Looks from Rodarte’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)
New York Fashion Week just wrapped and because it’s one of the most important events in the fashion industry (attracting designers, buyers, and fashion lovers worldwide) AND because it has become a viral sensation (blowing up everyone’s cell phone), we thought it would be fun to take a look back in time of how it all began:
In 1943, fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert organized “Press Week” to showcase American designers who could not travel to Paris during World War II.
The first official “New York Fashion Week” was held in 1945, with shows held in various locations throughout the city.
In 1993, the event was centralized in a single location: Bryant Park, located behind the New York Public Library and called “7th on Sixth”.
The event grew in popularity throughout the 1990s & 2000s, with designers such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Marc Jacobs becoming household names.
In 2010, the event moved to Lincoln Center, where it was held until 2015.
In 2011, NY designers began live-streaming shows.
In 2013, The Shed at Hudson Yards became a new NYFW venue.
In 2016, New York Fashion Week spread throughout various locations around the city, including Skylight at Moynihan Station and Skylight Clarkson Square.
In 2020, due to the Covid pandemic, almost all shows were pared down and went virtual, but came back ‘in real life’ September 2021.
In 2023, Spring Studios at 50 Varick Street became the main headquarters with some designers hostingrunway shows throughout the city. Some shows were livestreamed on NYFW.com and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (the agency behind New York Fashion Week), stream events on its Runway 360 hub.
Backstage looks at Coach’s Fall 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Here are some of the viral moments that took New York Fashion Week 2023 by storm.
Looks from Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
New York Fashion Week Fall 2023 officially kicked off on Friday, February 10th and wrapped on Wednesday, February 15, 2023. The show calendar was jam packed to pre-pandemic levels. Always one to beat to his own drum, Marc Jacobs opted to show his grand fall collection on February 3rd before the official start of New York Fashion Week and paid tribute to the great Dame of Punk, Vivienne Westwood, who sadly passed away on December 29, 2022.
NYFW was filled with so many great moments, beautiful clothes – from whimsical to wearable – and, as always, a slew of celebrity sightings.
Rodarte founders Sarah and Laura Mulleavy asked their artist mother to create the fairy drawings that appeared as prints throughout the collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Rodarte returned to the runway and helped kick off the season as sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, presented a collection inspired by gothic fairies. It was an editorial favorite.
Ella Emhoff Really, Really Likes to Knit. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Ella Emhoff (the stepdaughter of Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States) held a pop-up presentation to showcase her colorful knitwear, with pieces available for both preorder and purchase.
A look from Thom Browne’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: AP Photo)
Thom Browne made a return to the runway with his Little Prince-inspired collection that was delightfully playful. The CFDA chairman showed on Valentine’s Day and presented his partner Andrew Bolton, who is curator at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, a box of chocolate hearts to celebrate the occasion.
A look from Anna Sui’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Anna Sui is also back after being on fashion week hiatus since the start of the pandemic. Sui told Vogue in an email, “My choice to do an intimate show in a nightclub was inspired by the Peppermint Lounge, a little restaurant on 45th Street that was converted to the hottest club in the 1960s for dancing. There is an incredible picture of Jane Holzer dancing the twist at the club, and with further research I discovered the Beatles and the Rolling Stones all went there to dance. This inspired a collection of clothes to wear to twist the night away.” The show was a delight.
Leave it to Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the design duo behind the cult favorite brand Proenza Schouler, to have Chloe Sevigny open their show. The duo showcased an intimate collection for the modern woman. Celebrating their 20-year anniversary of the label, the designers returned to what started it all: the women in their lives who inspire them most, and whose wardrobes they want to create. (After all, Proenza Schouler is the combination of their mothers’ maiden names.)
Bulan’s Fall 2023 Collection shown during Men’s Day. (Photo Credit: Bulan)
While most cities have their own Menswear Fashion Week, once upon a time New York did too. This season we had Men’s Day, which took place on Friday, February 10th at Hudson Yards. The event hosted 12 emerging menswear and genderless designers.
