I honestly don't cover New York Fashion Week/Month anymore because for me the thrill is gone. It used to be all about the clothes and quickly became a hype based fashion event for everyone outside of the industry. It is a former shell of what Eleanor Lambert started with her "press week" in 1943 when American fashion was pushed to the forefront due to World War II.
The week long show case of American fashions set the blueprint for Fashion Week as we know it today, but so many things have changed since then- starting with the move from Bryant Park, the influx of celebrity designers and the designer as celebrity, boring legacy houses that dominate media based on name alone who only design according to what sells, and the blatant erasure of black designers, media and models- all made me lose interest. However this season was a little different...
Shows are still nothing more than expensive publicity stunts and PR for brands. Most of the clothes from the show never even appear in stores. The sometimes crazy designs on the runway are simply for show and very rarely produced. Creative directors/designers are showing buyers and magazine editors their point of view through colors, silhouette, tailoring and other design points in hopes that stores will order pieces that will sell (about 25%-45% are actually in stores) including the latest bags, shoes, perfumes and other accessories that really keeps the fashion houses running.
So when you see something bizarre on the runway and ask yourself "Who is wearing that shit?!"
The answer is not many, if any lol!
There are exceptions such as sample sales and if you live near an actual designer outlet (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors) they will always carry more runway looks than department stores, (Nordstrom, Saks, Barneys) but most of the frou frou/fantasy/avant garde runway type stuff is used for red carpets, magazine covers and editorials and is too expensive (and sometimes too heavy!) to actually produce. It is up to the buyers in your area to determine how much from the shows will end up on clothing racks.
Aside from all that, this season was the first time that I felt like the diversity on the runway wasn't forced. There was representation for everybody- dark skinned models, chunkier models, Asian models, models with hijabs, models with missing limbs, trans models and pregnant ones too. And more designers of color received well deserved press and praise- and most importantly a lot of the clothes were VERY good! Here are my some of my favorite moments from the Spring 2019 season...
With ten years in the game under her belt as a former duo, Carly Cushnie is now designing without her partner, but she hasn't missed a beat. Cushnie literally stayed true to her roots by giving us a glimpse into her Jamaican culture with a tropical Rasta/dance hall themed color palette. The collection while loud and punchy at times meshed nicely with quieter hues and tones in relaxed shapes and luxe fabrics. Clean lines remain the same and so does the overall laid back elegance that is a known Cushnie et Och aesthetic, but Cushnie made it her own without straying too far from what the brand is known for, so I'm excited to see where she takes it next.
Usually when political statements are made in fashion they are in a tongue in chic way- a slogan on a shirt, a politically correct model on the runway, signs being held- nothing too deep... But Kerby Jean-Raymond, creator of Pyer Moss whose clothes, shows and campaigns are steeped in activism gave fashion insiders a fully immersive show heavily dipped in Black culture. First of all the show was held in Weeksville- one of the first free Black communities in the 19th century in what is now the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn, New York. Then there was the clothes- words: "Stop calling 911 on the culture" and "See us now?" were embroidered and stitched on pieces next to dramatic bell sleeve gowns. Tees, trousers and Swaroski crystal shirt dresses with Black people doing leisurely activities based on photos in The Negro Motorist Green Book also appeared on the runway. He debuted new work for FUBU and Reebok, had a Black choir sing Stevie Wonder and "Swag Surfin" as models walked and after the show Jean-Raymond literally invited everybody to the cookout where he served jerk chicken wings and Hennessy cocktails! #BlackAF
Nobody does pop kitsch better than Jeremy Scott and sometimes his collections for his namesake brand and Moschino (whom he also designs for) can be very over the top, in your face and somewhat obnoxious. But this collection was so much fun to look at and once I found out that Scott was his own muse, it all made sense. He took all the elements that he loves- bold colors, wild prints, punk, grunge, cartoons- and splashed it all over zippered jumpsuits, oversize hoodies, and mini skirts. Patches, Pokemon's Pikachu and pictures of himself also adorned the vibrant looks Scott sent down the runway. Ready to wear for the Instagram crowd and exciting for everybody else to look at.
Christian Siriano is one of the most successful Project Runway alumni to this day and for good reason. This spring he played around with a Hawaiian jungle theme with Siriano's interpretation of flora and fauna- a dramatic mix of botanical printed dresses, cheetah, leopard, zebras and tigers, and he threw in a few chartreuse island life gowns and suits that offered a balance of sweetness and edge. But what I loved the most about all of Siriano's shows is the diversity of models. A lot of shows are just now catching the wave, but Christian has been doing it effortlessly for a minute, being a champion for all skin tones and body types. And I love to see who is walking his runway every season.
Sleek. Expensive. Sensual. Nobody does sex appeal like Tom Ford, where the sex is in the movement of a fringed floor length skirt, an exposed arm of a highly stylized tuxedo, in the sheen of a body skimming suit or in the animalistic vibes of a crocodile skin corset- but never overtly in your face. It's a reason why celebrities turn to Ford for their evening wear- this collection is the epitome of grown and sexy.
Nyadak "Duckie" Thot is an Australian born Sudanese model that was third runner up in Australia's Top Model a few years ago. She moved to New York, hit the runway for Yeezy and a few others last year, and the rest of the industry must have took notice because this season she was every where! We saw Duckie walk for Christian Cowan, Savage X Fenty, LaQuan Smith, Oscar de la Renta and Jeremy Scott just to name a few. Not to mention the numerous magazine covers and the major fashion and beauty campaigns she scored this year. This doll face beauty is definitely winning!
Cardi B threw a shoe at Nicki Minaj at a fashion week party and walked away knotted up by Nicki's security team. The buzz was saying the incident was going to stop Cardi B's bag- meaning everyone thought the fashion world would distance themselves from her, but that could not have been further from the truth! She was spotted rocking more designer gear sitting front row at Paris Fashion Week and the streets embraced her. Nicki on the other hand went on a rant on her Queen radio show and has been going at Cardi ever since.
Marc Jacobs tried to throw shade by starting his fashion show super late to close out New York Fashion Week but that risky move backfired when editors cut out half way through to hit up Riri's Savage X Fenty lingerie collection, and they weren't disappointed. Jacobs used to have a notorious problem with starting his shows on time and had turned a new leaf in recent years, so this move just seemed extra...
Favorite Runway Moments
I loved seeing Lil Kim walk the runway for V Files wearing an acid yellow mini dress with the starburst yellow hair to match! Kim is a fashion icon and the one who started the luxurious high low mix of name brand and street style over 20 years ago. From the ghetto fabulous looks, to the bright hair and designer handbags and shoes Kim deserves all the recognition and I love it when fashion pays homage to her.
âPopular gap tooth Fenty model Slick Woods walked Rihanna's lingerie show, looked amazing with her robust belly and went into labor soon after. She and male model Adonis Bosso welcomed their first child together, a baby boy named Saphir. It was rumored that Erykah Badu was suppose to be the doula, but nothing was confirmed saying that happened. #Iconic.
Do you get into fashion week/month? If yes what were your favorite collections, models and moments that happened this season?
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