Earning their stripes

The New York fashion trends anyone can copy

If designers in New York City had their way, the American flag would look very different come spring 2009, for it’s not so much about stars and stripes this fashion week as florals and stripes.

The two prints are almost as ubiquitous as jumpsuits and Gossip Girl actresses, but nowhere more beautifully executed than at Nanette Lepore yesterday morning.

While other designers have earned their stripes in a bold, uncompromising fashion, hers were soft and unobtrusive on knitted tops or crocheted dresses, and oh-so elegantly paired with floral embroidery or sequinned paisley.

Michael Kors also flirted with stripes in his all-American, ’50s-inspired collection, telling reporters: ‘The bold play of graphics was so much fun, the polka dots and stripes… There’s something charming about it, new and fresh.’

As an alternative to stripes, many designers have opted for colour blocking instead, marking their pieces with rigid boxes of colour and playing with the conventional lines of dresses, tops and skirts to head-turning effect.

Floral fancies though are never far away, and taken to their ultimate conclusion at Matthew Williamson, where netted skirts were literally filled with blooms.

A-list favourite Marchesa also livened up its red-carpet glamorous gowns with floral embellishment, this time handcrafted out of teeny-tiny feathers or embroidered with gold thread.

Stars might be out of fashion, but there’s plenty of star appeal in these floral designs instead.

Report from Carla Bevan in New York

ALL THE LATEST FROM NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE TO ATTEND FASHION WEEK

Reading now

Popular fashion stories