After going through more than a hundred runway slideshows at NYmag.com, I settled on these top 10 as my favorite new trends and designs:
10. Embellished shoulder designs: This trend popped up on several runways. At first I was a little iffy, since it reminded me of those God-awful shoulder pads of the 80s and 90s, but they really managed to give it that "Mad Men" edge.
9. One Shoulder Strap: I've seen this trend several times over the years, which is surprisingly known for its elegance, but it wasn't until I saw this maroon number that I realized its aesthetic potential. Honestly, the dress would be gorgeous with or without the strap, but something about its addition--reminiscent of a Miss America sash--makes her seem that much more refined.
8. Intricate Coat Design: From the high cuffed collar to the button-down vest, complete with tuxedo-like tail, this jacket may be purely for show, but I just love how it screams badass.
7. Oscar-worthy gowns: Fall fashion week is a great time to showcase your best gowns for Oscar red carpet, stage, and after-party consideration. I personally loved this semi-sheer, polka-dotted, plunging v-neck ensemble that would be complimentary to a range of torsos.
6. Pleats: This wasn't exactly uber popular on the runway, but I'm definitely feeling the full-dress pleats--as opposed to just a skirt--and think designers should explore all of the wonderful possibilities it can bring.
5. Layers: Piling on clothes, mixing patterns and textures, and combining all the colors of the rainbow has long been a hobo staple on the runways, but there's something to be said for a single tone ensemble that focuses on form. This belted turtle neck-dress combo seems oddly futuristic and ahead of its time.
4. The Trenches: I've already purchased my Spring trench from the Gap, but I've never found them warm enough to wear in the Fall...until now. Now only did Christian feminize the trench using subtly tiered ruffles, but he managed to mix a little Sherlock Holmes with a Troop Beverly Hills girl scout vibe.
Christian Siriano, former "Project Runway" winner
3. Huge Collars: Whereas last year the runway was littered with models cinched at the waist with pencil thin belts, this year they were all bundled with puffed up collars.
2. Fabric Sculptures: Adding sequins, beads, or even ribbon to a dress can give it the oomph that it's missing, but managing to create a masterpiece with just one piece of material is beyond impressive.
1. Incredibly subtle detail: This was my favorite dress on the runway this season. It has the cinched puffed shoulders with a vanilla beaded texture and a conservative length perfect for a dinner party at the white house, a five-star restaurant date, or a wedding reception.
To flip through all the NYC fashion shows of the Fall 2009 season and choose your favorites, visit NYmag.com for slideshows and video.