Runway Trends

Karl Lagerfeld following the spring 2016 fashion show in Paris

Images: InDigital

No place in the modern world gets to the heart of our insecurities and aspirations like an airport. There are strangers, scrutinizing bureaucrats, delays, altered routes and luggage. But airports also incubate our anticipated destinations, planned experiences and possible memories. At the Grand Palais in Paris this week, CHANEL erected a flight terminal for its spring 2016 show. But it was Valentino that brought our global wanderlust to its tricky conclusion.

Paris Fashion Week Spring 2016, Chanel

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Stella McCartney breathed fresh air into the end of Fashion Week with her signature sense of gamine design, breaking away from the flouncy bohemian looks and sporty streetwear that dominated the spring runways.
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Images: InDigital

Opening with form-fitting tube dresses that tucked in at the ankle, the designer began her parade of primary-tinted prints in oversized ginghams and weaving lines. This season brought back a refined version of her popular color-blocked pleated shift, this time with a sense of layered fluidity. Figure-hugging front sashes wrapped from the collars of boyish polo shirts, crossing over models’ torsos donned in matching knit or denim tube skirts. Double-breasted jackets and vests with elongated hems reaching beyond the hips paired with palazzo pants. As the finale approached, decidedly sultry mesh knit maxis—sure to become spring’s most coveted frocks—captured all eyes with their revealing geometric lace.

Shop: current season Stella McCartney

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Guillaume Henry’s moody and futuristic spring brought a new edge to every French femme’s favorite fashion house, with touches of goth and an overhaul of gloss to add to the distinctly ’90s undertone at Nina Ricci.Nina-Ricci-spring-2016-paris-fashion-week

Images: InDigital

Lacquer covered almost everything at the Nina Ricci spring show, from vampy lips that matched the glossy oxblood runway to the majority of the leather looks. Feminine takes on masculine cuts like stiffly structured jackets, silk palazzo pants with cargo touches and over-the-hand sleeves hit the dimly lit runway. More typically girly pieces were mini dresses with poufs of ostrich feathers and micro-pleated shifts that stood out as the collection’s most understandable elements. Coat dresses made an appearance, their mannish silhouettes broken up with deep V necklines, while simple silk blouses were accented with sheer apron-inspired overlays.

Shop: current season Nina Ricci

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It was an upbeat going-away show for Alexander Wang Friday night as he bid farewell to Balenciaga in his signature vivacious fashion.

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Images: InDigital

Wang, who was brought on to the French fashion house for his notable sporty-chic designs, bid adieu with a collection of white boudoir-inspired streetwear, a surprisingly feminine twist compared to his moody NYFW show. Steering away from the French line’s signature innovative design style, Wang experimented instead with simple silk satins, linens and cottons sans overdone modern structure and avec classic silhouettes.

Gauzy, transparent shift dresses with built-in bralettes and plenty of ruche and ruffle made their way around the Grecian bathhouse-inspired runway, topped off with a ubiquitous fringe bag, hip-slung satin pack or lace tote to match the models’ slippers. Amidst the designer’s newfound stylistic rebirth it was comforting to spot some of his more staple street-chic pieces. A racerback top, some striped palazzo pants and a few boxy outerwear pieces were there to counter the romanticism and remind us all that his departure marks more of a new beginning than a mournful end.

Shop: current season Alexander Wang

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When it comes to feel-good vibes, Angela Missoni doesn’t mess around. Her spring lineup buzzed with a healthy optimism, as only sporty silhouettes drenched in colorful zigzags and stripes can exude. If it felt like we were all heading to the beach, it was likely intended. In addition to the knitwear norms—long, flowy caftans, cardigans and dresses—you’d expect from Missoni, there were plenty of two-piece ensembles meant to resemble yarn-spun swimwear, even if just for boardwalk aperitifs. (The collection’s two indisputable bikinis were, however, designed for watersports.)

