New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week: top trends for spring-summer 2016

Familiar themes dominate on a hectic catwalk schedule

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 September, 2015, 5:05am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 September, 2015, 5:05am

Out of all the major fashion weeks, New York is the most jam-packed, with more than 300 shows and presentations squeezed into seven days (301 if you count Kanye West's last-minute parade for his Yeezy line).

This season was particularly memorable thanks to brands such as Givenchy, which showed in New York for the first time, and Marc Jacobs, who hosted a one-night-only fashion extravaganza in a theatre that paid tribute to the best of Americana. Then you had the industry's first Instagram show courtesy of New York designer Misha Nonoo.

Here are some of the top trends that emerged on the catwalks during the week.

Flower power

There's no better way to herald the arrival of spring than with florals as designers gave their blooms a fresh dimension by experimenting with layers and textures.

Thom Browne updated a typical girl's uniform of tailored jackets and pleated skirts with Japanese floral appliqués and intarsia in shades of pastel green and purple. Diane von Furstenberg created a more playful look. Even her models wore blooms in their hair.

Phillip Lim celebrated a decade in the business with a collection that encouraged editors to stop and smell the flowers - cue moody floral prints on paperbag trousers and silk shirts in an alluring palette of green, blue and sand. Calvin Klein's were also quite urban.

Michael Kors swapped his jetset aesthetic for a more "earthy elegance" in the form of skirts and ruffled dresses covered in couture-style floral appliqués or what he called "desert flowers". Even Victoria Beckham moved away from solid colour to clash retro florals with ginghams on her loose and casual dresses.

Black out

New York is known for its urbanwear. This season, however, designers swapped black for white in a series of stylish dresses and tops that are city appropriate. The white shirt dress is a must-have as proposed by Zero Maria Cornejo and Phillip Lim. At Hugo Boss, Jason Wu created chic styles including a wrap and another with panels of organza. For a more romantic take on the trend, Proenza Schouler offered up eyelets.

Candy girls

This season is all about colour from pretty pastels to rainbow bright hues. Solid colours such as coral and bottle green added a touch of sophistication to Jason Wu's feminine dresses. Madrid-based Delpozo went all out with a fantasy wardrobe complete with shades of bubble-gum pink, yellow and blue. J. Crew also played with colourful sequined stripes, which covered a sequined maxi skirt.

Back to the beach

Far-flung destinations inspired designers to create the ultimate holiday wardrobe complete with resortwear and other essentials such as crochet dresses, swimwear and kaftans. Tommy Hilfiger created an island getaway including a lagoon, beach shack and sand for his show. Anna Sui had Tahiti on her mind as she mixed tropical florals with surf shorts and baseball jackets. Each look came accessorised with matching floral jewellery.

Tory Burch's look was more boho luxe with fringe-trimmed halter-neck dresses, and guipure lace kaftans worn with bikinis. Ralph Lauren's proposed an equally sophisticated summer wardrobe that would not look out of place in the south of France - cue a series of blue and white floor-sweeping dresses and crisp navy tailoring.


Technique and fabrics came under the spotlight, elevating wardrobe staples into statement pieces. The Ziegfeld Theatre was the perfect venue to showcase Marc Jacobs' spring-summer collection which featured piled-on looks that paid tribute to various decades of Americana - cue rhinestones, sequins, feathers and even stars and stripes. It was all about glamour with gilded 1940s-style lace dresses that showcased some incredible workmanship.

Delpozo's ateliers created a magical collection that was couture-like in its choice of fabrics (tulle, silk, organza) and decoration. Sweeping gowns came covered in layers of polka dots. Joseph Altuzarra showed one of his strongest collections with knife and plissé pleats.

The most desirable collection of the week went to Proenza Schouler, pioneers when it comes to innovative fabrics.

Bare it all

There's no room for modesty come spring as necklines plunged and slits came up dangerously high. This was the season of the bare shoulder. Cut-out shoulder styles were popular while Rag & Bone's knit dress fell off the shoulders for a sexy look.

Other designers ventured further down. Alexander Wang's ghetto fabulous collection included cropped tops and mesh tanks that revealed toned stomachs. Vera Wang went urban with a predominantly all-black collection featuring bandeaus paired with sheer organza jackets.

For some designers it was less about showing skin and recreating a sensual, morning-after look that was part undone, part sophisticated. The slip dress (another big trend) came trimmed in lace at Givenchy and Alexander Wang. Joseph Altuzarra's dress straps came sliding off the shoulders. At Proenza Schouler and Calvin Klein straps and ribbons trailed behind jackets and tops.



Halter-neck dress: especially for the evening as seen at Zac Posen and Derek Lam.

Tie jacket: show off your figure with tailored or loose styles belted at the waist.

Slip dress: lingerie styles were the must-have style of the week as seen at Givenchy.

Fringe: this trend isn't going anywhere, although this season it's all about frayed edges rather than dramatic fringing.

Pinafore: this childhood favourite grows up thanks to edgy fabrics such as leather and details including ruffles.

Flats: highlights include backless moccasins (Victoria Beckham), cross-strap mandals (Jason Wu) and plenty of trainers.

Baseball jacket: go luxe with eel skin (Alexander Wang) or sport mesh as seen at Vivienne Tam.