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Colors and Neutrals Face Off at New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week revealed a city divided as attendees split into two style camps: bold and bright or classic and neutral.

On one side, classic clichés about Instagram-ready fashion were thrown to the curb as show goers embraced winter white. Cloaked in cream-colored capes, high-waisted trousers, oversized suiting and tall boots, women stepped out in head-to-toe looks that smacked of Upper East Side sophisticate.

The streamlined color palette offered an opportunity to play with exaggerated proportions like super-sized puffed sleeves, wide bell bottoms and extra-long sleeves. Cozy beige coats in cocoon-like shapes emphasized the polar bear look. Cardigans, unlined wool coats, shearling jackets and Fair Isle sweaters in neutral tones added a Nordic vibe in neutral tones.

The color trend also took a turn toward utility with boiler suits and safari jackets entering the fray. Golden hardware, epaulets and patch pockets added a military look and feel to these items. Natural snake prints, handsome checks and pops of cheetah kept the outfits lively.

On the opposite end of the style/color spectrum, some fashion week goers continued to peacock in intense shades of red, purple, blue and orange. Monochromatic and color-blocked looks—down to the footwear and handbags—brightened up the concrete jungle.

And the spectacle didn’t just end with color. Novelty fabrics like faux furs, brocades, patent leathers and lace kept cheerful ensembles visually interesting and fresh.