New York Fashion Week just wrapped up with designers showing their Spring 2015 collections.
There were several trends to report.
Mesh was omnipresent. It was in skirts at J Crew, dresses and skirts at Milly by Michelle Smith, used as a flourish at Reem Acra, and showed up at Vivienne Tam.
Mesh was a part of the bigger trend of athletic looks that most designers toyed with. Milly's Michelle Smith said one fabric was "Organza mesh. It appears as a traditional silk organza. When you're up close it's a two tone athletic mesh which is very sporty and futuristic."
Vivienne Tam also played with mesh in her Spring 2015 collection. She said, "I was inspired by the images, scenery and the objects from my last two trips to the Forbidden City. " She said took the images she discovered there and incorporated them into her fabrics including new materials like power mesh.
Mickey Boardman is editorial director of PAPER magazine, and one of the most frequent front-row guests at Fashion Week.
Boardman told me at the J Crew presentation he had seen a lot of mesh as well. Boardman said, "There's also this kind of sporty thing. Like Alexander Wang was all about making a sneaker into clothes. I think it's fun. It's kind of comfortable and people love high-performance. I'm more into like a sequined short here at J Crew, but I think the mesh is good." He said it wasn't just mesh, but its use over shorts or skirts that made it compelling.
When I asked Boardman what other trends he'd noticed he said, "I feel like there's been two things. One, a very sort of Celine-ification of stuff. Very simple, kind of wrapped chic expensive looking clothes.. at Jason Wu, and the Row of course is the epitome of it.. that chic, chic, chic simple, simple. And then a lot of African kind of ethnic stuff, like just at Tory Burch. And then one of my favorite young designers is this duo called Projecto Mental from Angola. They do lots of African Stuff. SUNO of course always does African."
Milly's Michelle Smith described her Spring season as, "It's a very forward thinking, futuristic collection. I was inspired by conceptual art. The color pallet is pure John Baldessari - A black and white base with very energetic pops of color - cobalt, poppy red, bright yellow.
Yellow showed up as a big color this season.. especially more muted yellows. Carolina Herrera did it especially well.
Herrera had some lovely gowns printed with angular giant flowers. It was a buzzy show with Vogue's Anna Wintour, Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter, and photographer Annie Lebowitz front row.
I had nose-bleed seats, and only the awesome camera on my Samsung phone enabled any picture taking at all. It was a great show.
Yellow, in a slighter brighter shade was also dominant at Nanette Lepore. There was lots of wearable dresses though nothing revolutionary. There was also a dance-off at the end.
A soft yellow was also a standout at Tracy Reese. The designer was inspired by Martha Graham and the show opened with modern dancers popping out of the front row for a quick performance. Reese's use of black was strong and dancers clearly influenced the shapes of the clothes. Reese also didn't shy away from her quirky colors and pattern mixes.
The peek-a-boo trend won't seem to die. It was all over for Fall, and reared its fashionable head again this season not just in casual wear, but even in evening gowns. Critics weren't always amused with the abdomen-exposing evening gowns.
But Nicole Miller had a fresh take on the crop top.
Miller had a fun Rio-inspired collection, and was one of the few designers to embrace bright colors. Miller said, "I was listening to this old Peter Allen song (I go to Rio), which I actually used for the finale.. this French version of it."
White was a big trend. It was the basis for many collections. Black was a popular color as always.. Spring be damned. Faded neons popped up at a lot of shows too.
Famed New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham pointed out the popularity of the basic dress shirt or shirt-dress. A clean, crisp white dress shirt could be found everywhere.. including on Linda Fargo from Bergdorf Goodman, and on designer Carolina Herrera who makes the shirt a part of her signature look.
Jenna Lyons for J Crew showed a great take on that look with a denim shirt. It showed up in many collections. Lyons seen her with J Crew women's wear designer in the photo below. J Crew men's wear designer Frank Muytjens had a unique take on the mesh trend.. telling me, "Spring 2015 was inspired by old pictures I found of Mediterranean fishing villages, and you can see all these fisherman mending their nets at the docks. That transported me right back to my childhood because I used to vacation in the South of France, and North of Spain with my family when I was a kid so that was the starting point."
British designer Jenny Packham showed lots of sparkle. She had an interesting take on a white top that shined for evening.
Up-and-coming designer Jonathan Simkhai said he was inspired by a broken glass this season. He played with transparency and the reflection of light in his collection.
That was also the inspiration for the Christian Siriano show.. where the set played with transparency, and he said he was inspired by the glass sculptures of Sergio Redegalli. The Siriano silhouette had been cleaned up for Spring with a more quiet collection. The front row was not quiet though with model Coca Rocha and Jada Pinkett Smith among those attracting the paparazzi.
Jonathan Simkhai also continued the innovative use of leather which has become something of a signature of his. I asked him about the use of leather in his clothes, and he said "There's something really sharp and clean (about it). There's a toughness to it. I like playing with feminine and masculine, soft and hard. It adds another little twist."
Leather was a big trend too at the Skingraft and Etxeberria shows. At Etxeberria, there was a very cave-man look to some of the clothes, but some of the leather tops looked cool and modern. Designer Jonny Cota at Skingraft also had a unique take on white shirting. Skingraft had a wild front-row. Among those up front were Whoopi Goldberg, Ally Hilfiger, Phillip Bloch, Will.i.Am and 2Chainz.
Joe Zee is Old Navy's style ambassador, and has just launched on online magazine for Yahoo! Style. He pointed out the trend of oversize tops "contrast with something really feminine like a flirty little skirt."
Rebecca Taylor and Lela Rose both showed flirty, feminine collections. Faded neons and quiet pastels ruled the day. Both designers used florals strategically and to lovely effect.
Reem Acra had lots of lovely evening gowns. She told me her inspiration was "the 30's, 40's and 50's. I was thinking about my woman. How do I want to dress this woman who used to wear couture in Paris. What would she wear in the States, in America in 2014? I transformed her look, and made it more modern, translucent, transparent, sexy but I took the hand of the 30's to the 50's.. kept that couture hand and made it more modernized."
And New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter Chiara sat front row at Anna Sui.. always a great NYC show. She showed the once-skeptical mayor and his family have fully embraced the fashion biz.
And a fun finale for Project Runway included ice water dumped on Tim Gunn's head by Heidi Klum.