Looks from Tory Burch’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)
Tory Burch presented a stellar collection. The designer told WWD she wanted to play with traditional female tropes and actually deconstructed old girdles to subvert shape-wear conventions.
A look from Christian Siriano’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Launchmetrics)
Christian Siriano jumped on the ‘no pants required’ trend that fashion ‘It’ girls have been currently rocking.
A banana-inspired look from Area’s Spring 2023 Buy Now Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Hungry? Some designers created food-inspired looks. Puppets and Puppets showed egg nipple coverings, while Area and Melke presented fruit-inspired novelty pieces.
Comedian Nikki Glaser in Cynthia Rowley. (Photo Credit: Cynthia Rowley)
Cynthia Rowley sure likes to have fun with fashion. For her fall collection she hosted an all-female stand-up show. Comedians Nikki Glaser, Rachel Feinstein, Ego Nwodim and more took to the makeshift stage in vibrant hues, fun flares and feathers. “I see fashion and comedy serving women in the same way,” said Rowley in a press release. “If you can be funny, you can feel confident. If you love what you’re wearing you feel confident. And if you can have both, even better.”
A look from Michael Kors’ Fall 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)
Pile on the accessories was the motif at Michael Kors, as the designer sent out big belts, statement geode necklaces, wraparound sunglasses, fringe and fur shawls and more, in monochromatic looks.
Looks from Collina Strada’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Hillary Taymour called her latest Collina Strada collection “Please Don’t Eat My Friends” as her models strutted down the runway in prosthetic animal faces.
There were many viral moments during New York Fashion week, so tell us, what was your favorite moment?
Designer Wes Gordon with a look from the Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2022 collection celebrating the brand’s 40th year anniversary. (Photo Credit: Lexie Moreland for WWD)
New York Fashion Week is back and bigger than ever! It has been 18 months since New York hosted it’s last in-person fashion week, pre-COVID, and in an attempt to get back to a new normal, we will certainly be complying with mask mandates and vaccination cards to attend all of the live events.
So, what will be different THIS season you may ask? Well for starters, many American designers who have shown in Europe in the past, will be coming home to show in New York City. A few European imports, such as Moschino, have also opted to show their collection in NYC, adding an exciting energy to the week. And another treat to look forward to…over a dozen emerging Black designers were added to the fashion calendar, thanks to the Black In Fashion Council.
And another first…NYFW will go out with a bang as the Met will host their annual Met Gala on September 13th. Read our blog from last week to learn more about the Costume Institute’s new exhibition, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion and their youngest-ever crew of co-chairs: Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gorman. Add in the U.S. Open (tennis championship games) and the VMA Awards (Video Music Awards) to the mix and New York City will be bustling with excitement. Just like pre-Covid days. Almost.
Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters behind the fashion label Rodarte, surrounded by models during their spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
In true NYC fashion, and with the Mario Coumo scandal finally behind us, New York’s newest and first female governor, Kathy Hochul, announced a partnership with NYFW’s IMG, giving designers free access to two show venues, Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park (downtown) and Moynihan Train Hall (in the historic James A. Farley Post Office Building). According to Vogue Runway, Gurung’s show was the first to take the governor up on her offer. Later in the week, Cynthia Rowley will host her show in the same downtown location and Victor Glemaud will present in Moynihan Train Hall. More firsts.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Prabal Gurung. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
“We are grateful to Governor Hochul and New York State for their continued partnership,” said IMG’s president of fashion events and properties Leslie Russo. “Through this unique partnership, we are proud to showcase iconic New York City locations as the backdrop to this season’s collections.”
Governor Hochul talked about fashion’s present, and its big future. “Fashion is part of our identity as New Yorkers,” she said. “As the Governor of New York, I can’t let anything happen to our reputation on my watch!”
