New York Fashion Week designers skip seasonal looks

Where have all the seasons gone?

Fashion pundits are pondering the question as New York Fashion Week comes to a close. They’ve seen a number of collections that could work for at least three seasons, some even year-round. Sure, there were wintry coats, furs and sweaters, but definitely not as many as in the past. Ken Downing, Neiman Marcus’ fashion director, explains. “Seasonless dressing is on many designers’ minds. Newness does not know what season it is. Newness is what pleases the eye.”

This is the very sentiment that has brought fashion week to a troubling fork in the road. Traditionally, the runway shows preview the clothes for the next season — so what’s on Ralph Lauren’s runway in February shows up in stores for the fall-winter season. But the consensus is that by the time the stuff hits stores, consumers are tired of the already-much-hyped imagery and ready for something new.

In response, this season, designers including Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff and Michael Kors delivered instant gratification to their customers through see now/buy now initiatives that offer the very clothes shown on their runways immediately after they present them.

In Minkoff’s case it’s her entire collection, while Hilfiger and Kors offered limited capsule collections. As Kors told Women’s Wear Daily, “My attitude is, she [the customer] doesn’t pay attention to seasons anyway, so why not grab and go?”

Of course, not everybody wants to travel that route, so instead they’re offering versatile garb that can be worn for many months of the year. Here’s a look at some of our favorite seasonless pieces.