Keeping men dapper

(NEW YORK CITY)—American designers are determined to keep men dapper next fall and winter, pushing the envelope on color while turning out more of the tailored look that has trended in recent years.

But the more interesting story to emerge from the recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is the near-maximalist look, which is contrary to the minimalist dressing normally bought on by economic recession.


Whether designers were serving up urban warrior princess or collections influenced heavily by the military and menswear—three major trends for next fall and winter—the overarching theme was head-turning spectacle.

Here are 10 trends spotted on catwalks from Lincoln Center to Downtown Manhattan that are most likely to translate to the sidewalks of Pittsburgh:

Black and gold

This bold combination was particularly directional in eveningwear and special occasion. The sparkle of gold combined with the elegant sophistication of black is a punch-packing combination, especially in the red carpet-worthy looks sent out by Ralph Lauren, Badgley Mischka and Naeem Khan. It’s a godsend for the Steel City’s gridiron glamazons.

Black and navy

These two in tandem tend to intimidate even the most confident style mavens. Black is universally flattering and can make cheap textiles seem a little less so, while navy lends a feel of conservative formality. Carolina Herrera fused the colors well in looks that were rich and dignified without coming off as self-important.

Red frocks

When designers threw in color, fuchsia and shades of green and purple were popular go-to’s. But red seemed to be the favorite, most commonly in dresses or gowns. Some of the best were by Zang Toi and Donna Karan.


The little black dress, every woman’s wardrobe staple, is back with a twist. Designers showed it in velvet and silk fabrications, strapless and one-shoulder styles, knee-length and bias-cut silhouettes. Ruffian sent out some chic interpretations while Pamella Roland lit up the runway with her own hot styles, including a mini in jacquard and chiffon with a corseted bodice.

Wide-leg pants

The bell bottom is back, more ‘70s than last time around. Catherine Malandrino introduced a pretty pleated version while Monika Chiang and others combined their roomy trousers with a romantic blouse or cropped jacket.


Sheer fabrics may seem odd for cold weather, but these cut-outs covered with gauzy fabric add texture contrast and a little sex appeal. Blouses and dresses got the special treatment most, as well as tastefully done evening looks by the likes of Carmen Marc Valvo.

Special sleeves

Watch for jacket and coat sleeves that contrast with the rest of the garment in fabric and feel. Designers such as BCBG and Dennis Basso put fur or leather sleeves on jackets and coats to achieve luxe, dramatic looks.


Skirts, tops, jackets, dresses, even clutches—it’s the season of the fringe. Fringes are another way of dressing up the mundane, a design element that gives a garment movement and a touch of whimsy. Monika Chiang jazzed up a clutch with fringes for low-wattage shimmer.


Is there a hipper way to top off a layered cold-weather ensemble? Nicole Miller and Mara Hoffman were among numerous designers who incorporated wide-brim chapeaux into their collection previews. And why not? Hats are a two-fer, providing warmth and an extra dash of style.

Statement coats

Marc Jacobs and Tommy Hilfiger were among designers who stitched up topcoats that a woman will want to buy and wear winter after winter. Next fall’s crop was current and fresh but with enough staying power to be fairly timeless.

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