a model at a fashion show

Fall/Winter 2017 Designer Shows

The fashion month to view the Fall/Winter 2017 designer shows is a tiring affair, yet the New York and Paris Autumn-Winter shows had many magical moments. Here I pick out some of the best from these two incredible events.

New York Fashion Week

In Brief: The Row’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen staged their show at the Carlyle, over scones and coffee. Derek Lam and Gabriela Hearst took over the newly renovated the Pool. Brandon Maxwell’s show was at Doubles, the subterranean members-only club. Oscar de la Renta at Sotheby’s used the escalators as an extended runway and Carolina Herrera staged her show in the garden at MoMA.

Unexpected models

Gigi and Bella Hadid were almost impossible to avoid, modelling for so many designers. Unexpected models included artists, singers, friends of designers. At Helmut Lang, Shayne Oliver mixed some of Lang’s original muses, including model Kirsten Owen, with people he had found on the street. Eckhaus Latta included friends as models, including pregnant artist Maia Ruth Lee. Maryam Nassir Zadeh mixed models with the actress Hailey Benton Gates and the artist India Menuez.

Tom Ford

American designer, Tom Ford returned to New York, opening New York Fashion Week and transforming the Park Avenue Armoury into a seductive lounge with models in power-shoulder suiting and gauzy bandage evening dresses.

Calvin Klein

Raf Simons, chief creative officer at Calvin Klein had a diverse front row mix of talent including Trevor Noah, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o, Sterling Ruby, Brooke Shields, Millie Bobby Brown and Paris Jackson. Christina Ricci, Kate Bosworth, Kelela, Rashida Jones and Russell Westbrook were also there.

Ralph Lauren

Celebrating 50 years in business, Ralph Lauren arranged for 250 guests to be driven to Bedford Hills to view his collection in the garage where he stores his cars. With a runway positioned among the designer’s beautiful machines and music from the 1965 James Bond film, “Thunderball,” male and female models walked in clothing inspired by the cars: silvery Prince of Wales check suits for women, Ferrari-red ballgowns, and fringed tuxedos.

Vaquera

Vaquera, a four-person collective surviving on a shoe-string, but of interest to Vogue and The New York Times. Bryn Taubensee, Patric DiCaprio, David Moses and Claire Sully are names to watch for the future. Their show did not have the polish and assurance of more established houses, but the cheekiness was something others may only wish for. Whoopi Goldberg, who reviewed the show for Interview Magazine said she would wear the outsized terry bathrobe.

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a fashion model

Paris Fashion Week

The last leg of the industry’s fashion month provided a dynamic end to the autumn-winter 2017-18 season. Here are some of the highlights from the Paris catwalks.
This season, there were shows at the Louvre, in the Invalides (Napoleon’s Tomb), the Musée Picasso, the Musée Rodin and the gilt environs of City Hall. The Palais de Justice for the Givenchy show and the Russian embassy, where Comme des Garçons unveiled its collection were two stand-out locations.

Rick Owens

Rick Owens and Chanel both choose a water theme at Paris. Owens offered everyone in the audience a black-hooded plastic rain poncho to wear during his water-soaked show at the Palais du Tokyo, overlooking the banks of the Seine, where models took a trip through fountain mists which showered the crowd.

Chanel

Chanel’s show featured a replica of the Verdon Gorge in southern France, with falling into a gully below the catwalk. All this to show a collection of vinyl rain gear.

Thom Browne

Thom Browne’s first women’s show in Paris involved a dream scenario, two space-suited women dancing down the aisles, an extraordinary collection featuring silhouettes in traditional American fabrics woven almost entirely from tulle and a Chinese dragon/unicorn come out of hiding behind its fairy godmother as the finale.

Saint Laurent

Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent opened up Paris Fashion Week at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Spectators sat on a set at the base of the Trocadero, and as models emerged, the Eiffel Tower glittered on cue. The show’s finale, featuring couture-like feather and leather gowns matched the setting, coming down the runway, one more beautiful than the next.

Andre Walker

Andre Walker, the veteran New York designer returned to Paris Fashion Week with a show on the stairs of Les Arts Decoratifs, offering a collection of clothing he originally designed between 1982 and 1986.

And finally… a model’s progress

Teddy Quinlivan. The beautiful redhead Teddy Quinlivan, a familiar face for several seasons, midway through New York Fashion Week came out as transgender. This brave revelation met with a celebratory reaction and then all was normal as she resumed her career in Paris for Dior, Dries, Margiela, Chloé, Paco Rabanne, Haider Ackermann, Sacai, Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton. Not for her story, but because she’s just another woman with a great look and sixth sense in commanding the catwalk.