As our society moves towards a more empowered setting for women, so does New York Fashion Week. We oftentimes see collections showcasing either a harsh, structured, one-dimensional sense of style or a much more ethereal, flirty, exciting trend.

Not this year.

Throughout the Fall/Winter fashion week this past February, we saw the beautiful combination of both. Whether it was Acne Studios, Balmain, Celine, DKNY, Marc Jacobs, The Row, or Oscar De La Renta, there were significant trends represented throughout each collection. Granted, not all trends were executed quite the same. For example, we could all see the drastic difference between Marc Jacobs entire gothic atmosphere and Carolina Herrera’s sweet and neutral palette. Overall, however, there are a couple of trends to be on the lookout for as the months quickly move through Summer and into Fall.

To begin with: accessories. Though typically not a point of focus, the details this year were pushing the boundaries. We saw the use of hardware details time and time again as the last touch to finish off an already multi-dimensional outfit. Some pieces had metallic bars as a trim for soft skirts, while others had multiple metallic necklaces layering across the models’ chest. Even Coco Chanel layered on the pearls abundantly. The hardware trend translated into the purses and shoes as well, with large and distinct studs taking the spotlight on both pieces.

Chanel F16 293

There was also a historical revert present. Somepieces alluded to a heritage piece what with large bows around the neck and corsets adorning the waist, while others provided an ode to the 80’s with wide legged pants and pops of metallics. We also saw the use of embellishments, and weirdly enough, mostly used on sheer pieces. The display of these three details (bows, wide legs, embellishments) not only brings back trends that were prominent in the past, but also reminds us that fashion is, and always will be, cyclical. The key may be to stay relevant, but it is also to honor the past.

In terms of cut, we see a distinct trend focusing on draped pieces with flared edges. From pants, to dresses, to blouses, an abundance of pieces flowed through the runway with a draped cape or a flared top, or even a combination of both. The truly breathtaking pieces were those dresses made out of sheer and metallics which had a tail as adornment. These were the garments who stole the show.

Chloe F16 009

However, the most prominent trend repeated throughout every show was the avid contrast between… well, practically everything. Some collections had a contrast between textures, whether it was a leather skirt with a wool sweater or a sheer dress with a fur coat, the distinction was ever so clear – even if the color tones were the same. Other collections highlighted their contrasting fits by going for fitted bottoms or printed pantyhose and overlaying it with an extremely oversized coat or cape. There were also a select group of designers who opted for contrasting patterns – a hemp leaf here with a sequin there, a provocative image of a young woman on baby pink pants, you name it.

In the end, the Fall/Winter collections represented an every day woman walking towards empowerment. She, just like her clothes, may be tousled and slightly undone, but somehow, someway, she always looks put together and effortlessly chic. She may wear her oversized sweater off the shoulder, or a corset cinched over a sheer dress, but every time she does, she’ll look, and feel, stronger than the last.