Looks from Michael Kors’ Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
In the dazzling whirlwind that is the fashion world, where fantastical runway creations often seem more suited for the pages of a sci-fi novel than our daily lives, New York Fashion Week Spring 2024, which ran from September 7th to September 13, 2023, came as a breath of fresh air. This Spring 2024 season, designers decided to take a step back from the avant-garde and embrace a much-needed return to the realm of “real clothes for the real world.” The result? Runway shows that felt more relatable, relevant, and refreshing than ever before. Are we all ready for some reality?
Fashion enthusiasts worldwide seemed to have been yearning for authenticity in recent years. Haven’t we all grown tired of feeling like mere spectators of fashion, unable to find any common ground between the eccentric runway fantasies and our everyday wardrobes? Well, finally, New York’s designers are offering a solution to this dilemma by delivering collections that spoke to the modern woman, the urban man, and the fashion-conscious non-binary individual. The collections presented us with pieces that felt not only wearable but desirable.
Backstage at Altuzarra’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Hunter Abrams)
This season wasn’t about who could make the biggest statement; it was about the designers who showcased the art of quiet luxury, proving that sometimes, less truly is more.
THE HISTORY OF MINIMALISM
If you Google “minimalist fashion designers”, up pops Coco Chanel, Halston, Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein and Martin Margiela. Clothes known in the 90s as sleek, elegant and understated, would go on to become one of design’s most enduring ‘less is more’ trends and not just in the fashion world, but also in art, architecture and furniture design, One could argue that American designer Michael Kors has always been a minimalist.
Fast forward to 2018 and the 5 season hit TV series Succession, which gave us Shiv Roy. Her wardrobe perfected the “Art of Quiet Luxury”, with its elite high-end aesthetic comprised of toned-down, tailored designer pieces in color codes of gray, black, brown and beige, over noisy opulence full of obvious branding and loud logos.
By 2022, the trend-setting powers of social media and growing pressure on the fashion industry to create collections that could stand the test of time, saw the list of brands embracing a more stripped-back approach continue to grow. Brands like The Row, Cos, Totême, Peter Do, Jim Sander and Khaite are some examples that brought minimalist dressing back.
And now, for Spring 2024, designers Proenza Schouler and Tory Burch brought minimalism back, with clean lines, simple silhouettes and muted color palettes. Their respective collections spoke volumes, without the need for excessive embellishments or flashy prints. The focus was on impeccable tailoring, high-quality materials, and timeless pieces that transcended seasons. What was once called “Investment Dressing”, now goes by the name “Minimalistic Quiet Luxury”.
A look from Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Proenza Schouler)
A look from Tory Burch’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Another piece of the Minimalistic Quiet Luxury trend is monochromatic looks. The collections of Gabriela Hearst and Willy Chavarria showcased the power of a single color. These designers demonstrated that dressing in one color from head to toe can be incredibly chic and sophisticated. It’s a testament to the idea that true luxury doesn’t need to scream; it can whisper.
Looks from Willy Chavarria’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
RETURN OF TAILORING
Tailoring made a triumphant comeback at NYFW Spring 2024. Designers like Helmut Lang and Ralph Lauren displayed a mastery of the art of tailoring, by creating perfectly fitted suits, blazers, and trousers that exuded sophistication and confidence. The attention to detail was unparalleled, with impeccable stitching and precise cuts.
A look from Helmut Lang’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
A look from Ralph Lauren’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ralph Lauren)
SUBTLE DETAILS THAT SPEAK VOLUMES
Quiet luxury is all about the little things that make a big impact. Designers like Jason Wu and Catherine Holstein of Khaite incorporated subtle details like delicate embroidery, discreet logos, and elegant draping to elevate their pieces. These subtle touches added an air of exclusivity without resorting to ostentation.
Looks from Jason Wu’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
A look from Khaite’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Khaite)
A significant component of quiet luxury in 2024 was its commitment to sustainability. Designers such as Stella McCartney and Eileen Fisher were in the forefront of the environmental movement and for Spring 2024, designers Gabriela Hearst and Collina Strada demonstrated that luxury and eco-consciousness can coexist. They used eco-friendly materials and production processes, showcasing that a responsible approach to fashion can be a luxury in itself.
A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
A look from Collina Strada’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Perhaps the most captivating aspect of quiet luxury is its timelessness. Designers like Carolina Herrera and Ralph Lauren created pieces that will remain relevant and stylish for years to come. These collections weren’t about chasing fleeting trends but rather celebrating enduring elegance.
A look from Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Supermodel Christy Turlington walks in Ralph Lauren’s Spring-Summer 2024 show at an artfully-transformed warehouse in the Brooklyn Naval Yard. (Photo Credit: AP Press)
In a world that often values excess and extravagance, NYFW Spring 2024 reminded us of the beauty of restraint. Quiet luxury is a celebration of craftsmanship, quality, minimalism, and the subtle art of making a statement without shouting. It’s about embracing the idea that true luxury is in the details, in the craftsmanship, and in the enduring appeal of a well-made garment.
As we step into this new era of understated elegance, we applaud the designers who have embraced quiet luxury and redefined the standards of opulence. NYFW Spring 2024 has given us a fresh perspective on what it means to be truly luxurious in an increasingly noisy world. In the end, it’s not about how loudly you proclaim your status; it’s about the quiet confidence that comes from knowing you’re wearing the best.
