Fashion / Trend

Trend report: the best of New York Fashion Week SS 20

A week full of pop culture throwbacks, cargo pants, artful layers and covetable tailoring. Market and Beauty Director Ellen Presbury rounds up the best of New York Fashion Week SS 20.

A lot of designers have stepped up to fill the Phoebe Philo-sized gap after the her departure from Celine. Bottega Veneta, sure, Proenza Schouler also, and at the 3.1 Phillip Lim show nods to seasons past were also noted (perhaps none more so than those AW 17 Celine hooded scarves). His leather pieces – in rich tones and buttery softness – stole the show, as well as his plays on tailoring that caught our eye.

COACH 1941
Michael J. Fox, Barbra Streisand and Rob Lowe all took to the runway for Coach 1941's SS 20 offering – with their faces printed on tanks and tees, that is. As is often the case with Coach it was their outerwear – coats, jackets and trenches – that were some of the strongest pieces of the collection. Back to the future.

Never one to shy away from the problems our society is facing, Collina Strada prefers to put them front and centre. “Thank you very much for helping me” one T-shirt read. A collection made from mostly up-cycled fabrics, tie-dyes, toddlers, animals and fruit all featured on the runway; a different kind of fashion show calling for a different kind of future.

It was all about interesting layering. T-shirts worn over suit jackets, coats on coats and shirts over dresses over skirts over pants. Clothes were big on proportion and all eyes are on those oversized bags.

He’s always had a thing for tailoring and sculptural detailing but this season Dion Lee expertly balanced that which he has built his brand on with a softer, wearable collection. Classic pieces with enough detailing that they pull on your heart (and purse) strings. We can’t decide between the women’s or the menswear, so will most likely buy both. Leather harnesses over soft dresses, expertly tailored pants, and bandanna prints made for a wearable, covetable, sexy and androgynous collection.

Wearability reigned for Hearst’s SS 20 collection. And by wearability we don’t mean basic, we mean the kind of clothes you want to part with your money for. To wear to work, on vacation and whatever your next special occasion. We could really take it all – the coats, the dresses – but perhaps it was the looks that had us dreaming of exotic beach vacations that hooked us the most.

In somewhat of a return to 90s minimalism, it was the looks that veered more toward the utilitarian side of the Helmut Lang spectrum that caught our eye. Tailored pants, jackets adorned in pockets and pieces you can work into your everyday.

They may have hit the collective mainstream with that bra and cardigan combo, but Khaite have long been a fixture in the wardrobes of the fashion industry. For SS 20 they moved further away from wardrobe ‘basics’ into statement dressing – because don't we all want a capital L look every once in a while? For us it was the opening white suit, tops buttoned only once and silks draped around the body that had us swooning.

Marc Jacobs was the dose of fabulous not often seen on New York’s mostly wearable runways. Colour, volume, sparkle and eccentricity all wove their way into this season's collection, for a runway that screamed FUN. Models entered all at once and proceed to dance, saunter and strut down the catwalk – all in character.

All our selves, all at once. Whilst Kors spoke of referencing the 40s for this collection – the era his parents immigrated to America – it was the looks that morphed business attire with American prep and weekend casual all into one that made us stop and look most.

You could say De la Renta is most revered for his gowns, but in true Australian dressing-down style it was the chiffon dresses that could do beach and party, as well as the linen suits perfect for a heat wave summer.


We were hotly anticipating this show. Inspired by their own mothers and the working mums in their studio, you could sense the touch of 80s matriarch and power dressing in this collection. Power suits, dresses that you actually want to wear, trenches that work across seasons and the shoes you’ll be coveting. Note the collaboration with Birkenstock that the models carried down the runway – perhaps we haven’t seen the last of divisive footwear trend just yet.

For drawing crowds this was the show of the city. Staged at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, the SS 20 collection was an ode to Sister Rosetta Tharpe and her influence on rock and roll music. Tops trimmed with piano keys, clothes printed with paintings of Tharpe herself. We took most to the menswear – those boots, silks and colours.

Can you tell we love a suit? A well tailored pant? Here, Sies Marjan offered both – in pastel colours, loose tailoring and soft drapes, set against a collection comprised of rich reds, blues and greens. Animal prints? All faux – designer Sander Lak instead printing croc and snake effects onto silks and satins.

The Row have built a brand on a purposeful, buildable wardrobe. These aren't pieces that will redefine your look but instead slip seamlessly into your existing wardrobe. They're at their strongest when elevated pieces meet clever detailing - those oversized pockets and banded waists, for example. Also, socks and sandals.

Cargo pants seemed to crop up at most New York shows this season, and Tibi perhaps did it best. Slouchy pants sitting low on the hips, oversized suit shorts and enough variations to suit everybody. We’ve also now got our eye on cropped jumpers for that elongated body effect.

Slouchy T-shirts scrunched at the shoulders juxtaposed full satin skirts, and short shorts with suit jackets. Though it was the plastic moulded bustiers (a nod to the designer's past) that seemed to steal the show.

A chain mail mini over your brother's polo? A white tank under a black slip? That's certainly something we could replicate in our wardrobe. Deconstructed pieces and underwear as outerwear - take inspiration.

It was those mini-skirts we’ll be looking to replicate this summer. Also, cargo pants – again.

If any brand is synonymous with Australian summer, it's Zimmerman. The simpler pieces captured us most - layered tanks, easy-wear skirts and T-shirt dresses in sunset colours.