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article imageTop 10 trends on the New York catwalk

By Thomas URBAIN, Jennie MATTHEW (AFP)     Feb 17, 2017 in Lifestyle

New York fashion week wrapped with designers unable to agree on the season, the future of the runway in jeopardy and anti-Donald Trump political outrage palpable.

As the global fashion circus now flits to Europe with fashion week beginning in London on Friday, before moving onto Milan and Paris, here are the top 10 trends that New York offered this season:

- Politics -

There was no escaping the specter of Donald Trump, with America's cultural elite upset that Hillary Clinton, much admired in the fashion industry, lost the election and angry over the first chaotic weeks of his presidency.

Public School parodied his "Make America Great Again" hats, Mara Hoffman opened with a manifesto from protest organizers and Nepal-raised Prabal Gurung sent models out in protest feminist T-shirts.

White bandanas, intended to promote tolerance, were ubiquitous, included in invitations from Calvin Klein and worn by models at Tommy Hilfiger. Many designers distributed buttons in support of Planned Parenthood.

- Bigger is beautiful -

White bandanas  intended to promote tolerance  were ubiquitous  included in invitations from Calvin ...
White bandanas, intended to promote tolerance, were ubiquitous, included in invitations from Calvin Klein and worn by models at Tommy Hilfiger
Robyn Beck, AFP/File

After years of complaints that stick-thin models do not reflect the average woman, plus-size models took to the catwalk.

Ashley Graham -- self-proclaimed body activist and the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of Vogue -- walked for Michael Kors, who complained last season that larger models on the catwalk were not possible logistically.

Gurung, who has designed a line of clothes for plus-size label Lane Bryant, led the way earlier in the week by sending out Candice Huffine and Marquita Pring. All three wore looks intrinsic to the rest of the collections.

- Taboo busters -

Breast cancer survivors modeled lingerie or dared to bear all for AnaOno, a label that designs for women who have had mastectomies, breast reconstruction or breast surgery, in a bid to raise awareness for the disease

Downs Syndrome model from Australia, Madeline Stuart, who has also sought to confound stereotypes in the beauty industry, debuted her own fashion label.

- The hijab -

Ashley Graham  became the first plus-size model to walk on the New York runway for Michael Kors  who...
Ashley Graham, became the first plus-size model to walk on the New York runway for Michael Kors, who unveiled a collection full of opulent fur coats and monochrome looks
Angela Weiss, AFP

Mere weeks after Trump temporarily banned travelers from seven Muslim majority countries, the hijab made a statement this season.

Somali-American Halima Aden, 19, walked for Kanye West's Yeezy Season 5, while Indonesia's Anniesa Hasibuan returned for a second consecutive season with a hijab-only show styled with iridescent gowns fit for a princess.

- Power dressing -

Tory Burch offered a Katharine Hepburn-inspired collection for the powerful woman.

Victoria Beckham came into her own with menswear given a sexy, feminine edge with statement boots and flat men's style shoes with a pointy toe.

- Diversity -

Quintessential American brand Ralph Lauren offered a nomadic-inspired collection, with shimmering gold lame, snake-skin wedge sandals and silky sheaths with billowing trains.

Tory Burch offered a Katharine Hepburn-inspired collection for the powerful woman at New York Fashio...
Tory Burch offered a Katharine Hepburn-inspired collection for the powerful woman at New York Fashion Week
Angela Weiss, AFP/File

Belgian designer Raf Simons made his Calvin Klein debut inspired by the diversity of American culture, from traditional quilting to Art Deco and the wild west.

Indian designer Bibhu Mohapatra said his muses were women throughout the world, while Chilean designer Maria Cornejo used models from 16 different countries from Uganda to the Dominican Republic.

- Bella Hadid -

The model younger sister of Gigi is having a moment. The daughter of Dutch-American model Yolanda Foster and Palestinian American Mohamed Hadid, she wowed on the catwalk from Ralph Lauren to Anna Sui to Oscar de la Renta.

The girlfriend of singer The Weeknd also features in a string of lucrative campaign ads for the likes of Bulgari, DKNY and Moschino.

- Velvet -

Ralph Lauren stunned guests by adorning his flagship Beaux Arts store on Madison Avenue in wall-to-w...
Ralph Lauren stunned guests by adorning his flagship Beaux Arts store on Madison Avenue in wall-to-wall white orchids and filling the air with birdsong
Slaven Vlasic, Getty/AFP

Luxurious and warm for fall/winter 2017, velvet was everywhere -- velvet boots, velvet track pants and velvet capes at Anna Sui; and gowns at Marchesa.

Furs were also prominent, as were capped shoulders or strapless gowns.

- New horizons -

Marc Jacobs made his models walk the runway in silence and asked guests to refrain from whipping out mobile phones until the last minute.

Zac Posen said changing times called for a new approach and threw a photo exhibition to create a conversation.

Vera Wang is to release her collection by video and Sophie Theallet commissioned an online photo campaign.

- New York losing its touch? -

Fashion week was noticeable for its absentees: Tommy Hilfiger went to Los Angeles, as did Rebecca Minkoff. Vera Wang is to release a video at the beginning of Paris fashion week and Rodarte is going to Paris.

Next season, Lacoste will stay in France and cutting edge New York label Proenza Schouler is also joining the exodus in moving to Paris.

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