Fashion Week is to street style what the Superbowl is to sports: a culmination of the best performances of the year. The world’s style hubs—New York, Milan, London and Shanghai—saw some of the most daring looks that yielded no losers. In 2019, every city won fashion week.
New York street style was dominated by basics. Understated denim was the focus for women’s wear, with 501-inspired fits and vintage washes flooding the streets of Manhattan. Mom, straight and high-rise skinny jeans were balanced with bold tops, and straight fits were often paired with blazers to create what essentially became the week’s uniform. For the bolder fashion lover at New York Fashion Week, button-front overalls and wide-leg jumpsuits were the look of choice.
Men’s wear also took a minimalist approach in the Big Apple—think Luke Perry’s character in “90210.” Simple white T-shirts with rolled sleeves, understated pants and black-and-white loafers were a common sight, as was pared-down streetwear and crisp utility fashion. While previous years had bursts of neon, 2019 saw a much simpler palette with occasional color blocking. Statement pieces were often paired with neutrals such as khaki and other subtleties.
London street style made a brighter mark on the year’s fashion. While many style elements were the same— timeless silhouettes, classic washes and wearable fashion—one of the biggest differentiators was the use of color. Specifically, a major theme was neon pink, which showed up in everything from slouchy fuchsia and purple sweaters to scuba tops and silk tanks. Even pastels were on-trend, with sheer, feminine coats and ruffled tops adding a look of innocence enhanced by the soft hues.
If Paris Fashion Week taught us anything, it’s that jean jackets may be the most versatile piece there is. Parisians were spotted in styles like oversized utility pieces and ones with extreme ruffles and frill. Others were photographed in patchwork denim with different washes and undone edges, while some kept it simple with classic jean jackets paired with striking feminine bottoms. The denim suit also made a number of appearances in different washes and fits.
In Milan, the style was almost the total opposite. The city’s street style was full of wild looks, with acid wash denim, oversized fits and revealing cutouts dominating the scene. It saw double—sometimes triple—denim, with one look featuring a Western style denim shirt and vintage jeans paired with a denim jacket tied at the waist.
Shanghai fashion week goers took an avant-garde approach that blurred the boundaries of gender to celebrate fashion as an art form. Creative layering and apocalyptic styling were often incorporated into outfits for both men and women. Denim shorts took on a whole new look when paired with combat boots and duster jackets, for example. Sci-fi influences continued to elevate outfits in the form of exaggerated shoulders, metallic elements and transparent fabrics.