Sometime in your life you might’ve heard the saying, “Only in New York.” Perhaps it’s the diverse eight million residents or the boundless opportunities that set the standards for a city where anything is possible. All I can say is, whoever coined that statement must have attended New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
Twice a year in New York City, seven to nine days are reserved for some of the most well-known fashion designers to wow the world with their ingenuity and style. Models, bloggers and spectators, including our very own Young-Eun Choi ’15 and Alexa Lee ’15, flock to the epicenter of America’s fashion scene to start off a series of semi-annual fashion weeks held in cities around the world: London, Milan, Paris and Berlin. Each year the expectations are high as the world waits patiently to see what will be in this season and what will be out. As NYFW begins this season, both amateur and experienced designers alike are anxious to put on a good show.
This year, companies made use of lavish stage setups, celebrity appearances and innovative technology to achieve a “wow factor.” In fact, those elements were combined to create some unforgettable shows. Tory Burch put out one of her best collections to date; a no-makeup, shaggy-banged Kendall Jenner impressed at the Marc Jacobs show; 13-year-old designer Isabella Rose Taylor made an outstanding debut at her first fashion week. Beyond the designs, however, were some spectacular presentations that took the clothing to the next level.
Thom Browne. For a name that sounds so common, it’s hard to expect the perplexing, out-of-this-world stage presence he has. With that being said, his avant-garde Spring/Summer 2015 collection was what I describe as a “tripped out garden party.” His runway was composed of a manicured, green lawn and various pedestals on which models were posed as freakish garden statues. While upholding his usual experimentation with shape, we saw hints of British-inspired suit rigidity and garden party hat eccentricity. The verdict? In the words of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter, “Completely bonkers…but all the best people are.”
Miley Cyrus ditched twerking and made an appearance at NYFW for the debut of her new art collection, “Dirty Hippie.” Supported by Jeremy Scott, Cyrus created artworks consisting of various toys and trinkets (and some marijuana smoking devices) of all colors. These were placed along the catwalk as models strutted in Scott’s vibrant designs. While we obviously can’t predict the future of Cyrus’ career, it’s safe to say she’ll probably stick with the music industry from now on.
There’s one last major recurring element from this year’s NYFW: innovation. We saw it first in the cult label Opening Ceremony for their alternative approach to the traditional catwalk. How did they achieve that? By staging a satirical play about the fashion industry in the Metropolitan Opera House, of course. The Ralph Lauren show is another example: that is, its holographic 4-D show. Ralph Lauren projected the runway on a screen of mist for a multi-dimensional showcase of his Spring/Summer 2015 collection to celebrate his flagship opening on Fifth Avenue. The outcome was obviously a huge, publicized success, and it reminded spectators of the countless possibilities technological advancements can offer today. This season, advancements even extended into the realm of fashion shows, which have featured the same traditional catwalk for decades.
New York Fashion Week has come to a close, and it’s time to direct our attention to London. Each week is made to highlight qualities unique to the country it’s held in. One way is by featuring some major designers from the location. Burberry Prorsum, Mulberry and Topshop are a few shows to keep your eye on. Though I anticipate great presentations from each of the four cities this year, New York has always been particularly special. It’s one of the “Big Four” fashion weeks that signify its respective country’s status in the fashion industry. As a city in America starting off the semi-annual event, a great first impression is only one of the many weights New York carries. Given America’s reputation as a forward and experimental hub of fashion, those contributing to the production make an exceptional effort to reach that bar in crazy and creative ways. This year, I’d say they met that level.
Though the spotlight was only on New York for a week, it was enough time to fully experience the brilliance of each designer’s creations. Who knows what they’ll bring with the clothing next year? Underwater shows? Zero gravity chambers? Regardless, our reaction will remain the same: observing in awe and, as always, agreeing with the blasé phrase “Only in New York”.