Lie SangBong, New York Fashion Week, September 2014 Lie SangBong, New York Fashion Week, September 2014

4 cities, 4 weeks: too many trends. Fashion Month's final round-up

Comparing Trends: New York, London, Milan, Paris

by 07 October 2014

Way back in the late 1980s, there was more than a little animosity between European designers and American fashion houses, the latter were often accused of "copying" what they saw on the catwalks east of the Atlantic, because New York was the last on the international fashion week calendar. Insulted by that accusation, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) lobbied to be the first on the list, hence the resulting line up of New York, London, Milan and Paris.

Twenty years had passed and the world we live in now is very different. With the rise of the computer, the internet and the smart phone, the world has become a global village; and though fashion is very much still a product of its locale, their were many universal trends on catwalks across the globe.

That Seventies Show

From left: Matthew Williamson (x2), Anna Sui and House of Holland

Though Chanel, one of the last shows, threw a monkey's wrench on what is trending for Spring 2015, Karl Lagerfeld presented looks featuring acid colours, reminiscent of 70s trend that was huge in the preceding cities. In Milan, Peter Dundas at Emilio Pucci also used colour to denote the 1970s with his tie-dye frocks, bold prints and paisley shirts.

Other designers also nodded towards a 70s silhouette, Dries Van Noten and Chloe in Paris; Gucci, Prada, Just Cavalli and Etro in Milan; Matthew Williamson, House of Holland and Tom Ford in London. Not surprisingly, the 1970s retro trend was also very prominent in New York with Diane von Furstenberg, Anna Sui and Tommy Hilfiger on the leading edge. Wide leg trousers, feathers, wedges, paisley, loose hair and natural make-up made-up a large portion of fashion month's output, and marks a stark change from the overly pulled together, smarter collections of previous years.

BLACK and WHITE is the NEW BLACK

  From left: Damir Doma, Mary Katrantzou, Calvin Klein

Tom Ford lead the way in London, breaking the age-old rule of not using black for a spring collection, it has become a phenomenon. This season, LBDs became normal fare in both the spring/summer and fall/winter shows. And though the usual spring colours were seen (red, yellow, pink, blue), black and white, used either for colour blocking or separately, dominated in both New York and London.

Blumarine SS15

In New York black, white or black and white were seen at Calvin Klein, Zang Toi, DKNY, Donna Karan and Falguni and Shane. In London, black, white, and black & white colour palettes were seen at Amanda Wakeley, Mary Karantzou, Paul Smith and Topshop Unique.

In Milan, Gucci, Prada and Giamba also showed a fondness monochrome; in Paris, Givenchy, Celine and Damir Doma were the main contenders for the 'black is back' crown.

All that Glitters

From left: Jonathan Saunders, Alexis Mabille, Herve Leger, Moschino

Usually associated with winter and Christmas dressing, metallic fabrics and sheen replaced the traditional pastels usually seen at spring/summer. Designers looked to earthy, natural colours to create a palette of natural, shimmery colours that work with every skin tone. Think golden for yellow, silver for white and gunmetal for grey. Not to mention the oriental patina pink, and Mediterranean dusky red and olive greens.

  Dolce & Gabbana, Milan SS15

In New York: Betsey Johnson, Boss, Herve Leger, Lela Rose
In London: Tom Ford, Daks, Jonathan Saunders
In Milan: Dolce and Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Andrea Incontri, Les Copain
In Paris: Paco Rabanne, Alexis Mabille, Nina Ricci

Going 3D

  From left: Junya Watanabe, Chanel and JC de Castelbajac

Perhaps it's fashion's way of upping its game on the 2D craze last season, when designers crafted clothes to look good on Instagram. For SS15, texture is still en vogue and not surprisingly, these accentuated designs actually look better on social media than the designs from last season.

In New York, Dennis Basso, Lie SangBong (title image), Son Jung Wang are proponents of this trend.
In London, Burberry Prorsum, Jonathan Saunders and TopShop Unique
In Milan: Roberto Cavalli, Etro, Antonio Marras
In Paris: Gareth Pugh, Corrie Neilsen, Comme des Garcons

Asymmetric Hemlines

  3.1 Phillip Lim

Designers were clearly struggling with hemlines this season; there were minis, maxis and midis for skirts and capris, full length, skinny and bell-bottomed for trousers. So it's not surprising that asymmetric hemlines were also big trend. Wall Street may call it hedging; fashionistas on the other hand see it as another way to elongate the legs.

In New York: Prabal Gurung, Lacoste, Rodarte
In London: Burberry Prorsum, Preen, Marchesa
In Milan: Etro, Bottega Veneta, Gabriele Colangelo
In Paris: Ric Owens, Gareth Pugh, Roland Mouret

And the final trend SS15 we'll remember: Babymania on the F-Row.

If it's good enough to Kim and Kanye to bring their baby to fashion week, who knows what next seasons F-Row will look like...?

    North West with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at Balmain. Paris, September 2014