(A version of this article ran September 20, 2014, in The Independent Florida Alligator.)
By the time this goes to print, a mixed army of ultra-fem and utilitarian sportswear-clad supermodels (and their respective wake of editors, photographers, bloggers and street-style influencers) will have already hopscotched from New York to London to Milan, now embarking on day two of Milan Fashion Week.
And while clothing revelers everywhere wait for the other stiletto shoe to drop in Milan, they can at least recount the highlights of the first leg of the Spring 2015 fashion weeks, and that’s New York Fashion Week.
Heavy hitters Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Rag & Bone and Proenza Schouler suited up for a luxurious style safari.
Field jackets with oversize satin pockets gave Marc Jacobs women a no-muss no-fuss attitude, and the brave beauty decision to go barefaced surely had makeup brands squirming in their seats.
Cargo pants and belted satin gowns with waist-high slits ruled at Ralph Lauren, while Rag & Bone and Proenza Schouler’s take on military majesty conjured up neutral palettes splashed with digitized camo or reptilian scales saturated in primary colors, respectively.
Though Tommy Hilfiger was more Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club than intimidatingly fashionable army, the military inspirations were definitely there amidst a uniform of garnet and black pinstriped shirts, coats and slacks.
Double-breasted jackets gave way to star-spangled sweaters and day dresses, and all the Instagram world seemed to stop when Kendall Jenner emerged in a skimpy scalloped bikini.
While the military look flexed its muscles in one corner of the style ring, ladylike glamor as feminine as they come reigned supreme in the next.
Guardian of all-things-glam, Diane von Furstenberg tossed a handful of on-point trends onto her runway.
Flirty florals weaved themselves through colorful coats, sultry skirts and floor-length gowns, while a peppering of gingham peeked out from beneath black and white or tropical tints, breathing a breath of the unexpected into the classic collection.
And if anyone suspected von Furstenberg’s dethroning any time soon, one need only look to the show’s final look: A purse-lipped, smirking Naomi Campbell strutted down the catwalk, reminding everyone who outfits the truly fabulous women of the world.
Oscar de la Renta also remained loyal to his signature look of refined sophistication, which leaned heavily on gingham, too. Pastel pink, blue and black coats, tops and skirts stood out brightly with the trend-of-the-moment pattern. White leathery skirts toughened up with petal shapes punched out, though fluffy fur coats sporting intricate floral embroidery were the true show stealers.
And if military tomboy and feminine glam are the dominant trends facing off on stage, then Jeremy Scott’s collection was the just-offstage raving onlookers, taking cues from none other than America’s Sweetheart, Miley Cyrus.
The singer handcrafted her own jewelry, part of her “Dirty Hippie” art collection, specifically for the show. It featured necklaces, headpieces, bracelets and earrings plastered with furry pompoms, rainbow stars and miniature toys (which looked suspiciously like they were missing from someone’s Happy Meal).
Nevertheless, the clothes in Scott’s collection were a perfect pairing to the outlandish electronic dance music-esque accessories. Combat boots dipped in swirling colors and reflective metallics stomped down the runway, while skintight sherbet-colored biker shorts for guys and girls clashed with flaming crop tops and graphic oversize sweaters.
Whether they were glamorous, rock ‘n roll chic, rave-ready or military-inspired, these New York styles hit a high note that left the fashion world humming. Whether Milan’s collections fall in line or diverge in another direction entirely, there’s no doubt that New York’s looks will find their way into wardrobes this spring.