The ready-to-wear shows of New York Fashion Week for fall 2018 are in full swing and the world is sceptically watching. While some designers chose to stick to traditional silhouettes with modest details, and impeccable craftsmanship along the traditional lines of tailoring, others preferred to make a statement at what some might call ostentatious and certainly more elaborate ensembles. However, don’t be so quick to ridicule these looks. Is making a statement so bold, brave, and obnoxiously demanding of the public’s attention that one can’t possibly look away, actually a stroke of genius? Considering that we here in “the north” don’t anticipate winter taking a hike anytime soon, we are very much looking forward to how designers this season will not only design for the cultural moment, but will inspire us to style our existing wardrobes in new ways. At least until next season’s collections are ready for purchase. Here are some of our favourite shows from day two, where real people, Chinese food and damn good tailoring reigned.
Collina Strada’s collection was an ode to self love. Models of different ages, genders, ethnicities and body types were all featured in the show, and quite frankly we’re loving this refreshing dose of inclusivity – even a baby was carried down runway! Fashion is for everyone! Sheer fabrics, hoodies, robes, tartan patterns, and leopard prints were all featured in the collection. The looks were soft with a childlike innocence, but were juxtaposed with the maturity of sheer skin-revealing fabrics. The models walked comfortably in sneakers and flat shoes – no high heels necessary. The final look, worn by the “bride” and actress, Sasha Frolova, was all white featuring a pierced nipple t-shirt and cargo pants with an apron-style skirt layered overtop. The look was topped off with a knotted tulle headpiece. But this was no ordinary wedding – after the music stopped, a poem was read about female power and self respect, then Frovola read out vows she wrote to herself. There were even two “flower girls” played by influencer twins, Reese (@double3xposure) and Molly Blutstein (@mollyblutstein) who both wore matching yellow pastel top and skirt sets.
It was only ten years ago that Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs presented their senior year collections at the Parsons School of Design in NYC, and with this collection being their tenth anniversary as a company they decided to pull from the roots of their inspiration: Zaha Hadid’s architecture. Sleek and silky body-hugging silhouettes in neutral colour palettes dawned the runway with fur and feather accents. Pops of hot pink added colour to the otherwise conservative palette. Slicked back hair and basic eye makeup with a burgundy lip polished off the look and imbued the kind of “woman on the go” effortlessness we’ve all been craving. However, we can’t help but wonder if these designs are inclusive of body types over a size six.
Liang’s presentation took place at Mission Chinese food restaurant, one of her favourite hang out spots in the lower East Side neighbourhood. Liang stuck with what was familiar to her: many of her friends, including the owner of Mission restaurant appeared as models in her presentation. The collection was sweet, cute and a little tough around the edges. Her signature staple – colourful coats and jackets – added a stylish touch to the collection as Liang stayed in her comfort zone and stuck to her roots. There were pink dresses with black lace, pleated tartan school-girl skirts and trousers, sailor girl collars, a shearling moto-jacket, and graphic knits featuring Liang’s Australian Shepherd, Tim Tam; who even made a live appearance in the presentation. Although the collection was charming and wearable, we would love to see Liang come out of her comfort zone in the future and try something a little more new and exciting.
Speaking of Creatures of Comfort, designer Jade Lai, described her deeply menswear inspired collection as “a celebration of womanhood” with a “bookish” sort of aesthetic. Polka dots, belted waist lines, and silky neck scarves added a touch of femininity to structured layers. Although Lai was like many other designers in the spirit of the #metoo movement, the Creatures of Comfort woman has always had a strong, independent persona which carried through effortlessly into this collection. There was an eclectic mix of fabrics, silhouettes, and garments which were pieced together to form a cohesive puzzle of looks. Trending autumn colours such as burnt orange, bright red, navy, silver toned blues, royal purples, and shades of browns and greys were brightened with a cheery pop of fuchsia (possibly the new iteration of “millennial pink”?). We especially loved the oversized blazers, trousers, and trenches, that were cuffed, tucked, and belted ever so intentionally. They added just enough shape and formality for an office appropriate look while also making it known that you’re very much a fashion person. The Creatures girl seems to have it all: comfort and style that oozes cool girl chic.
*Images courtesy of Vogue.com