Fall ’16 brought out a certain world-weariness in industry types—more than usual, even. Things got off to a sluggish start in New York, and ramped up slowly but surely, with a crescendo of a few barnstorming shows in Paris (chatter surrounding Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga debut has yet to cease, while ascendant talents likeKoché served a reminder of just how vital runway shows can be when executed well). And somewhere in there, too, were the season’s reigning motifs. While it’s true that fashion is still riding high on a wave of cheeky maximalism à laAlessandro Michele, there was plenty of sparer sensual delights to be found, too, in high-gloss patent and PVC, faultless suiting, and lush velvets.

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Kate Lawrence is an entertainment journalist with special focus on modeling and corporate social responsibility.