The Looks from New York Fashion Week 2014 – New York Design Agenda


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The Looks from New York Fashion Week 2014
The Looks from New York Fashion Week 2014

“Toughen up” has been the mantra coming from designers showing during New York Fashion Week for a couple of seasons now.

The shows, which officially began Feb. 6 at venues around New York City, wrap up Thursday, as yet another snowstorm sweeps up the East Coast.

Here you can find some highlights of this New York Fashion Week:

• Outerwear, for example, was especially strong across the board this season. Knitwear also was a strong focus for designers, with many turning out versions of cozy-looking oversized pullovers shown over tailored shirts with printed pants or wispy slip dresses.

• And the profusion of silky-looking printed pants added to a work-from-home inspired trend: pajama chic. Except these are looks you definitely want to show on the street.

• Designers’ flirtation with fur also seemed in full flower. Indeed, there there was so much fur – real and faux – mostly in trims and as shrugs, that the catwalks roared.

Warrior Woman

The overwhelming theme this time around was the Warrior Woman. She is girded in leather and other dark fabrics, some of which are embroidered or treated so they glisten like studs or even armor. In some cases she wears her armor with beading or embellishments that resemble shields.

See it once and one might think this was just one designer. But it was a theme repeated throughout the week from a wide swath of designers including Nicole Miller, Carmen Marc Valvo, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Jason Wu. Even designers like Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang went for more of an urban edge.

Soft, romantic

This is not to say that prettiness has disappeared. Indeed, the other big trend of the season is florals – dark and romantic, often used for wispy, flyaway dresses and skirts. A number of designers also went deliberately soft and muted with colors, turning to tones like pale blue to evoke a winter’s night.

As noted, designers took a page from designer Marc Jacobs’ pijama pants moment last year, sending versions of pajama pants down the runway.

Off the runway

North Carolina stylists who have been keeping an eye on the goings-on in New York said there’s plenty of good news to be found.

“I think the Southern woman is still learning how to do edgy, so some of the things I saw – like the Herve Leger bandage dresses with the cutouts – may be too edgy for us still,” said Charlotte-based stylist Erica Hanks. “But is the Southern woman ready for leather? I say yes, yes and yes.”

Find balance

Raleigh-based stylist Mary Michele Nidiffer of StyleFinderID (formerly One Chic Mama), said the key for regular women is to understand that runway fashion, by design, is usually a bit extreme. The key, she said, is to find a balance between what works for an individual and the trends being shown on the runway.

Softer trends

Nidiffer and others said two of the softer trends they especially liked were florals and the roomy, sometimes oversized knits.

Stylist Catherine Horgan of MyStyleFiles in Charlotte said she also liked the layering seen on the runways.

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