Bubble Coats, Secret Layers & Other Key Takeaways From New York Fashion Week

The best collections proffered legitimately wearable clothes with a reliable brilliance


Collina Strada fall ready-to-wear. Photo / Supplied

With Oscar de la Renta and Tom Ford sitting out New York Fashion Week this season, newer labels Saint Sintra and LaQuan Smith seized their opportunity to shine.

Proenza Schouler, Khaite and Ulla Johnson dug in with reliable brilliance and elsewhere, statement ensembles starring big sleeves, long trains and sequins made a racket.

The only question left unanswered was, how big a noise do you want your clothes to make?

Proenza Schouler fall 2022 ready-to-wear and Khaite fall 2022 ready-to-wear. Photos / Supplied

Conceal and reveal

I’m stealing a direct quote from Michael Kors, who told journalists at a pre-show conference that the ‘conceal and reveal’ idea is a favourite approach. He wasn’t alone — the notion of secret layers and hidden beauty beneath was everywhere.

Nicky and Simone Zimmerman staged a masterclass in how to cope with flimsy looks on chilly nights with head-to-toe Pucci-esque silk or lace body stockings in cream or deep burgundy, to go under pretty layers of stiffened tulle and chiffon.

At Proenza Schouler, professional-looking outer layers gave way to softer voluminous skirt-dresses, a full leopard print lining on a reversible white shirt offered bankable versatility.

The Row fall 2022 ready-to-wear and Maryam Nassir Zadeh fall 2022 ready-to-wear. Photos / Supplied

Heavy leather

Leather was the main event in many collections, cut into longer, narrow lengths in the softest shirts (easier to wear than you think) or floor-length skirts. A black and white chequerboard coat at The Row and a stunning black leather, 1950s-style, midi-dance dress at Brandon Maxwell were pleasingly over-the-top. At Coach things got heavier with huge flying jackets in natural shades of shearling, offset by the brand’s neat, mini bags in primary colours.

READ: Dressing Out Loud: How Fashion Found Its Flair For The Outrageous

Brandon Maxwell fall 2022 ready-to-wear and Carolina Herrera fall 2022 ready-to-wear. Photos / Supplied

Raise the volume

Oversized shapes don’t have to overwhelm the body. Michael Kors created knee-length bubble coats, one in creamy camel cashmere with an oversized hood and another in lemon shearling, both eminently shruggable on or off the shoulders.

Wes Gordon, now in charge at Carolina Herrera, surprised guests with enormous, pale blue satin leg o’ mutton sleeves on a tuxedo jacket; the more modestly cut puffed sleeves on a dark denim mini dress was more down to earth. Gilded Age-inspired dresses in satin or denim at Batsheva pulled in full, billowy sleeves and skirts to a tight waistline.

Lemaire fall 2022 ready-to-wear and Coach fall 2022 ready-to-wear. Photos / Supplied

Mannish coats

Coats were an afterthought in many collections, despite the autumn/winter 2022 theme. Not at The Row though, where they took centre stage. The Olsen twins once again proved their deep understanding of perfect proportions. There were draped, yet un-cumbersome trenches, and a mannish suit layered beneath a tonal coat that’s sure to be on the Duchess of Sussex’s next-season wishlist.

READ: Patchwork & Peter Pan Collars: The New Season Is A Theatre Of Wardrobe Nostalgia

Zimmermann fall 2022 ready-to-wear and Tory Burch fall 2022 ready-to-wear. Photos / Supplied

Dazzle at dinner

“You could go to dinner in this,” said Nicky Zimmerman, proffering a peach-toned chiffon tulle and diamante studded blouse at a showing of next season’s collection. The designer, whose namesake brand has been worn by everyone from Zara Tindall to Beyonce, agreed with the general view expressed by industry players throughout the week: people want to dress up and go out again.

At Tory Burch, slinky, op-art print midi dresses cinched with tapered, black leather cummerbunds were perfect for a chilly February night out. LaQuan Smith’s all-nightlife-inspired collection featured high-cut bodies, a sequinned jumpsuit and luxurious patent shearlings in lustrous royal blue and ruby red hues.

Ulla Johnson fall 2022 ready-to-wear and Altuzarra fall 2022 ready-to-wear. Photos / Supplied

Get crafty

Finely crafted knitwear was a crisp side dish to the variations of darkly hued, heavy jersey on offer. Ulla Johnson’s stunning town or country-appropriate collection teamed long, patchwork knits with simple tasselled leather bags and those signature braided, form-fitting dresses.

At Coach, neat crochet mini dresses were a Sixties-influenced highlight at the brand’s small-town USA-inspired show, where the crowd whooped along to a re-mixed Carpenters soundtrack.

The Daily Telegraph

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