All images via Vogue.com

New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 has just wrapped up…which is slightly mind-boggling because we haven’t finished shopping for Spring/Summer 2015 yet (it will be HOT here in Venice until at least mid-October, and we’re just taking our “summer” vacation next week). On the upside, we are seeing the clothes in the actual temperatures in which we will be wearing them; the downside being we’re expected to buy them when we’re in the middle of a snowmageddon. But that’s another discussion….

So since Fashion Week is actually Fashion MONTH by the time we get through London/Milan/Paris, we thought we’d start breaking down the trends as they are emerging. Each city traditionally has its own feel — New York being more sporty, Paris being more artsy — but as brands choose to move their shows around the globe, that idea is being upended (see:

Givenchy: New York, CHANEL: Seoul, The Row: Paris). Spring/Summer Collections, however, tend to be more relaxed, more casual, than Fall/Winter, so there is a sense of ease across the board. Also, less clothes. Which, while not so cool for the retailers, is interesting because each piece you choose takes on greater importance. Can it stand alone, or does it need all the bells and whistles to shine? Does it need a blank canvas, a neutral essential, to really stand out? Is there only one way to wear it, or can I make it work with three other things in my closet?

Decisions, decisions….

Luckily, it will be a few months before we have to make any purchasing decisions about the SS16 trends. But, it is useful information to tuck away as we make fall purchases, with an eye to what we’ll still want to wear next year. Here’s what caught our eye at New York Fashion Week:

Vera Wang

BLACK WATCH. Color — be it pastels, brights or neons — is usually one of the main harbingers of the spring collections, but the SS16 collections oozed dark glamour. And not just as an anchor; we’re talking head to toe black looks, akin to what we typically see in the fall shows. Vera Wang, Brandon Maxwell, DKNY, Givenchy…all pivoted around an urban gothic feel.

That said, two other colors really stood out across several collections: poppy red and sunflower yellow. Which, perhaps not coincidentally, nicely pop against a backdrop of black.


LACE WORKS. And aptly accentuating the dark glamour theme, an abundance of lace flounced down the runways. Not necessarily surprising in spring collections, but it was notable that much of it was, again, black. Jason Wu, Givenchy, even Rodarte (through the use of lace tights) made it a statement.

RUFFLED. There was something almost…Victorian about the use of ruffles across the collections. Not twee, not fussy — these were Statement Ruffles, often just one rather large ruffle to accentuate a silhouette or upgrade an everyday fabric, especially effective at Isa Arfen. It was a design device that added to the architecture of the clothes, not tried to distract from a lackluster idea.

(I was reminded of my favorite shirt from sixth grade (in the, ahem, 80’s), which was a white cotton with red micro-pinstripe, buttoned up the front, sleeveless…with giant ruffles from waist to back over each shoulder. God, I still dream of that shirt….)


SMELLS LIKE THE 90’S. There were a LOT of slip dresses on the NY runways. And from some unexpected places — I mean, it makes sense at Calvin Klein (whose Narciso Rodriguez iconified the look with one Carolyn Bessette Kennedy), but it also appeared at the minimalist Adam Lippes and the body-con Victoria Beckham. They feel…fresh, again.

Look, slip dresses were probably the best fashion statement of the whole grunge era, so let’s just roll with it.


DRESS+PANTS. And speaking of dresses…. We’ve always been fans of layering dresses over pants (possibly because I’m always freezing), so we were excited to see this popping up during the resort collections. Turns out, this trend has legs. The play on proportion for spring takes traditional silhouettes into exciting new territory at everyone from upstarts like Brock Collection to modernists like Suno. Kind of makes you look at pairing up what’s in your own closet with a new perspective, no?

Then, of course, there was Mara Hoffman’s less-than-subtle homage to Willie Nelson. I’m married to a Texan, so OF COURSE we enjoyed this.

Next stop: London.

Originally published at karileemiller.com on September 22, 2015.