So tell us, do you believe quiet luxury is just a trend or is the understated movement here to stay?
A look from Thom Browne’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Go big or go home. The jacket is back even as many offices are still operating within the ‘work-from-home’ format. And, as Covid restrictions ease worldwide, thanks in part to vaccines, people are starting to dress up again. One of the biggest trends of 2022 was the return (circa 1980) of the oversized blazer, which was seen on plenty of designer runways, celebrities, influencers, and street style stars. Case in point Hailey Bieber.
There’s just something about the structured silhouette that gives off a powerful and chic vibe and continues to be a breakout trend of 2022.
The sized-up tailored jackets are anything but sloppy. Whether ‘borrowed-from-the-boys’, or new off-the-rack, these blazers come with power shoulders that mean business, even if you don’t work in a corporate office. Oversized blazers can be worn with bike shorts, leggings, short skirts or…to cement the ‘I raided my boyfriend’s closet’ look, wear it with his trousers for that super oversized look. And to fem it up, team it up with a satin slip dress to add a cool-girl edge to your night out.
A look from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Fashion stylist Laura Pritchard spoke on the morning television program Good Morning America and stated, “Tailoring has earned its place on every runway during every season. Last fall, we saw the popular pantsuit, but it’s since been replaced with plaid, houndstooth and tweed miniskirt suits — ruling the runways and streets.” Pritchard also added, “Designers have brought back the oversized tailored blazer but revamped the trend with extreme bold shoulders.”
While many may think the oversized blazer trend is tricky to wear, Pritchard stated that it’s actually more versatile than one might think. The stylist offered some tips such as pair this look with slim underpinnings to balance out the extreme proportions. Another basic rule to follow, if an oversized garment is taking up half of your body, keep it slim on the other half.
Another idea is to head over to the men’s section for a huge assortment of oversized blazers rather than spending an exuberant amount of money on some of this season’s latest women’s designer picks. Another recommendation would be to add additional shoulder pads to give the shoulder some extra height.
If you are into designing, drafting and sewing your own oversized blazer, then check out University of Fashion’s blazer videos. If you’re a UoF subscriber, then you already know how to upcycle a men’s consignment shop blazer by shortening the sleeves or adding embellishment touches!
Here are some oversized fall blazers to inspire you:
A look from Gucci’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
A look from Prada’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
A look from Peter Do’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
A look from Khaite’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
A look from Miu Miu’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
A look from Comme des Garçons’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Check out our instructional video previews below to inspire you to create your own one-of-a-kind perfectly tailored jacket and stand out from the crowd.
Ezra J. William, Tina Leung, Prabal Gurung, Laura Kim, Eva Chen and Phillip Lim won the the Positive Social Influence Award. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
American fashion’s second ‘biggest’ night took place on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022 (the first being the MET Gala), when the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), in partnership with Amazon Fashion, held its 2022 Fashion Awards extravaganza at Cipriani South Street in New York City. An orange-haired and comical Natasha Lyonne, the evening’s host, was joined by designers Gabriela Hearst, Joseph Altuzarra, Aurora James and Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough. What was so special about the 2022 CFDA awards was it marked the CFDA’s 60th anniversary.
Natasha Lyonne in Proenza Schouler hosted the CFDA Awards. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
If you are a true blue follower of all things fashion, like us, then you were most likely streaming the show real time. But you just have to wonder whether there is a course on how to pose on the Red Carpet. Don’t know about you, but we had endless fun watching as each of the designers and celebs lined up in cue against the CFDA backdrop, and to quote Madonna, “struck a pose”.
As usual, this year CFDA Fashion Award honorees were chosen in advance of the show but the award winners were announced at the awards ceremony. Winners were voted on ahead of time by the CFDA Awards Guild, which is comprised of CFDA members, leading fashion journalists, stylists, and top retail executives.
The most coveted awards are always American Womenswear Designer of the Year and American Menswear Designer of the Year. Actress Christina Ricci presented the American Womenswear Designer of the Year award to Catherine Holstein of KHAITE (takes its name from the Greek word (χαίτη) meaning “long, flowing hair.”). Holstein’s label beat out nominees Christopher John Rogers, Gabriela Hearst, LaQuan Smith, and Peter Do.
Christina Ricci and Womenswear Designer of the Year Catherine Holstein of KHAITE. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The Daily Show’s late night television host Trevor Noah was on hand to give the American Menswear Designer of the Year to Emily Adams Bode Aujla of Bode. Actor Joel Kim Booster presented Raul Lopez of LUAR with the American Accessory Designer of the Year. And actress Keke Palmer presented the American Emerging Designer award to Elena Velez.
Trevor Noah and Menswear Designer of the Year Emily Bode Aujla. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Cher in Chrome Hearts and Patti Wilson in Schiaparelli at the CFDA Awards. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
And of course, the event was filled with the most fashionable celebrities. Cher (can you believe she is 76?) opened the ceremony by presenting stylist Patti Wilson the Media Award in honor of Eugenia Sheppard. Later that night Cher presented another award alongside her goddaughter Jesse Jo Stark to give The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award to Laurie Lynn Stark and Richard Stark of Chrome Hearts; and of course, Cher rocked a Chrome Hearts look.
Kerry Washington and Stylist Award winner Law Roach. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
A major addition to the CFDA awards is the “Stylist Award”. Those in the know, know that without stylists, a runway show or a photoshoot would be meh. Stylists work with designers, celebs and photographers to put the “wow factor” into a designer’s designs or create a celebrity’s ‘look’. We can’t believe it took this long for the CFDA to recognize these change makers.
