What to Expect from New York Fashion Week SS18

New York Fashion Week is back, kick starting another month of Spring/Summer ’18 fashion from the four major fashion cities. The shows and collections to make the headlines are yet to be decided but there are a few things we can bet our money on. Aside from the highly-reported mass exodus of designers from the NYFW schedule this season (Rodarte, Altuzarra and Tommy Hilfiger among them), here’s what to expect from New York Fashion Week SS18.

Political Expression

munthe aw17 donald trump

Politics has been taking a prominent place in fashion more and more over the past few seasons. We’ve had Matthew Miller, who continues to use his eponymous label to showcase his anti-establishment views, and the Ganni SS18 collection at Copenhagen Fashion Week that celebrated the ‘Global Citizen’, challenging the idea of closed borders. Then there was the Munthe AW17 collection – also at CPHFW – shown in February this year, that was Donald Trump-heavy (think ‘Pussy Grabs Back’ printed on chocolates and Trump masks covering the models’ faces at the end).

This season the Council of Fashion Designers of America will be distributing blue ribbons for people to wear in solidarity with the American Civil Liberties Union, with President and CEO of the CFDA, Steven Kolb, commenting: “We want to be on the front line, not the sidelines, to boldly fight to protect our precious rights and freedoms, which has taken on a renewed urgency after the heart-wrenching events of Charlottesville.”

With Trump-inspired pieces already cropping up during NYFW AW17 (Prabal Gurung’s slogan tees – Revolution Has No Borders and Break Down Walls are a case in point), we’ll be expecting more of the same this season.

Car Envy at Ralph Lauren

ralph lauren garage

Image by Todd Eberle for Vanity Fair

Ten years ago, all shows at New York Fashion Week were in a single location: that famous white tent in Bryant Park. Now the venues are diverse and far flung, with designers opting to show their collections anywhere and everywhere around Manhattan and Brooklyn. Ralph Lauren has gone one step further, choosing ‘Ralph’s Garage’ in Bedford, New York as his SS18 location. Being Ralph Lauren though, this isn’t just any old garage. This is where the all-American designer houses his collection of rare cars, including multiple red Ferraris from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘90s, a 1938 Bugatti Atlantic and a 1929 Bentley Blower.

Return of the ‘90s

champion brand revival

The decade on almost every mood board of late has been the 1990s. From our obsession with retro sportswear that dominated the decade (Champion has certainly had a new lease of life) to ‘90s favourites Maharishi and Helmut Lang staging a comeback, it’s safe to say that pre-millennium fashion is having a moment – and continues to.

Take Tom Ford, who closed the first day of NYFW this season with his eponymous label, ditching his ‘see now buy now’ format after just a few seasons. He brought back his famous ‘90s sex appeal with low-slung pants worn on top of highly cut body suits, crystallised t-shirts (worn, ever so practically, without trousers) and body-conscious evening gowns.

Streetwear Meets Minimalism at Helmut Lang

helmut lang nyfw

Speaking of Helmut Lang, it’s gone through a bit of a reinvention of late. With new ‘editor-in-residence’ Isabella Burley taking the place of a traditional creative director, Helmut Lang has already been making waves in the industry for its Ethan James Green-shot campaign and it will undoubtedly be creating an even greater buzz this NYFW, with Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver showcasing his collection for the label. The capsule collection will be inspired by the brand’s legacy but we’re sure to find a few bold silhouettes and streetwear influences too.

Words by Angharad Jones

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert