New York fashion week was full of spirited shows and fabulous young designers, that I saw via live streaming. It began with Tom Ford’s glitzy ’90s theme with waiters in short shorts. Then Alexander Wang invited everyone to Bushwick, Brooklyn and Ralph Lauren’s invite was to Bedford, New York. Probably best not to say too much about the Brooklyn event, since it started one hour late, took place on the street and had journalists penned in by security for the five-minute show. I’m glad I wasn’t there since it appears that just getting in to watch Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber was a challenge.
Enough of the negativity. Looking to the Spring 2018 designer collections, the themes were either American Horror or American Dreams. The Raf Simons collection for Calvin Klein saw inspiration drawn from the American West, Andy Warhol’s art, and horror movies. At the other end of the spectrum Sies Marjan, Victoria Beckham (supported by her entire clan), and Michael Kors shared pure optimism. Another British name at the NY Fashion week was designer Jonathan Saunders, presenting his third collection at Diane von Furstenberg.
Bold hand-painted florals on floaty sundresses. Wide-leg trousers with a bold stripe with a simple T-shirt. Saunders is clearly confident with colour, but my favourite dress is his one-shoulder black dress with colourful floral embroidery and white piping.
With some big names not on the schedule, including Tommy Hilfiger who had chosen to showcase in London, lesser known designers had the chance to shine, and they did. Eckhaus Latta offered wearable, experimental styles and had a pregnant model on the catwalk. Vaquera also refocused on wearable items, mixing surfer staples with corporate wear. Shayne Oliver for Helmut Lang was energising, if not entirely wearable.
I want to own the entire collection! Feminine clothes in dusty rose, lilac and powder blue and a vibrant red dress with a ruffled neckline and a cutaway panel at the waist. I also loved her checked shirts paired with light pencil skirts and fluid outsize shirts teamed with wide-legged trousers. I’m saving up for a pair of her new glitter Harper slippers.
Fenty shows are always exciting, but adrenaline was raised further by Rihanna’s inclusion as motocross riders roared up a giant ramp and flipped 360 over mountains of pink sand on the runway below. The collection was a mix of biker, surf and scuba influences. Detailing included sheer mesh, adjustable lacing, industrial zippers and toggles. On my wish list is a red and black motocross-inspired anorak.
Modelling is becoming diverse
What I really loved about the runways at NY Fashion week was that there were models of every age, body shape, size and gender. I saw Ashley Graham at Michael Kors, Winnie Harlow at Marc Jacobs, Jordyn Woods at Chromat and Teddy Qunilivan who came out as transgender, in the hope that in future that news won’t make the headlines again. My hope is that diversity continues in London.