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Photos: InDigital

Yet despite the daring baring of skin, the slinky hot pants and crop tops seemed like natural counterweights to the generous array of sweeping cardigans, palazzo pants and oversized polo shirts. In other words, a little bit of lean tempered a lot of volume.

Shop: current season Missoni

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Peter Dundas returned to Roberto Cavalli after a ten-year hiatus ambitious to reinvent the brand’s well-established woman as one “who is truly independent of the past.”

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Photos: InDigital

For the first time since 1970, Roberto Cavalli handed over the title of creative director in an attempt to bring a sort of renewed freshness to the 45-year-old brand. Having created more than just an eponymous fashion house (the brand is pretty much its own empire at this point with its own vodka and string of nightclubs), Roberto Cavalli left some big shoes to fill.

Dundas tackled the task of bringing a fresh new vibe to the iconic label the best he could, abandoning the animal-print glam (save for a Rococo pantsuit and jacket here and there) for a more ’80s urban-cowgirl aesthetic complete with pastel-hued acid-wash denims in pant, jacket and dress form. Painted-on jeans, shoulder-bow bandeaus and barely there minis showed plenty of skin while ruffled movement was saved for a handful of dresses and a reappearing high-low skirt whose billowing fluidity stole the show.

Shop: current season Roberto Cavalli

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Modern minimalism went out the window Friday night when Veronica Etro took us back to nature and the Italian countryside for her spring showcase.

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Photos: InDigital

Bohemian collided with ballerina in a surge of folksy flowing frocks that hit the runway complete with layers of vintage-tinged ruffles, making the Italian farm life feel luxe and ornate. The whole collection breathed fresh romance with light-as-air silks decorated with metallic, Baroque microprints.

Save for one tomato-red dress, the line stuck to outdoorsy tones: shell-hued whites, sandy beiges, deep-sea blues and mossy greens. As feminine as the collection was, Etro managed to maintain a certain undone edge to it all, making sure the feel was earthy and airy to balance out the gilded, girly effect.

Shop: current season Etro

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Photos: InDigital

Thursday’s shows opened with a nod to nautical at Max Mara, where sailor stripes, stars, ropes and porthole graphics flooded the runway. It was the details that kept them from falling in lockstep: the models’ brightly painted brows, too-long sleeves and buttons all askew. Here and there, sheer fabric revealed a little more.

Shop: current season Max Mara

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Brit brands across London’s runways are drawing on a range of folklore references to inject their lines with a fresh bohemian feel. Few are succeeding as eye-catchingly as Mary Katrantzou with her inclination for experimental detail. Topshop Unique (an offshoot of Topshop), too, incorporated miniature floral prints and enchanting lace while keeping its sought-after English gent-meets-It-girl aesthetic intact.

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Photos: InDigital

Mary Katrantzou’s rise from graduate to global brand took the designer through several stages in decorative dressing—from kick-starting the trompe l’oeil print trend eight years ago to the more recent switch from digital to hand-embellished designs. For spring 2016, all those elements came into play on a smaller, lighter scale—but no less grand. Ribbed sweaters and footless tights glittered beneath short, airy dresses decked in hundreds of tiny beads. Quilted frocks in jewel tones maintained her signature energy thanks to a light-catching shine on some and voluminous ruffles on others.

Shop: current season Mary Katrantzou

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As the shows wind down and the fashion pack moves on to London and the Continent, the Nordstrom Fashion Office recaps spring ’16 with the Top 10 Trends from NYFW.

There is certainly a movement towards breezy, easy silhouettes and long languid layering. The erogenous zone moves to the shoulder. Relaxed ruffles and flounces enhance femininity with a casual flirtatiousness. A warm raw beauty continues the textural trend in materials. The season’s go-to pieces include a gypset freedom in the mix of print and pattern, a sensual slip dress, something indigo, a convertible bag and a soft shoe.

1. Mood Indigo

New York Fashion Week Spring 2016, Derek Lam

All photos: InDigital

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