The fashion climate at NYFW is changing and it’s not just in terms of which season is on ‘preview’.
From a metaphorical game of musical chairs between fashion editors and industry experts switching from one house to another within the industry, to a spike in the population of street style photographers, the shifting of tectonic plates in fashion was quite evident.
Evident enough to façade the vacuum left by designers who decided to migrate to London, Milan and Paris calendars this year.
The absence of fundamental names from the NYFW landscape, such as Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra and Thom Browne, left a significant void on the fashion week schedule and also brought to fore the blaring heat surrounding the notion of NYFW going through a cataclysm of sorts.
To put these queries to rest, it has to be noticed that, firstly, not everyone is changing their sigil and flying across the Atlantic, with players like Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang continuing to stay (for now) on American soil.
The exodus has also positively resulted in a flurry of new talent and younger brands filling up the gap and injecting it with fresher perspectives and a new lease of creativity.
Also, to counter these claims, we have the perfect example of Tom Ford, who returned to New York for Spring Summer 2018, after stunts all over the international fashion circuit.
Like the showman Mr. Ford is, his return was marked by the opening show for NYFW at the Park Avenue Armory, which was transformed into an elegant lounge, complete with mood lighting. Models lavishly bedecked in seductive, crystal-embellished bodycon dresses and power-suiting, reminded us of why New York, amidst all the apparent turmoil, still emerges as a leading fashion capital.
Diversity went full throttle with a subversive mix of design talent, cultural identities, body proportions and age groups appearing on the runways proving once again that America stands truly united, irrespective of the political dilemma surrounding it currently.
Designers and brands alike successfully managed to conjure a sense of purpose by offering collections rich in identity and character that remind us of the pivotal part that fashion plays in today’s tortuous political and cultural landscape.
Tom Ford and Rihanna (with her Fenty x Puma) went out to break the rules of ‘conventional fashion’ by offering glamorous sportswear, while Coach and Oscar De La Renta blurred lines between daywear and nightwear.
Bold colour directions popped out at Sies Marjan, who also flaunted impeccable tailoring and an intelligent use of fabrics like fur and foiling techniques over power-suiting.
The colour palette emerged as a strong play of lilac tones, marina blues, primrose yellow, cherry and tomato red for the season.
Additionally, the hand-drawn and hand-written motifs signalled a shift towards ‘the human touch’ for the season ahead.