New York Fashion Week has such a dramatic international impact on all tiers of the fashion industry. The trends that walk the runway are the styles that fill luxury boutiques, department stores, superstores, and, eventually, our closets. For example, power red dominated the runway for fall, and it’s now been dubbed the official autumnal color of 2017. Velvet, ’70s florals, and metallic silver were powerful omnipresent themes, as well, and that’s what we’re all seeing now on billboards, in magazines, and most importantly, filling the racks in all your favorite stores. Similarly, following the progression of utilized fabrics and advances in textile technology is also pretty fascinating– and it plays an influential role in the fabrics we purchase/wear every day.
For example, you already probably know that cotton is one of the world’s most important crops, but do you know how sustainable GMO cotton impacts the fashion industry? Advances in technology have helped farmers to produce more environmentally responsible, economically viable, and socially equitable cotton, known as sustainable GMO cotton. Its components (lint, liners, and seeds) are used in everything from cloth, yarn, and paper to plastics, cosmetics, oil, and meal, making it an important, relevant, and responsible textile in the fashion industry. I do talk more about sustainable GMO cotton below– but, in the meantime, check out GMO Answers if you’re unsure how you feel about GMOs! So, all that being said– which colors, fabrics, and styles are “in” this year? With the help and fall fashion insight of ELLE and Harper’s Bazaar, I’ve rounded up this season’s best (and worst) trends– with an emphasis on fabrics– below!
Fall 2017 Fashion Trends: What to Try
1. Red Everything
ELLE says it’s official– power red is the color of all fall 2017 fashion weeks. To be honest, I can’t remember a time when red wasn’t a classic fall color, but I’ll defer to the experts on this one. One of the best things about a trending color is that the sky’s the limit when it comes to incorporating it into your wardrobe. From skirts to coats to bags to shoes, it’s all fair game.
While red leather and polyester seem to be trending, so is cotton. What’s so great about cotton? It’s America’s favorite fabric because it’s affordable and downright comfy. It’s considerably comfier than leather in my opinion. Plus, advances in technology have helped farmers adopt more sustainable cotton growing practices that benefit the environment and help to offset agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. So, cotton is now affordable, comfy, and environmentally responsible. Win-win-win.
2. Classic Fur
Last year, statement furs were all the rage. From hot pink dyes to bold prints, looking “classic” wasn’t a priority. This year, it is. Vintage-inspired furs, including furry handbags and accessories, are totally in. My two cents? Faux fur looks just as good as the real deal, y’all, and you don’t have to murder an animal to wear it. It’s elegant, luxurious, and animal-friendly… another win-win-win scenario.
3. Western Chic
What can only be described as western chic, with a very heavy emphasis on denim, was all over NYFW. According to ELLE, Raf Simons’ first collection for Calvin Klein was described as an homage the USA, and designer Henry Holland of House of Holland called his cowboy-inspired collection “his love letter to America.”
I’m fully on board with this trend, since I’m very much a “jeans and a t-shirt” kind of girl. Plus, denim can now be produced with less of an environment impact. New farming innovations allow for sustainable GMO cotton to be produced year-in and year-out with reduced impact on the environment. For reference, one U.S. bale of cotton alone can produce 215 pairs of jeans. 215 pairs, y’all! For more information on how denim is actually made, check out GMO Answers!
4. Vintage Plaid
Autumnal ’70s plaid is all the rage right now. Popular designers like Tory Burch, Chloé, and Prada are all about the vintage preppy vibe, showcasing the print with couture coats, soft cotton sweaters, pants, and even floor-length gowns. While a retro plaid gown may raise some eyebrows at a fall wedding or holiday party, plaid is still one of the easiest prints to incorporate into your fall wardrobe. Just ask Blair Waldorf– or any of the characters on That ’70s Show.
