Expect to see more wearable styles in muted palettes, less leg and fewer rail-thin runway models when more than 100 designers unveil their fall collections at New York Fashion Week, which kicks off Friday.
“We’re actually getting pre-show fever,” says Cleo Glyde, style director at Marie Claire magazine.
Glyde, who says her readers are “strong, smart, stylish women” who look to the runway shows for a “strong vision” of seasonal looks, predicts new collections will offer “enormous sophistication,” longer hemlines and the return of metallic fabrics.
One trend Glyde says she expects to see are “non-body-conscious” styles, countering the trend of leggings-friendly miniskirts and frocks that were popular at recent shows.
“A lot of women 26 years old and up are hoping for more length,” she says. “You can’t apply irony to showing every inch of your legs.”
As for colors, expect neutrals — mushrooms, putty, chocolate — to stick around.
Strong showings are expected from the top design houses such as Donna Karan and Michael Kors, as well as Diane von Furstenberg, whom Glyde calls “very hot, very iconic.”
Von Furstenberg’s ascendancy to the helm of the Council of Fashion Designers of America looks to make her increasingly influential, as well. The CFDA recently recommended that designers avoid using models that are too thin, in response to concerns over eating disorders and issues of body image.
Young labels are also generating buzz — watch for creations from the likes of Shelly Steffy, Miss Sixty and Doo.Ri, whom Glyde says is “going to be huge.”
“In the past few years, her cocktail dresses have just gone wild,” she adds.
Ashley Hanosh, owner of New York dress boutique Honey in the Rough, predicts fall looks will be stylish and feminine.
“My passion is for unique prints — and Alexandre Herchcovitch and Sue Stemp never let us down in that department,” she says.
Other notable collections will include Marc Bouwer, who picks up sponsorship this season from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for eschewing all animal-based materials — including wool — and edgy, postmodern Jordi Scott, a designer who worked for Betsey Johnson and will debut her own clothing line this season.
Also this weekend, Target debuts its Proenza Schouler exclusive collection, part of the affordable Go! International line. Schouler joins the growing list of haute couture labels going mass-market. (Next month, Madonna’s “M” collection arrives at H&M.)
One industry watcher predicted that women in power — such as Sen. Hillary Rodham, D-N.Y., and new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — would influence looks.
“Front-page news makes front-page fashion. You have to assume it reflects a mood,” Susan Rolontz of Tobe fashion retail consultants told Reuters.
“The women in our government today are wearing suits, and they’re wearing pantsuits, and we are going to see suits and pantsuits,” she said. “We’re going to see a much more refined, more grown-up female. It will be a little more serious.”