Stylist Law Roach received the inaugural Stylist Award from Kerry Washington. Roach gave one of the most memorable speeches of the night. The stylist extraordinaire shared that in 2016 Zendaya was invited by Michael Kors to attend the CFDA Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom. He watched the show from the kitchen. “I sat and watched from the kitchen with the waiters who served your food and drinks,” Roach said. “I said to myself that one day I’m going to be on that stage! I’m an example that anything and everything is possible.”
The night was filled with plenty of additional highlights as well. Actor Bradley Cooper presented rock star Lenny Kravitz with the very fittingly Fashion Icon award. Meanwhile, American Businesswoman and television personality Martha Stewart presented the inaugural Innovation Award presented by Amazon Fashion to SKIMS, which was accepted by Kim Kardashian, Emma Grede, and Jens Grede. The entire Kardashian/Jenner crew (with the exception of Kourtney) attended the CFDA Awards and cheered Kim on for her big achievement.
Khloé Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner
There were plenty of additional wins for the evening including Andrew Bolton receiving the The Founder’s Award in honor of Eleanor Lambert from non-other than Anna Wintour, Jeffrey Banks receiving the Special Anniversary Award from Stan Herman, The United Nations receiving the Environmental Sustainability Award from Amber Valletta, and The House of Slay—aka Prabal Gurung, Laura Kim, Phillip Lim, Tina Leung, and Ezra William—receiving the Positive Social Influence Award from Eva Chen. During one of the a tearful moments of the night, Shannon Abloh accepted the posthumous Board of Trustee’s Award on behalf of her late husband, Virgil Abloh.
AND THE WINNERS ARE……
American Womenswear Designer of the Year: Catherine Holstein for Khaite
American Menswear Designer of the Year: Emily Bode Aujla for Bode
American Accessory Designer of the Year: Raul Lopez for Luar
American Emerging Designer of the Year: Elena Velez
Fashion Icon: Lenny Kravitz
Positive Social Influence Award: Slaysians from The House of Slay featuring Prabal Gurung, Laura Kim, Phillip Lim, Tina Leung and Ezra William
Founder’s Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert: Andrew Bolton
Amazon Innovation Award: Kim Kardashian, Emma Grede and Jens Grede of Skims
Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Laurie Lynn Stark and Richard Stark of Chrome Hearts
Media Award in Honore of Eugenia Sheppard: Patti Wilson
Environmental Sustainability Award: The United Nations (to be accepted by Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General)
Stylist Award: Law Roach
Special Anniversary Award: Jeffrey Banks
Gigi Hadid, Thom Browne and Anna Wintour at the CFDA Awards Dinner. (Photo Credit: FashionWeekDaily)
Looks from Versace’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Versace)
As we celebrate Father’s Day and our newest U.S. federal holiday, Juneteenth (marking the end of slavery), and as the number of COVID cases continue to drop as vaccination numbers rise, we have a lot to look forward to post-pandemic.
After a year and a half of pandemic fashion, sales are soaring as people are starting to dress up again. What are they gravitating to? The answer? Happy, colorful fashion. And judging by Resort 2022, the message is loud and clear.
Dior’s Cruise Show (Courtesy of YouTube).
Designers’ all got the memo and Resort 2022 collections were simply great. Just released images of the collections presented to buyers and the press included some fully staged spectacles in exotic locations that resulted in a desire to travel once again. Maria Grazia Chiuri presented her Dior Cruise collection in the birthplace of sports, the Panathenaic Stadium, where Ancient Greeks showed off their athletic capabilities circa 330 BC. Meanwhile, Virginie Viard took her graphic Chanel cruise collection to Provence, a beautiful region in the south of France, considered one of the area’s loveliest villages and the inspiration behind a few of Vincent van Gogh’s landscape masterpieces. Speaking of Van Gogh, have you reserved your tickets yet for the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit touring the country?
Chanel’s Cruise Show. Courtesy of YouTube.
WHAT IS A RESORT COLLECTION?
For those unfamiliar with resort collection or cruise collection, and sometimes referred to as holiday or travel collection (collection croisière, in French), is an inter-season or pre-season line of ready-to-wear clothing produced by a fashion house or fashion brand in addition to the recurrent twice-yearly seasonal collections – spring/summer and autumn (or fall)/winter – heralded at the fashion shows in New York, London, Paris and Milan.
Cruise collections were initially created for affluent customers or “more seasoned jet-setters” going on cruises or vacationing in the warm Mediterranean during the winter months,. Cruise collections are synonymous with light and airy summer clothing and shipped to stores in the middle of the cold winter months. While the idea of cruise wear sounds old fashion and elitist, today’s fashion savvy customers view the season as a chance to spruce up their winter wardrobes as they head into Spring.
A look from No. 21’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: No. 21)
Resort collections typically hit the stores in November, perfect timing for Holiday shopping; the season is an extra opportunity for brands to rack up some extra sales. Resort has become an incredibly important season for vendors, beyond the promise of clothes with mainstream appeal, Resort remains on sales floors longest without ever going on sale, approximately 6 months before hitting the sales rack, which makes it the most profitable season for most brands.
