From the changing of show formats to the hoard of politically-charged sentiments, New York Fashion Week delivered contrasting trends day after day – both on and off the runway. Here are the top moments selected by NOWFASHION:
Oscar de la Renta ready-to-wear Fall Winter 2017 show in New York (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)
Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, designers from Monse, unveiled their first collection for the heritage fashion house, Oscar de la Renta. With a small placard in the shownotes stating: “the Monse show will be immediately followed by the Oscar de la Renta show without intermission,” guests got bang for their buck. Transitioning into a more optimistic ambiance for the ODLR show, Kim and Garcia modernized what is usually quite a conservative and opulent collection – opting for streamlined silhouettes, playful bright colors, and experiential necklines. The collection’s viewing was further enhanced with a beautiful and moody soundtrack overlapped by Robert De Niro’s narration of an immigrant’s story, an excerpt from the 2015 short film "Ellis."
One of the most impressive shows all week – perhaps no surprises there – Thom Browne created an icy set mimicking a frozen-over pond. The atmosphere was almost as astounding as the collection with every inch of the room covered with corresponding fabrics – predominantly all shades of grey, perhaps even fifty (cough). The expected sharp tailored pieces were updated with a sea of embellishments; think everything from clusters of buttons to repeat suit and lace suiting loops. Trompe l’oeil effects warping lace-up boots into ice-skating shoes, the models carefully walked around fabric-covered penguins and plants as well as photographers; the latter of which every person shooting on the riser was given a Thom Browne suit jacket to wear during the show so that they would seamlessly blend into the show’s landscape.
Marc Jacobs ready-to-wear Fall Winter 2017 show in New York (by Elizabeth Pantaleo for NOWFASHION)
There’s a reason why Jacobs’ show has often closed NYFW (other than the many that might exist only known to inner circle industry people): he moves to the beat of his own drum and, as previous seasons can testify to, acts as a resolute pallet cleanser to all previous shows. This season was no different, with the possible exception of Marjan and Browne. Setting-wise, the feel could not have been more minimal or matter of fact (basically the very opposite of what seems to be expected in runway shows these days): the guests were welcomed into the Park Avenue Armory, directed to one of two long rows of metal foldable chairs, and the show began on time and without any warning whatsoever. No music, no lights, no queue, just silence, a few people whispering, and the sound of the models walking in between the two long lines of chairs. In short, a no frills runway that only Jacobs could pull off.
Opening with a spectacular orchestra of a conductor and over a dozen string instrumentalists, Michael Kors had already set the course for what would be one of the chicest shows of the season all while still giving it a comfy feel. In a collection grounded on the idea of “sensual strength,” Kors juxtaposed soft draping with powerful tailored coats, emphasizing the defined waist and structured shoulder. It almost felt as if it was a direct response to the Danish "hygge" trend, an obsession with getting cozy that many people are swooning over. The only difference was the designer’s interjection of opulence by way of intarsia mink, metallic fil coupe fabrics, and long decorative fringing. That he used models of all ages and sizes – including Ashley Graham, Kendall Jenner, and Carolyn Murphy – certainly didn’t make the occasion any less noteworthy.
Moncler Grenoble ready-to-wear Fall Winter 2017 show in New York (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)
On entering the Moncler Grenoble Fall/Winter 2017 show, it was hard to not imagine you weren’t stepping directly into a snow globe. Located in the Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th street, visitors were met with a dazzling lightshow, fake falling snow, and a mirrored stage floor. Dramatizing the show to where a presenter (the always-everywhere micro-celebrity, Derek Blasberg) introduced each section of the collection as different houses, the looks trickled out in order of which theme they belonged to – starting with what seemed like a darkest to lightest color palette.The gala-like music and the 1960s-like cameras that shifted around and over the stage added to the rather surreal alpine-like ambiance. Multi-colored plaids, all-over floral prints, and touches of fur updated classic Moncler silhouettes and resulted in pieces such as hooded puffa jackets, loose ski pants, and shearling coats. The closing of the show didn’t disappoint either and featured a waltzing parade of Moncler-clad dancers, all awaiting their Instagram moment.
Mixing up the traditional format of how a show is unveiled was an overriding trend this season. Kanye West took a new approach to this with his no-show show. As guests ventured into the small Pier 59 studio and seated themselves around a huge black cube of curtains, we knew something was in store. Yeezy brought the models to a larger-than-life scale, projecting them from a backstage 360-platform and blowing them up as a digital projection. The Calabasas-inspired collection ventured into a bit more of a realistic aesthetic than his usual line of form-fitting basics – with mom jeans, denim truckers, cargo pants, and long-sleeve tees – all seeming like everyday wearable pieces. The combination of an ankle-grazing fur coat that was seen on a Hijab-wearing model was certainly a stand out piece.
Tory Burch ready-to-wear Fall Winter 2017 show in New York (by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)
When your show is scheduled first thing on Valentine’s Day, you should probably try to live up to the moment. Tory Burch was dealt this hand and played it marvelously. The designer left a book of love poems on each guest’s seat, as well as heart-patterned cups filled with warming hot chocolate – certainly a nice touch to an otherwise brutally cold Valentine morning. The collection ran consistent with Burch’s design DNA but the looks were more masculine than usual, creating an interesting contrast from her understated glamor. Citing Katharine Hepburn’s character in "The Philadelphia Story" as inspiration this season, Burch delivered an on-point collection that is both wearable and aspirational.