This is not a fashion blog. This will not be a fashion blog. But one stays informed of the goings-on at fashion week, because beauty and fashion are sisters, and not caring about fashion is impossible. As New York fashion week has wrapped, I thought it was about time to look at some of the trends we saw there. I consider myself slightly psychic when it comes to trends, and proudly claim to have predicted some of these, though that may be wishful thinking. Here’s what I’m liking, anyway – based on the current season, which is still very much in full swing.

Slutty Menswear

Being a proud proponent of objectifying men as feminist praxis, I’m positively giddy about the several designers choosing to send unapologetically sexy menswear down the runway. This phenomenon has been brewing for a while – remember the photos of men in crop tops that people used to post on social media, often accompanied with pleas for the trend to catch on? Our time has come.

Labels like Lazoschmidl, NIHL and Ludovic de Saint Sernin are confidently dressing models in nipple-baring cutouts, tiny underwear, slinky halter tops, entirely sheer outfits, and my personal favourite: cropped t-shirts with gay porn screenshots printed on them (!). This all makes me feel as if some form of justice in the world is possible.

Cognac Leather

I have been singing the praises of cognac leather for what feels like years. It is probably more like one year. Imagine my delight when this colour has cropped up all over – on Man Repeller’s Harling Ross in the form of a pair of perfect leather pants. At Theory as a short trench. Dominating Ulla Johnson’s fall collection in the form of skirts, dresses, tops, you name it. Huge leather totes at Khaite. A matching pant and jacket at Acne. And on a braided leather tote marketed by H&M right this moment.

Me, I want a cognac leather couch. An Italian one, preferably. For now, I’m settling for a bucket bag. (PS. just like cognac leather is popping up in both fashion and interior design… I’m telling you now, so is cowhide.)

Ren Faire Style

Costume history remains one of my favourite subjects, and the wistful longing I’ve felt to wear the grand styles of yesteryear (more like yestercentury) has finally been heard by the fashion industry. Spinning off the prairie girl look that I think many of us are still loving, even more historical fashions can be spotted across runway shows – some more wearable than others.

FKA Twigs wore a vintage Vivienne Westwood bodice featuring a 18th century motif at Sundance just a few weeks ago. Khaite served up plenty of voluminous sleeves at their FW19 show – some in the style of a poet blouse, some as a victorian gigot sleeve, some reminiscent of a renaissance-era bard. Brock, in turn, showing dirndl bodices and ruffle collars that I hope will trigger a court ruff revival. At Stockholm fashion week, Selam Fessahaye used fabrics that both brought to mind frou-frou 18th century dresses and antique wallpaper and upholstery. Dion Lee offered boned stays in sheer finishes. And again, Ulla Johnson’s turn-of-the-century silhouettes!

I’ll say it: I think this is a macro-trend. We’re not sated by simply dressing like frontierswomen, we need a full-blown fancy dress party crossed with historical re-enactment – but make it fashion.

Bread and Circuses

Starting in earnest at last year’s fall-winter shows, food started taking centre stage at fashion shows. Buffet tables or shows laid out as restaurants offered often fanciful, but sometimes understated catering to doubtless hungry and hurried show-goers. Recall the Ladurée pastries served at Mansur Gavriel last year? This has only expanded.

With food artists and chefs at the forefront, there seems, for once, to be no shortage of food in the fashion world. And what baroque spreads they are! Ralph Lauren set his show in a café serving breakfast to guests, and back in december Chanel ran a pop-up diner in central park in conjunction with their couture show. Beauty brands are catching on to this as well – Glossier’s fried chicken sandwiches at Rhea’s Café come to mind.

Most notably, and most impressively, Laila Gohar collaborated with Ganni for their recent show at Copenhagen fashion week, where she served up gargantuan towers of seafood that looked like what a mad 17th century king might serve to a delegation of mer-people. Pair these excesses of delicacies with the casting of dancers in several shows – Stine Goya’s dancers clad in pierrot outfits come to mind – and Gucci’s recent “showtime” campaign, fashion shows are looking more like the royal banquets of eras past than anything else.

Old Céline Walks Again

As Phoebe Philo-devotees near the end of their mourning period, several designers are picking up where she left off. The well-dressed, reserved and elegant Céline Woman echoes across runways at Theory, Derek Lam, Deveaux and of course The Row (a spiritual baby sister to Céline?) in the form of elegant suiting, earthy-toned wool coats, modest hemlines and high necklines.

The look can also be read as a nod to turn-of-the-millenium-era Hermès helmed by Martin Margiela, whose use of understated luxury has been gaining attention in the form of a travelling exhibit originating at MoMu in Antwerp. In general, it seems women are cocooning in huge shawls and soft overcoats while men are stripped down to slinky, skin-baring spandex. Women are cosied up in luxurious wools, leathers and silks while men are vulnerably, titillatingly exposed.

View this post on Instagram

Fall ‘19 Runway Show #staudnyfw

A post shared by S T A U D (@staud.clothing) on

DISCO
Speaking of spandex! The disco revival is upon us, if we’re to believe the likes of Tom Ford, STAUD and Michael Kors. In music, there’s been a disco influence steadily growing for a while now, through artists like Roisin Murphy and Lizzo but also a handful of K-pop stars, as well as the cult Netflix series The Get Down. Tom Ford went back to his Gucci-era roots with a collection set to the Bee Gees, full of sumptuous jewel tones and body-grazing satins, while Michael Kors attempted to re-enact studio 54 at his fall runway show.

STAUD, a personal favourite, set their runway soundtrack to disco music as well, matching zebra-print dresses and 70s fringes. I must add that the continuation of the Laura Ashley-inspired prairie trend I mentioned above also carries a whiff of the 1970s, as does the use of cognac leather. I think we might as well get out those platforms and make a batch of Green Goddess dressing.

Honourable mention: Hair Accessories
They’re staying, people. Get to it. (image featured in header from Valet Studio)