Although the city will feel alive and energized, there will certainly be somber moments too, as this year marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11. New York City will have to downsize their ceremonies due to COVID and the Delta variant, which is circulating both locally and across the country. It’s so hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the September 11th terrorist attacks, the day that not only halted New York Fashion Week, but all of New York City. However, out of the ashes of death and destruction, NYC rebuilt itself stronger than ever. The fashion industry came together and started what has now become the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, an incubator in support of young designers and the program has nurtured numerous talents, from Proenza Schouler to Telfar.
In 2021, the industry had to pivot once again to address the tragedy of COVID-19. Due to the worldwide pandemic, many fashion companies shuttered such as retailer Century 21 and well-established designers such as Carly Cushnie (who created her namesake label Cushnie). In April of this year, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF) announced that as an alternative to their usual competition, they would also award grants to 10 independent American brands. It’s a diverse group that ranges from Eckhaus Latta to Batsheva, as well as a few upstart labels.
A look from Batsheva’s spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
Another silver lining to emerge from the pandemic was a heightened awareness amongst consumers who are now becoming more discerning shoppers in search of more sustainable brands and individualized pieces. After spending over a year and a half indoors, working from home, we all want to make our grand entrance when entering the workplace but in a more thoughtful way.
Imitation of Christ, Spring 2022 ready-to-wear presentation. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Here are some of our favorite tends from the first few days of the NYFW Spring 2022 season.
READY TO BARE
In keeping with the runways’ newfound desire for nudity, designers are daring consumers to bare just a bit more for Spring 2022 with a multitude of bra tops. Interpretations ran the gamut, from a chic interpretation at Michael Kors to a sportier vibe at Jason Wu.
A look from Michael Kors Collection ‘s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Brandon Maxwell’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Coach’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Jason Wu’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Jonathan Simkhai’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Bevza’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
Welcome to spring’s splashy garden party, an oh-so-optimistic celebration with bold colors and masses of floral prints. These delicate florals made their way onto everything from sweet mini dresses to edgy one-shoulder frocks.
A look from Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Natasha Zinko’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
Looks form Libertine’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Libertine)
A look from Monique Lhuillier’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Collina Strada’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Markarian’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
Bottoms up! Shorts rocked the runways this season, from tiny briefs to Bermuda styles. These looks are a youthful and relaxed alternative to the summer dress.
A look from Moschino’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Adam Lippes’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from St. John’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Adeam’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Adeam)
A look from Alejandra Alonso Rojas’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
HUE SAID IT
Designers lit up the spring 2022 season with rich and vibrant shades for day and night.
A look from Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Badgley Mischka’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from CDLM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Naeem Khan’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
Neutral shades are anything but boring. For spring, designers mix it up with a palette that ranges from pale ivory to lovely nudes.
A look from Peter Do’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Bronx and Banco’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from The Row’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Ulla Johnson’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Fredrick Anderson’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
Seduction is the name of the game as designers add interesting, skin baring, cut-outs to their favorite frocks.
A look from Christian Siriano’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Threeasfour’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Nicole Miller’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Bronx and Banco’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
A look from LaQuan Smith’s spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
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?
Michael Kors Collection Fall 2020 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)
In November 2019, The University of Fashion posed the question; “Are Fashion Shows Still Relevant?” that blog post covered the history of fashion shows and why designers still prefer a show. While many argued that fashion shows were an outrageous expense, designers mostly felt that it was worth it if they attracted Instagram Stars and Fashion Bloggers. Today, fashion shows are more about exposure and how many “likes” the’ll get on social media than selling clothes.
This season there were many changes to New York Fashion Week’s calendar. Tom Ford skipped NY and decided to show in LA, Tommy Hilfiger is showing in London, Telfar is showing in Florence and Ralph Lauren is skipping the runway altogether. So, with so much change, it’s not surprising that famed fashion blogger Bryanboy asked if somebody could look into “why NYFW [has] pretty much died?”
