Catwalk to Sidewalk: NYFW Spring 2013 Fashion Trends

So New York Fashion Week has come and gone, and that can only mean one thing: time to talk trends. Here are my picks for the top 10 trends you’ll be seeing a lot of come spring:

From Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, and Altuzarra to Kate Spade, J.Crew, Kaelen, and Emerson, the New York runways were awash in stripes. Chris Benz went the colorful route with yellow and red striped pieces, while Lauren Moffatt splashed primary hues on cute swimsuits. And at Marc Jacobs, it was all about the bold, black-and-white prison stripe, which encircled trousers and ran the length of modern maxi dresses. And Slow and Steady Wins the Race took the trend one step further (if you will) vis-a-vis black-and-white striped flatforms.

Whether inspired by professional sports or the Olympics, many (many, many) New York designers took their cue from the playing field, including Alexander Wang, Milly, MM6 Maison Martin Margiela, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. There were luxe bike shorts at Nicole Miller and Vera Wang. Embellished baseball caps topped heads at Cynthia Rowley and Jeremy Scott. And sheer, almost gossamer anoraks were major players at VPL by Victoria BartlettChado Ralph Rucci, and Richard Chai, who showed terrific pale blue versions that looked like clouds floating around the models’ bodies.

Classic knee-length pencil skirts were a more work-friendly trend at Clover Canyon, Anna Sui, Melissa Webb, Jeremy Scott, and Haus Alkire. Milly and DKNY added a jolt of modern, day-for-night glamour via silver leather, while Oscar de la Renta opted for lipstick-red leather for a hint of va-va-va-voom.

On the color front, a pretty shade of minty green/turquoise was the news at Reem Acra, Lela Rose, Carolina Herrera, Joy Cioci, JF & Son, Bebe, Monique Lhuillier, and Charlotte Ronson, the latter of whom cited water as her main inspiration.

Get ready to up those crunches: crop tops and bare midriffs are it for spring. Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, DKNY, Kimberly Ovitz, Rachel Comey, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Tanya Taylor are just a few of the designers bringing sexy back (and front). Richard Chai showed dresses with the bodices scooped out between the breast and waist, while Sally LaPointe‘s frocks were cut out at the side. VPL by Victoria Bartlett offered both cozy cropped sweaters and cut-down-to-there jumpsuits, while Katie Gallagher presented rib-baring swimsuits and knitwear. Time to belly up to the Ab Blaster.

All white or beige were another major trend from Tory Burch, Prabal Gurung, Reem Acra, Catherine Malandrino, Calvin KleinDiane von Furstenberg, and Donna Karan. Tess Giberson showed an entirely white collection full of sexy leather leggings, lightweight reconstructed knits, and hand-crocheted sweaters, while Melissa Webb (the former head of womenswear at J.Crew who debuted her own namesake collection this season) offered draped ivory dresses and a fitted white suit, sans shirt, that recalled Bianca Jagger c. 1972.

Graphic black and white was another big color story, as seen at Tibi, Ralph Lauren, Rachel Zoe, Lela Rose, Carmen Marc Valvo, Calvin Klein, Jason Wu, Tracy Reese, and Kate Spade. Alexander Wang took the two-tone route in his modern, almost austere, collection, while Diane von Furstenberg offered a mash-up of clashing black and white prints for spring.

Speaking of prints, tropical florals and abstract graphics were perhaps the season’s biggest (and certainly most colorful) trend. There were artfully mismatched patterns at Chris Benz, Calla, and Lela Rose. Ladylike patterns at Tory Burch and Lela Rose. Nature-inspired prints at Haus Alkire and WHIT, the latter of whom offered matching print shoes with several looks. Beautifully reworked vintage patterns at Libertine. And Rozae Nichols‘ entire Clover Canyon collection was travel-inspired, featuring images of highways, cars, surfers, the desert, and other wanderlust signifiers.

A sunny shade, somewhere between lemon and butter, appeared at Timo Weiland, Zac Posen, Alice + Olivia, Tommy Hilfiger, Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, and Chado Ralph Rucci, who offered some rarefied yellow suits and day dresses. Sally LaPointe, meanwhile, achieved fashion gold with flowing Grecian halter gowns and yellow suede crop tops (two spring trends in one!).

Designers have clearly been reading 50 Shades of Grey – or looking back at the Helmut Newton archives – based on all the naughty leather and lace looks that sauntered down the spring runways. Proenza Schouler, Vera Wang, Reed Krakoff, and VPL all got in on the action (so to speak). Victoria Beckham showed many lingerie-inspired looks (think: exposed straps and bra tops), as did Jason Wu, who collaborated with La Perla on sexy underpinnings. He also favored lacy bralets and leather harnesses, which were a big theme at BCBGMAXAZRIA, as well.

Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.


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