Earlier this year I made some predictions about what 2020 would bring in fashion.
A new year has begun and that means its less than six weeks till Fashion Week for the 2020 season begins! New York Fashion Week launches the season beginning February 6, 2020 and runs through February 13, 2020. Fall styles will be on display as designers explore the year’s trends and create new ones. Venues vary, since venue has become just as important as the clothes featured. Several studios around the city including Spring Studios and Pier 59 Studios will host shows but designers have been finding more and more unique locations to play host to their collections. See: Marc Jacobs in an abandoned subway or Zendaya X Tommy Hilfiger in Harlem at the Apollo
There were no groundbreaking or revolutionary shows for AW2020. Venues were relatively safe with few exceptions. President of the CFDA, Tom Ford, chose to stay in Los Angeles, ahead of the Oscars this year. Many, including size inclusive pioneer Tanya Taylor, chose not to show at all in a February. We did see a possible trend emerging from designers such as Philip Lim. In an effort to “allow creativity and fashion to breath” Lim threw a “house party” in lieu of his planned runway show. The event was held at the labels Great Jones St store and invited retailers, press, and clients. It was also open to the public, adding to it’s laidback feel. Just another day in the store ( with a slightly larger crowd!) Tibi was another brand opting out of the runway this season, showcasing their Fall 2020 line in an in-store presentation as well. Tibi has been a staple at fashion week over the last 15 years, but founder Amy Smilovic felt the time for a change. This change allowed for an homage to their past successes as well as a much needed highlight of the stunning details woven throughout the future line.
Side note: Many have surmised that New York’s status as hub for fashion is waining but designers such as Naeem Khan and Ulla Johnson are holding fast. New York is home and that is not changing anytime soon.
Fashion has four seasons: spring/summer, fall/winter, resort, and pre fall. The original seasons of spring/summer and fall/winter date to the early 1900s’ fashion parades. The preseasons were introduced much later as an opportunity to display transitional pieces and reinvent more avant- garde looks in a more wearable way. Of course the addition of the transitional seasons opens the door for experimentation and heightened creativity. A perfect example of this would be Jeremy Scott for Moschino. Scott recently presented his Prefall collection in the Brooklyn Transportation Museum, transforming vintage subway cars into a runway. The line was an oversized lesson in extravagance. Celebrating the street culture of New York during his days at school, the line was bright and vibrant, evoking a feeling of street art. Interestingly, his previous spring collection read as a journey through a modern art museum. Both lines are remarkably wearable though Prefall feels more personal, a feat made easier by a transitional season.
So what can we expect from the coming collections? First and foremost, color. There are so many ways designers can use color to set mood and tone for a look. Pantone has named as the color of 2020 a classic blue, so look for classic pieces in this hue. Comfort is another feeling designers will be exploring this year so notice more comfortable fabrics in calming neutrals. Leather in a rainbow of colors will continue as the year progresses. Lest we not forget neon. It has made a steady comeback and is not showing any signs of slowing. Look for neon to couple with more futuristic looks (think Xenon: Girl of the 21st Century).
Color. There was no lack. Bold monochrome was expertly displayed, especially at Carolina Herrera. Deep, rich color, from head to toe floated down a white runway. The beautiful juxtaposition highlighted the vital role color plays and its extreme impact when used wisely. The newest winner of the CFDA Vogue Fashion fund, Christopher John Rogers debuted at NYFW with a stunning array of colors, ranging from monochromatic ensembles in reds and oranges to an iridescent fabric that looked radiant on the runway.
Colored leather, as well, continued to be seen on the runway. Jonathan Simkhai had several leather looks, notably exploring a looser A-lined silhouette with a sunny yellow leather material. Alexandra Alonso Rojas explored color and texture, using colored leather and suede with satin pieces to accent. Ulla Johnson, too, had several leather looks in a wide array of color, ranging from matching separates, to jumpsuits, to corset style belts.
Another trend will be retro. Though the idea of the roaring twenties is being embraced now, 70s and 80s is what we’ve been seeing early on. See Harry Styles for confirmation. And while Marc Jacobs gave us a brilliant grunge redux last year, 2020 will take on more goth styling. Lots of black mixed with bold prints and hardware. Think Louboutin’s King St. boot or Prada’s Black Pocket Military Boot.
The week saw some definite Gothic inspirations. Rodarte’s show was housed in a church, setting the stage with the definitive architecture of the time. The initial gothic inspiration was felt more in the makeup choice than the clothes themselves but, as any great show does, there was a twist, a definitive development in the overall narrative. Floral frocks and polka dots gave way to dark velvet and jacquard separates. Bold and alive, the pieces told a story power, taking back power to be more specific.
Anna Sui, too, found uncharacteristic comfort in the darkness. From the dark styling to the shift in silhouette, Sui found strength in this dark fantasy.
Longchamp opted for a 70’s connection and it was strong. From the detailing to color palette to the culottes, Longchamp channeled the era heavily.
Finally, we will be looking for denim legs to grow. We’ve seen a wide leg and boyfriend or girlfriend cut (the difference between bf and gf cut: fitted at hips and seat with relaxed cut through legs vs. tighter and higher on hip with a tapered slim straight leg. And to throw in Mom jeans: high waist, baggy around zipper, baggy leg) but we are going to start seeing extreme relaxed fits make a name for themselves. Urban Outfitters is bringing back the skate jeans () It’s not quite JNCO’s but we would never rule out a full blown comeback.
While denim did not have its day on the runway this season, a few trends did emerge that are of special note:
- Favorite trend: Tall print boots w/ print skirts- favorite seen at Tory Burch
- Best Sustainability: Sies Marjan’s deep dive into earthy technology including floral patterns produced through hammering leaves directly onto fiber, a raffia-esque material from plant roots engineered to grow in specific patterns (Diana Scherer– incredibly interesting work ) , and screen printing gold film on cotton twill and mossy fil coupe. (You know it when you see it)
- Favorite True to Yourself Moments– The Row stays true to its signature silhouette
- Favorite Hold Over Trend– Puffed sleeves holding strong- Gabriela Hearst pulled it off beautifully in leather
- Favorite Accessory– Love an opera glove, especially in leather!
And finally we end with Marc Jacobs:
Fashion is Art. Marc Jacobs proved that AGAIN. A collection of FW2020 done only as Marc Jacobs. Everything felt supremely MJ but, looking back through as we discuss trends, the “trends” were all represented in some form at this show! His intuition and vision are beyond next level. It was the show and the perfect way to end NYFW February 2020, assuring us that New York is still an ultimate force in fashion.
Fashion is an ever evolving beast and we cannot wait to see how it’s being wrangled next season.
📸: Getty Images