Fashion week in New York has begun! I can’t believe that the spring 2007 collections are already showing; it just seems like yesterday I was waiting with anticipation for the f/w ’06 collections!

The fashion geek in me has been waiting with baited breath to see where exactly the mood is headed in the design world. Would it revert to happy colors and frippery of past seasons, or would it continue on the present course of minimalism, earth tones and focus on cut and sillhouette (rather than flash and bang)? The first two days of collections are showing the latter to be largely true. With the exception of the few completely bad-taste lines (like Baby Phat), of course. Styles seem to range from girly, with a focus on conjuring up images of the past in the BCBG collection (the style evoked has been compared to Great Gatsby Boudior Chic), but still in a restrained vien. Several very minimalist/conceptual/sculptural collections like Alice Roi (one of my favorite collections so far) and United Bamboo. To a more quirky, vintage rag-bag influanced look like that shown at Karen Walker.

The overall sillhouettes are about volume and line. Although I love the wider, drapey look, I think that designs for spring 2007 may have gone just a little too far. Spring 2006 was far more about balancing out the larger cut with something more body-skimming (wide trouser/skinny tee, baby-doll chemise top/pencil mini), which I think is far more flattering for the general population than a large cut on both the top and bottom. My concern is that these styles will revert to much of the “big” looks that plauged the masses in the 1980s and early 1990s. However, I do appreciate that these styles, although minimal (a look near and dear to my heart, since I felt quite out of place with previous year’s maximalist trends) are big on details and structure. I’m finding lots of little “ahah!” moments as I watch the video coverage; tucks here, pleats there, contrast bands along a hem, an oversized bow at the waist of a dress. The focus on the waist also continues, with pants across the board sitting higher on the waist than I’ve seen in awhile.

The looks thus far as decidedly more masculine than previous years, but there are still options for the more femenine woman (as evidenced in the BCBG collection). I think the key to incoporating the trends and looks for spring 2007 will be picking fabrics, textures and colors and then reworking them in garments and cuts that flatter the wearer. Otherwise, a great many women will feel lost in a smock dress or oversized suit. Of course, the general population doesn’t end up looking like they stepped off the runway, but the buyers do have a hand in what people purchase for the new season.

Largely, these are the smaller lines however, and it waits to be seen what the big lines like Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Zac Posen, Diane von Furstenburg, Ralph Lauren, etc. have to say is the going look for spring 2007. Those are the lines that will define it more clearly, since those are the designers that store buyers pay most attention to.

Want to follow the coverage of Spring 2007 Fashion Week? Check these sites out: Coutorture, Style.com, Olympus Fashion Week, Fashion Tribes.

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