A look from Brandon Maxwell’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Brandon Maxwell)
While the season is still in full swing, here are a few key trends of the season so far:
OUT OF CONTROL LOGOMANIA
Designer logos are everywhere this resort season from Gucci’s double G splattered all over suits, outerwear, and accessories, to a more subtle Versace Greek Key logo on dresses, tops and headscarves; one thing is for sure, you will definitely be noticed in these bold looks.
A look from Gucci’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Gucci)
A look from Versace’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Versace)
A look from Chanel’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Chanel)
A look from Balmain’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)
A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)
Legions of camouflage, utility pockets, and olive drab marched their way into the resort season, but this time with a chic and refined twist.
A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton)
A look from Balmain’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)
A look from Norma Kamali’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Norma Kamali)
A look from Proenza Schouler’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Proenza Schouler)
A look from Tod’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Tod’s)
YARN IT ALL
Miles beyond your basic knit sweater, Resort 2022 offers wonderfully tactile knit dresses that are as bold and beautiful as they are comfortable and effortless.
A look from Chloe’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Chloe)
A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Christopher John Rogers)
A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Gabriela Hearst)
A look from Missoni’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Missoni)
Designers wiped the slate clean with an all-white palette that offered plenty of visual intrigue in alluring textures such as lace, eyelet, and crochet details.
A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Alberta Ferretti)
A look from Zimmermann’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Zimmermann)
A look from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)
A look from Ulla Johnson’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ulla Johnson)
Take to the sporty life with chic riffs on everything from bike shorts to track jackets.
A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)
A look from Hillier Bartley’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hillier Bartley)
A look from MM6 Maison Margiela’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MM6 Maison Margiela)
A look from MSGM’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)
A look from Staud’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Staud)
POINT OF HUE
Designers softened their collections with pretty pastels that were a celebration of color, making the season a wonderful rhapsody in hue.
A look from Antonio Marras’ Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Antonio Marras)
A look from Emilio Pucci’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Emilio Pucci)
A look from Tory Burch’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Tory Burch)
A look from Preen by Thorton Bregazzi’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Preen By Thornton Bregazzi)
Looks from Oscar de la Renta’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Oscar de la Renta)
As the pandemic restrictions are lifted and a return to the office is in the near future, designers are offering plenty of pantsuits that are oh so chic yet effortlessly fabulous.
A look from Gucci’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit Gucci)
A look from Nehera’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Nehera)
A look from Khaite’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Khaite)
A look from St. John’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: St. John)
A look from Maria McManus’ Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Maria McManus)
More is more. For resort 2022 designers are having fun mixing an array of prints and patterns, creating a visual feast for the eyes.
A look from Thom Browne’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Thom Browne)
A look from Sandy Liang’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Sandy Liang)
A look from Anna Sui’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Anna Sui)
A look from Philosopy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini)
A look from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)
So tell us, what was your favorite trend for the Resort 2022 season?
An image from Rodarte’s spring 2021 collection. (Photo Credit: Daria Kobayashi for Rodarte)
The Spring 2021 collections are in full swing as each of the major fashion cities adjust to the new norm. Many have opted for a hybrid model, in-person show and digital format. Earlier this year, the men’s collections, resort and couture, have all shown their collection digitally and the results were mostly considered a flop, at least on social media. According to an article published in BoF on July 27, 2020: “Of more than a dozen major luxury brands that released content tied to men’s fashion week in Milan and Paris, or to their resort collections, none came close to making the same splash on Instagram as the corresponding shows did last year, according to tracking firm Tribe Dynamics. On average, digital shows, videos and presentations generated less than one-third as much online engagement. The all-digital London Fashion Week, which mainly featured smaller brands, also saw a steep drop in buzz, with 55 percent less social media engagement than in January, according to Launchmetrics, another tracker of online activity.” Even the couture season, which offered fanciful films and digital shows did not gain the traction the industry was hoping for.
But before we delve into our coverage of NYFW, we once again ask ourselves, “who are these shows really for”? Traditionally, shows are for buyers, and editors. These industry insiders, attend to show their support for the brands, and to be inspired for the season to come. Of course, as an industry, the organizers of the events, as well as the cities that host them, have much to lose if a brand chooses a digital format. Before NY fashion week began, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the bi-annual event (which generated millions of dollars in revenue for the city pre-pandemic), would be permitted to take place, as long as participants were in “strict compliance” with New York health and safety guidelines. In a statement made in August, Cuomo stated that “New York City is the fashion capital of the world, and New York Fashion Week celebrates the ingenuity of this city, and our unmatched creative talent,” It’s not just talent (and entire business sectors like textile manufacturing and production) that New York Fashion Week supports. It was/is, also a major revenue source. According to past estimates, fashion shows pre-Covid generated nearly $900 million per year, with up to $500 million in tourist spending.
With the new Covid restrictions, designers began asking themselves, whether it was worth investing all this time and money for a show, when an outdoor event is capped at 50 people and an indoor event capped at 50% of the venue’s capacity.” Well for some designers it was. Case in point, Jason Wu’s tropical paradise show on a NYC rooftop.
A look from Grey by Jason Wu. (Photo Credit: Dan Lecca for Jason Wu)
So, here’s the scoop. The official New York Fashion Week Schedule that was released by The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and was condensed to only 3 days this season, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic (dates were September 13-16). The CFDA supplemented NYFW with its Runway360 digital platform, this allowed designers to present their latest collections at a time that worked best for them, at any time throughout the year.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the global fashion industry and hit New York particularly hard,” said Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA. “Fashion week is a critical time when brands are able to connect with press, retailers and consumers, and I’m proud of how quickly the CFDA pivoted to support the needs of the industry by creating Runway360. We are excited to see 10 new American brands on the schedule – many for the first time – who might not have had the opportunity to share their collections to a global audience without access to Runway360. We’re also excited to highlight the incredible talent coming out of Harlem’s Fashion Row and announce the return of New York Men’s Day. In the face of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty within our industry, the American fashion community has once again come together to support each other and prove its resilience.”
The New York shows kicked off with Jason Wu’s IRL (in real life) intimate fashion show and ended with Tom Ford; but their where plenty of designers who opted out of this seasons fashion week including Marc Jacobs, The Row, Tory Burch, Proenza Schouler, and Michael Kors, to name a few.
Here are a few ways designers got creative when presenting their collections this season (Shows can be accessed at NYFW.com and through the CFDA’s Runway360)
Jason Wu officially opened NY Fashion Week with the first runway presentation for his contemporary label Grey by Jason Wu. The designer took his intimate audience away on a mental trip to Tulum. Wu created a tropical paradise on a NYC rooftop and it was spectacular. Wu’s joyful collection was filled with effortlessly chic pieces, perfect for today’s world, where woman want to look great and feel comfortable.
The show opened with a rust-colored maxi-dress with pockets and bold broderie anglaise detailing just above the hem, which set the mood for the entire collection. Wu showed pleated skirts with bra tops, easy dresses in bold prints, a striped tunic and matching trouser, and tailored Bermuda shorts and blazers. His collection was filled with happy and vibrant clothes, perfect to brighten the gloomy days of Covid that we are all facing.
Rebecca Minkoff’s Presentation featured fall looks that stayed true to her signature boho-rock aesthetic. (Photo Credit: Randy Brooke for Wire Image)
Rebecca Minkoff presented her fall 2020 collection during a two-hour presentation on the rooftop of Spring Studios. The event had a limited audience of fashion influencers and buyers. The social-media savvy designer livestreamed the event on Instagram and gave her followers a walk-through of her collection which was an ode to Manhattan and Motherhood, translated to effortless pieces with a cool twist. The collection was filled with pretty boho styled dresses, great knit sweaters, chic outerwear, and plenty of badass leather pieces.
HARLEM’S FASHION ROW STYLE AWARDS
A look from Rich Fresh. (Photo :Courtesy of Rich Fresh)
Harlem’s Fashion Row hosted its 13th annual Style Awards and a fashion show virtually on Sept. 13. The video will be made available to the public on Sept. 19.
The Style Awards honored British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful with the Maverick of the Year Award; Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner with the Editor of the Year Award; Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond with the Designer of the Year award; and Nate Hinton with the Publicist of the Year award.
The organization selected three talented designers to present their collections— Kimberly Goldson, Rich Fresh and Kristian Loren.
A look from Kimberly Goldson. (Photo: Courtesy of Kimberly Goldson)
A look from Kristian Lorén. (Photo: Courtesy of Kristian Lorén)
A look from Khaite’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Khaite)
It was just over a year ago that actress Katie Holmes wore a cashmere Khaite bra and cardigan look on the streets of New York City and the brand instantly became a must have label among the fashion set. The brand’s leather jackets for fall could hardly be kept in stock. For spring 2021, Khaite designer, Catherine Holstein, kept true to the brands cool girl appeal. Holstein offered plenty of sexy body-skimming knits and seductive ruched dresses, and romantic puff shoulder tops and airy evening frocks. The designer also featured a few of her signature cozy cashmere sweaters that have made her a fashion darling. These are keep-forever investment pieces that are timeless yet modern and youthful.
IMITATION OF CHRIST
A look from Imitation of Christ. (Photo: Courtesy of Imitation of Christ)
It’s been 20 years since Tara Subkoff first presented her theatrical show for her label Imitation of Christ. And after a long hiatus, Subkoff is officially back. For spring 2021, the designer put on simultaneous presentations, one in NYC the other in Los Angeles, but they were not be identical. Each presentation consisted of acapella singers and skateboarders in IOC looks. FYI- Imitation of Christ is known for its one-of-a-kind pieces. Resurrecting existing pieces is the ideology that Imitation of Christ was founded on. No two looks are ever the same.
For spring, Subkoff’s inspiration was skateboarders and created a collection of glamorous activewear. There were vintage slips attached to sports jerseys, and oversized tees with ruffled trimmings.
Subkoff sourced some of her pieces from the luxury consignment ecommerce site RealReal. The site will offer the spring collection for sale in see-now, buy-now fashion, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Fridays for Future (environmentalist Greta Thunberg’s nonprofit organization).
Looks from Wolk Morais Spring 2021 collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Wolk Morais)
While some designers are just releasing lookbook style images, others like Brian Wolk and Claude Morais, the duo behind the label Wolk Morais, are creating attention grabbing short films. For 26 nights the duo drove around Los Angeles pulling up the homes of several friends in the industry, from models and actors to fashion consultants, handed them a bag of clothes, and then filmed them without ever leaving their car.
In an interview with Vogue, where you can also exclusively watch the video, Wolk explained, “we wanted to create a collection that was not only responsible and sustainable, but also content that tells a story about what’s going on right now.”
The duo stayed true to their specialty: fabulous tailoring. And the collection had plenty of it. Herringbone tweed suits, double-breasted waistcoats, cropped jackets and a slew of Liberty print shirts (all of fabrics were upcycled or sourced within a 12 mile radius of their studio). But among all the haberdashery, there were a few glamorous looks as well. Case in point, a 1930s inspired sequin bias-cut gown, a perfect look for any young starlet.
Tomo Koizumi is known for creating jaw-dropping fashion moments that are so breathtakingly beautiful that one cannot help but feel an emotional connection to. For his spring collection, the avant-garde designer produced a creative lookbook photographed in Japan. Koizumi’s work blends his frothy confections with aspects of traditional Japanese culture. The designer collaborated with a bridal company and was inspired by wedding traditions. There was an assortment of eccentric white gowns with explosions of tulle.
Koizumi also showed plenty of rainbow-hued party dresses, cropped tops and miniskirts – all created with a new ruffling technique which created a more flower or starburst affect. It was all so fun and creative, that one cannot help but smile when looking at his creations.
Living in such uncertain times, the pandemic has forced us all to search our souls and figure out who we want to be moving forward; many believe that the world should not go back to the way it was. It is during these times that we need uplifting, more and art and beauty to inspire us. This season, Ulla Johnson staged a full-on fashion show that was audience-less at Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park. The backdrop, Manhattan’s skyscrapers, provided a familiar backdrop, a reminder of the strength and resilience of the city, while we all may have lost a lot this year, we are, as Governor Cuomo says, “New York Strong.”
The level of workmanship and the philosophy involved in Ulla Johnson’s intricate collection was best stated by the designer herself. In an interview with Vogue, Johnson stated, “We’ve all been doing a lot of deep soul searching about the relevancy of what we do—the runway being one component, but also just clothing in general. For us we’re committed more than ever to creating this transportive beauty and continuing our commitment to craft.” Consider the collection’s look one and two, which were entirely hand-crafted outside the U.S., in countries heavily impacted by the pandemic and done so safely over a five-month period.
The collection was filled with Johnson’s signature bohemian inspired frocks, acid wash denim jumpsuits, billowing sleeved tops and ruffled waist trousers. The designer delivered a joyous, wearable collection even during the most difficult of times.
A look from Tom Ford’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Tom Ford)
The spring 2021 trend of joyful clothes continued as Tom Ford closed out New York Fashion Week. After months of isolation, Ford wanted his spring collection to bring hope. According to an interview with Vogue, Ford stated “The last thing I want to see are serious clothes. I think we need an escape. I think we want to smile. I know what’s going on in our world right now doesn’t make us want to smile. So that’s what I’ve done: hopeful clothes that make you smile.”
Ford’s collection was full of glamour and gusto as he found inspiration in a documentary about the fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez and the ’70s models Pat Cleveland and Donna Jordan, whom Lopez sketched. The Seventies inspired collection was a throwback to his days at Gucci, and it was oh so fabulous. The collection oozed sexiness with shirts that were unbuttoned to the navel and paired with pull-on logo waistband trousers, slinky dresses in colorful florals, spicy animal print jumpsuits and glamorous swimsuits and caftans. After all, isn’t over-the-top glam what Tom Ford does best?
Have you been watching the shows? Care to share your fav?
TOMMYXZENDAYA Fall 2019 block party at the Apollo Theater in Harlem (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)
The excitement and thrill of New York fashion week has come to an end, and while all the names we know and love have put on fabulous shows and parties, such as Prabal Gurung’s chic 10th Anniversary showing, Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya’s block-party show at the Apollo Theater in Harlem (see image above), and Tom Ford’s subway tunnel show, we are finally getting to see some new ‘fashion blood’ getting attention.
Unlike any other city in the world, New York has always been a melting pot of diverse cultures and ideas, so fittingly, the city that kicks off fashion month has embraced a handful of CFDA-approved emerging designers that are about to take off.
Telfar Clemens, right, at Telfar’s Spring 2020 NYFW party (Photo courtesy of WWD)
Telfar Clemens, known for his non-gender collections, launched his namesake brandin 2005, however, he finally received recognition in 2017 when he became the winner of the coveted CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. For Spring 2020 he will be showing in Paris on Sept. 24th, but Clemens did not forget about the city that launched his career and hosted two parties, one with the beloved retailer Opening Ceremony, and the second, a party that doubled as a screening of his film.
According to WWD, “Guests got their first glimpse of the designer’s new collection in a six-minute clip of a film scripted by “Slave Play” writer Jeremy O. Harris and artist Juliana Huxtable that will be shown in Paris as part of the show.”
“Are you a citizen of united communities?” was one of the questions posed in the dialogue as characters walked through airport security, or stood on buoys in open water with the Manhattan skyline behind them.
As for the clothes in the film, there were plenty of utility-inspired looks, thigh-hole track pants and Budweiser silk printed shirts alongside Telfar’s new jewelry range that plays on his initials “TC,” and popular logo-embossed tote bags.
Pyer Moss’ Spring 2020 runway look (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)
Another CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner is Kerby Jean-Raymond, the designer behind the label Pyer Moss. The young designer has become a storyteller. Season after season he creates a collection based on the history and popular culture within the African American community. For spring 2020 he did not disappoint and his show was one of the most buzzed about shows of the week.
The show took place at the King Theater in Brooklyn, titled: Sister, the third and final chapter in the Pyer Moss trilogy, inspired by Sister Rosetta Tharpe. A singer-songwriter who rose to popularity in the 1930s and ’40s, Tharpe is considered to be the godmother of rock and roll, though her legacy has been diminished. “I think relatively few people know that the sound of rock and roll was invented by a queer black woman in a church,” said Jean-Raymond backstage during a Vogue interview, moments after the show. “I wanted to explore what that aesthetic might have looked like if her story would have been told.”
The show opened with a powerful sermon delivered by writer Casey Gerald, who is known for his incisive social commentary, it was both uplifting and unapologetically political, referencing the anniversary of slavery in America. Then a choir of about 70 voices broke into song and the show began. The musical references were loud and clear with a guitar motif that was threaded through curvy lapels of satin overcoats, and the most literal reference was a novelty guitar-shaped handbag, as well as the keyboard print trim on a puff-sleeve blouse. Jean-Raymond also gave a shout-out to the hip-hop era, which is not surprising considering his new role as artistic director at Reebok.
Tomo Koizumi’s Spring 2020 creation (Photo courtesy of designer)
Last winter, Tomo Koizumi’s frothy confections caught the attention of stylist extraordinaire Katie Grand. She quickly contacted the avant-garde designer and had him flown to NY to debut his creations during the Fall 2020 shows. For his sophomore collection, Marc Jacobs has once again graciously lent his atelier for Tomo Koizumi to use, as well as his Madison Avenue boutique for Koizumi to present his latest innovative pieces. It’s so refreshing to see designers who have made it, help and embrace the newcomers.
Tomo Koizumi’s clothes are far from the ready-to-wear looks that NY fashion week showcases; his pieces are costume pieces that provoke and inspire the audience. Koizumi casted 18-year-old trans model Ariel Nicholson for his one-woman show. The presentation showcased Nicholson dressing and undressing in seven garments as she twirled around center stage. Each frothy look was made of hundreds of meters of ruffled Japanese polyester organza that utilize only one zipper. The construction is spectacular, as ruffles and bows cascade over each other like cupcake frosting.
In an interview with Vogue the designer said, he chose the bow motif because he wanted the collection to represent his gift back to the people who made him. “I just want to bring joy,” he said simply. Mission accomplished.
Khaite’s Spring 2020 runway look (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)
There are very few young designers who can balance retail success with being an editorial favorite, but Catherine Holstein, the designer behind the coveted Khaite (pronounced Kate) label has managed to do both. The core of her business, or as Holstein refers to them as “cherished items,” are in her jeans, shirtings and knits. And yes, Holstein in responsible for the internet frenzy of Katie Holmes’ $520 cashmere bra and cardigan; both items which immediately sold out on Khaite’s website.
For her spring show, Holstein showed a few of Khaite’s cult favorite lux basics, but, rather than playing it safe, Holstein opted for experimental pieces that were charming and at times, flashy.
Holstein’s collection was inspired by her childhood summers at her grandmother’s house in Woodstock, Vermont; so fittingly there were plenty of plaids and florals that were reminiscent of the home’s late 60’s furnishings, but with a modern and cool twist. Key looks included a suede fringe jacket, peplum tops over denim, a deconstructed suit, and a corset top over a satin sarong.
Let’s give the fashion industry and the CFDA a round of applause for finally stepping up to the plate to support emerging designers. Not only have the shows included a full range of diverse models on the runway (ethnic, size, and gender diversity) but they are demonstrating an ‘all inclusive’ range of designers into their ‘club.’ A nice message especially in such divisive times. Let’s see how responsive brands across the pond respond in kind.
So tell us, who’s your favorite up-and-coming designer and why?
No one appreciates, more than I, what it means when a major department store decides to showcase your work, because once upon a time, that designer was me. During the 1980s, I was fortunate enough to have my own business, Francesca Sterlacci Ltd., built on a shoestring. I’m proud to say that for 10 years I had the support of many great stores and was fortunate to have my clothes featured in store windows, at perrsonal appearances and sold in prestigious NY stores including Saks, Bloomingdales, Barney’s, Bendels, Bergdorf’s and Bonwit’s (known in the day as the 5 ‘Bs’). So you can imagine how special it was for me on Saturday September 8, when I took time out to meet a few emerging designers on Bergdorf’s 6th floor Modernist shop. One of the big questions our University of Fashion subscribers ask us is, “will I be able to market and sell my designs to stores?” Well, after seeing and meeting the designers that you are about to read about, and by talking with Madison Nagy, Assitant Buyer for BG’s Advanced Designer department, the answer is yes, but “You have got to be different.”
Bode (pronounced Bow-Dee) is a luxury unisex RTW brand created by Atlanta-born designer and Parsons grad, Emily Adams Bode. The brand launched in 2016 and Bode took off! The brand began with one-of-a-kind garments composed entirely of antiques textiles and continues to envigorate American menswear through the art of storytelling. Each piece tells a story and is tailor-made in New York. Her work expresses a sentimentality for the past through the study of personal narratives and historical techniques. Modern workwear silhouettes united with female-centric traditions of quilting, mending, and applique shape the collection. The collection is organized around that single simple rule: slow fashion is better.
