Fall 2014 women’s fashion inspired by the Eighties

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It was only a matter of time before the Eighties, a golden era for pop music, returned with a vengeance to influence fashion in the new millennium.

This decade, as then, began with the nation in economic recession. And just as music and fashion began to unfold in exciting new ways then, the same is happening now. The womenswear collections presented at the recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City indicate that many American designers heeded an urge to travel back 30 years to a golden era of bold colors and roomy pieces and to reintroduce them this coming fall in all their updated glory.

Numerous designers said they designed from a place that sought to explore or simply wander, not unusual when everyone is searching for meaning in uncertain times. Designer Tracy Reese said her collection was inspired by “an intimate look at self-expression.” J. Mendel cited “contrasts,” Yigal Azrouel spoke of “convergence” and Trina Turk’s objective was simply to “juxtapose.” Other designers sounded similar themes.

The fall-winter color story is a something-for-everyone palette that includes pure brights, winter pastels, strong neutrals and rich jewel tones that inevitably show up every autumn and winter.

The monochromatic look takes center stage, especially head-to-toe red to set fire to the fall fashionscape. Green continues from 2013 as a directional color in a spectrum of shades and hues.

The Far East and Asian imagery inspired textile selection for many designers, making it the trend print of the season. Plaid is the ruling pattern in varying styles, sizes and color schemes. Look for it in everything from skirts and shirts to caps and coats.

Speaking of outerwear, it leads the wardrobe in terms of roominess as the most voluminous piece. These coats were made with ample room underneath for suits, jumpers, dresses and skirts that display their own extravagant cuts. The robe coat, soft and loosely structured, is a must-have outerwear piece. So, too, are shearling and colored fur, whether in a lengthy coat, oversized vest, trim accents or accessories.

Texture is a key concept for the season, with designers crafting clothes to have a luxurious look and feel. Dresses are cut from soft swaths of velvet, for example, while cableknit is a prominent weave in chunky sweaters and long sweater dresses. Many designers added embroidery, fringe and other creative touches to garments that tastefully homespun without being crafty.

The runways also heralded a return to grunge, a Seattle-born subculture style of deliberate dishevelment that began in the Eighties. But this time around, the trend is tweaked into a sort of nouveau grunge, more pulled-together with an edge that gives an individual-assertive vibe rather than counter-cultural rebellion.

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