It seemed only fitting that the ’80s’ were ‘in the air’ this season as many of America’s designer icons who rose to fame in that era, have either sadly passed away (Oscar de la Renta, Geoffrey Beene), or are retiring (Calvin Klein, Donna Karan). On Monday, February 12th, it was Carolina Herrera who gave her final runway bow, lovingly surrounded by her atelier team. Venezuelan-born Herrera launched her fashion brand 37 years ago, catering to the ‘uptown ladies who lunch’ crowd. In true Herrera fashion, her final show was a colorful rendition of her signature looks – crisp white shirts paired with wide belted-ballgown skirts in a rainbow of colors. Just as her clientele has aged, so has that look. It will now be up to designer Wes Gordon (raised in Atlanta- graduated Central St. Martins 2009 – interned at Oscar de la Renta and Tom Ford) to breathe new life into the label. It was a very touching moment at the show when Gordon presented Herrera with a bouquet of red roses.
Technology, of course played a roll at NYFW, with models and everyone else using the KiraKira app to add eye-catching effects to their Insta and snaps. Thank goodness there was plenty of 80s sparkle and shine on the runway, as everyone played with the app, enhancing those Studio 54 disco ball looks!
Forget the classic fashion show venue and white runner format, this fall some designers put just as much thought and originality ‘on’ the runway, as they did ‘in’ the clothes that walked it. Raf Simons served up a masterful interpretation of Americana for Calvin Klein (his 3rd show for the brand) at the American Stock Exchange building, where 50,000 gallons of popcorn, yes…popcorn… lined the runway and sloped up the sides of barn wall facades that were erected inside the venue. Looks like Simons has upped the ante when it comes to the ‘fashion show extravaganza.’
Stuart Vevers, the executive creative director at Coach 1941, constructed a hauntingly beautiful forest to present his wares, while Tory Burch forged a beautiful pink floral garden. These witty designers set the mood, creating a whimsical atmosphere even before the show started! Do you think designers need to go to such extremes to sell their clothes, or is this the new ‘norm’ in a world where social media buzz is a necessity?
For years the fashion world has talked about diversity. Well, this season… finally… NY designers gave center stage to a beautifully diverse cast of models, including plus size models. Let’s give props and a major round of applause to Christian Siriano, Michael Kors, Prabal Gurung, Chromat, and Anna Sui who understand that not everyone is a size zero and six feet tall. This season marked the most number of full-figured models ever to walk the runway. With the average American woman wearing a size 14 and thus representing 19 percent of all retail sales, one wonders why it took brands so long? We hope that more designers become enlightened and get on board.
Absent from NYFW was Georgina Chapman (the estranged wife of Harvey Weinstein and designer of the Marchesa label). A one-time favorite of Hollywood starlets, Chapman laid low this season, in fact, her clothes haven’t been worn by a celeb since the scandalous news broke that sparked the #MeToo movement (the day of Chapman’s bridal presentation in October). Will Hollywood and the fashion industry look past Chapman’s connection to Weinstein and give her another chance, just like they did with John Galliano (now thriving at Maison Margiela)?
Photographers Terry Richardson, Bruce Webber and Mario Testino have all been accused of sexual assault and harassment by both male and female models. All three photographers have denied any wrongdoing but in a rare show of solidarity many fashion brands and magazines have either ended, or are putting their relationships with these photographers on hold. Do you think the fashion industry breeds a culture of abuse? Is the long-overdue inclusion of plus size and ethnic models on the runway, as well as body-shaming practices, also forms of abuse? Don’t be afraid to share your story.
Other news on the runway included gender diversity and fashion disruption. Desmond Nepoles, a 10-year old self-proclaimed ‘drag kid’ from Brooklyn, made his runway debut and stole the show at Gypsy Sport, Rio Uribe’s brand geared to forward-thinking, disenfranchised millennials. Nepoles, an advocate for LGBTQ youth, is launching the first ever drag house for individuals 20 and under, called Haus of Amazing. Alas… is there an Alexander McQueen in the making?
On the totally other side of the spectrum, was the down-to-earth, classic ‘sail away’ show at Ralph Lauren, as he presented his spring 2018 buy-now-wear-now collection. Tradition is still alive and well!
NYFW opened with a star-studded front row at Tom Ford, showing both men’s and woman’s looks – and let’s not forget those animal-printed boxers! The shows ended with an over-the-top visual feast at Marc Jacobs as he paid tribute to Yves Saint Laurent in all his fashion glory.
Here is a round-up of some of the biggest trends of the season:
CALL OF THE WILD
Animal prints have always been a fashion favorite, but for fall, designers added a nostalgic 80s twist with neon-colored animal motifs.
PRETTY IN PINK
Designers opted for a new shade of pink in a throwback to the Eighties, but this time, it’s all about magenta.
Business meets pleasure as designers offered sexy alternatives to the basic suit, adding asymmetrical necklines, under-cut boobs and super short hemlines. Provocative alternatives to a night out. These suits were especially empowering for a new #TimesUp generation. Anyone remember the power-suits of the 1980s (Gaultier, Montana)?
Corsets and ruffles got a modern spin as designers were inspired by the Victorian era.
With climate change a reality and as drastic shifts in weather patterns continue, designers have you covered…literally. To keep you warm and toasty, an assortment of puffers, both long and short were featured, along with neon-colored, quilted and plaid versions. Bring on the cold!
The world of fashion and many other industries have become extremely competitive. Only the ones who are ready to struggle and honestly work hard can make it to the top in their respective fields. Check out the following post if you need any form of assistance on how to make a midlife career change.
Now that New York Fashion Week has
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