New York Fashion Week, Fall/Winter 2008:

The Shape of Things to Come

Past articles:
Spirng/Summer 2008 Report
Fall/Winter 2007 Report
Spring/Summer 2007 Report
Fall/Winter 2006 Report
Spring/Summer 2006 Report
Bernadine Morris "Ten Best Looks" of the Spring 2006 Season
Fall/Winter 2005 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Fall 2005 Season
Sprijng/Summer 2005 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Spring 2005 Season

Fall/Winter 2004 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Fall 2004 Season
Spring/Summer 2004 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Spring 2004 Season

Fall/Winter 2003 Report
Spring/Summer 2003 Report

Please note: numbers in ( ) in the text below are links to photos. All photos are by Randy Brooke. This article is best viewed with browser set to "full screen".

And I mean that literally, since ‘shape’, in a word, describes what fall 2008 is all about. Without a doubt, the most important message resonating from the recent fall collections (from New York to Paris), was the renewed emphasis on tailoring, precision cut, fit, shape, construction and silhouette. This played out across the board and was illustrated in everything from day wear (streetwear, sportswear, and athletic wear) to eveningwear. And yes, you will probably have to whip yourself into shape this season, if you haven’t already.

While there are exceptions to every rule (and thank goodness for that ‘other side of the coin’ that always exists in fashion because otherwise things would get mighty boring and who wants a steady diet of just one thing?), the prevailing silhouette from New York to Paris could be described as covered up, practically from head to toe (though the form is not obscured) and dark (in something black if not ink) with a focus on shape (be it curvilinear, or austerely linear) and an emphasis on the waist and hips.

Sure there were glorious fantastical collections (like Alexander McQueen), or those that concentrated on florals and ethnic prints (like Dries Van Noten) or high voltage color and artistic painterly patterns (like Rodarte and Alexandre Herchcovitch). But by and large, a new restraint, austerity and sobriety resonated loud and clear on the runways. More often than not, the impact and drama comes from the fabrication, cut, silhouette, rather than surface decoration, loud prints, and bold color.