It's that time of year again: the glorious beginning of fashion month. Over the next four weeks, we'll no doubt bear witness to plenty of beautiful runway looks, celebrity front-row outfits, backstage beauty trends, and more—and it all kicks off with New York Fashion Week. In addition to New York mainstays like Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs, we're excited to see brands that are getting hotter by the minute, from Nanushka and Area to Pyer Moss and Eckhaus Latta.
Let's face it. The frenzied week can be a bit overwhelming, so consider this your ultimate cheat sheet to the Big Apple shows. Below, the Who What Wear team breaks down every noteworthy show and the trends that emerged from each one. Don't say we didn't warn you. These looks will be all over your Instagram any minute now.
Photo:Courtesy of Khaite
With looks punctuated by voluminous sleeves and sweetheart necklines, there were plenty of Khaite’s signature silhouettes spotted on the runway. New for the brand? Prints are a first for Khaite, which took on a grungy country vibe that carried throughout the whole collection.
Photo:Courtesy of Ralph Lauren
Elegant evening looks and reimagined tuxedos were the focus on the runway at Ralph Lauren. Held at Ralph’s Club, an Art Deco–inspired nightclub opened just for the show, the designer ushered in the glamour of NYC in the 1930s.
Photo:Courtesy of Area
Season after season, the Area runway is flooded with the brand’s signature crystal, and the S/S 20 collection was no exception—this time seen worn as facial jewelry and cascading as fringe from garments and shoes. The clothes? They took Victorian shapes and Americana prints as a point of departure.
Photo:Courtesy of The Row
With an attention to easy elegance and the perfect fit, The Row always proves its command of elevated simplicity—and this season was no exception. The collection was filled with trousers, flat sandals, crocodile leather separates, and oversize shirting that would no doubt be worn by a modern-day Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.
Photo:Courtesy of Tory Burch
With elements like voluminous sleeve details, giant bows, and party dresses, Tory Burch introduced her take on '80s fashion. Patterns like polka dots and colorful graphic prints hammered home her tribute to fashion from the decade.
Photo:Courtesy of Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung's spring runway was a toast to Americana style in the designer's signature upbeat manner. Crisp white shirting, denim utility trousers, and lacquered cowboy boots (designed in Texas by boot brand Miron Crosby) spoke to the theme of the new American.
Photo:Courtesy of Christian Siriano
We can always count on Christiano Siriano to celebrate the fun, flamboyant spectacle that is fashion, and this season the designer doubled down on that offering. Models paraded down the runway in frilly frocks cut from party-ready metallic, iridescent, and lamé finishes, among others. Come award season, we're certain these gowns will make a red carpet appearance.
Photo:Courtesy of Rosie Assoulin
Though known for her bold, sculptural gowns, Rosie Assoulin took a decidedly more ready-to-wear-friendly approach with her spring collection. The billowy dresses, romantic puff sleeves, and plaid trousers in springy pastel hues were all the sort we dream of packing in our suitcases for a beachside getaway.
Photo:Courtesy of Brandon Maxwell
Sitting down expecting to write about a stunning ballgown, I'm pleased to discuss a Who What Wear favorite topic: jeans. Denim is much more casual than we're used to seeing from Brandon Maxwell, but true to form, the designer demonstrated the elegant appeal of wearing jeans with statement tops, metallic heels, and plenty of chunky jewelry. We're taking notes. Are you?
Photo:Courtesy of Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Fashion's favorite quirky kid Maryam Nassir Zadeh staged her show outdoors at a park in the Lower East Side where models emerged clad in long Bermuda shorts, strappy heels, and string bikinis. The collection was a hodgepodge of references, from the designer's recent trip to Formentera in Spain to a type of seagrass that grows in the Mediterranean.
Photo:Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Chromat
As always, Chromat's runway was a celebration of all ages, backgrounds, and body types. This season marked the brand's 10-year anniversary, and the collection was peppered with updated iterations of popular styles from the past like bustier shapes, neon accents, and sporty tech materials.
Photo:Courtesy of Pyer Moss
Kerby Jean-Raymond showed the second installment of his three-part collection entitled American, Also, and it was instantly regarded as a standout show of the season. Set against the ethereal sounds of a live choir at Brooklyn's Kings Theater, the clothing referenced rock-and-roll style and nodded to legendary female artists such as Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu.
Photo:Courtesy of Tom Ford
Tom Ford moved his show to the underground NYC subway for his latest collection, where the looks mirrored all of the grit of their surroundings—albeit with the addition of his signature glamour. Among the standout silhouettes were billowing skirts paired with slinky jersey tops, sharply tailored blazers styled with knee-length shorts, and looks with molded breastplates.
Wes Gordon continues to prove that he's a more than worthy successor to Carolina Herrera herself. This season, we particularly loved the above look, which took Ms. Herrera's signature piece—the crisp white button-down shirt—and made it feel very 2020.
Photo:Victor Virgile/Getty Images
This season's 3.1 Phillip Lim show combined men's and women's clothes to great effect. According to the show notes, the collection "explores duality while continuing to define the concept of easy, elevated wardrobe dressing." There was a lot of leather, ample neck scarves, and plenty of other amazing trends to go around.
Photo:Courtesy of Eckhaus Latta
With ruffled hems and slick tailoring, Eckhaus Latta went outside its comfort zones this season—and it paid off. There were still plenty of the brand's signature handmade elements (kaleidoscopic knits, utilitarian cargo pants), but the overall silhouettes were elevated (figuratively and literally, as each model stepped out in platforms).
Held outside on a new section of the High Line, Coach's S/S 20 show attracted an exceptionally stylish front row, including Michael B. Jordan, Rowan Blanchard, and Elsa Hosk. Even if you've already looked through the photos, you might have missed an amazing detail: Coach revamped 78 archival bags in honor of its 78th anniversary. Is it bad that we want every single one of them?
Photo:Victor Virgile/Getty Images
This season, no one did suiting and draping better than Proenza Schouler. Additionally, New York's beloved brand sent out lots of statement earrings, open-toe shoes with tights, buckle-adorned bags, oversize totes, and more soon-to-be-big trends.
There isn't a fashion girl alive who wouldn't be excited to wear an Oscar de la Renta dress, and this season's collection was no exception. Fringe, lace, ruffles, beading—the brand has mastered it all. Creative directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia presented a beautiful lineup of gowns, but the daytime looks were just as strong and included jumpsuits, shorts, trousers, and other wearable pieces tinged with ODLR's signature glamour.
Photo:Michael Kors Collection
We can ruminate all we want about the hidden themes behind Michael Kors Collection's stellar new show, but why not just hear it straight from the designer himself? "I am a native New Yorker and I wanted this show to highlight the strength and optimism and can-do attitude of our city," Kors said in a statement. "The collection explores the balance of pragmatism and charm and power and romance that is at the core of American fashion. It is a celebration of the diversity of American style and beauty."
No one does romance quite like Brock Collection. In addition to the floral gowns we know and love from the brand, we were excited to see Brock Collection's 2020 take on trousers and even denim—simple pieces that put the brand's pretty blouses front and center.
Photo:Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Cowboy hats, bright yellow pantsuits, cat-embroidered sweaters, floral headpieces, babydoll maxi dresses, and elaborate gowns that swallowed the models whole—all of this, and much more, came straight from Marc Jacobs's brain and splashed onto the runway, and we're so glad it did. As always, Marc Jacobs finished NYFW on a high note, and his fanciful optimism is much appreciated by the fashion crowd.