The recent changing of the guards at the helm of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) from 13-year-veteran Diane von Furstenberg to international design superstar Tom Ford, has the American fashion industry abuzz with what’s next for a fashion market that seems to have lost its way in recent years. Read More
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New York Fashion Week
Fashion Month is in full swing as New York kicked off the Spring 2018 show season with a bang. Of course, there was plenty of buzz before shows even started such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) cutting the NY calendar by a day, New York based designers showing in other cities, and the stress of where to show. Then lets add on the celebrity circus and street style stars in the mix and it’s been a entertaining week.
One of the biggest trends among the fashion crowd before shows even began was the blue ribbon. Fashionistas are pinning themselves to protest racism and hatred in the wake of this summer’s white power rally in Charlottesville, Va. The ribbons were created by the CFDA and the American Civil Liberties Union. In a statement released, Steven Kolb, president and CEO of CFDA, said “We want to be on the front line, not the sidelines, to boldly fight to protect our precious rights and freedoms, which has taken on a renewed urgency after the heart-wrenching events of Charlottesville.”
Bringing Sexy Back
Tom Ford kicked off fashion week and it was the buzz of the season before it even started. His invitation was all the rage and was Instagramed by the fashion set – a bottle of his latest fragrance, Fucking Fabulous—as if we needed a reminder. Much of Tom Ford’s namesake label’s success has been with his menswear collections, so for spring, Ford took a nod from his menswear collection and showed impeccably tailored suits. His jackets were sexy and confident, with sharp lines and broad shoulders. In a throwback to his signature Gucci 90’s glam, Ford showed plenty of ruched net dresses that where oh so seductive – it’s clear, Tom Ford is back!
The Helmut Lang collection label is being revised again and the timing couldn’t be better, with so many young designers referencing the designer’s minimalistic aesthetic as a point of reference. The label’s designer in residence is none other than Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver, so now Helmet Lang is sexier than it’s ever been. Oliver showed some streamline tailoring that was true to the houses’ heritage, but all with a fetish streak. The collection felt more like a Hood By Air show than a Helmut Lang collection. Oliver showed plenty of kink with asymmetric bras, daring peekaboo harnesses, rearless pants suspended from the waistband like garters, leather codpieces, and strappy BDSM gear. The collection left many Helmut Lang fans (all who remember his collections vividly) divided.
This season Narciso Rodriguez opted out of a formal show and the celebrity circus it has become, instead he held private appointments to present his spring collection. Season after season Rodriguez is consistent chic yet sexy clothes that real women want to wear. His workmanship is impeccable and so important to see upclose rather than a runway. Sticking to his signature looks, Rodriguez showed slinky knit dresses in black and white with openwork stitches that show flashes of skin, a harness-top sheath with a sliver cutout, and an attenuated jumpsuit with a deep U-front.
Athleisure and streetwear have been going strong now, but for spring the trend takes a more feminine twist. At Alexander Wang’s #WANGFEST, models rode around a party bus Saturday night around New York City’s busy streets. The first stop was Lafayette and Center Streets in Manhattan, the second was at Astor Place; both were open to the public. The press and retailers were invited to the last stop – a dead end in Bushwick, Brooklyn; which then led to #WANGFEST, his jumping after-party in a literal jumpy castle. Models were literally pouring off the bus in a runway format that was fun and energetic. As for the clothes, it’s what Wang does best, sporty with a sexy twist. These are real clothes for all the cool kids. Wang layered denim cut-offs over leather leggings and there were a lot of extra sleeves and jackets that were cut in half and worn as skirts. Wang is also continuing his collaboration with Adidas, with a zip-front jacket with the extra sleeves cinching the waist.
Wang isn’t the only one to break the ties from traditional fashion shows, Rihanna gave her audience an adrenalin rush as she presented her Fenty x Puma show. The set was designed with pink sand mountains and a trio of motocross stuntmen performed mouth-dropping stunts. As for the clothes, they were sporty, fun, colorful and sexy all in one. Inspired by the X Games, there were a number of classic surf references thrown in for good measure – think biker shorts and scuba onesies. Rihanna showed modern interpretations of cheeky 1980s swim trends, case in point, the French-cut swimsuit. The entertainer also showed off her tomboy style with oversize motocross-inspired nylon track pants and anoraks that were a modern riff off the 90’s hip-hop trend.
Meanwhile, at Calvin Klein, Raf Simmons continued his experimentation on American classics. For Spring, Raf was inspired by the contrast of the American Dream and American horror by invoking the magic of the movies; horror movies to be more specific as he played with Andy Warhol pop prints (specifically, Dennis Hopper circa Easy Rider and a 1971 Sandra Brant). His Hitchcock blondes wore rubber, and gauzy nightgowns reminiscent of Sissy Spacek in Carrie. Sticking to his American classics motif, Raf also showed plenty of cool denim, color blocked Western shirts, fringe dresses, 50’s inspired full skirted frocks and a nod to athletic with cool bungee cord details on nylon outerwear.
You’re So Transparent
This season is turning out to be a sheer sensation as designers are leaving very little to the imagination, but not in a vulgar way. For spring, they are embracing the transparency trend with soft, wispy fabrics delicately draped and overlaid showing just hints of skin in a romantic and feminine way. Speaking of femininity, Victoria Beckham showed off her softer side this season with sheer fabrics in soft colors proving that delicacy can in fact be strong. Case in point, Beckham’s first look: a soft yellow check shirt, which was slightly oversized and boxy, tucked into a dusty rose organza pencil skirt. Pure perfection!
Jason Wu is known for his polished and elegant sensibility, and for spring he kept true to his DNA but in a slightly more casual way. But casual for Wu means a midriff-baring cutout on a striped cotton dress and laces suspended from a crinkled silk coat. For evening, Wu was inspired by Madame Grès and reinterpreted her innovative pleating techniques. Wu also worked pleats onto sheer gowns staying right on trend.
Meanwhile, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia’s sophomore collection for the Oscar de la Renta brand were met with mixed reviews. Inspired by Pop Art and letters Mr. De la Renta wrote, along with thank-you notes that the duo have received from today’s young starlets. Sure De la Renta’s name was all over the collection, but his aesthetic certainly was not. Can you image Mr. De la Rents putting frayed and faded denim, sheer dresses, bathing suits and logo print furs on the runway? There were a few breathtaking evening gowns that rang true to De la Renta’s style, such as the colorful dégradé tulle gowns. Still, Kim and Garcia are trying to find their footing in the house of Oscar de la Renta.
Traditional menswear has always been in fashion, but for spring designers are incorporating tailored suits in beautiful menswear fabrics for a look that is smart yet oh so chic. Of course no one does this better than Ralph Lauren. In one of the most anticipated shows of the season he transported the fashionable front row set to his garage in upstate Bedford, New York. His vintage car collection is most impressive with Porsches, Ferraris, Jaguars, McLarens, and a Bugatti. The cars were innovative and sleek, but his clothes oozed timeless chic. For his Fall, buy-now-wear-now collection, Lauren worked mixed tweeds, checks and plaids on bustier tops paired with relaxed trousers. For evening, Lauren kept it casual with a puffer jacket over a sparkly minislip and over-the-knee boots as well as dapper tuxedos.
Good-Bye New York
No designer is better fitted to close out New York fashion week than Marc Jacobs – you just never know what you’re going to get at a Marc show. This season it was silence, there was no whimsical sets built, no music, just the sound of 56 models walking only to the sounds of their shoes on the old wood planks of the Park Avenue Armory. The clothes were full of wit and humor. After being in business for 25 years, Jacob’s looks to his past collections for inspiration; his program notes called it a “reimagining of seasons past somewhere beyond the urban landscape of New York City.”
No music was needed to set a mood, the clothes themselves set a happy and joyful tone. There were giant, overscaled flowers; Crayola colors, tinsel trimmings, exaggerated shapes, and sequins, sequins, sequins. Jacobs’s idea was to return to the archives, passing old ideas and former hits through “exaggerated, decadent, and exotic” filters. Although some looks were trippy, overall, Jacob’s did what he does best, delivering a young and exciting line-up.
What’s Going On With NY Fashion Week?
Labor Day weekend is upon us and that only means two things, summer is coming to an end and New York Fashion Week is literally around the corner.
Fashion is an industry that is rapidly changing and evolving, and now, New York Fashion Week is going through some major shake-ups. Last season, the NYFW calendar had a number of changes from several New York designers deciding to show in Los Angeles or Paris, to some designers leaving the schedule all together. Then let’s not even begin with all the confusion behind the see-now, buy-now schedules. Now the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has strategically condensed the calendar, will this be enough to entice American designers to stay in NY?
According to the new schedule, the Spring 2018 season will begin on Thursday, September 7 and end on Wednesday, September 13. The CFDA has shortened NYFW by one day – say goodbye to the second Thursday in the schedule. This will allow editors, bloggers and buyers a much needed gap day between New York and London shows – now they won’t have to miss the Marc Jacob’s show (he has closed out NYFW since 2014) Marc Jacobs will still be the closing act of NYFW, but he will now show on Wednesday evening at 6:00 PM. Kicking off the week will Calvin Klein and Tom Ford, with 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM shows, respectively.
Last season, two of New York’s most influential labels — Proenza Schouler and Rodarte — switched things up as they decided to head to the City of Lights to showcase their collections. A few others headed for sunny California (such as Tommy Hilfiger, Rachel Zoe and Rebecca Minkoff). Ahead of the Spring 2018 season, more NYFW regulars have announced their imminent departure.
Altuzarra is the latest to join the growing list of designers exiting the New York Fashion Week and is heading to Paris. “I was born and raised in Paris and the city holds a very deep personal significance for me. This has been a dream of mine since the very beginning and now the time feels right. I am honored to be invited by La Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode to show in my hometown of Paris,” said Joseph Altuzarra in a statement released by the brand.
Meanwhile, Tommy Hilfiger, who has built his empire on the Americana dream, is opting out of New York for the second season in a row and will debut his next collection with Gigi Hadid in London. Then, let’s not forget about brands like Opening Ceremony and Vetements who are veering away from traditional runway shows altogether.
Narciso Rodriguez decided to opt out of the traditional NYFW runway show altogether. According to WWD, the brand is skipping a formal show this September and instead hosting private showroom appointments on the first official day of the NYFW calendar (September 6). Rodriguez’s usual time slot on the calendar conflicts with Ralph Lauren’s plan to stage his show in Bedford, New York this season—though that reportedly has nothing to do with the designer’s cancellation
Ralph Lauren will really send the fashion crowd in a tizzy as he decided to show his collection upstate New York. According to WWD, Lauren will stage his Fall 2017 see-now, buy-now show at his private garage located in Bedford, New York on September 12th at 7 PM. The garage houses Lauren’s personal automobile collection, which will serve as the backdrop to the runway. Ralph Lauren owns one of the most expensive car collections in the world, his’s rare automobiles include Ferraris, Bugattis and Bentleys which date back to the ’20s and ’30s. For the first time the designer will show his Ralph Lauren Purple Label menswear collection along with his womenswear collection. The show will reportedly be followed by a private and oh so chic formal dinner. It’s sure to be the invite of the season.
And if all these changes were not enough, it was also announced last month that Skylight Clarkson Square would no longer be the primary show location starting in 2018. New York Fashion Week has struggled to find a stable home since its departure from Bryant Park in 2010. Lincoln Center hosted the affair for five years (ending in 2015) but the neighborhood complained about all noise, traffic and the circus of what NYFW had become. After Lincoln Center, shows had two primary locations: Skylight Clarkson Square and Skylight Moynihan Station—though many designers have opted to show at alternative venues instead.
“The official venue of New York Fashion Week is New York City. The Skylight properties will no longer be an event space, so for season six of NYFW: Men’s in January and New York Fashion Week in February, there will no longer be a home base and the shows will be “decentralized,” Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, said in a statement.
Mark Beckham, CFDA’s VP of marketing, also noted the challenge of fostering fashion’s runway changes, “The entire fashion week landscape is going through tremendous evolution and we want to be sensitive to the needs of the designers and be cost-effective. So if a designer is creating an original film, perhaps they can look at a screening room. If they’re planning a casual presentation, maybe an amazing penthouse would be better.”
Currently, the CFDA is in the process of looking for a new show venue that could act as a replacement for the Skylight Clarkson locations.
So among all the shake-ups this season, one must ask, is it time for New York’s Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo to step up to the plate and preserve New York as the Fashion Capital of the World? Let us hear your thoughts.
This 4th of July has stirred up mixed feelings.
Through the excitement of fireworks, friends, star-spangled fashion and food, we are celebrating living in the land of opportunity. However, we can’t help but think about how the current political climate threatens the fabric of the US fashion industry. And as we honor those Americans who have come before us and have paved the way for successful lives and businesses in America, we are concerned about the future lives of those who make American fashion possible. Read More