What virtual New York Fashion Week lacked in wow-factor and marquee names, it made up for with wearable and versatile Fall/Winter 2021-2022 collections. Designers brought together plush fabrics, roomy silhouettes and joyful color combinations that speak to the current state of living.
Here’s a look at 11 F/W 21-22 trends to know.
Though the British royal family has been a steadfast source of fashion inspiration, not to mention the subject of pop-culture infatuation for decades, quarantined fashionistas were reacquainted with the iconic 1980s style of the Queen, Princess Diana and Princess Anne last fall when Netflix released season four of “The Crown.”
Designers apparently took note of their sartorial choices as well, specifically their stays at Balmoral, the Queen’s Scotland estate. Individually, garments like Prince of Wales’ check jackets, long knit cardigans, pussy-bow dresses and practical puffer vests and head scarves fit into just about any closet and style. But styled together, by brands like Staud, PH5 and Anna Sui, the look smacked of British country eccentricity.
Cult Gaia’s Serita dress put cutout details back on the radar of consumers last summer, and now the unexpected flash of skin is on track to become one of fall’s biggest trends. One chop-out, however, reigns supreme: the keyhole cutout. Christian Cowen, Victor Glemaud, Staud and Sandy Liang each offered their own spin on peek-a-boo décolletage, showing it both sexy and demure ways.
Citrine, a rich shade of golden yellow, emerged as a happy medium between Pantone’s Color of the Year, Illuminating, and the seasonal call for autumnal jewel tones. Designers like Bibhu Mohapatra and Markarian played up the hue’s glow factor with smooth, satin fabrics that draped and pleated over the body. The color was also a natural fit for men’s, serving as a warm neutral for leather jackets.
Though there were fewer head-to-toe Matrix looks, leather (and faux leather) continued to be a presence at NYFW. How they were styled was less severe, however. Taking cues from loungewear, AKNVAS, Proenza Schouler and Rosetta Getty updated comfortable silhouettes like over-shirts, wide-leg trousers and robe dresses with leather, often in colors that evoke the materials’ buttery hand feel.
With plush fabrics being one of fashion’s success stories during the pandemic, it should come as no surprise that velvet is entering the fray. But this isn’t your traditional velveteen story for holiday. The velvet to watch for F/W 21-22 is crushed, crinkled and comes in ’90s-era colorways like maroon, brown and cranberry. Cool-kid brands like Batsheva, Collina Strada and Dirty Pineapple cosigned the trend, using the fabric for boxy suiting, wide-leg trousers and color-blocked jackets.
Pleats add a polished look to women’s skirts and dresses. They also provide the roomy fit that pandemic consumers adore. 3.1 Phillip Lim and Jonathan Simkhai were among the labels that kept pleats traditional and chic, while Loring used pleats to add a touch of disco to metallic trousers.
Separately, pink and red are enjoying their own resurgence, with both nabbing spots on Pantone’s F/W 21-22 forecast for NYFW. Together, however, they make a joyous and ultra-feminine color statement with depth. The colors added a playful vibe to Staud’s plush loungewear. They brought modernity to chunky knits and fluid pants by AKNVAS. Pink and red even softened LRS’ subversive chain-wrapped sweaters and long column skirts.
The number of robe coats featured in F/W 21-22 collections underscores how humans are indeed, creatures of habit and comfort. But the belted coats by Cult Gaia, Cinq à Sept, Tanya Taylor and more are bound to tempt consumer to upgrade their bath robes for new plush, printed and down-right cool versions of this wardrobe staple.
Are pajamas the new cocktail dress? As they did with robe coats, designers leaned into the demand for at-home fashion by applying pajama-inspired styling to party-ready separates. While Christian Cowan’s purple sequin PJ set and matching hotel slippers were a very literal interpretation of the novel trend, Badgley Mischka’s loose liquid-gold set was an ode to elegant comfort. Meanwhile, Californian brand Nahmias showed how a simple satin shirt in a dreamy shade of blue can evoke sweet dreams.
The Mini Skirt
Flowy house dresses and midi-length skirts have become staples in women’s closets, but F/W 21-22 is pointing to shorter hemlines. The mini skirt was a mainstay in collections, balancing chunky sweaters, sweatshirts and ruffled tops. Designers, however, kept the skin-baring skirt feeling like fall with tweed, checks, leather and puffer fabrications. And the simple fact is, women need something to wear with their Zoom-ready blouses.
From ribbed knit dresses to handcrafted sweaters, the virtual runway has seen an uptick in the number of knits since the start of the pandemic. For F/W 21-22, designers turned to knit coordinates to provide women effortless ways to dress comfortably and stylishly for home or wherever the day may take them. Details like contrasting cuffs and ties added a tailored look to 3.1 Phillip Lim’s matching knits. Cult Gaia added femininity to knits with a wrap top, while Claudia Li and PH5 experimented with prints and color.