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1970s are 'staying alive' for spring

updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu September 4, 2014
  • Fashion forecasters predict spring collections will channel the 1970s
  • Culottes, a wide-leg, cropped and airy style of pants, will be a key piece
  • New York Fashion Week runs from September 4 to 11
  • Spring/summer 2015 collections will be showcased during the event

(CNN) -- Lights, camera, fashion.

The New York Fashion Week action is afoot, with designers showcasing their spring 2015 collections this week and next, before heading overseas to London, Milan and Paris.

See all of CNN Living's New York Fashion Week coverage

What will be sent down the runways, and ultimately into consumers' closets? Two fashion forecasters from WGSN, the official trend sponsor for the sleek affair, weigh in with their predictions.

A strut down memory lane

As the fashion world looks to spring, designers will be looking back -- particularly to the 1970s -- for inspiration, according to WGSN's head of catwalk, Lizzy Bowring.

CNN Living was on the scene as designers showcased their spring 2015 collections at New York Fashion Week from September 4 to 11. Calvin Klein showed a collection of long, lean silhouettes on the last day of Fashion Week. CNN Living was on the scene as designers showcased their spring 2015 collections at New York Fashion Week from September 4 to 11. Calvin Klein showed a collection of long, lean silhouettes on the last day of Fashion Week.
New York Fashion Week: On the runway
New York Fashion Week: On the runway New York Fashion Week: On the runway

If the prospect of a "Saturday Night Fever" renaissance seems less than groovy, Bowring assures the retro influence will be subdued.

Caftan comfy, caftan chic

"The idea is to get back into yesteryear but add a contemporary twist with a fresh modern appeal," Bowring says.

Pants will take up a slight flare, and just as Diane Keaton notably catapulted menswear into the spotlight in 1977's "Annie Hall," so will the fashion-forward in spring 2015.

Bowring says one of the big themes will be a "fuss-free approach of androgyny": Think sleek, sophisticated jumpsuits and/or tailored jackets paired with relaxed wide-leg trousers.

In a similar vein, Jaclyn Jones, WGSN's senior womenswear editor, forecasts that the basic white dress shirt, a wardrobe staple, will be transformed with more dramatic side vents and cuffs, origami folding, embellishments and the like.

Jones also expects a sampling of tent dresses, sometimes referred to as trapeze dresses, to hit the catwalks. (If the garment were laid flat on a surface, its silhouette would gradually flare out from the shoulders and resemble the shape of a tent -- hence the name.)

Both forecasters anticipate a continuation of longer hemlines with midi skirts (skirts that fall midcalf), as well as ankle-length wrap versions, with their waistlines falling at the natural waist versus the hip.

While hemlines are lower, Bowring says there certainly will be no shortage of shorts, particularly of the Bermuda variety.

Straddling that line is one of the most talked-about trends for spring: culottes, a wide-leg, airy, not-quite-shorts, not-quite-pants silhouette.

Keeping it cool

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Spring and pastels go together like April showers and May flowers. For 2015, those pastel tones will be washed out and desaturated. In keeping with that, there will also be a "core neutral story," Jones says, with shades of tan, taupe, gray, white and black.

Bowring expects collections will also be brimming with different shades of purple, particularly lilac.

As for patterns, both predict there will be a bouquet of hand-painted florals, including of the Hawaiian theme.

"It's not going to scream 'Hawaiian,' it's going to be more sophisticated and you're going to realize it's a hibiscus flower after," Jones says.

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