5. Shakespearean Collars
ELLE calls the Victorian collar “the turtleneck’s fancy older sister,” and they’re pretty accurate. Just check out Valentino’s fall runway show for evidence. What’s cool about these Victorian collars is that, while they almost have a costume feel, they can be easily modernized with crisp cotton or cotton poplin fabric. The cotton collar is, again, more environmentally friendly and typically more affordable. If this seems a little to dramatic for your taste, you can check out how to style a Victorian collar casually for fall.
6. Trench Coats
A classic trench coach is the ultimate piece of fashion-forward outerwear. Plus, NYFW reintroduced the wide waist belt as the world’s most flattering accessory. When your coat adds a few too many layers to your outfit, slim down the bulkiness with a belt!
Oh, and remember that choosing the right fabric is huge when considering which trench coat to buy. A classic trench doubles as a raincoat, so it’s ideally made of waterproof heavy-duty sustainable GMO cotton or poplin with a removable insulated lining.
7. Moody Winter Florals
Probably my favorite trend to see at NYFW was what ELLE calls “couch florals.” They’re the perfect cross between femininity and elderly chic. While some winter floral patterns can be worn more easily than others, their light cotton feel looks comfortable across the board. I’m a huge fan of this trend, particularly the classic blue and white floral combo shown in the first outfit below.
Velvet has made a huge comeback this season, both with accessories and formal evening wear. Most of what was showcased on the runway this year was more formal. If you’re trying to plan outfits for upcoming weddings or dressy holiday parties, consider giving a soft velvet gown a go!
9. Metallic Silver
Who knew your car’s windshield shade could be sewed into a fashion-forward skirt? While some fabrics (cough*metallic nylon*cough) look like they could double as elementary school book covers, others are chic and elegant. With the holidays right around the corner, I could get on board with sparkly silver replacing gold as the metallic of choice… just for once.
I can’t get on board with this shimmery “space aged” boot trend, though. It reminds me a little too much of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.
10. Polka Dots
To all my fellow Kate Spade fans who’ve been tactfully wearing polka dots for the past decade, the industry finally agrees with us! This classic print is a fall favorite for elegant chiffon or cotton dresses, casual cotton tops, leather accessories, and the like. Fingers crossed that polka dots become the new neutral leopard of this season!
Fall 2017 Fashion Trends: What to Skip
Fashion is a form of art. There’s no doubt about it. While some art is modern enough to assimilate into real life, a large percentage of it deserves to be preserved in museums. Similarly, some more avant-garde trends should stay on the runway or in fashion history books. Either way, they’re off the streets. Here are a few trends to avoid:
1. Sheer Anything
Wearing lingerie to work isn’t and shouldn’t be appropriate. Just because you have a slip of transparent mesh fabric over your bra and undies doesn’t mean you’re covered.
2. Puffer Jackets
Wearing a bright puffer jacket will make you look like a high fashion marshmallow. Unless your purchase is strictly functional, save your money and invest in a fashionable trench coat instead!
3. Big Bird Feathers
I personally love feathers, but overdone feathers channel some serious Big Bird vibes. Instead of full-body feathers, try a feather trim dress or feather-embellished accessories instead.
Lastly, I know I’ve talked a lot about sustainable GMO cotton in this post. If you’re at all unsure how you feel about GMOs, GMO Answers is an online resource that exists to answer your questions. Whether it’s what GMOs are, how they’re made, how they’re used in practice, or how they impact the world, anyone can ask a question, and it’ll be answered by an independent expert. Biotech stuff is super complicated, so have questions about GMOs or biotechnology? Please use them, y’all! Education is so key! Also, GMO Answers is currently hosting a GMO Innovation Contest, where readers can submit a video answering the question of, “If you could use biotechnology to solve any problem in the world, what would it be and why?” Winner gets a $500 Amazon gift card, so check it out!
So which fall 2017 fashion trends are your favorites? Is there anything you just HAVE to try? For me, it’s the velvet dress and the “couch florals.” Share your faves in the comments! I’ve also rounded up 10 outfit ideas to wear to your next fashion show in a previous post, so check that out for some style inspiration the every day woman!