Trends from New York Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 18

Discover the trends from New York Fashion Week AW18 featuring Zimmerman, Tory Burch and Derek Lam.

A Feminine Flair

You may have seen elements of Tory Burch’s AW18 show scattered across social media but no image or snapshot could do the label’s New York Fashion Week show justice. Set at the landmark Bridge Market, situated on 60th Street and First Avenue, Burch’s backdrop could not be classed as a scene or an installation, but rather a picturesque setting. Mossy green turf and a sea of pink carnations introduced a distinctly natural femininity with loose silhouettes, deconstructed frills and bohemian prints layered over and under bell bottom trousers and classic pinafores. Ponchos and trapeze dresses embraced a more nostalgic silhouette, 70s-artist-turned-80s-soccer-mom – uncomplicated, easy and elegant.


Flounce, flair and so much sass, the AW18 referenced romantic, unbridled equestrians of the Victorian era. With more frills, ruffles, tulle and crochet than ever before, the collection moved away from the classic Zimmermann bohemian beach babe towards a more traditional, dandy-esque femininity. Studded cowboy boots and full jacquard dusty suits stole the show, topped only by the heavy frills that emerged from the collar and sleeves.


The Matrix

‘AWG: Serving the Industry Since 2004’ hung across the 21st floor of Four Times Square, the former home of Conde Nast and current setting for the Alexander Wang AW18 show. 80s power dressing met The Matrix with Wang’s latest show, a nod to the strong women who surround him, “I’m blessed and honoured to work with such incredible, smart, powerful women” he said after the show, speaking of course of his mom, sister-in-law and female staff, most notably Lisa Gersh CEO of Wang’s company. Having clearly played a large part in the inspiration behind the show, CEO was emblazoned on sunglasses, worn across the chest of a button-down as a badge of honour and bejewelled onto the upper thigh of sheer black tights. Whilst many praised the latest collection as the ‘new workwear’, it’s very clear that Wang’s working woman is one that sleeps all day and parties all night, a true modern ‘it’ girl a la Kate Moss.


Amazonian Army

As with most Autumn/Winter collections, outerwear played a big part at New York Fashion Week, yet it seemed like the strongest case for the overcoat came from two Los Angeles based brands. Firstly, Self Portrait whose dedication the structured guipure dress has us swooning every season. Opening the show with a navy and red checked boxy wool coat, the heavy coat and lace dress motif became somewhat of a uniform for the Self Portrait girl with a bold, oversized trench proceeding a jacquard parka.

vicky b

At Victoria Beckham, models marched the runway with military precision. True to the designer’s form, the collection had a considerable focus on suiting, in soldierly colours of khaki, grey and navy. As per with Beckham, waists were accentuated and minimal accessories provided the only hint of colour (see that tote bag that has everyone talking. Styling again was minimal; sleek, clean hair, boxy sunglasses with only the shoes adding a hint of show.


The Modern Cowgirl

Neither hackneyed or clichéd, Derek Lam’s equestrian references introduced a new era of bohemia. Often interpreted by the likes of Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, Lam’s look depicted a more rugged, nomad style; comfortable yet luxury. Quoting National Velvet, the film that set Elizabeth Taylor on her road to success, the designer stated “I want it all quickly ‘cause I don’t want God to stop and think and wonder if I’m getting more than my share.” Suede capes with gloriously large trousers and a trailing ‘feed’ bag set a tone of strong lines, unpredictable outerwear and oversized everything. Straying from the traditional camels and sands, so often associated with the trend, Lam’s jewel tones in amethyst and deep sapphire elevated the distinct minimalism of the collection to a dramatic crescendo.

Inspired by “the sense of optimism and freedom of woman at the time”, Zimmerman’s translation of the now common mantra ‘the future is female’ took direct influence from a historical narrative of strong women, living in a man’s world and borrowing from the boys. Potentially inspired from the almost unmissable overture of women-lead casts, be it Pretty Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale or perhaps more aptly for this particular collection, Godless – the Netflix drama set in an 1880s West American town, inhabited solely by women.


Words by Georgia Leitch / Images from Instagram

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert