Highlights from a week of rewriting the rules.
BY COURTNEY KENEFICK
Following a year of tectonic shifts in the industry, fashion month offers an opportunity to measure the state of things. Kicking off in New York last week, this season’s whirlwind of shows, presentations, and performances can be summed up in three words: sea change, spectacle, and statements.
For the industry itself, the rule book is being rewritten right before us. The ages old calendar, telling brands to show seasons ahead of production, has been scrapped. See now, buy now collections—a hot topic of conversation for months—have officially launched. After skipping last season, Tom Ford presented his runway to retail collection with a Four Seasons dinner party, starring 70s inspired velvet blazers, cinematic furs, and leather-accented tweeds (fitting for the designer-slash-film director whose movie Nocturnal Animals had just debuted at the Venice Film Festival). Meanwhile, a more subtle showing of Thakoon’s camel knits, Buffalo plaids, ruffled wool skirts, and cashmere coats seamlessly appeared on the brand’s website.
With a perpetually increasing concern for garnering social media moments, the traditional runway format is gradually becoming passe to theatrics. Cue: Creatures of the Wind’s David Lynch-inspired show, where singer Julee Cruise’s voice literally moved showgoers to tears. Thom Browne, never to shy away from a spectacle, staged a psychedelic, dream-like pool party to present his mod, yet modern, playful dresses.
Still, in such a noisy environment, simplicity often whispers loudly. Nobody embodies this more than Narciso Rodriguez’s impeccably tailored solid separates and fluid slip dresses, Zero and Maria Cornejo’s all-white objection to excess, and Simon Miller’s Japanese-inspired collection, shown in a cemetery.
What’s also become clear is that fashion is not immune to the emotion of an election year, in fact, it embraces it. With many a politically-charged statement expressed both outright and through subtle messaging—Opening Ceremony’s decree to vote and Pyer Moss’s denunciation of greed come to mind—there’s also designers, like Joseph Altuzarra, who sartorially show a refreshing optimism for the future. For Altuzarra, this was by way of an unexpected combo of decidedly grown up cherry prints mixed with florals mixed with plaid.
But alas, it is the clothes that we are here for, and oftentimes those stand fine just on their own for newcomers and mainstays alike. This season, Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez continued, successfully, to experiment with couture techniques, and Sies Marjan’s sophomore collection was another case study in bright hues. Meanwhile, Rachel Comey made a case for creating pieces for “real” people, and showed them on the streets of TriBeCa where she launched her line 15 years ago. Here, the best moments from New York Fashion Week.
(Photo: Courtesy Greg Kessler)
(Photo: Monica Feudi)