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19 Key Trends From the Fall 2014 Runways

From astrakhan fur to the swinging '60s, here are 19 of the best trends of the fall 2014 season.
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Fashion week is finally over! Before you take your well-earned nap, it's time to take a look at the what these past four weeks had to offer for fall 2014. Identifying trends from hundreds of shows is no easy feat, but it helps when there is cross-over from pre-fall. Blanket coats? Orange coats? Did we mention coats? It does seem a bit silly to say that the outerwear was a big story for fall, but it's the truth.

You'll also notice that plenty of trends center around texture and coziness ("cozy" being an important buzzword from the pre-fall shows). Designers seem to be catching onto comfortable dressing more than ever. "Wearable" is not a four-letter word, after all (well, with a few exceptions). Let's get started!

Astrakhan Fur 

The fur flew for fall, but the most interesting iteration of this trend was Astrakhan fur. The reach-out-and-touch-me jolie laide texture makes is eye-catching enough on its own, which is why we suspect many designers opted to use the fur in neutral colors.

Arts 'n Crafts 

Here's one for the art teacher in you dying to get out. Texture was a big underlying trend for the season, but we're hard-pressed to find one more appealing than the colorful arts and crafts looks from this season, some even taking on the nubby texture of handwoven carpet.

Sixties Swing 

We did notice the sixties marching its way through Milan, but we were ready to write it off as a trend that has been part of Milan's DNA for some time. Instead, the decade (especially this short shift dress shape) continued through to Paris in big shows like Saint Lauren and Louis Vuitton. There's no chance of ignoring it now.

Flight of Fancy 

It was truly a zoo this season, and we're not just referring to the hectic pace of fashion week (well, maybe a little bit). Animals of all kinds were embroidered, printed, and collaged onto every type of garment, but for some reason, birds had a particularly good season for coats and tops. The statements remain simple, and the renderings beautiful.

Under Wraps 

One of the many trends to follow through from pre-fall was the blanket coat, the best of which was at Burberry, which emblazoned models' initials on its blankets (and made them available for purchase immediately after the show). Let's put it down to the polar vortex's impact, and that designers probably got the feeling that the fashion crowd would rather be under a blanket than commuting from one show to another. Or maybe we're reading too much into it.


Never one to completely disappear on the fall runways, velvet -- in solid hues and, at Elie Saab, in ombre -- was fashioned into ankle-skimming dresses and coats.

The Craft 

The past few years of fashion have found the '90s to be a decade that keeps on giving. We've seen plenty of grunge and minimalism, but we're surprised that it took this long to reference that most influential film of the decade. No, not Clueless. The Craft! The runway included plenty of velvet, but some designers took it to another level with goth-like shapes and one very important accessory: the choker.

Knit Layers 

The last outcome we would expect of knits piled on top of one another is something sleek and lithe, but we were proven wrong time and time again these past four weeks. It's not entirely to do with the slender models, either. Shows like Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, and Stella McCartney show us that layered knits don't have to be bulky.

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Sheer & Volume

 The midi can be a challenging length for your average woman, but that hasn't stopped designers this season. Max Mara, for example, showed the length, and only that length. Many of the midi skirts were sheer, often paired with oxfords and socks and either big sweaters or snug belted jackets -- a look, we imagine, that would be difficult to find the right temperature for off the runway.

Modern Muffs

 In a world where a person's hand is permanently attached to his or her phone, it is hard to imagine how a modern muff -- which in many cases doubled as a purse -- would work. Perhaps a see-through panel? Luckily, Balenciaga included a version with one cleverly attached to a coat, while Tory Burch kept their colorful rendition from the slush below by adding a neck strap. Perhaps this accessory can go the distance.

Neon Wink 

Neon sliced through plenty of black, white, gray and neutral looks during New York Fashion Week, but it didn't stop there. Givenchy and Vionnet in Paris also lifted otherwise low-key looks with bold slashes.

Pretty Pastels 

One does not need a degree in fashion to know that spring/summer has the monopoly on pastels, but this season proved different. An increasing focus on seasonless dressing may have a little something to do with it. But then again, there's just something alluring about minty greens, lilacs and baby blues.

Heraldic Crests 

It would be logical to assume that Mary Katrantzou really set off the emblem trend for fall, but things really started back during the spring/summer shows at Christian Dior and Viktor & Rolf. Both used patches and insignia details (you'd be blind to not have seen one Dior patch over the past few months). The trend showed up in pre-fall, as well.

Red All Over 

Dark blues are treated often as neutrals, which typically makes them a popular choice each season. However, red looks managed to overtake blue in New York (seriously, we counted), and it's no surprise that London, Milan and Paris were also caught red-handed.

Tying the Knot 

Although blanket coats were as far as the eye could see, we would argue that fall 2014 was the season of the robe coat. The speed behind this cozy coat in New York didn't slow down elsewhere. And being one of the most versatile coat trends, it was offered in just about every color, length and fabric, making for plenty of choices.

The Final Frontier 

You may have noticed the Star Wars references from Rodarte and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi early last month. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed not to notice a giant version of Darth Vader's helmut or Luke Skywalker on a gown. However, they weren't the only brands looking above for inspiration this season. Maxime Simoëns was inspired by Oscar winning film Gravity, while celestial patterns showed up at Fendi and Cacharel.

Shear Comfort

Fuzzy texture, cozy factor, Polar Vortex-proof, what else could a person want in a coat? It wasn't confined simply to the lining, either. Patagonia was name-checked in New York by Altuzarra and Thakoon, which gave us some great all-over shearling bombers and jackets.

A Little Bit of Everything 

Let's call this the trend for the indecisive and the gluttonous (a dangerous but fun combination). If you find yourself looking for a winter coat, but can't choose between mongolian fur, astrakhan fur, wool or brushed alpaca, there's no need to worry; texture-blocking has your back. Who said you can't have it all?


Taking pre-fall's fringe trend to a new level was Southwestern inspiration. It started off with a bang in the first four days of New York, and continued on since then. As if the blanket coats, ponchos and checks weren't enough to clue us in, those wide-brimmed hats certainly sealed the deal.