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Riding the wave of concert fashion as seen on Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, designers debuted their own metallic showpieces on the runways for spring. 

At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton took her final bow, following Naomi Campbell who closed the show in a silver bugle bead dress with open-heart embroidery. 

“It was a remarkable collection,” wrote WWD’s West Coast executive editor, Booth Moore, who pinpointed the designer’s use of gold for shredded gossamer knits and silver for organza embroidery, adding “there was an undercurrent of unraveling…as Burton herself was winding down.” 

While the designer’s send-off to McQueen, where she’s worked since 1997, was flooded with emotion (Campbell shed tears on the runway), metallics were primarily used for an uplifting effect.

That was Rei Kawakubo’s idea at Comme des Garçons. The Japanese designer told WWD’s international editor Miles Socha that, “to break free of the gloomy present, I hope to present a bright and light future.” Kawakubo lit up the catwalk by layering her abstract constructions — some resembling a giant turtle, others a big conch shell — with reflective fabrics in zany prints.

On the more classic side, Ralph Lauren celebrated his return to New York Fashion Week by updating his iconic Polo shirt, which came in gold. Moore observed it was part of a black-and-metallic group “that was all about relaxed elegance.” Lauren’s gold-buttoned officer jacket was a through line, culminating in this season’s other supermodel moment: Christy Turlington in a single-shoulder gold lamé column gown. 

LaPointe, Nina Ricci and Avellano took a similar, fabric-first approach to the trend, using copper-toned lamé, leather and latex respectively to create shine without additional embellishment.

According to April Hennig, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer at Moda Operandi, “touches of gold and silver metallics — or combinations thereof — were this season’s more sophisticated answer to last year’s flashier sequins.”

Still, a few designers threw down the gauntlet for maximalism. They include Julien Dossena at Rabanne who made the case for French savoir-faire with jingle-jangly fringed metal mesh minidresses, wrap-skirts and tunics. “All the rock ‘n’ roll goddesses are going to want to wear them,” Moore said.