New York Fashion Week made one of its quietest showings yet, with a mostly-digital lineup of shows and presentations that excluded many of the largest brands usually on the lineup. Despite the abbreviated week, there were still a number of clear trends that emerged.
Overall, designers were ready to move on from work-from-home wardrobes of sweats and slippers, instead dreaming of a post-pandemic life of heels and real clothes.
Below, a look at six of the strongest trends to come from NYFW’s fall ’21 season and a glimpse at what fashion could look like later this year.
1. The chic neutral knee boot
Aside from Proenza Schouler’s fluffy flats, most of New York Fashion Week’s designers showed a real shoe, and plenty of them were statement boots, with slight but visible stacked heels. Gabriela Hearst showed how modestly could be the ultimate statement in elegance, with sturdy, practical riding-style boots paired with lacy but understated outwear and dresses. Veronica Beard paired croc-embossed cognac boots with a series of preppy looks.
2. This menswear-inspired hemline
A curious styling technique has made its way from men’s collection’s to their women’s counterparts. The translation of this look — a relaxed, draped trouser over a somewhat clunky shoe, whether boot, sneaker or even ugly sandal — to women’s collections is no doubt a sign of the emergence of gender neutral collections. It’s notable that both Gabriela Hearst and The Row debuted menswear collections this seasons, with silhouettes and footwear that is interchangeable with their respective womenswear.
3. The suit
Last year’s fall ’20 season was all about a suit, which was often coupled with sleek outerwear, an\ lots of leather. The pandemic derailed that effort when working from home forced a more casual wardrobe of sweat sets, knitwear and slippers. But the trend seems to be back for another round, with designers picking up where they left off a year ago. This time around, the pantsuit is even more androgynous, another effect of the aforementioned gender-neutral collections and dressing that is destined to become even more prevalent later this year.
4. Red accents
Pantone named “Fire Whirl” as one of its colors for the fall ’21 season and it’s been everywhere at NYFW. From full monochrome looks at Adam Lippes and Christian Cowan to accents as Jason Wu, bright red is officially the color of next autumn.
5. The long coat
Long, ankle-grazing outerwear continues to be the coat to get. At Zimmermann, a toggle-accented peacoat was given a whole lot of length, while Staud layered a periwinkle leather coat over a matching knit dress. At Gabriela Hearst, long was the length on everything from trenches to knit dresses.
6. More knitwear
The winter perennial was given new life this year with work-from-home wardrobes, and designers stayed in the knitwear mode, creating pieces even more inventive and luxurious.