As a fashion editor, there are few events I await as eagerly as I await runway shows. I anticipate New York Fashion Week the way people in the film industry count down to the Oscars—after all, both events are designed to showcase the best of the best in their fields. But while the fall collections we saw at the February shows will undoubtedly inspire my wardrobe, it has to be said: Runway looks can be a bit intimidating.
To get a handle on making the new season's top trends more wearable in my day-to-day, I asked Who What Wear fashion director Natalie Cantell for some runway-to–real life advice. Natalie has attended fashion weeks in Sydney, Paris, and beyond, and she's terrifically skilled at picking up trends and making them her own. So it didn't surprise me that this style challenge was a breeze for her: Witness the three stunning head-to-toe Michael Kors looks—all available at Macy's—she styled that encompass her favorite F/W 17 trends.
Ready to infuse your new-season wardrobe with a bit of runway-inspired panache? Look no further…
LAYER (AND BELT) YOUR PRINTS
The first thing worth knowing: Plaid in every iteration—from small checks to this oversize houndstooth—is the pattern to try this fall. Natalie clearly takes the "go big or go home" stance here, doubling up on the It print as she channels one of her other must-try trends. "Wearing dresses over pants is one of my favorite ways to layer, whether it's denim and kimonos or more tailored pieces like these," Natalie adds. "It's a bold look that's secretly incredibly easy to wear, so look for matching pieces to experiment with in the changing rooms."
Always look for fresh ways to clash prints or double up.
A wide belt breaks up the print, and Natalie reminds me it's the one accessory to snap up ASAP. On-trend V-cut pumps give this polished outfit a modern look, while the jewel-toned bag adds just the right pop of color. "Any berry hue is so good for fall, from deep purples to burgundies and oxblood," Natalie tells me, so I'll be picking up accessories all of the aforementioned hues next time I shop.
While we were on the subject of color, I asked Natalie what other hues she's into for the upcoming season. It looks like my mostly black wardrobe is about to change—she tells me fall's neutrals consist of fresh grays and crisp whites that are perfect for giving must-have retro-inspired pieces a modern feel. "The vintage vibe doesn't have to be overwhelming—one on hand, this is just a really classic, easy-to-wear fall coat. But slightly exaggerated lapels and that teddy-bear texture hint at the '70s and make it feel more special."
After a few consecutive seasons dominated by cropped, straight-leg denim, this look was a reminder of just how chic and flattering F/W 17's flared jeans really are. That being said, Natalie tells me her everyday ankle-grazing denim will still be on rotation—if only to do a better job of showing off these deep-purple vintage-inspired pumps. ("They deserve a little more attention," Natalie tells me.) Her trick for pulling off retro style is adding a little something modern and unexpected—an embellished mini bag in blush is just the right finishing touch.
The F/W 17 runways were all about transitional pieces, and my favorite looks involved layering sleeveless dresses and jumpsuits I might have otherwise reserved for warmer months. Natalie shows me how to go the chic and minimalistic route, pairing this jumpsuit with a moto jacket. "It's another little nod to '70s style. The cropped jacket really accentuates the length of the jumpsuit and makes your legs look a hundred feet long." Music to my 5'3'' ears.
I love juxtaposing these bracelets and charms with a more boyish watch.
What really stood out to me with this street-ready ensemble is the way Natalie styled her accessories to elevate the look. The shortened strap on her crossbody creates the modern vibe we're seeing in street style galleries—and it also allows her to go hands-free, the ideal scenario for no fuss commuting in the city. She also expresses a love for boyish pieces, so I wasn't surprised she created a serious wrist-party situation centered around the Michael Kors Access smartwatch. The juxtaposition between the chunky watch and dainty charm bracelets is the kind of fall trend styling I can definitely get behind.