Belts! Animal prints! Metallics!

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New York Fashion Week Trend Watch

THE TRENDS seen at New York Fashion Week last week (do what BusinessWorld did and get on a livestream, stat) reflect a goody two-shoes attitude for Fall 2019, as well as an agreement with the Paris shows earlier this year.

We saw belts on the runways of Elie Tahari and Ralph Lauren, cinching waists and creating lines where we didn’t think them possible. For example, at Elie Tahari’s runway, belts were used to great effect on double-breasted suits. Ralph Lauren, meanwhile, used belts to separate lines and to add color to neutral outfits.

Michael Kors amped it up a bit with silver numbers also used to cinch jackets. Proenza Schouler also did the same, creating a line and a quasi-hourglass shape for loosely fitted bodices paired with similarly voluminous skirts.

Black and white is always in, and black and black never dies. We saw these at the New York runways, but have you considered beige?

The Paris runways were awash in the safe color, but so were the New York shows: we spotted a beige hooded cloak at the Elie Tahari show, with black piping reminiscent of vintage Chanel jackets. The same could be said with the looks of fashion show favorite Proenza Schouler, which opened its show with a line of beige pantsuits, belted in black. Beige, or at least light brown pantsuits, were also all the rage at the Boss runway.

Grays, meanwhile, were a priority over at Michael Kors and Tory Burch, in rich, heavy coats. Uniformly, the key on all these looks is texture and volume: sure, you can go the safe route via neutrals, but add some excitement with puffed sleeves, or exaggerated lapels.

Speaking of colors, while the Paris runways were awash in neon and other bright tones, the New York runways are a bit sober.

Take for example, the colorful presentations at Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs, and Tory Burch. Mustard, plum, lavender, pink, and red were on the runways, sure, but they were all done in ashy, dull tones.

Elie Tahari, meanwhile, showed off rich jewel tones, for example, in an emerald-green pantsuit, worn no less by supermodel Christie Brinkley as the finale piece. Marc Jacobs displayed a jade-toned dress covered in sequins in its own runway. Michael Kors also took the same tack, displaying the same spectrum from ashy to jewel-toned.

The Paris Runways and the New York Runways both presented metallics.

In Ralph Lauren’s show, they were a knockout, presented as striped gold and black Breton shirts. While we would advise you to wear these with care, meaning in small amounts, we did see a gold lame coat with black lapels, so who are we to judge?

Accessories, meanwhile, from Michael Kors, this time in silver, were equally prominent. High-heeled silver platform Mary Janes made a sensation on the Tory Burch runway.

Sequins are also a theme, considering an amethyst-colored dress and an inky black number from Tory Burch, covered in the material. Marc Jacobs combines two trends, meanwhile, by pairing suiting, sequins, silver, and tweed in a shiny gray houndstooth coat.

Millennial favorite rose gold, however, was absent from a number of runways so it might be on its way out.

The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly sniffs at florals in spring, but how would she feel about florals in autumn? It’s almost revolutionary, to present plant life in its full bloom as the rest of the trees prepare to sleep for the winter.

Ralph Lauren’s and Marc Jacobs’s florals say bold, realistic, and somber — think mournful-looking orchids on black backgrounds. But Kate Spade’s florals were almost a silhouette, standing out only slightly in a darker tone from its ashy background. Michael Kors, meanwhile, showed florals in the same ashy tone.

Zebra and leopard: always a hit.

The prints in Elie Tahari and Kate Spade’s shows were almost only a suggestion, blending in with their backgrounds, present in skirts, jackets, and bags (at least in Kate Spade — also available in python). Marc Jacobs continued to excite, this time in leopard-print coats and bags.

Suits and such were on the Paris runways too, and it’s no surprise they were in New York.

The suits on the Paris shows were boxy and masculine, while other outfits like jumpsuits nodded towards the utilitarian. In New York, however, the approach is more polite: think tweedy-looking outfits from Elie Tahari, Tory Burch, or else cozy knits with large, girlish collars from Kate Spade and Michael Kors.

Ralph Lauren took the disciplined approach a step further with nautical elements on white outfits, with brass buttons and epaulets. Conservative suiting is also a look, as seen in pantsuits from Boss and Proenza Schouler. The girly details at Marc Jacobs, seen in bows and unapologetic volume in skirts and dresses, also reinforces the trend. — Joseph L. Garcia