While this may seem like an exaggerated question, it’s a valid one, as designers continue to search for unique places and ways to create buzz. They’ve tried live-streaming shows, opening up their shows to the public, showing their menswear and womenswear collections together, and they even tried to entice sales by showing buy-now-wear-now collections (which ultimately failed). But as we all know, today, consumers shop differently, especially due to the internet. And, unlike their predecessors, Gen Zers are more concerned about their carbon footprint and issues surrounding over-consumption than they are about the runway.
So, why should designer’s invest thousands of dollars on a runway show? Well according to Jeffry Aronsson, the former CEO of Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan, who currently consults luxury brands on growth strategies, told Fashionista, that at its core, “the business case for investing in a seasonal fashion show, or any other fashion event, is that it should get the brand the attention of the market and press.” Aronsson states that the measures of success come in the form of online impressions (including social commentary and likes), editorial coverage (both digital and print) and, though difficult to quantify, word of mouth, which helps raise brand awareness, desire and, hopefully, sales.
Erin Hawker, communications expert and founder of Agentry PR, notes that a brand can get 50 to 100 press hits in one single day globally after a runway show (and even double that if there are big-name celebrities involved), as well as millions of earned impressions on social media. “If you assign an editorial value to shows with or without celebrities, it’s usually in the tens of millions of dollars’ worth of impressions,” Hawker says. “This far surpasses the cost of a show.”
So, designers have been listening carefully to the experts. And for those who chose to a have runway show, those brands pulled out all the stops to make it a memorable; a spectacle that their consumers would enjoy, as they watch the videos and images that blow-up their social media feeds. Oh, and in the end…hopefully generate sales.
Here are some images of the more memorable NYFW shows of the Fall 2020 season:
Tom Ford’s Fall 2020 Los Angeles Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)
In June 2019, Tom Ford took the helm at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Many fashion insiders were upset (Ford is based in Los Angeles), with one calling it a “slap in the face” to New York Fashion Week. In a statement to the Business of Fashion site, Mr. Ford said: “Someone asked me the other day how I could justify showing in L.A. as I am now the Chairman of the CFDA, and I reminded them that CFDA stood for the Council of Fashion Designers of America and not the Council of Fashion Designers of New York.”
Mr. Ford opted to show in Los Angeles because of the Academy Awards, which took place on Sunday night (Feb. 9, 2020) at the start of NYFW. In a statement to Women’s Wear Daily, Mr. Ford said “the excitement in L.A. on that particular weekend” was a big factor in his decision.
As for the show, it was a star-studded extravaganza and one of the biggest pre-Oscar events. Everyone was there from Jennifer Lopez and Renée Zellweger to Miley Cyrus and Lil Nas X to James Corden and Jon Hamm. There were so many power players, that some celebs were even pushed back to the second row.
As for the clothes, they were infused with Mr. Ford’s signature glam, mixed in with streetwear elements. Case in point; a chic oversized leopard print coat, worn over a sweatsuit. The collection also featured plenty of menswear inspired high-waisted, baggy trousers paired with logo sweatshirts and topped off with terrific outerwear. For evening, Mr. Ford turned up the glitz with bold colored turtleneck sweaters paired with sequin maxi skirts, delicate lace dresses and a show-stopping crystalized halter gown.
This extravaganza was anything but the traditional runway show.
Rodarte Fall 2020 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)
Laura and Kate Mulleavy have always been inspired by theatrics and Hollywood for their beloved label Rodarte. For Fall 2020, the sisters looked to vampires for inspiration, more notably, Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, which in turn inspired—Francis Ford Coppola’s indelible 1992 adaptation of the book, starring Winona Ryder. The sisters found the perfect setting as the backdrop to the gothic tail; a dimly lit St. Bartholomew’s church in Midtown Manhattan.
While the Mulleavy sisters created a cinematic goth setting, the clothes were anything but. The collection featured a nod to the forties with playful polka-dot dresses, dramatic pouf sleeve blouses and bold floral gowns. Then, things became dramatically dark and sinister with cobweb embellishments on a few gowns, as well as black fringe capes that resembled clumps of witches’ hair. Laura and Kate Mulleavy returned to their gothic roots in a fashionably haunting way.
