Although New York Fashion Week is rarely known for its avant-garde trends, this past week offered plenty of character. Despite the stark differences between many collections a common trend emerged: personal interpretations of how to make basics "not so basic." From Proenza to Michael Kors, the big designers encompassed an approach to the fundamental staples of every closet providing their own unique twist. Alexander Wang's gothic grunge met Tory Burch's busy and feminine prints, whereas at Coach and Donna Karan outerwear stole the show and set the bar high for selecting the perfect coat for next season.
Deviating from her usual sleek and polished look, Victoria Beckham ventured in a new direction with her womenswear collection. Cozy, comfortable and loose sweaters varying from navy to camel appeared on the catwalk with thick and generous fabrics draped and cinched classically at the waist. Her sophisticated looks were topped off with slightly edgy heeled midcalf boots in tan and black leather, typical of Beckham's personal style.
Ralph Lauren was another notable contender among the not-so-basic basics of NYFW. Lauren's casual comfort wear featured exclusively neutral colours infused with a tasteful 70s twist, a theme carried on from the SS15 collections. The subtle green and textured outerwear included hints of fur and suede with heavy layering that still managed to maintain a sleek and adventurous look.
Michael Kors was also a big name this past week. Kors' luxurious line of basic wear had a masculine edge, offering bold, boyish tailored coats complemented by sleek hip hugging waist lines. The tweed-heavy collection was polished by tasteful hints of fur providing the perfect runway look transitioning effortlessly into retail.
With a conceptual and contemporary approach, Proenza Schouler offered an artistic contrast to the pret-a-porter looks portrayed by fellow designers. Predominantly black and grey with a dash of burgundy or white, layered and textured hemlines inspired a modern and strong look. Bodycon sweaters accompanied by a sophisticated twist on fishnet stockings complimented Proenza's edgy inverted eyeliner look.
Although New York regularly errs on the side of consumerism and its collections are noticeably more wearable than the European shows, the 'wearability' of all the recent seasons mean it is now difficult to know exactly what this week has stood for. One thing New York has retained is its laid-back approach to fashion, be it grungy nineties, floral 70s or slouchy shearling, the colour palette and the silhouette mean the city has set the bar high for the rest of the season.