New York fashion week had a nostalgic edge for the fall season this year. Designers took their inspiration from bygone eras with screen siren gowns, military tailoring, the nipped in waists of the forties silhouette and sharp suiting featuring pinstripping, strong shoulders and heavy fabrics. It also saw the return of the little black dress in alnost every guise.
The biggest trend in accessories was the waist belt, whether thick or thin, it featured over coats, teamed with separates or on evening gowns. The other accessory that proved popular on the catwalk was long black leather gloves – a trend that could translate well next autumn.
With so many strong showings in New York this past week, including Jason Wu, Dean Quinn, DKNY, Jenny Packham and Donna Karan (all above), it was hard to pick out who to highlight but these are six designers we at Belle thought that shone this season.
A favourite of actress Renee Zellweger, Carolina Herrera’s collection encompassed shapes from the fifties with her belted A-line skirts, sixties with her bright modish dresses and seventies with her long flowing gowns. High necklines and long hemlines kept the look sopisticated and confident for the woman who means business, professionally or socially.
What to take from it: bold brights, long lines and covered decolletage.
Diane Von Furstenburg
Known for her womanly figure-enhancing wrap dresses, Diane Von Furstenburg introduced a range that was feminine, casual and yet made the most of the female form. Her jet setting collection showed influence from both sides of the Atlantic offering chic, well travelled women the perfect capsule wardrobe.
What to take from it: pencil skirts, cigarette trousers and comfortable fashion.
‘The inspiration (for) this collection is sci-fi warrior goddess,’ Lhuillier said ‘And so there is a very strong shoulder, lots of sculpting in the body, and there’s also a lot of red because I think red is very powerful, and I think it’s right for the season. It’s a particular kind of red. It has like a very bright and kind of warm hue in it.’
What to take from it: fiery shades from yellows and burnt orange to sizzling red and coal black.
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta said that he was inspired by jewellery for his latest collection which saw sparkle added to his, gowns, the prints and the accessories. Muted blues and frothy pinks featured heavily alongside a return to black as did big tulle skirts in his evening gowns.
What to take from it: Sixties chic, princess gowns and silver and gold embellishment.
This Nepalese designer, who is favoured by fashionistas and actresses alike, showed a collection that was edgy yet wearable. He played with dark and light with blonde models wearing white gowwns and brunettes wearing dark and his sharp shoulder and cut-puts gave his dresses a very modern edge. His black beaded sheer gown made an obvious impact for its delicacy and sophistication.
What to take from it: sheer panels, strong shoulders and mixed textures and fabrics.
Our very own Victoria Beckham has come a long way to prove herself as a legitimate designer and once again with this collection, she shows that she knows what flatters the female form, regardless of size. Her figure-enhancing shapes with their illusionary panelling are sure to be seen on A-listers both sides of the pond. Keeping her knee length skirt has helped her to maintain a sophisticated, grown-up look without a hint of dowdiness – if only the high street would follow her lead.
What to take from it: military enhancement, figure skimming dresses and flat (yes flat!) boots.