New York Fashion Week is always one of the most hotly anticipated fashion weeks of the season as the city attracts numerous creative people who themselves define new styles and trends through their own creative visions.
This sunny September, New York was centre stage for the presentation of the Spring-Summer 2018 collections. With the exception of Altuzzara, Proenza Schouler and Tommy Hilfiger – who decided to present their collections in Paris and London during their own respective fashion weeks – the portfolio of designers was huge, with more than 100 shows staged across the American fashion capital!
As with art, nothing remains the same but, in summary, we can say that this season there were two central inspirations: modern street and contemporary romanticism.
On the one hand, designers like Alexander Wang, Gabriella Hearst (married to John Augustine Hearst – member of the board of directors of Hearst publishing house), Jason Wu, Baja East, Tanya Taylor, Fenty x Puma, Prabal Gurung, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and Narciso Rodriguez each elevated their sense of modern street-wear/street-style elegance and way of being to the next level.
On the other hand, designers like Ralph Lauren, Diane Von Fürstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Rosie Assouline, Christian Siriano, Marina Moscone, Brandon Maxwell, Micheal Kors, Tom Ford and DelPozo presented their own contemporary visions of the romantic woman.
Dynamic and up-to-date, the Spring-Summer 2018 collections are an ode to the new approach that New York designers have adopted towards fashion. Undoubtedly, fashion shows have to be glamorous, full of celebrities and filled with dreamy dresses, yet that’s not for everyone, as exemplified by Alexander Wang and Baja East, who presented their collections directly on the streets, giving everyone access to the glitzy world of fashion.
Is this a new democratised version of fashion? Perhaps not, as one could already watch shows live on the brand’s websites. Still, no-one would expect to see top models and celebrities right in the streets, standing right in front of them.
In terms of style, designers inspired by “modern street” presented suits (Gabriela Heart’s two-piece suit was a tailored masterpiece!), short dresses (such as Jason Wu’s sleek, floral print short dresses), dresses showcasing bold lines (such as Calvin Klein’s last exit), and strong silhouettes with defined pop color palettes, while other “romantics” put on the runway dreamy dresses that defined a soft silhouette (Oscar De La Renta) and (sometimes) gave a pop-girlish attitude (Tom Ford) or a sumptuous spirit to the collection (Christian Siriano).
The must-have color for next summer is definitely yellow. Represented in all its shades, from amber (Marina Moscone’s rocks are a definitive must-have!) to dark gold (Gabriella Hearst’s coat, for example) to flashier yellows (Del Pozo and Rosie Assoulin), this color has been transformed and adapted into a multitude of collections that radiate summer, joy and optimism.
Let’s not forget that fashion has always had a relationship with reality and that sometimes, a fashion show can declare political opinion, or be a manifestation of a designer’s take on society.
Alexander Wang’s collection was all about partying, while Brandon Maxwell and Carolina Herrera’s luxurious and dreamy dresses were related to a contemporary New Yorker who loves to live with a kind of glam-nostalgia.
And then there are designers who transpose their spirit into the fabrics they use.
Diane Von Fürstenberg played with modern fabrics created by the house’s new designer Johnatan Sounders, while Tanya Taylor cut the fabrics for her dresses as if they were pieces of art. Prabal Gurung played with them in the most soft and gentle way one would expect, while Del Pozo adapted fabrics as if they were an architectural masterpiece. Finally, Fenty x Puma by Rihanna gave the sportswear a sexy-glam appeal.
Other seasonal must haves are, without doubt, flower prints and stripes. From Jason Wu to Prabal Gurung, Christian Siriano to Marc Jacobs – everyone has created flower print dresses that give a vibrant appeal to the collection while, for stripes, Carolina Herrera and Maria Moscone provided the best interpretations as represented at NYFW.
A week full of surprizes that left us with a defiant sense of optimism, and an equally exuberant way to enjoy fashion.