Bode was the first female designer to show at NYFW: Men’s and had her first runway show in Paris in June 2019. She was named as a finalist in the LVMH Prize for young fashion designers, was recently the winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and Emily Bode was even included in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list. Click on the link to see one of Bode’s fashion presentations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmZk8R7zGn0
Bernadette luxury RTW brand: Mother & daughter Bernadette & Charlotte De Geyter
Bernadette is luxury ready-to-wear label based in Antwerp by mother and daughter Bernadette and Charlotte De Geyter. Their collections are defined by easy-to-wear silk dresses and refreshing prints, designed exclusively in-house by Charlotte who graduated with a master’s degree from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. A love of nature and the arts are leitmotifs that run through Bernadette’s aesthetic. Ultra feminine, metropolitan glamour is juxtaposed with a poetic vision of a life somewhere remote and paradisal. Clean lines add a graceful note to the label’s silhouettes while colorful prints echo a timeless and free-spirited allure. Check out their website at https://www.bernadetteantwerp.com
Deveaux New York
Deveaux New York. Designer: Tommy Ton
Deveaux New York was originally formed as a menswear collection by Matthew Breen and Andrea Tsao. In February 2018, Deveaux launched its womenswear collection and announced the appointment of industry veteran, photographer Tommy Ton as Creative Director. Tommy Ton is a Canadian photographer first known for his fashion blog Jak & Jil and his street style coverage of fashion weeks on Style.com and GQ.com.
With an encyclopedia knowledge of what is being worn in the streets, Tommy Ton brings a keen knowledge of the relationship between the runway and the consumer. Together with Andrea Tsao as Head Designer, as well as Matthew Breen, who heads business development, the team is comprised of a unique set of backgrounds that aspires to re-contextualize classic items in the modern world through fit, fabrication and silhouette. It explores the idea of a ‘uniform’ in an effort to make a truly authentic wardrobe. Bergdorf has the NY exclusive distribution of Deveaux for 3 seasons. Check out Deveaux New York’s website: https://deveauxnewyork.com
LouLou Studio: Designer Chloe LouLou De Saison
LouLou Studio is a knitwear brand created by fashion influencer/fashion consultant Chloe LouLou De Saison. Her Instagram is a glimpse into a universe which revolves around her vision of the modern Parisian woman. Chloe says of her brand, “I just wanted what I couldn’t find anywhere else: the perfect basic knit with a twist, but also good quality clothes at affordable prices. Everything revolves around well-being. Our pieces are designed to make life easier for women. Putting on a nice sweater in the morning is comforting and reassuring. We want to arouse this feeling with our knitwear collections.” Bergdorf has the NY exclusive distribution of LouLou for 3 seasons. See more of LouLou Studio at https://louloustudio.fr/en/
Also on BG’s Radar
Although the following designers were not on the selling floor while I was there on Saturday, the following brands were also listed among BG’s emerging designers.
Coperni– a luxury women’s wear collection launched by former Courrèges designers Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant on Instagram this Fall – check out the interactive display to watch the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure inspired video series! Coperni takes its name from Nicolaus Copernicus. “He revolutionized astronomy and we were inspired by that,” says Sébastien, who met co-designer Arnaud when both were students at Mod’ Art International in Paris. Their fledgling label, which won the 2014 ANDAM Award, is at once innovative and timeless. “The most important thing for us is to make clothes that are perfectly cut and draped and that women enjoy wearing,” explains Vaillant. “We want our clients to have an emotional connection to our pieces, a real feeling, and we won’t achieve that by making collections that fall out of fashion after a season.” Coperni is currently exclusive to BG in NY.
KHAITE. Designer: Catherine Holstein
KHAITE (pronounced Kate) is a women’s RTW collection that reimagines classic American sportswear for the 21st century. Designed to be cherished, each piece proposes a fresh balance of opposing elements – past and future, masculine and feminine strength and softness, structure and fluidity – while embodying a signature sensuality and ease.
Founded in 2016 by Catherine Holstein, New York-based KHAITE evolves with each new season, building upon a foundation of robust and polished items distinguished by exceptional materials and subtle yet striking details. The collection takes its name from the Greek word (xaitn) meaning “long, flowing hair.”
Sies Marjan. Designer Sander Lak
Sies Marjan (pronounced seez mar-john), is a luxury designer label established in 2016 and based in New York City. Designed by Dutch Creative Director Sander Lak, the brand evokes a narrative of color, proportion and subversive fabrication. The name Seis Marjan, signifies the first names of his father Sies, and his mother Marjan. In 3 short years, Sies Marjan has developed a strong multi-category business to include Women’s RTW, Men’s RTW, footwear and handbags soon to come. The brand has 150+ global luxury stockists including Bergdorf Goodman, MatchesFashion, Sssense and Net-a-Porter.
Sander was nominated for the CFDA Swarovski Award for emerging talent in 2017 and won the prize in 2018. He was also a nominee for the CFDA 2019 Womenswear Designer of the Year. Check out his Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/seismarjan/
ROTATE by Birger Christensen
ROTATE by Birger Christensen
ROTATE is a Copenhagen-based brand designed by Danish stylists and influencers Jeanette Madsen and Thors Valdimars. Birger Christensen, the parent company, boasts a 150-year-old history, having opened its doors in the heart of Copenhagen in 1869. Finn Birger Christensen, a third-generation furrier, built the company by offering a well-curated collection of luxury names alongside its own brand of fur and accessories. When Denise Christensen joined the family business as chief executive officer in 2017, she initiated a new chapter in the brand’s history by opening Rotate, featuring bold prints and textiles in 80s inspired silhouettes with an emphasis on party dresses.