Our Favourite NYFW Trends Were Also The Most Dramatic

Eliza Huber

New York Fashion Week was less robust than usual, but the trends presented during it were quite the opposite. Over the last five days, showgoers were privy to a whole host of sensational moments, from huge, Renaissance-inspired dresses to extravagant accoutrements.  And from where we’re sitting (read: reminiscing about the 100+ shows and presentations that we bore witness to this week), there’s a lot to discuss, despite the shortened show schedule.  

From the get-go, we knew that NYFW would be dramatic, to say the least. Christian Siriano’s 68-piece collection, which kick-started the week, was proof of that. The designer created fashions to the theme of Margot Robbie’s new Harley Quinn-led film Birds of Prey, including exaggerated silhouettes like extra-large shoulders and voluminous petticoats. In the days following, Christopher John Rogers presented runway-sized gowns in electric hues; Rodarte ( whose show marked the brand’s long-awaited return to New York) offered up a darkened, more gothic version of femininity; Proenza Schouler reminded us that sex appeal can still, in fact, be stylish; and Marc Jacobs transported us back in time to the ‘70s with monochrome suits à la Jackie Kennedy. 

It wasn’t just the clothing that left an impression, though — the accessories were far from subtle. Models at Khaite wore tights printed with geometric patterns; bows and ribbons were adorned on garments at Carolina Herrera and Brock Collection; and elegant evening gloves (not unlike Ariana Grande’s at the Grammys) could be seen at Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs. 

For a NYFW that felt, structurally, in flux, designers still managed to create forward-facing collections that will surely go on to shape the industry in seasons to come. See exactly what we mean by clicking through the trends that left the biggest mark during New York Fashion Week’s fall ‘20 season in the slideshow ahead.

Dress For Decadence

In the middle of a particularly grey winter, we all sometimes need an escape from our everyday lives. Therein enters decadent fashion: clothing and accessories that offer a lavish getaway from the often mundane moments of February in New York. Christopher John Rogers transformed Spring Studios from an all-white Ikea-like space into a romantic locale — the perfect backdrop for his 40-piece collection of billowing gowns. 

Brock Collection’s Marie Antoinette-like dresses were similarly decadent, with models wearing sheer lace masks over their simply made-up faces and corset-clad dresses in feminine florals. Rodarte’s NYFW return, set in St. Bartholomew’s Church in Midtown, was overwhelming in its beauty, sparking emotion in all of those in attendance. Suffice to say, returning to real life won’t be easy after experiencing the opulence presented this week.

Brock Collection Photo by Peter White/WireImage.
Adam Lippes Photo by: Jason Lloyd Evans.
Carolina Herrera Photo Courtesy of Carolina Herrera.
Christopher John Rogers Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.
Rodarte Photography by Greg Kessler.

Un-Tailored Tailoring

There’s almost nothing that we love more than an ironic trend. So, naturally, we’ve fallen hard and fast for tailoring that was anything but tailored: Blazers with shoulder pads so big that they were slouching halfway down models’ arms (in other words, nowhere near the actual shoulders); trousers that bunched up around lug-soled loafers; and slouchy button-downs with asymmetric and often oversized collars. Suits —  traditionally designed to be perfectly fitted — are now purposely un-fitted, as seen at Monse, The Row, 3.1 Phillip Lim and more.

Rachel Comey
Michael Kors Photo Courtesy of Michael Kors.
3.1 Phillip Lim

Added Accoutrements

When designers like Kate and Laura Mulleavy chose to attach brooches (similar to the Cartier one Timothée Chalamet donned at the Oscars) to their fall ‘20 gowns, and Tory Burch added detachable collars over top of sundresses, we were instantly smitten. Other accoutrements this season included elbow-length gloves at Marc Jacobs, sheer socks at Self-Portrait, ribbons and bows at Zimmermann, and silk scarves at Brock Collection.

Rodarte Photography by Greg Kessler
Tory Burch Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.
Marc Jacobs Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage.


Another in a series of ironic NYFW trends is deconstruction, where designers build a look just to tear it apart. At Monse, designers Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim dissected trench coats, pleated skirts, wool coats, and more. Meanwhile, Snow Xue Gao attached mismatching fabric swatches to each other to create what the designer calls a “Frankenstein dress,” and Jonathan Simkhai sewed the back of a dress to the front of a trench, giving a whole new meaning to the trench dress.

Monse Photo: Firstview.
Jonathan Simkhai

American Gothic

Leather and black lace, dark eye makeup and raw edges: these are the signs of a gothic collection, and all of the above were present throughout this week’s presentations. Rodarte offered a sharp contrast between dainty feminine pieces and the harsh angst of a goth aesthetic. R13, which always designs with a grunge-leaning vibe, sent leather pants and destroyed denim down the runway. And Khaite, which usually displays itself as pretty and delicate, showed us its dark side this season. All in all, we’re expecting a very present Wednesday Addams vibe come Halloweentime next year.

Rodarte Photography by Greg Kessler.
Khaite Photo Credit: Dan & Corina Lecca.
ADEAM Photo Courtesy of ADEAM.

Head In The Clouds

No fall collection is complete without its share of outerwear. Leading the pack is the cloud-like coat which found its start at Proenza Schouler, where designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez presented duvet coats in dreamy shades of blue and white. From there, we started noticing the voluminous styles across the board, with unique alternatives showing up at PH5, Moon Choi, and PriscaVera, all of which are inspiring us to embrace our cosiest selves this winter.

Proenza Schouler Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows.
PriscaVERA Photography by: Mitchell Sams.

Monochrome Moments

Vibrant colours have always reigned supreme during fashion week, but this season’s abundance of tonal dressing was next level. During the finale at Sally Lapointe, models walked in pairs and trios based on colour, with groups donning head-to-toe chartreuse, regal purple, and royal blue. Simon Miller’s fall ‘20 lookbook was wholly based on chilli pepper red and included grainy film photographs of Rainey Qualley splayed over a convertible in LA wearing a red sweater with a red leather skirt and boots to match. To round out the trend, Marc Jacobs designed ‘60s mod looks in pastel hues that included pillbox hats, tights, and vintage-inspired coats — all in the same soft shade.

Marc Jacobs
Sally Lapointe Photo Courtesy of Sally Lapointe.

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