The first season under its new name, the American Collections Calendar marked New York’s second digital fashion season — and with an extended timeline. Designers like Tom Ford, Joseph Altuzarra, Michael Kors, Tory Burch and more are slated to show through April. Within the fall season, designers bridged the fine line between the mood of the current times — embracing cozy, work from home attire — and that of the brighter future ahead, with optimistic, exuberant designs.

Here, WWD breaks down the top seven trends from the American Collections week.

1. Knits

The biggest trend of NYFW? Knitwear. From sweater dresses and innovative statement knits to sweater vests and head-to-toe knit dressing, the fall season has it all. As seen here in Jonathan Simkhai’s cut-out number, 10 Crosby Derek Lam’s sweater vest and Ulla Johnson’s standout, asymmetrical cable knit dress.

From Left: Jonathan Simkhai, 10 Crosby Derek Lam, and Ulla Johnson.

From left: Jonathan Simkhai, 10 Crosby Derek Lam and Ulla JohnsonCourtesy of the Brand

2. Edgy Winter Florals

Floral blooms with a darker edge were plentiful this season. Flowers popped up in moody tones, as seen at Prabal Gurung and Tanya Taylor, and with grunge attitude, seen here from R13.

From Left: Prabal Gurung, R13, and Tanya Taylor.

From left: Prabal Gurung, R13 and Tanya TaylorCourtesy of the Brand

3. The ‘Bridgerton’ Effect

As seen during spring 2021 and the Couture Spring runways, the “Bridgerton” effect is not slowing down. The Netflix breakout series’ fanciful fashions inspired period-centric designs for fall. For instance: puff sleeves (a signature at Zimmermann), pussy bow blouses (as seen in Adam Lippes) or fluid, Empire waist gowns (like this Alice + Olivia number).

From Left: Zimmermann, Adam Lippes, and Alice & Olivia.

From left: Zimmermann, Adam Lippes and Alice + OliviaCourtesy of the Brand

4. Roaring ’20s

Many designers, including Christian Cowan and Khaite’s Catherine Holstein, cited the Roaring ’20s within their fall collection concepts. The ideas of liberation and emerging out of difficult times inspired designers to create fabulous fashions with a nod to the era; Carolina Herrera’s Wes Gordon, too, leaned into the celebration of dressing up. These modern translations provided an optimistic, fabulously dressed look toward the future.

From Left: Christian Cowan, Khaite, and Carolina Herrera.

From left: Christian Cowan, Khaite and Carolina HerreraCourtesy of the Brand

5. Lounge 2.0

Not your average sweatsuit. Designers leaned into the most popular dress of-the-now, loungewear, for fall, giving their designs a sophisticated twist to transition back into the world. Coach’s Stuart Vevers leaned into “comfort and comfort in nostalgia,” layering joggers under everyday looks; Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough offered cozy shearling clogs with their comfortable, ultra-polished looks; Staud’s Sarah Staudinger leaned into dressing for the home, offering looks both playful and chic.

From Left: Coach, Proenza Schouler, and Staud.

From left: Coach, Proenza Schouler and StaudCourtesy of the Brand

6. Do-It-Yourself

A do-it-yourself mentality too continued through the fall season, a cheeky nod to everyone’s favorite early quarantine activities. This trend clearly indicated that the upcycling movement — repurposing clothes into fresh pieces and reducing clothing and fabric waste — is a major design priority this season. Mixed media and patchworked designs offered nostalgia through a modern lens, as seen through Gabriela Hearst’s statement ponchos, Hillary Taymour’s playful, sustainable designs for Collina Strada and Erin Beatty’s upcycled works for Rentrayage.

From Left: Gabriela Herast, Collina Strada, and Rentrayage.

From left: Gabriela Hearst, Collina Strada and Rentrayage.  Courtesy of the Brand

7. Topcoat Mania

Interesting topcoats with playful prints, minimalist designs or men’s wear-heritage designs filled the fall runways. As seen here via Maisie Wilen, Jason Wu and Christian Siriano.

From left: Maisie Wilen, Jason Wu, Christian Siriano

From left: Maisie Wilen, Jason Wu and Christian Siriano.  Masato Onoda/WWD/Courtesy

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