[Model Wanessa Milhomem walks the runway during Dennis Basso’s Fashion Show at Skylight Studios Moynihan Station for New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 on September 15th, 2015 at New York, NY]

New York Fashion Week is known to bring creativity and sometimes avant-garde designs to the surface. Designers take artful chances as they create striking looks for the runway that may or may not actually make sense for the everyday consumer’s lifestyle. As a vieweror— potential customer—it is incredibly easy to be mesmerized by each well-crafted design, but is everything seen at Fashion Week truly wearable?

With front row seats at NYFW, we carefully curated our top three Spring/Summer ’17 trends that go beyond Insta-worthy to wardrobe-worthy.

1. Romance is in the Air

Much like for fall 2016, a Victorian influence is forecasted for spring/summer of next year—however with a more modern versus literal flare. Clean lines will balance the whimsy of ruffles, and ribbon will be used in unexpected, not-too-girly ways. An Indian-American fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra, for example, presented his take on modern romance through several looks in his collection.

Bhibhu Mohapatra

 [Bhibu Mohapatra’s collection |Photo Source: Vogue]

In the first look shown here on the far left, Mohapatra uses ribbon as subtle accents. As the model gracefully, yet confidentially walked the runway, the ribbons attached to her shirt collar floated in the air behind her. They were tucked neatly through a bustier and then let free, giving an impression of controlled femininity and poise. The ivory blouse in this look is also reminiscent of the Victorian era, with its puffed sleeves that accentuate the upper arms and shoulders while having a narrow, ultra-defined waist.

The second look balances romantic ruffles with a full A-line skirt. The silhouette is wildly chic yet edgy. Although the ruffled portions add a touch of dreaminess, they are cut abruptly for cool-girl appeal! Soft waves in the model’s hair also pay homage to romanticism, while looking imperfectly tousled.

The last two images shown here reflect an “unapologetically joyful” element as Vogue Magazine noted. During a time of an uncertain political environment here in the States and unrest happening all over the world, designers have infused much-needed cheerful details into their collections for the coming Spring/Summer. Mohapatra chose pops of periwinkle, coral-red, and pale yellow hues as pick-me-up colors. The consumer he has designed for may be romantic, but she has a bit of bad-girl in her that keeps us hopeful yet intrigued.

We recognize that perhaps these looks are a bit more daring than you may like, but our suggestion is to take inspiration from what most relates to your personal style and body type. If you are petite for example, an ankle length ball-gown skirt may not work for you unless you are willing to wear sky-high heels. Instead, opt for micro minis to show as much leg as you can, and choose silhouettes that visually draw in your waistline much like Mohapatra has done. For taller fashionistas, a look like the first wide-leg pant image is a wearable go-to. While the puffed sleeves may not be your vibe, thin ribbon trims add a light and happy touch.

2. Juxtaposition of Minimalism and Sensuality

Designer, Runa Ray, a newcomer to NYFW—but no rookie to the fashion industry—presented her calming origami-inspired collection at Moynihan Station in Manhattan. The minimalist approach to her aesthetic is both organic and elegant. Ray’s collection embodies sensual, feminine touches with pleating at the shoulders and subtle floral embroidery. Models with dreadlocks inspired by Indian village men walked the runway barefoot, dressed mainly in muted tones of cream, dusty gray and black. The colors used seemed strategic, never distracting from the construction detail or the overall mood of the collection. One could not help but notice the intricacies buried within each garment, whether it was an embroidered appliqué on the back of a dress, cape-like silhouettes that split to hint at a woman’s shape without giving too much away, or billowy sleeves that softened otherwise structured pieces.

runa ray

[Runa Ray’s collection |Photo Source: NYFW]

Minimalism is certainly not something new, however, each season brings a fresh perspective on this humble way of dressing. Spring/summer 2017 will elevate this aesthetic with sensual cuts and interesting construction details. Try a mini trench dress in a nude or taupe next season, or play with pleats or frills, and look for silhouettes with folds and flounce that draw attention to your best features. Though acclaimed couturier, Naeem Khan, gave us bounds of color this NYFW, there were select pieces from his collection that also showcased how to beautifully mesh sensuality and minimalism. The first look below is a cape gown with hi-lo hemline and drawstring waistline to cinch in the midsection as needed. The widened boat neck and mostly covered upper body give the look classic elegance. There is a sexiness to this gown that is effortless and modest.  The second look, although not minimalist in color also suggests sophisticated sensuality. The higher-than-ever slit at the leg gives the otherwise modest look just enough womanhood without revealing too much. The circular shapes at the mid-section of the gown visually narrow the waist and elongate the body.

Naeem Khan

[Naeem Khan’s collection | Photo Source: Elle]

Even street-style during NYFW reflected minimalism in the chicest way!  Here are a handful of wearable outfit ideas from the streets of New York to kick-start your minimalist wardrobe:

street style fashion

[Street style looks you can wear. | Photo Source: Elle]

3. Utilitarian Influence

There is something about a well tailored uniform-inspired look. We saw this sort of influence this past spring/summer season, and we will continue to see the trend evolve into Spring 2017. NYFW designers such as Calvin Luo showed us just how to make the clean lines and structure of utilitarian style relatable and therefore wearable.

Calvin Luo incorporated utilitarian influence with deconstructed silhouettes, unbuttoned and hung off the shoulders to bend the rules of uniform looks. A clean, crisp color palette gave each silhouette a sense of serenity. The female models wore cornrow braids to keep hair off the face and gave the overall looks some edge. Makeup was kept mainly natural, with emphasis on heavy kohl covered eyes and just-kissed coral pink lips. For men, uniformity appeared in navy-like V-necks and belted boxy dress shirts as well as socks pulled up to the shins.

calvin luo

[Calvin Luo’s collection. | Photo Source: Women’s Wear Daily]

The most wearable elements of Luo’s collection, at least in our opinion, are the deconstructed Oxfords that show off just enough shoulder, military inspired Spring jackets and shirt silhouettes in calming tones of serenity blue and snowy white, down-to-there V-necks in fully covered dresses; and for the guys, crew, and V-necks, all white, shirts buttoned right up to the very top collar, and boxy silhouettes that hint at the male body form with belts and cinches at the waist.

The shows were truly inspiring this season, leaving our India.com fashion crew hopeful for the future. This year has been challenging all around the globe, with economic and political ups and downs, and saddening news of lives lost and increased fear. Seeing how such real matters impact fashion and then how designers have purposefully infused pops of wishful color and soothing silhouettes into their collections, is truly encouraging. What we see on the runway may appear far off from what is comfortable, but if we take a closer look at the innuendos buried within each design, it becomes easier to see how relevant, and therefore, wearable fashion can be.

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