And so it begins…
There’s a slight chill in the air which can only mean one thing… Spring/Summer ’17 fashion week season is upon us! My phone becomes (even more so than normal) a further extension of my arm, my battery life severely suffers and my Instagram following count rapidly increases. It all starts in the city that never sleeps, America’s capital of culture and arguably the world’s fashion capital, New York. With over 100 shows, events and presentations in such a short, snappy period I can only imagine the week is a blur of glitz, and glamour for those lucky enough to attend. NYFW wouldn’t be the same without some drama and controversy and this season was no exception. We were reminded that even models make mistakes like us mere morals when Bella Hadid took a tumble during the Michael Kors show, and tension was high following the use of dreadlocks in Marc Jacob’s show with no recognition of the culture who provided the iconic look. I could ramble on endlessly about all NYFW had to offer, but do not fear, I have resisted the urge to do so and I have disciplined myself. I am only going to share my thoughts on six of my favourite collections from NYFW.
Marc Jacobs SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Thursday 15th September 2016
First and foremost, is the electro-pop inspired Marc Jacobs SS17 ready-to-wear collection. Marc Jacob’s is in hot water after the use of pastel coloured dreadlocks from Etsy during Thursday’s show and has been accused of cultural appropriation. The designer’s response to such backlash has caused further outcry by failing to credit the black culture for the iconic look. Whilst I don’t agree with those in privileged and influential positions not using their status to address pressing issues; I can’t help but admire this fun, vibrant collection made up of sequins, suede, satin and more. Jacob’s inspiration from the party goers of the late ‘80s and ‘90s and their dedication to the cause wasn’t only evident in the killer ‘spice up your life’ platforms but also in the staging. The contrast of the pastel pallet with the dark and grungy runway, peppered with neon lights and accompanied by Underground’s Born Slippy in the background ensured homage was paid to the gritty urban rave scene of the ‘90s. This collection made me want to plaster myself in glitter, wear the brightest eye shadow I could find, grab my platforms and head to the club whilst bopping along to Insomnia by Faithless.
Thom Browne SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Monday 12th September 2016
Thom Browne threw a pool party that would rival that of Gatsby himself. This elaborate show, set in an underground space turned into a 1950s bath-house, filled with energetic colour-blocking which seemed to reflect the pop-art movement of the era, was sure to mesmerise its spectators. The trompe l’oeil effect merging the masculinity and femininity of the pieces in a single smooth seamless transition is both aesthetically pleasing and intriguing. The show stopper has to be the dog mirror embroidered headpiece, a homage to Browne’s dog – Hector, which reflects a love and commitment to man’s best friend that only fellow dog owners will truly understand. Needless to say Browne’s collection further solidified the relationship between fashion and art.
Libertine SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Monday 12th September 2016
God save the Queen! Libertine’s SS17 collection consisted of a tribute to the anarcho-punk days that took our nation by storm in the mid-1970s, Bob Marley and other key culturally influential figures in society. It was the former that particularly caught my attention as it evoked nostalgic memories of my days at secondary school when I carried out a project on the British punk movement in textiles (I still have my final piece). The show was littered with prints of Liz herself, Union Jacks, neon rhinestones, hot pink fur and jackets embezzled with non-conformist slogans, all calling into question the conventional idea of beauty. Libertine is known for its creativity and this collection was no exception, reigniting the fire in the heart of any former punk.
Coach SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Tuesday 13th September 2016
Stuart Vever’s Spring collection was the polar opposite to his preppy fall 2016 collection. This grungy, archaic look was unlike anything presented by the brand before and I have never really given the brands previous collections much recognition. It was a bold move but nonetheless a successful one, demonstrating the fluidity and diversity of the brand. Non-conformity to traditional values of beauty is a reoccurring theme of this season and this gritty, edgy collection complete with a runway peppered with automobile relics and destruction clearly received the memo. With multitudes of leather, silk, mesh there appeared a tribute to the 90s, along with a tributes to the collections muse Elvis Presley after the brand successfully acquired the rights from the singer’s estate. This collection also saw the return of the creepers, these iconic shoes made a re-appearance in 2010/11 and much to the dismay of my mother I jumped on the bandwagon and strutted round town in a pair of black suede creepers. I doubt I will dig them back out now they have graced the runway once again, I’m just grateful that this proves I wasn’t completely delusional since they have been given recognition on the runway. Whilst, I love admiring the art of fashion, I love it even more when a I come across a collection that is artistic but also extremely wearable and its safe to say the Vever’s spring collection has achieved such a balance. My favourite pieces from the collection being the silk embroidered bomber and the soft pink fur coat (as you will learn I love jackets and coats and I believe you can never have enough).
Altuzarra SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Sunday 11th September 2016
Coach was not the only brand distancing itself from the norm in regards to its previous collections, Altuzarra followed suit. The SS17 collection was worlds away from its normal sharp business-like attire with this fun, youthful collection, full of bright, vibrant colours, flamingo style dresses and skirts and snakeskin blazers embroidered with varying mediterrian fruits. The retro ‘80s style hoops dangling besides the models perfectly symmetrical faces further fuelled the fun and playful theme. This collection reminded me of holidays in Spain and made me want to jet off to some exotic destination for a bit of fun in the sun.
Monique Lhuillier SS17 Ready-To-Wear -Tuesday 13th September 2016
This collection is bound to make any girl lucky enough to own a piece feel like a princess with the candy pink colour scheme, the bellowing ball gowns sprinkled with silver heart embroidery here and there and the sequins, one must never forget the sequins! I hope this elegant collection will incorporate its way into the next award season, these dresses would be a perfect accompaniment to any red carpet and golden statute. They epitomise Hollywood glamour and I will be gravely disappointed if they are a no show at the coming award season.
It is clear that NYFW had a lot to offer from gothic, grungy get-ups to fiesta attire to elegant ball gowns, and I can only hope London, Milan and Paris will match NY by offering an equal amount of diversity.