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5 Fashion Week Trends for Real Women (and Men)

Here’s inspiration from the collections in New York

By Nancy Brenner

What can someone who's not runway ready adapt from this year’s shows at New York Fashion Week? The fabulous coats. Flowy frocks. The loose hair. The menswear elements. Red. And joy for life.

Exemplifying that joy was 93-years-young fashion icon Iris Apfel, the talk of #NYFW15. She’s got a Kate Spade ad and an Alexis Bittar campaign where she’s bedecked with bursts of color. Apfel is the envy of twentysomething models backstage where they can only hope for a career in fashion with such longevity.

But back to ideas from the fall collections that will work off the runway for you.

(MORE: Rosie O'Donnell and Red Dresses for Heart Health)

A Statement Coat
Purloin a statement coat for cuddling or cocooning. It's a style that can be adopted by women (and men) of all ages and stages. 

Finally, designers have been paying heed to what consumers want, and that is to take winter seriously and add more weight to their coats.

Select an investment grade piece — for example, one by designer Bayarmaa Bayarkhuu. She debuted her collection inspired by traditional Mongolian costumes this year, including fur and shearling.

Another option is to try a cape-style coat, as shown by Desigual. Backstage at the runway show, Manel Jadraque, the line’s managing director and spokesperson, noted the style’s versatility.

A black and white one is on trend and also classic, as well as forgiving to figures of women who are not entwined with their Fitbit; you can see it in this video, at minute 5:49.

Flowing Style

At designer Mara Hoffman, a number of styles were worn loose and comfortable; no need to disclose if one has jumped on BBQ brisket bonanzas or chocolate made from scratch foodie forages. 

(MORE: 7 Clothing Items That Flatter Every Body)

The modern graphics and looser dresses embellished with glints of metallic from Hoffman, and the Mondrian-inspired prints at Desigual, are more consumer-friendly than other lines when it comes to both sizing and price.

Red Hot


While there was lots of silver on the runway, red drew eyes as a focal print. An Altazurra embroidered evening dress, red eye shadow at Kayty Xiomara, a men's fire engine-red sweater at Custo Barcelona, flats at Carolina Herrera — it was everywhere.  
At the Costume Institute's preview of the upcoming exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum, "China: Through the Looking Glass," a red Ralph Lauren patterned tuxedo from 2011 shared the spotlight with a red tapestry robe from the 19th century and Vivienne Tam's frocks. 
This is a trend you can wear from the teens on up. 

(MORE: The New Face of High Fashion Has Wrinkles)
Envying The Men

Many more choices are cropping up for men — the Council of Fashion Designers of America has declared an official men's mini Fashion Week from July 13 - 16 and that’s inspiring to women.

Already this week, the keen interest in menswear was being felt at the fashion tents. Many women were envious of the men's designs at shows like Concept Korea, which showcased fur coats that we wouldn't mind borrowing. 

If men's wardrobes have been in a state of neglect, this is the year to man up — as displayed by many more men in their 40s, 50s and 60s who were closely watching the latest trends at Richard Chai. We can celebrate that menswear comfort is coming to women’s looks.
Hair Styles

One element completing the fashion picture is the hair. According to hair stylist Kira Stuger, who has done backstage hair for Vera Wang and Nanette Lepore, the new styles are "all about a natural texture" or “a style like Herve Leger hair by Orlando Pita where you have more of a structured look."

But, she adds, “for the most part it's about loose effortless hair that is easy for regular people to manage and style."

Amen, sister. After all, what busy professional has time for those blow-dry bars at 6 a.m. after a 5 a.m. virtuous trainer spin-cycle slot in the gym?

Nancy Brenner blogs on fashion at covering fashion from the sample sale bins to the front row. Follow her on Twitter @samplesalediva.

Nancy Brenner Nancy Brenner blogs on fashion at covering fashion from the sample sale bins to the front row. Follow her on Twitter @samplesalediva   Read More
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