Unexpected trends we spotted at New York Fashion Week FW18: Neon animal prints, banana clips and more

Yeah, we said banana clips. They are BACK and we are here for them!

Yeah, we said banana clips. They are BACK and we are here for them!

(Source: Instagram, left: @velvetmagazine, centre: @alexanderwangny right: @tibi)

New York Fashion Week just closed and it's safe to say we saw a slew of unexpected trends grace the Fall 2018 runways. Designers showing at NYFW made plenty of fashion statements throughout the sartorial festivities. And we're here for them! Let's take a look at the latest crop of runway-approved trend; here's what New York designers want us wearing this fall.

80's and 90's-inspired hair accessories

History repeats itself, and those trends that we swore we'd never wear again always end up making a fashionable comeback. Sure, we spotted scrunchies last season, but judging by the NYFW runways, it's safe to say that wacky throwback hair accessories are still poised for an even bigger comeback.

Tom Ford's fall 2018 ready-to-wear collection kicked off the accessory nostalgia with an army of models strutting down the runway wearing thick, black leather headbands. Ford's bespoke accessory was deliberately placed straight across each model's forehead and pulled slightly over the ears, clasped at the nape of the neck.

Alexander Wang brought back another 90's-famous hair trend: the banana clip (or at least a reimagined version of it). Every long-haired model walking Wang's runway wore custom-made, silver claws with the designer's hard-to-miss logo stamped on it. Wang's runway hairstylist, Guido Palau, spoke backstage about bringing back the trend, "[It's] also looking at the irony of these clips. We're seeing them again through different eyes. It's a new take on the banana clip and how cool they can look."

Over at Prabal Gurung's fall 2018 show, models walked the runway wearing… brace yourselves: stretch hair combs. Gurung's runway hairstylist, Anthony Turner, pulled the stretchy comb headbands about three-quarters of the way back on models' heads to create a slicked-back effect.

Neon animal print

Looking for another '80s-slash-'90s trend that dominated the New York runways? How about in-your-face animal prints? Forget fall 2017's leopard print trend or any other animal-inspired print that's popped up over the years. These crazy-bright patterns that hit the runway over the past few days demand attention and definitely aren't for the fashionably faint of heart.

Tom Ford sent 36 vibrant looks down his runway, all featuring some semblance of animal prints. Of course, Ford's neon animal-inspired styles, everything from tights to body hugging frocks to oversized coats, served up sex.

R13 designer Chris Leba also brought disco neons and vibrant animal prints to the New York runway when he presented his fall/winter 2018 collection. The label declared the unexpected: vibrant animal prints for virtually every outdoor adventure.

Zadig & Voltaire and Adam Selman also experimented with rainbow-coloured animal prints, while Victoria Beckham took a much more subtle, approach with a gorgeous leopard print maxi trench coat that Mel B would definitely approve of.

Purple reign

Forget about millennial pink because it's all about purple! A couple of months ago the self-proclaimed "colour authorities" at Pantone named ultra violet the colour of 2018, and the runways at NYFW proved there's no escaping the trend this coming fall.

When Tibi's Amy Smilovic debuted the brand's spring/summer 2018 collection there's was plenty of purple… this season was no different. Tibi's fall runway of sleek, modest silhouettes featured plenty of 2018's signature shade. Relaxed suits, pencil skirts, cozy full zips, and thick scarves all came in deep purple and reflected the loose, overarching theme of the collection: cities and architecture.

Other designers showing off shades of lilac, plum, and magenta included: Adam Selman, Brandon Maxwell, Creatures of Comfort and Bottega Veneta. Victoria Beckham even debuted a gigantic purple felted bag on her runway.

Getting political

Throughout NYFW a handful of top designers opted to make strong social statements or champion female empowerment during these turbulent times. Most notably, Calvin Klein presented a runway-come-art installation that reflected on the so-called 'American Dream.' Raf Simon's 2018 fall/winter vision for the brand included pioneers, fire fighters, and the space race. Models wore ensembles covered with reflective strips usually found on the uniforms of workmen and firemen as they walked on a makeshift runway made of 50,000 gallons of popcorn at New York's historic stock exchange building.

Of course, Raf Simon wasn't the only designer who opted to make a political statement throughout the week. Prabal Gurung, who The Washington Post recently heralded as 'the most woke man in fashion' paid homage to his Himalayan heritage, but it was his finale, in which models walked down the runway holding white roses, that made the appropriate nod to the #TimesUp movement. Gurung's message was amplified even further given that Tamara Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, sat in his front row.

Then there were Tom Ford's glittering shoes and mini handbags emblazoned with the words "Pussy Power." Perhaps Ford's offering was arguably too literal and nowhere near as effective as Gurung's.

Christopher Turner is a Toronto-based writer, editor and lifelong fashionisto with a passion for pop culture and sneakers. Follow him on social media at @Turnstylin.