The Best Fall 2019 Runway Moments From New York Fashion Week

It's that time of year again: the glorious beginning of fashion month. Over the next four weeks, we'll no doubt bear witness to plenty of beautiful runway looks, celebrity front-row outfits, backstage beauty trends, and more—and it all kicks off with New York Fashion Week. In addition to NY mainstays like Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs, we're excited to see brands that are getting hotter by the minute, from Sies Marjan and Nanushka to Area and Eckhaus Latta. 

Let's face it. The frenzied week can be a bit overwhelming, so consider this your ultimate cheat sheet to the Big Apple shows. Below, the Who What Wear team breaks down every noteworthy show and the trends that emerged from each. Don't say we didn't warn you. These looks will be all over your Instagram any minute now. 

Maryam Nassir Zadeh

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Courtesy of Maryam Nassir Zadeh

At Maryam Nassir Zadeh, the clothes were as varied in style as the cast of models was diverse. Everything from safari elements to vintage-inspired pieces to neon harlequin looks punctuated the runway. Individuality and a no-rules approach to dressing was the takeaway from the show.

Ralph Lauren

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Courtesy of Ralph Lauren

The Madison Avenue Ralph Lauren store was transformed into Ralph’s Café for an intimate breakfast to showcase an elegant collection. Modern glamour was the mood of the show, in which models walked down a spiral staircase in the brand’s latest designs. The entire collection was executed in a palette of white, black, and gold with standout silhouettes like super-wide-leg trousers and platform heels.

Tom Ford

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Courtesy of Tom Ford

The runway at Tom Ford was a more understated take on the designer’s signature glamour. The collection was grounded in tailoring with power suiting and oversize trousers dominating the show. Elements like plush faux-fur fedoras and hoodies (yes, hoodies) added a playful element that tapped into the overall mood of understated luxury.

Nanushka

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Courtesy of Nanushka

Nanushka knows exactly what fashion girls want: pieces that are both wearable and trend-driven. The outerwear was especially strong this season. We have our eye on the camel coats and shearling jackets in particular. 

Eckhaus Latta

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Courtesy of Eckhaus Latta

Insider favorite brand Eckhaus Latta teamed up with Ugg for the footwear that accompanied its fall collection. Models clad in artful knits and multicolored beaded creations traversed the runway in a series of custom Uggs—from heeled boots to mules and clogs—that took the brand's quirky aesthetic to (literal) new heights. 

Cushnie

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Courtesy of Cushnie

In its second season as Cushnie (formerly Cushnie et Ochs), the brand's signature clean, modern eveningwear silhouettes have never been stronger. The runway, which was doused in jewel tones like deep ruby and opulent violet, highlighted details like elegant draping and timeless bias cuts.

Priscavera

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Courtesy of Priscavera

Priscavera's runway was a mashup of electric colors and stark neutrals, slinky slip dresses, and Nike sneakers, or as the designer puts it, of heaven and hell. But symbolism aside, this collection leaned into what makes the brand so strong: the juxtaposition of sporty tech materials presented alongside subversive eveningwear, where each look is meant to be worn for day or night.

Sies Marjan

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Courtesy of Sies Marjan

One of the biggest takeaway from Sies Marjan was the attention to color. The palette was commanded by vibrant hues like electric green, fuchsia, and a rainbow of pastels. Sharp suiting, twisted draping, and a lot of layering were some of the standout silhouettes that make this collection feel just so modern.

Tory Burch

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Courtesy of Tory Burch

Tory Burch’s show took inspiration from Black Mountain College—a liberal arts school that operated for just 24 years but was influential in the development of modern in America. So it’s no surprise that there are eclectic art school elements that make this collection particularly strong. These are the pieces we would expect Tory Burch’s classic, preppy dressers to mix into their wardrobes and wear alongside the likes of art icons like Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg, who walked through the halls of the school.

Brock Collection

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Getty Images

This season, Brock Collection doubled down on its signature romantic aesthetic while introducing new silhouettes and trends. The puff collars seen here were one of the most memorable motifs of the collection and were seen on everything from coats to gowns. In addition to the floral prints the brand is known for, Brock Collection also introduced bold red dresses begging to be worn on the red carpet. 

3.1 Phillip Lim

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3.1 Phillip Lim 

The show notes for 3.1 Phillip Lim's F/W 19 collection sum up the kind of clothes the brand creates: "A modern, essential wardrobe that continues to explore personal nuance and align contradictions: elevated utility, elegant sportswear, youthful tailoring." This collection, in particular, boasted strong outerwear options and some seriously good trousers we can't wait to wear. Plus, 3.1 Phillip Lim just announced that it's officially banning fur and exotic skins from the brand—an admirable move we can certainly get behind. 

Area

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Courtesy of Area

At this point, crystals have become a signature of Area, and the fall collection had no shortage of this glitz. There was some element of sparkle in every look from the show, but the dominant influence was fashion from the ’60s, seen in the graphic prints and futuristic shapes. Fashion insiders no doubt have their strong range of accessories on their shopping lists for fall.

Jason Wu

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Courtesy of Jason Wu

Instead of a runway show, Jason Wu opted for a presentation for F/W 19. Exquisite craftsmanship and attention to construction were his focus over quantity. Using roses as inspiration, the designer presented a tight 18-piece collection of delicate dresses with layer upon layer of silk chiffon and deconstructed ruffles, achieving a petal-like effect.

