Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Fashion Week is a misnomer. The week is actually a month, four weeks spread out across the globe — without breaking for weekends! A feast for the eyes, it can leave one feeling uncomfortably stuffed by the end. Between the live streams, the Instagrams, the Snapchats, and the galleries, there are thousands of looks to digest, save to Pinterest, and consider shopping.
Identifying trends makes this easier — we can narrow it down to one kind of dress, a specific color, prints — but what do you do with that information?
Familiar geometric shapes were taken to the next level when repeated and covering a skirt suit at Chanel, a tank dress from Rag & Bone, and a sequined gown by Marc Jacobs. The most wearable styles keep to a tonal palette, like gray with white and black, or violet with navy and burgundy. Try a geometric pattern on a skirt with a solid tank top, or in a dress with simple sandals.
The Erogenous Zone du Jour: Shoulders
Shoulders are out, literally, in full force. On dresses, blouses, even jumpsuits, at times it felt as though every designer featured an off-the-shoulder silhouette, cutouts, or shoulder-highlighting necklines. The best part about this trend? It spans every style, from beachy sweater-and-maxi combos to gothy long sleeves with asymmetrical minis. Truly something for everyone.
Low-rise pants made appearances on runways like Michael Kors and Calvin Klein. The former showed them in gray suiting, while the latter chose a dense knit; it’s the sophisticated fabrics that keep them from looking like something Marissa Cooper wore to the Harbor School.
It’s pretty easy to get behind a trend that promotes imperfection. Denim with unfinished edges is just that; the more fray the better. We saw the effect in a deep indigo dress by Marques Almeida, in a patchworked coat on the Saint Laurent runway, and in literally-anyone-can-wear-them jeans from Frame Denim. Frayed denim doesn’t command too much as far as styling — keep it simple with T-shirts and sneakers, or layer a slip dress on top and dress it up with lace-up sandals.
What could feel more spring than teeny-tiny pleats in light-as-air fabrics? Céline made the case in an easy-breezy midi dress, while Off-White tried the technique in an asymmetrical white button-up, worn with straight-leg jeans. Early in the season, try a pleated skirt with an oversized sweater and ankle boots, and when it warms up pair the same skirt with strappy sandals and your favorite tee.
Ruffles For Grown-Ups
Ruffles were everywhere, from loose lace waves at Alexander Wang’s Balenciaga swan song to leather at Alexander McQueen to statement-sized versions from ruffle enthusiast Rosie Assoulin. What’s cool about this season’s take on the technique is that they’re more barefoot '70s romantic than Easter Sunday '95 (or whatever year and holiday you were seven and wearing floofy pastels). Contrast a ruffled dress with thick-heeled mules or a bomber jacket for instant soft/hard balance.
See yourself — literally — in shiny fabrics this season. From iridescent pastel dresses to liquid metallic trousers, reflective materials abound. Glittering fabric and sequins are an obvious choice for evening, but also doable for daytime when paired with denim, or a white cotton T-shirt.