Top 10 NYFW Fall 2012 Trends, Part 1

New York Fashion Week introduced quite a few major trends for the upcoming Fall 2012 season. Here, some of my top 10:

SWEATER DRESSING
Knitwits, unite! Fall is always about sweaters, but this season has seen a resurgence of delicate, near-gossamer, hand-knit or crochet tops (at Sunhee and Tess Giberson), along with cozy cashmere at Michael Kors, TSE, Richard Chai, and Doo.Ri, sweater dresses at Rag & Bone and Hervé Léger, and colorful crewnecks at M.PATMOS, J.Crew, and Marc Jacobs.

BORROWED FROM THE BOYS
Menswear was one of the biggest trends, from oversized tweedy toppers at Rebecca Taylor, Elizabeth and James, and Rebecca Minkoff, to sleek suits and tuxedos at Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, and Imitation (the latter of whom collaborated with NYC menswear tailor Doyle Mueser) to shrunken boy blazers at Karen Walker and on to slouchy grandpa cardigans at Richard Chai, VPL, and Yigal Azrouel.

LAYERING
The sartorial pile-on was also big news (think: skirts over pants under sweaters, coats, vests, and scarves) at Anna Sui, Chris Benz, Rag & Bone, Libertine, Michael Kors, Richard Chai LOVE, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, and Elizabeth and James, to name just a few. Tess Giberson’s collection, inspired by the wrapping of artist Christo, was devoted entirely to the layered look, while M.PATMOS fashioned her layered pieces from sustainable or eco-friendly wool and alpaca.

SEXY STOCKINGS
Seamed stockings made a return at Jason Wu and Rebecca Minkoff, Joy Cioci paired her edgy-ladylike looks with sexy, lace-trimmed stockings that pooled seductively around the ankle, and Italian legwear guru Emilio Cavallini offered all manner of risqué stockings at his Lincoln Center presentation, which was inspired by iconic 50s pin-up model Bettie Page.

DIGITAL PRINTS/HIGH-TECH FABRICS
Digitally manipulated photo prints added visual punch to many collections this season, including HAUS ALKIRE (which featured hand-painted photos of Central Park foliage), Lela Rose (a hazed floral that resembled peeling rust), Vera Wang (cathedral arches), Nicole Miller (pixelated tweeds), Thakoon (fluorescent lights), and Zero + Maria Cornejo, who has turned her iPhone photos into prints for several seasons now. Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein led the way on the high-tech fabric front (with peroxide lacquered merino wool and glazed technical wool, respectively), while Narciso Rodriguez, Proenza Schouler, Cynthia Rowley, Doo.Ri, Costello Tagliapietra, and Phillip Lim also experimented with Space Age textiles and treatments.

Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.

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February 24, 2012