10 September 2016
Three days in, and it is clear that the shoulders are fashion’s new erogenous zone. But that isn’t even the news. Never has the expectations of New York fashion week been this high since Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and Helmut Lang ruled the New York scene.
Also debuting his first see-now-buy-now collection is Tommy Hilfiger, whose collaboration with supermodel Gigi Hadid finally made its runway debut. Hilfiger’s signature sporty and nautical vibe was very much present.
Following Tom Ford and Thakoon are the British designers Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley of Hillier Bartley who are just displaying their fall 2016 collection and also declared it see-now-buy-now. The clothes were very New York, but designed with a British-punk rebellion in mind, almost like a grown-up version of what they did when they were the creative directors of Marc by Marc Jacobs for a brief period.
Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs of Cushnie et Ochs saw Michelle Pfeiffer in the movie Scarface as inspiration. It birthed their most graphic collection to date, but still maintained their signature slinky, sexy appeal.
After Beyoncé wore that frilly dress with umbrella in hand in her Formation video, sales of Zimmermann merchandise went through the roof. Nicky Zimmerman maintained a similar inspiration, but insisted she thought of the idea of a ‘sexy pirate’. Think Rodarte meets Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Albert Kriemler of Akris ditched his showing in Paris for New York, but did it work? Absolutely. Inspired by the artist Carmen Herrera, Kriemler showed one of his most art-inflected collections to date.
The Monse show got the blood pumping. It was just announced recently that the designers behind Monse, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, will be the creative directors for Oscar de la Renta. But did that make them stray away from their original point of view? If anything, it even made them more focused, delivering a collection heavy on the idea of shirting and shine.
The recently married Becca McCharen-Tran has found success in the sale of swimwear for her Chromat label. Her background in architecture was a major influence this season, as she showcased precision-tailored swimwear and activewear with a tweak of high-fashion. Think early Narciso Rodriguez.
The Phelan collection by Amanda Phelan was a meditation on the movement and restriction of dance. In clothes, it manifested as engineered knit dresses that clung to the body but flared out at the knees or bustiers that were layered over shirts. It was a stellar outing for the designer, who has just done this for barely three seasons.
Finally, there was Jason Wu, who is often talked about as the one who truly starts fashion week, also gave one of his best offerings this season. His shtick of prim gave way to perversion and exuberance in the form of sheer lace dresses sexified by ruching, and neon. The artist Ugo Rondinone was his inspiration.
I think it is time fashion ceases its sometimes snobbish behavior and look at the talent New York fashion week is churning out. If given a couple of years, the highly praised designers in Paris will be given a run for their money.
All images courtesy Vogue Runway.