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Credit: Danny Ghitis for The New York Times
Designers: Kirsten Fitzgibbons and Kelli Ford
The Kips Bay Showhouse is always a harbinger of color and design trends to come, as it is a compendium of the top designers of our society. Those honored with a space demonstrate their skills and current design mood.
Even with diversity in personality and thought process, inspired by such varied muses and themes, it’s amazing that color themes still unite many of the rooms. It’s similar to the way fashion designers seem to be on the same wavelength in terms of color and pattern in any particular season.
So much color this year for FW 2017! Clear, intense hues mark this season, with large color-blocked areas, strong complementary contrasts and strong color relationships. And yet, hiding among all that noise is a refined exploration of achromatics! Far from dead, grey, black and white are alive and well. And grey is even demonstrating its own hot trend.
An amazing situation exists now that has never before existed: Women now have two completely different trend paths available in color and pattern for the very same season.
Of course, for FW2017 womenswear, many designers are on the same wavelength about color and pattern. But now that some houses show menswear and womenswear together in one location at season’s start, a different trend path has arisen. For those designers, the looks for men and women in one show follow parallel visual directives to communicate with each other on the runway, following trends seen in menswear. And they are completely different trends from FW2017 womenswear.
In fashion, like in a painting, hue relationships, intensity and value contrasts work together in a composition, providing balance and unity. Value contrasts, one of the most valuable color tools, can suppress one area to enhance another, and move the eye around an outfit. The designer decides the direction. Transcendence occurs when everything works together and we can’t take our eyes off the outfit. In FW2017, a few designers have achieved it.
Old school patterns such as plaids and camouflage can be so… old school. But they don’t have to be. Several design elements inherent to plaids can be altered for a completely different look.