EVENING SEPARATES: They were everywhere — Marchesa, Ralph Lauren, J. Mendel. Sometimes they took the form of a beautiful sparkly evening sweater and a fluid satin or chiffon long skirt. Other times, the tops were feathered or made of similar evening fabrics with beading or Lurex threading. But any way you slice it, the gown has been cut up into two pieces. This obviously gives ladies more options: pair the skirt with a sweater, camisole or jacket, or style the top with trousers or a wool skirt. The evening skirts appeared in two varieties: satin and wrapped like sarongs (often with the shorter part in the front for that high-low hemline again) or long and pleated chiffon — and light as air (at J. Mendel), with a big Angelina Jolie slit up the side.
EVENING BODYSUIT UNDER A GOWN OR SKIRT: Marchesa, among others, showed bodysuits under gowns or evening jackets that had netting, texture, lace and beading in strategic places. A strapless dress can be popped over them, or they can be worn with satin skirts and an appropriate bra.
PLEATS, PLEASE: J. Mendel showed flyaway gowns in jewel-tone chiffon that had breezy pleated skirts with big slits up the leg. Pleats never looked so sexy. Not only are pleats on gowns, they're on skirts (Tia Cibani, Michael Kors), jackets (Nanette Lepore) and dresses (Michael Kors).
SATIN NIGHTS: Many of the gowns at Ralph Lauren, Kaufman Franco, Marchesa and J. Mendel were made from silver fluid or jewel-tone thick satin. We've seen so much shine in terms of sequins in the last few years, it's nice to finally see a shiny liquid fabric.
FUR-MATCHING GOWNS: This turned up everywhere. Gilles Mendel always colors furs to match gowns, but Marchesa and many other designers did it, too.
J. Mendel's fall 2014 presentation below; photo via AP Images.