Whilst many bemoan the end of summer and a reinstatement of the working order, fashion insiders rejoice as the classic ‘back to school’ signals the return of fashion month.
This week saw the launch of NYFW, perhaps the most ‘high-maintenance’ of all the fashion weeks with as many as two hundred and eighteen individual unveilings shown to almost two hundred and thirty thousand members of the fashion industry and public.
Renowned for its cutting-edge approach to the runway, previous NYFWs have caused controversy; from Kanye’s refusal to adhere to the CFDA’s schedule to Marc Jacobs’ cultural appropriation scandal, last year’s infamous launch of the ‘see now, buy now’ model has to take prime position on the list of memorable moments – and what a list that is.
To celebrate the arrival of Fashion Month and the beginning of New York Fashion Week, we’re putting the spotlight on some familiar names and their standout moments as well as looking forward to what’s to come.
Last season saw Raf Simons debut his first collection for Calvin Klein at NYFW and having promised a true shake up of the brand’s core aesthetic, the Belgian designer did not disappoint. Simons kicked his show off with a long list of unfamiliar names, forgoing the ‘influencer’ trend that has so famously divided the fashion industry (see THAT Vogue article). No celebrities, no bloggers, not many familiar faces; Simons and casting director Ashley Brokaw only accentuated their zest for individuality on a house so intrinsically linked to pop culture icons with a line-up of fresh faces.
Just months after announcing that it would be impossible to send plus-size models down the runway, Michael Kors enlisted plus-size superstar Ashley Graham for his AW17 show. No stranger to the spotlight, Graham still appeared to be awestruck when talking to Vogue about her chance to be part of a fashion week icon’s show, “Amber! Bella! Imaan! Kendall! Carolyn! Miss Arizona! Miss Joan! […] There’s age, there’s size, and there’s ethnicity. I’m so honoured to be a part of it.”
The original New York power brand, DKNY has been a pillar of NYFW since the early ’90s. Famed for mixing masculine and feminine silhouettes and, dare-we-say, the originator of the athleisurewear trend, the brand’s presentations have become famed for a never-ending line of ‘it’ girls and celebrity icons. Much was the surprise then, when the brand announced that they would no longer be continuing with their show stopping runways and instead, would be opting for smaller, more intimate appointments with brands. A new direction for Donna Karen New Year that will continue into this season.
Whilst many designers will be opting for extravagant fashion week performances, Ralph Lauren will be inviting the industry into his Long Island home for the unveiling of his ‘see now, buy now’ collection. If last season is anything to go by, we can be expecting more classic Ralph-isms from the brand; from liquid gold ballgowns to hooded silk dresses, we’re hoping that last season’s introduction of street style flair continues for the brand with luxury meets generation-Instagram feel.
Who could forget Diane von Furstenberg’s AW16 presentation? A shake up to the traditional runway format, the presentation took place at the brand’s West 14th Street headquarters with iconic ‘it’ girl faces dancing to disco music. Long sequined gowns and minimal slip dresses formed a new brand aesthetic, built on the foundations of the designer’s own ethos of women supporting women – think ’90s girl power meets ’70s chic.
Words by Georgia Leitch