old-school ‘sweater set.’

The Fashion Office

Runway photos:

Hi, fashion fans! Milan brought us some gorgeous examples of the wonderful trends that are showing up everywhere. The Italians display their mastery of craft with embellishment, and a more feminized take is prominent here. Following are our top 10 trends from Milan Fashion Week.

#1 Fur, Fur, Fur

It’s unanimous! Starting with New York, we don’t think we’ve seen a single show without it, and Milan was no exception.

#2 Folklore Maiden

This trend has picked up on a couple of themes we spotted earlier: a naïve, folksy charm and a more romantic woodland spirit.

#3 Femme/Men’s Mix

Trust the Italians to represent the menswear-inspired trend with looks that combine inspiration from the gentleman’s wardrobe with feminine underpinnings and accessories. Beautiful!

#4 Embellishment

Sequins, feathers, metal appliqué and gemstones adorn basic dresses, sweaters and outerwear. A little ornamentation goes a long way.

#5 Over-the-Knee Boot

It’s been featured in every city and shows no sign of waning in popularity. As we’ve said before, this is the boot of the season.

#6 Luxotica

Luxury and exotica in one package: a little retro, a little hedonistic. Sexy skins, embellishment and artistic accessorizing—this is a mode of dressing for fall ’14.

#7 Patterned Sweater

Following on from the London bonanza, the patterned sweater is your new winter warmer.

#8 Back to Brown

After emerging in other cities, brown was confirmed as a new base color in Milan. It’s rich, autumnal and looks especially contemporary when paired with black.

#9 Woodland Green

We LOVE the natural, leafy look of these forest hues.

#10 Gold

We’ve seen metallics in every city, but gold seems to be rising to the top as the luxe color to shine in.

Don’t get ‘Fashion Fatigue.’ We still have more to come from Paris, so stay tuned!
The Fashion Office

Photos:, Dolce&Gabbana, Cédric Charlier, McQ by Alexander McQueen.

As Milan Fashion Week progressed, the runways saw more ornamentation and cinched waists.


Embellishment emerges as the new feminine look. Sequins, feathers, metal appliqué and gemstones adorn basic dresses, sweaters and outerwear. Asymmetrical and random placement feel the freshest—especially on monochromatic palettes and when offering a balance to the masculine influences we’ve seen at all fashion weeks.

Shop the look:

Embellished Accessories | Embellished Tops | Embellished Bottoms

The Cinched Waist

Milan Fashion Week shows further feminine dressing with the cinched waist. Dresses and skirts are cinched with all belt widths, from wide to skinny. Dominating this trend are minimal and clean belts with little hardware, but embellished and metallic versions are emerging as well. We love updating classic black with a new waistline.

Shop the look:

Women’s Belts

The Fashion Office


February 21, 2014

Trend Recap: Autumnal Palette

Welcome to Milan! We’ve seen some great ideas unfold here that we started spotting spotted earlier, and they are building serious momentum as we move through the Fashion Capitals.

Our story today is about about some of the more typical autumnal colors, although there’s a distinct difference and shift in how these colors are looking new to us.

Back to Brown

Brown feels extremely interesting—there’s no doubt we’ve seen a lot of black, but brown is certainly emerging as the new color to watch!

Shifts in neutrals don’t happen as a flash in the pan but tend to signal a longer cycle of change. We’re appreciating the beauty of brown—as shown in wonderful textures or accessories—and something that’s looking really contemporary to us: pairing it with black.

Remember when you couldn’t wear navy with black? Well, brown with black looks to be the next color rule to be broken and reinvented. Welcome back to brown.

Woodland Green

Our second autumnal color is this gorgeous woodland green. This seems to hit so many subliminal ideas—it can be romantic, nostalgic, cozy or masculine. We LOVE the natural, leafy look of these forest hues.

The Fashion Office


As we look at another city to round up at Fashion Week, we saw a lot of similarity between London and the trends we noted in New York. Our top 10 most notable trends are a little different, however. Take a look at the biggest ideas and items emerging from London that caught our eye.

#1 Fur, Fur, Fur

In London, this comes in at the top spot, and it feels like it will be the uber-trend of fall 2014.

Real, faux, shaggy, savage, luxe, shearling, pony, in natural or colored versions: the fur trend was interpreted through every item (coats, jackets, scarves, bags and shoes)—there’s something here for everyone.

#2 Art Dressing

Bold splashes of flat color make dressing a work of modernist art—from color blocking to sweeping, painterly strokes. What a show-stopping statement.

#3 Sweater Bonanza

We’re looking at a huge sweater season. There are so many options: cute and fun, edgy and distressed, gorgeous and luxe—even reinvented classics.

#4 Cozy Coat Check

Following the Cozy Chic trend, this is London’s answer to the perfect coat to wrap up in for the fall ’14 season.

#5 Folklore

Naïve, charming prints and artistic flowers are key to this decorative trend, which brings a playful spirit to fall.

#6 Medieval Maiden

Could it be the influence of Game of Thrones inspiring several designers to channel this vibe into wonderful new dress shapes and embellished details? Either way, these romantic ideas balance the Masculine influence.

#7 Return of the Suit

With a clear trend of masculinity permeating the runways, it makes sense that the menswear-inspired pantsuit would be back with a vengeance.

#8 Sexy Sheath Dress

Dresses are big this season, and what better silhouette to update than the classic sheath? New mixed materials, strapping and seam detailing make this a sure-fire winner.

#9 Metallics

We thought we’d seen the recent obsession with metallics wane, but this is not the case. What’s new? Color. And not just for accessories—the metallic coat is set to be on every fashionista’s wish list on both sides of the Atlantic.

#10 Python Power

Move over, leopard prints: it’s now all about exotic reptile, with python winning out over croc in London. The newest are statement-making, head-to-toe looks and new colored accessories.

That’s a wrap from London. Stay tuned as we move on to the continental runways in Milan and Paris.
The Fashion Office

As our Fashion Office Team has shifted their focus to London Fashion Week, we’ve seen ideas similar to what we featured in our New York coverage. We’ll share our top-10 roundup soon, but first we wanted to show you some of the art-fueled energy that’s got us excited.

Art of Dressing

Bold splashes of flat color make dressing a work of modernist art. These new ways of color blocking and collage effects aren’t for the faint of heart, but they do make a showstopping statement.

Where this might be easiest to pull off is in a fabulous, head-turning ‘art’ sweater.

Art Sweater

Killer Sweater

If the above seems like too much for you, take a look at the huge array of sweaters on offer at London Fashion Week. Imagine yourself wrapped up in your favorite winter warmer while we’re dealing with this polar vortex.

The Fashion Office