We may be experiencing the death rattle of Summer in New York, but the truth remains: we’ll soon be rolling on tights before heading to work in the morning, and the heavy-knit cardigans will be taken out of storage. There are a good six months until we can begin shopping for sheath dresses and sleeveless tops in preparation for our springtime work wardrobe. Six long months before another glorious Summer (Seasonal depression disorder, here I come!)
But Fashion Week’s just ended at Lincoln Center, where the country’s best designers showcased their Spring/Summer 2011 collections. Much has been said about the long lead time of the show-to-stores cycle of fashion, and even the designers themselves seem disgruntled about it—showing a collection so far ahead of the season it’s meant to be worn that knock-offs often make it to the market first is a serious problem.
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But one thing that the long months ahead afford Spring-minded shoppers: time to comb through fashion’s upcoming trends to find what will work, time to keep your eyes peeled for designer-inspired pieces to hit stores, and time to save your pennies for the high-end pieces you’ve just got to have. With that in mind, I watched Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for what I think will not only be big next Spring, but will work for, well, will work for work.
First off, the best work-friendly collection in my working-girl opinion was Jason Wu for TSE. The collection, shown Wednesday at Industria Studios, a bright, naturally lit warehouse space, took it’s inspiration from Wu’s main collection but in much more washed-out, wearable colors and forms. In the end, there really wasn’t anything I wouldn’t wear—to the office and beyond.
But favorite collection aside, three color stories stuck with me this week that I plan to look out for when I can (finally) begin shopping at the end of this looming Winter. Whites appeared in suits and breezy dresses—paired often with a nautical splash of navy to punctuate (I’m a sucker for anything maritime). Greys came in every hue, most readily in fluid silks, and the corals! Coral, it seems is the new red, popping up everywhere, from dresses to blazers to form-fitted bodysuits.
Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about (and looking for over the next few months) from Spring/Summer 2011 Fashion Week: Three colors to hold onto in the season ahead.
Coral was hands-down the color of the week. From the eye make-up at Narcisso Rodriquez to the luxurious leather bags of Mulberry, fashion designers certainly have picked a favorite hue for Spring. At Luca Luca, coral came down the runway on its own in satin and paired with a light, icy blue for a more feminine feel. To me, this floaty dress seems perfect for an April day at the office and dinner with friends. Look for this color pairing—it’s so ladylike that I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of it this Spring. At Jason Wu for TSE, the coral was punchier but paired with a navy trouser for a tailored look that’s sales-call ready. Other designers featuring coral in their S/S Collections included: ADAM , BCBG Max Azria, and Nanette Lepore.
I know you’re thinking: white? So what? But we’re talking work-friendly styles here, and let’s face it: whites are often hard to wear unless you’re stick thin. But for next spring, we’re seeing whites that most any (body) can feel good in. Ralph Lauren went the Western route, with flowy skirts and tailored blouses while Ruffian gave us an attention-commanding pantsuit. Several of Jill Stuart’s lovely dresses featured a full sleeve, which will please even the strictest of Human Resource wardrobe watchdogs. Other stars that put white to good (and creative) use include L’Wren Scott and and Oscar de la Renta.
Grey has always been a wardrobe staple, especially when it comes to the more “business” end of the business casual spectrum. We’ve been known to pair a grey pencil skirt with just about anything. But this season we’ll see grey playing a much bigger part of our wardrobe, thanks to the glammed-up greys we saw at Fashion Week. Luca Luca’s cruise-inspired collection opened with a belted shimmering cocktail jacket that I envision dressing up even the drabbest of weekday work looks. Tracy Reese also gave us shimmer, in the form of a belted shirtdress that will certainly be making its way to my closet (thanks to a sample sale or some H&M miracle, whatever it takes). Other greys ran the gamut from darkest of charcoals at Richard Chai Love to pale, pale slate at Jason Wu for TSE. Isaac Mizrahi also elevated grey in his collection as did Philip Lim.
Did you spend any time at Lincoln Center this week? What did you see that you think will translate to the office? Any favorite hits or misses? And, most importantly, what do trends do you hope to see in stores this Spring?