Clothing That Inspires You to Shop, Not Scroll

Three designers at New York Fashion Week excelled at making the simple feel special.

A model wears a silver sequin slip dress by Lafayette 148 New York
(Image credit: Lafayette 148, Meruert Tolegen, Interior)

Welcome to The Runway RecapMarie Claire editors’ daily rundown of the best and most closet-worthy collections we’re seeing at fashion month.

Making uncomplicated, wearable clothing feel fresh has been a challenge across the fashion industry for a few seasons now. Shoppers still value practicality and comfort nearly four years post-lockdown—but how do designers evolve the concepts beyond elastic waistbands and multi-pockets? There’s also the quiet luxury of it all: How do you, as an individual creative, add a spark of something special to the pared-back designs ruling the market? This season at New York Fashion Week, Meruert Tolegen, Emily Smith of Lafayette 148 New York, and Interior's Jack Miner had a few answers.

Tolegen, a newcomer to the New York scene, staged her Fall/Winter 2024 show at the height of a snowstorm that coated the city in slush. Despite the dreary weather, she transformed her venue space—an unused Chinatown storefront—into a toasty bubble heated by nostalgia, romanticism, and subtle quirk.

The Kazakhstan-born designer reworked age-old silhouettes with soft, rosy touches. Standout looks include a mauve midi dress adorned with black lace ruffles on the hips, a cocooning floral-print puffer coat, and a blush blouse with an extended button-front tab that offered more oomph than typical workwear.

A model wearing a purple dress by Meruert Tolegen

A fitted midi dress adorned with black lace and a ruffle slit from Meruert Tolegen's Fall/Winter 2024 collection.

(Image credit: Meruert Tolegen)

Voluminous, taffeta-lined skirts and peplum bustier tops that called on the confectionary sweetness of Cecilie Bahnsen and Molly Goddard were also highlights. Like her female designer counterparts, Tolegen's use of structured materials and sharp construction ensured her frothy, femme designs didn’t teeter too far into candy land.

The collection was sentimental and familiar but fully realized in Tolegen's vision. Guests who arrived wet, grumpy, and weighed down by their bulky winter accessories left with spirits buoyed by her effervescent clothing.

Meruert Tolegen

Tolegen styled a bustier-style blouse the Edie Sedgwick way in black hot pants and with a sweeping, cream-colored duster.

(Image credit: Meruert Tolegen)

Uptown in Chelsea, Emily Smith staged another cozy reprieve from the inclement weather in the Standard Hotel. The Lafayette 148 New York creative director used Blanchette Rockefeller as her muse for the Fall/Winter ‘24 capsule. “Her style and sense of ease and luxury—that Upper East Side mentality of less is more—spoke to us,” she shared with Marie Claire. “We tried to imagine what she would be wearing if she were a customer today."

The Rockefeller might wear a skirt suit in brown, zig-zagging jacquard or a textured black wrap coat tied at the waist in drawstrings finished with silver wire beads. Smith’s design throughline was streamlined and devoid of distracting, extraneous flair. “We're not a brand that follows trends. It's important to be relevant, but it's also important to be timeless. That's where we spend our energy,” she says while waving hello to Claire Danes, who had just walked into the space.

model wearing a black coat by Lafayette 148 New York

One of the standout pieces from Lafayette 148 New York's newest edit: a black wrap coat made of a textural material resembling tree bark and tied at the waist.

(Image credit: Lafayette 148 New York)

There was, however, some flash in the collection: a shift dress embellished entirely in silver paillettes and a chocolate brown set woven from a metallic knit offered a playful party spirit. But these pieces might not necessarily be what you'd wear on a night out. Instead, they’re what you wear when hosting an intimate dinner party with friends or when you’re home alone and the mood strikes to dress up solo.

a model in brown sparkle knit set by Lafayette 148 New York

Behold: Smith's sparkle knit set with subtle disco-dancing spirit.

(Image credit: Lafayette 148 New York)

Jack Miner has made subversion his signature, and Interior’s latest collection showcased his irreverent approach in top form. The snow had settled by early afternoon, and Miner invited guests inside the ground floor of an empty office to view the tightly edited collection. As he’s wont to do, the designer took pieces widespread across all wardrobes and flipped them on their heads. Scraggly, fur-collared coats were grungier takes on traditional teddy bear styles, and rib-knit leggings that bunched at the ankle felt like much, much cooler versions of lycra athleisure.

model wearing Interior fall/winter 2024

A selection of striking looks from Interior Fall/Winter '24, including an hourglass leather jacket, corduroy suit, and scoop-neck black dress with a tubed waistline.

(Image credit: Interior)

While their approaches varied, Tolegen, Smith, and Miner all updated familiar forms with touches unique to them as artists. Their designs were aspirational but rooted in reality—clothing that inspires you to shop, not scroll. It’s easy to imagine wearing a coat like Miner’s on the next New York snow day or integrating Smith’s nipped blazers into your workwear rotation.

There's a profound satisfaction in discovering clothes you can easily imagine in your closet. While an out-there fashion fantasy hits the spot like a quick snack, pieces that offer wearability and subtle intrigue will satisfy you for years.

Emma Childs
Fashion Features Editor

Emma is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, where she writes deep-dive trend reports, zeitgeisty fashion featurettes on what style tastemakers are wearing, long-form profiles on emerging designers and the names to know, and human interest vignette-style round-ups. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, where she wrote shopping e-commerce guides and seasonal trend reports, assisted with the market for fashion photo shoots, and assigned and edited fashion celebrity news.

Emma also wrote for The Zoe Report, Editorialist, Elite Daily, Bustle, and Mission Magazine. She studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University Lincoln Center and launched her own magazine, Childs Play Magazine, in 2015 as a creative pastime. When she's not waxing poetic about niche fashion topics, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking banana bread in her tiny NYC kitchen.