Trend Forecast: Get Ready for Crisp Whites, Seventies Separates, and Sheer Everything

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From left: Cushnie et Ochs, Zero + Maria Cornejo, and Jeremy Laing. Photo: Imaxtree

On Day Four of Fashion Week, we checked in with trend tracker Nina Stotler, youth-market editor for trend-forecasting agency Stylesight. The goal: to find out what would, in her professional opinion, most likely be IN for spring 2011. We touched base again after Fashion Week officially ended, to see what — if anything — in her crystal ball had changed, which shows rocked her hardest, and what the future holds for jeggings, harem pants, and other endangered fashions.

First off, has anything changed since we last checked in?
At the conclusion of the collections, I still think summer leather is a strong trend on the New York runways, while sheer textures are providing contrast. In addition to the more basic translucent fabrics, collections like Jeremy Laing, Proenza Schouler, and Matthew Ames have played with an experimental, organic mesh, adding interest to simple silhouettes. Regarding color, mint and cobalt tones have been joined by sand, white, and many shades of orange.  

Having seen all of the shows now, what would you say are the five biggest trends for spring 2011? And what are your favorite permutations of those trends?
Based on my initial review of the week, I'd say that ladylike quirk (Proenza Schouler, Phillip Lim, Rodarte, Cynthia Rowley, Boy by Band of Outsiders), art-school chic (Jeremy Laing, Matthew Ames, Alex Casertano, Mandy Coon, Jen Kao, Vena Cava), seventies separates and silhouettes (Derek Lam, Cynthia Steffe, ADAM, Rebecca Taylor), crisp white or icy pastels (Alexander Wang, Preen, Thakoon, Narciso Rodriguez, Frank Tell, Cushnie Et Ochs), and sheer layers (Richard Chai, Proenza Schouler, Doo.Ri, Vera Wang, Thakoon, Preen) are the most pivotal ideas that came out of New York. 

Is the skinny pant/jegging officially dead? What about the harem pant? Are skants the new skorts?
I think skinny pants will remain in the market at large, but along with the resurgence of seventies silhouettes and ladylike fashions, trousers are the dominant direction. Harem pants have become less defined, morphing into a loosely draped, sportier style. There were also a few notable examples of the long over-short on the runway, in particular at Matthew Ames and Jeremy Laing. Though this is intriguing, I don't see it catching on in a greater sense. 

Over here at The Cut, we've noticed a proliferation of all-white looks; open backs (what Preen called the "new erogenous zone"); see-through skirts and pants; super-nude makeup and chalky lips; flat, almost orthopedic wooden platform shoes; boob patches; and loads of orange. Which of those trends do you think will legitimately catch on and why?
Most of those are probably going to stay on the runway, other than some of the orange tones, more natural nude makeup, and summer whites. 

Some critics have called the spring 2011 collections boring, saying the designers didn't take any risks. Do you think this season overall was more commercially oriented than past ones?
I do think some designers went in a more sale-able direction for spring, most notably Rodarte, but I don't think this precluded experimentation. Innovation with the use of materials, which isn't always apparent in photos, was rampant among talents like Ohne Titel, whose combination of matte neoprene and raw silk felt fresh, while Preen's leathers were voluminous and almost foamy when contrasted with beaded sheer chiffon. Mandy Coon mixed burlap panels with smooth black leather and Frank Tell hand-stitched a hodgepodge of materials to create openwork crochet pieces. I think the interest is in the details, now more than ever. 

What do you think will be the season's breakout item, i.e., the spring 2011 must-have?
I loved the simple dresses, which fell somewhere between body-conscious and voluminous, at Proenza Schouler, Cushnie et Ochs, Jeremy Laing, Zero + Maria Cornejo, and Thakoon. I think these minimal but sometimes printed or embellished pieces will be a flattering and easy sell for many labels.

What was your favorite show of the season and why?
My personal favorite was Cushnie et Ochs for its artful mix of everyday wearability, fabric experimentation, and embellished modernity. I love seeing young designers move beyond their initial, defining style, and for spring/summer 2011, this duo definitely succeeded in doing so.