Coach

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Courtesy of Coach

"This season, the familiar becomes unfamiliar, vivid and uncanny," the show notes read. "Dismantled and reassembled. Dipped in psychedelia." So how did this translate to the clothes? Coach showed inventive layering, art-worthy prints, artisanal fabrics, oversize outerwear, and more—and true to form, it was all insanely covetable and wearable. 

Zimmermann

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Courtesy of Zimmermann

Zimmermann's F/W 19 collection had something for everyone, from romantic dresses and blouses to military-inspired suiting and coats. In a statement, Creative Director Nicky Zimmermann explained that she was inspired by a spy from World War II named Nancy Wake, "a mysterious and brave woman, a chameleon who moves around in secrecy, strong and resilient, always so evasive so as never to be caught." If that's not an intriguing starting point, we don't know what is. 

Proenza Schouler

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Getty Images

After showing in Paris for two seasons, Proenza Schouler is back as one of the beloved headliners of New York Fashion Week. This season, every look was anchored with square-toe boots—a trend to keep your eye on this fall. The brand also experimented with acid-wash denim, a smattering of oversize trench coats, deconstructed knit dresses, and power pantsuits. What's not to love? 

Carolina Herrera

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Getty Images

Newly minted Creative Director Wes Gordon certainly has big shoes to fill as Ms. Herrera's successor, but he continues to prove that he can exceed expectations. This season, the mix of vibrant colors, bold prints, and delicate textures all made for a collection that's simply begging to be worn on the red carpet. Oscars, anyone?

The Row

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Courtesy of The Row

Tailoring, minimalism, and upsized proportions were the defining characteristic of The Row’s fall 2019 collection. Outerwear was nipped at the waist, elongated, and styled over delicate but structured cowl-neck tops for most of the looks. Rubber boots and thick-soled zip-up ankle boots grounded the outfits, adding a practical real-world element to the parade of black, tan, and ivory pieces.

Michael Kors Collection

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Getty Images for Michael Kors

Michael Kors Collection had an especially star-studded front row this season, with the likes of Priyanka Chopra, Kate Hudson, Kerry Washington, Olivia Wilde, Regina King, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and others attending the show. So what did the A-listers witness walking down the runway? A slew of '70s outfits inspired by late nights at Studio 54, naturally—and we wanted to wear every single look. 

Rosie Assoulin

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Getty Images

As usual, Rosie Assoulin hit it out of the park with her beautiful party dresses, vibrant prints, and covetable accessories. As for the dominating trends, we saw a slew of square-toed shoes, statement sleeves, and sweaters tied over dresses. Take notes: Where Rosie leads, fashion girls follow. 

Oscar de la Renta

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Getty Images

Oscar de la Renta remains a high point of New York Fashion Week five years after the eponymous designer's passing. Creative directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia outdid themselves this season, which boasted strong suiting, beautiful gowns, sleek outerwear, and more. How can you top Bella Hadid closing in a strapless black number fit for a princess? 

Brandon Maxwell

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Courtesy of Brandon Maxwell

This fashion week was filled with a more-is-more mindset, but the runway at Brandon Maxwell offered a refreshingly scaled-back approach to dressing despite it. The designer presented his signature sleek aesthetic through the lens of a narrow black-and-white palette and even narrower, waist-wisping silhouettes.

Mansur Gavriel

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Courtesy of Mansur Gavriel

Mansur Gavriel's new-season offering speaks to the heart of what every fashion girl wants: stylish yet utterly functional accessories. The shoes, a series of monogrammed ballet flats that point to flats' return to popularity, and the bags, accordion-like pleated versions of the bucket bags that originally earned them airtime, were especially noteworthy.

Christian Siriano

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Courtesy of Christian Siriano

Set at the top of the Rockefeller Center, Christian Siriano's show had models emerging from an art deco backdrop that set the stage for his futuristic collection. Crystal-trimmed dresses, spacey sunglasses, and a lot of chrome were the defining characteristics of the collection. If there are epic parties in the year 2050, this is what fashion girls will wear.

Anna Sui

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Courtesy of Anna Sui

Anna Sui's runway was a delightfully dream-like vision in which the clothes, and the electric-hued wigs atop the heads of all the models, transported us to the late '60s—complete with actual concert posters from the era. Tweed dresses and brightly colored tights pointed to the rising "granny dressing" aesthetic.

Kate Spade New York

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Courtesy of Kate Spade New York

Did creative director Nicola Glass read recent Who What Wear story "Purse So Tiny You Need a Backup Tote Bag? Same"? Evidently, yes, since the designer sent many of her models down the runway with two bags in hand—a clear signal of the busy NYC girl she's thinking of. As for the shoes, it seems that the croc effect will still reign supreme above other shoe trends for fall.

Chromat

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Courtesy of Chromat

Without fail, Chromat's celebration of all bodies always brings a smile to our faces. This collection was no exception, as models paraded in bright swimwear looks and electric-colored sneakers. One of the overall trends we spotted was graphic color-blocking, and it's definitely something to look forward to for warmer days.