Tory Burch’s Fall 2020 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)
Forever the art aficionado, Tory Burch chose the iconic Sotheby’s as her latest show venue as models strutted among the auction merch. It was the ideal location for her Fall 2020 collection as it was a happy jolt of vivid floral prints in everything from tailored suits to cozy sweaters and everything in between. Burch was inspired by the Francesca DiMattio’s ceramic sculptures (which were situated on the runway) and had the artist design many of the floral prints found in the show. Bravo Tory Burch for creating such a joyful collection in these unsettling times.
Brandon Maxwell’s Fall 2020 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)
One can always expect to have fun at Brandon Maxwell’s show. In the past he even served Shake Shack to editors before his show. For Fall 2020, the celebrity stylist-turned-designer did not disappoint. He showed his youthful eveningwear at the American Museum of Natural History with their iconic dioramas of ‘taxidermied’ moose and grizzlies. It was like a genuine slice of Americana. Maxwell also offered plenty of daywear this season with beautifully tailored outerwear, chic knits and low-cut trousers. For night, there were a few sheer numbers that felt out of place, but overall, this was a strong show, one that proves Maxwell is more than just a red-carpet designer.
Debbie Harry Performs at the Coach Fall 2020 Show (photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Coach’s Creative Director, Stuart Vevers, likes to draw inspiration from artists and has often incorporated their work into his collections. In the past, he’s featured works by Keith Haring (Spring 2018), Kaffe Fassett (Fall 2019) and Richard Bernstein (Spring 2020). For Fall 2020, he referenced Jean-Michel Basquiat — not just by weaving his drawings into his ready-to-wear and accessories but also by bringing some of his family members to the show. The late artist’s niece, Jessica Kelly, actually walked the runway! She, and the rest of the models, made their way across a warehouse-turned-runway — meant to replicate the feel of a city loft — all while the legendary Debbie Harry performed on stage.
CHRISTOPHER JOHN ROGERS
Christopher John Rogers Fall 2020 Show (Photo courtesy of Dia Dipasupil for Getty Images)
Recent CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award winner, Christopher John Rogers, brought back old-school glamour but with a modern twist for his Fall 2020 collection. His gowns were bold and vivid, perfect for young scarlets wanting to stand-out on the red carpet.
Rogers infused saturated hues into his collection and is fast becoming known for his shapely silhouettes. Think balloon sleeves, voluminous skirts and innovating draping – all in oversized, exaggerated shapes.
Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2020 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)
Everyone looks forward to the end of NYFW because of the Marc Jacobs show. For Fall 2020, the designer didn’t disappoint. The show began with a surge of energy. Dancer/choreographer Karole Armitage, found the spotlight in the darkness of the Park Avenue Armory and reminded us that, why in the 80s, she earned the nickname the “punk ballerina.” Although her performance was brief, it was electrifying. Following Armitage, a crew of dancers followed, creating an entertaining and engaging backdrop; the dancers were clad in Marc Jacobs dance pieces, such as bras, slip dresses, skirts, basic T-shirts and black pants.
As for the clothes, it was a nod to the Sixties – Jackie Kennedy, Rosemary Woodhouse, the mods – all with a touch of nineties minimal. It was pure Marc in the early days of his career. He showed three-button A-line coats, pastel minidresses with matching jackets, tailored suits and simple sweaters worn over straight leg trousers; Miley Cyrus made an appearance on the runway wearing a black bra and trouser. For evening, Jacobs created a number of sequin sheath dresses in a variety of colors and a pink opera coat worn over a gown with a tiny bow at the bust that had Jackie Kennedy written all over it.
It wouldn’t be NYFW without a bit of controversy, right (in addition to Tom Ford showing in LA, Tommy Hilfiger in London and Jeremy Scott in Paris)? Well, thanks to a New York Times article, we learned that NYFW shows leave the biggest carbon footprint when it comes to travel, buyers, and brands.