The streets were icy, but a cold snap couldn’t thaw the fervor of the fashion-fiends decked out in their bescarved and coated finery at New York Fashion Week this year, and their sartorial dedication did not go unrewarded.
NYFW played host to an eclectic mix of designs, from the very wintry to the grunge-psychedelic. A plethora of utilitarian and military-inspired ensembles were seen, as well as an array of warm woolens, with scarves like boa constrictors and balaclava-esque hats. Copious capacious coats in somber hues were offset by the occasional splash of jewel tones.
Karen Walker delivered a standout collection: fresh and polished, it perpetuated the perfect blend of utility and romance. With a pop of orange and dashes of khaki and houndstooth, the tone was one part mod-sweetheart, two parts grunge-chic.
3.1 Phillip Lim brought edgy, biker-chic to the runway in a clamour of leather-looks, and highly textured fabrics in somber hues with the odd streak of rust or navy for warmth.
Thakoon brought texture and some muted glitz, with darker florals, highlighted with shades of lavender, and garments featuring detailed cut-outs, as well as a few lurex-knitted ensembles in shades of midnight and magenta.
Alexander Wang was inspired by the sport of boxing, designing woven caps like helmets and oversized boxing-style woolen gloves. Boxy, oversized silhouettes and capacious woolens knitted out this collection in its multiple shades of grey.
Calvin Klein sent forth sultry cinched waists, alpaca wool, leather tunic tops and skirts with lasercut detailing and 50s frock silhouettes; an effortlessly chic collection with a strong Soviet military aesthetic.
Thom Browne vamped things up, with a collection dripping with red roses; on coats, dresses and appliqued stockings, along with lashings of houndstooth. Square rugby-player shoulders and mattress-like coats in embroidered jacquard gave the whole a gothic-comedic aesthetic. Described as a show to “indulge the most twisted fissures of his creative self” (Style.com), Browne mingled Les Miserables with the Queen of Hearts to en deshabille perfection.
Marc by Marc Jacobs gave us the usual sexy refinement in a palette of navy, mulberry, and teal with black in rich fabrics and classic shapes, dripping with sophistication.
Marc Jacobs was a more shimmering extension of the same glamour, the runway lit by an eerie yellow globe, highly textured garments glowed with a subtle sheen. From cable knit jumpers, to draped fox fur, to pailette-embellished swingcoats and liquid golden gowns, the collection screamed 1920s decadence.
Prabal Gurung played with strong tribal and military elements, employing a smattering of rich red floral applique and custom-made harnesses, followed by swathes of Grecian sequined silk.
Oscar de la Renta produced an eclectic show, with the influence of John Galliano evident in the bucket hats and exotic lacework, a not-surprising outcome following de la Renta’s decision to invite the controversial designer into his studio last month, to be a designer-in-residence. Gorgeous tapestry prints in rich hues and oversized costume jewellery were paired with slicked hair and gothic make-up for a pop-medieval overtone.
Jeremy Scott designed a bold, 90s grunge-pop collection featuring lurid green and blue prints, with Anarchy symbols, zany slogans and Mad-style cartoons with bulging eyeballs, as well as one vomit-green faux fur hooded monster suit.
Rodarte gave us the anticipated Californian-chic, with elements that spoke strongly of cult 90s flick The Craft; a collection that was simultaneously girly and edgy. Tie dye, voluminous layers in soft fabrics, bibs, cutouts and 90s tribal detailing worked with a colour palette predominated by soft peach, black, and grey with some vibrant lime green and deep rust thrown in.
Marchesa was a brilliant swirl of jaw-droppingly brilliant gowns with billowing tulle sleeves and decadent beading and embroidery, high volume pieces that sang of couture.
Anna Sui’s designs fused psychedelic mod with a medieval twist. Rich fabrics in blue, red and gold were featured with woolen coats, amulet-style bling and bold op art patterns, alongside the classic mod silhouette.
Proenza Schouler stunned with hyper-detailed yet minimal perfection. Intricately laser cut leather, oversized coats and chain-mail covered frocks played out to simple, sharp silhouettes, all with the Proenza Schouler air of inimitable cool.
From the very chic (oh! Marc Jacobs) to Jeremy Scott’s sidewalk edge of gritty, the fashion at NYFW was always going to be burning hot, and the glaring runway lights this year were enough to melt even the coldest of fashionista’s hearts.