'Queen Kate' inspires tweedy trend
Pleats and plaid, longer hemlines, wide-leg trousers and luxurious outerwear were just some of the trends to emerge from New York Fashion Week.
Many designers showed looser silhouettes, which experts say have a broader appeal because they are easier to wear, and there was an emphasis on separates, allowing wary consumers to add to their wardrobe instead of having to buy a whole new outfit.
Designers have drawn inspiration from decades past -- from the 1930s for Vera Wang's collection to the 1990s for Tibi and even the engagement of Britain's Prince William to Kate Middleton, says Neiman Marcus fashion director Ken Downing.
"There's a real nod to England, Kate Middleton is definitely in the air," Downing said. "This idea of 'Town and Country' dressing where there's a lot of tweeds, we're seeing a lot of plaids."
Amanda Brooks, Barneys New York women's fashion director, said key trends were sporty, luxurious outerwear -- as shown by designers Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Rag & Bone, Thakoon and Narciso Rodriguez -- and chunkier knits, seen in collections by M Patmos, Doo Ri and Prabal Gurung.
"It's more about fabric and colour than it is about silhouette right now," said Robert Burke, of Robert Burke Associates, a luxury retail consulting firm.
Almost 90 designers showed at the biannual New York Fashion Week, which ended last night and is followed by events in London, Paris and Milan.
Americans are still wary after the worst financial crisis in decades, and retail sales, which account for about 70pc of the US economy, have not recovered as unemployment hovers at 9 pc and many struggle with household debt.