The Biggest Trends from New York Fashion Week AW20

2 min read

A shortened show schedule and the absence of big names overshadowed NYFW before it had begun — but, as the new collections rolled on to runway and emerging designers started to rise, the forward-facing fashion spoke for itself. From reworked prints to new shape shifting silhouettes, these are the trends that dominated New York Fashion AW20. 

Autumn/winter 2020 dressing may still be a far-off thought, but if you want to know what you’ll be come party season then take note of extra voluminous silhouettes and a go big attitude when it comes to formal attire. At Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta and Christopher John Rogers there were floor-filling skirts cascading out from the waist, tiers of tulle for extra oomph and ruffles galore in floral prints and pearlescent fabrics. 

For the new season, equine-inspired fashion has shifted from Wild West to dressage-ready, with a ladylike uniform of riding boots, equestrian helmets and prim and proper Edwardian-esque jackets perfect for an afternoon in the country. Take horse riding cues from Self-Portrait, Tory Burch and Michael Kors. 

Blanket dressing continues into the new decade, with the poncho proving popular for autumn/winter 2020. From boho style, fringed knit variations to coat-like pullovers in camel tones, it’s time to hang up your go-to blazer and throw on a poncho — whether layered (Gabriela Hearst ), worn as outerwear (Rag & Bone) or styled as an effortless day dress (Zimmermann). 


For AW19, retro animal prints proved a huge hit on and off the runway — and at NYFW this week we witnessed a fresh take on spots, stripes and scales for the new season. AW20 offered a playful rework of the trend with abstract prints in unexpected fabrics and oversized silhouettes; from Marc Jacobs’ twist on the Zebra pattern to Christian Cowan’s pixelated leopard print, this season’s call of the wild is open to interpretation.

NYFW presented a grown-up riff on grunge. There was elegant tailoring paired with punk plaid print and mismatched chain embellished jewellery, as well as chunky combat boots and safety pin earrings, elevated by clinched-in waists and ladylike mock-croc handbags. Modern grunge for the women who refuses to leave her Dr. Martens behind. 

Going green is a hot topic this fashion month, but in New York, designer’s took the term literally and unveiled a series of top-to-toe looks in the shade. Tom Ford, Longchamp and Ulla Johnson, opted for deeper shades of the hue, from jewel-tone emerald to an earthy palette of forest, moss and hunter green, the trend is set to inject a dose of colour into your autumn wardrobe.

The fishing touch to tie up our NYFW trend report, the bow was spotted in every variation — whether worn as an embellishment or used to tie floor-sweeping gowns together. At Adam Lippes, ruffled collars and silk bows adorned the neck to create a ladylike look that was modest and elegant; Brandon Maxwell used bows to tie his ready carpet ready dresses and Hellessy layered the bow to a make a statement shoulder pad. 

  • Words by Jenna Calvert
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