One down, three to go! London, Milan, and Paris, that is.
The New York chapter of the Spring/Summer 2016 runway extravaganzas has just wrapped up, and even though sartorial delights aren’t my usual bag, I thought I’d do a rundown of some of my personal favourites from the week.
Up first: ADEAM –
ADEAM launched in 2011, and is headed by designer Hanako Maeda. Maeda was born in Tokyo but moved to New York City as a child, and her designs are reflective of both of her hometowns. ADEAM’s S/S ’16 collection is based around the idea of incorporating the aesthetic heritage of Japan with the urbane sophistication of NYC. My favourite piece was a bit of a toss up. I love the gentle fall and feminine shape of the red and black pleated karate dress, but in the end I was won over by the yellow and black obi jacquard strapless dress (above). Strapless gowns can be a bit of a bore, but this one is just such a statement. Inspired by the ‘obi’, the sash worn around the waist of a kimono, the silhouette manages to straddle that perfect line between classic and edgy.
The venue of Carolina Herrera’s showing is what caught my attention: The Frick Collection. You may remember that name from my piece on 12 stunning galleries. The Frick Collection has never played host to a fashion show before, but it certainly did a beautiful job of it – which is entirely unsurprising. Onto the clothes! Herrera’s pieces are usually a little girly for my tastes, but her S/S ’16 collection is really interesting. Perhaps she was inspired by her surroundings? Either way, this cotton-candy pink number (above) really grabbed me. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition between the gauzy pleated skirt and cap-sleeves, and the plate armour-like top, but I actually really like the whole outfit. I’m even down with the sweet rosy shade, and the frankly-overdone midriff baring crop.
FRAME Denim is cool. The front row at their show was cool. The whole imagining of a 70’s American girl blowing over to Europe to flit around the Rivera is cool. So luckily, with all of that hipness, cofounders Jens Grede and Erik Tortensson delivered. With their S/S ’16 outing, FRAME Denim has managed to make the sometimes disenchanting cuts of the 70’s not only wearable; but want-to-wear-able. I think we take for granted just how difficult it can be to make a simple, beautiful, and not throughly boring shirt – which is why I adore this one (above) from the collection. A bit 70’s, but not too much, this button-down would go perfectly with a pair of denims by FRAME.
Gabriela Hearst, also of contemporary line Candela, presented her first self-titled collection in February. That line was picked up by department store Barneys New York, with whom the designer now has an exclusive deal. The whole collection is well cut and easily wearable, with strong splashes of colour and pure, slightly raw materials like cashmere, silk, and cotton gauze. Brimming with blues, ochre-like reds, olive greens, and flashes of metal; my favourite piece from the sporty collection was this pairing of a knitted tank and overall-inspired dress (above).
My token favourite is by Gary Graham. Graham is a designer who very much moves to the beat of his own drum. He doesn’t design his collections around trends; his pieces are always very obviously of the Gary Graham aesthetic, and I like that. Semi Victorian and kind of whimsical, Gary Graham’s S/S ’16 collection is altogether sumptuous and exactly what I had hoped it would be. My favourite look (above) is a pretty lace dress. Simple to the point of looking almost more like a slip than a dress, it is an utterly wearable piece in a world of dreamy delights.
The big to-do of fashion week was Givenchy. Flooded by famous (and not-so famous) faces, the show itself was almost overshadowed by it’s pre-show. There had been whispers for weeks about who and what might come to be of Givenchy’s show at Pier 26, but in the end it was something of a going over. The show fell on the night of the anniversary of 9/11, and for an hour preceding the runway show the audience was beguiled by a performance directed by the artist Marina Abramovic. Performers dressed in monochrome shirts and pants went about their simple rituals, and allowed those who needed it to take a moment to reflect. The collection itself was mostly a rehashing of Tisci pieces that we’ve seen before, but somehow it wasn’t at all boring. My favourite piece was this (above) flirty take on a women’s suit. Strong, but without forsaking femininity, it is a testament to a good designer who can make something so simple quite so fetching.
I had never heard of the brand Hellessy until I ventured beyond the oddly alluring thumbnail of a strapless teal top cascading down a pair of linen trousers. Designed by Sylvie Millstein, the collection full of classic lines and silhouettes is a real delight. With pieces made up from linens, cottons, and silks – and a palette of colours derived from nature almost as clearly as the fabrics the clothes are made from – I was really taken with the refreshing ease of Hellessy’s S/S ’16 offering. I especially loved this oversized dress (above).
Misha Nonoo went her own way, this season. Instead of touting the traditional route of a runway show, Misha Nonoo debuted her S/S ’16 collection on instagram. The thinking behind it all, the designer says, is simple: “When you have most of your front row built out of people with huge social media followings and what you really want is for them to go to your show, take a picture, and share it with their followers, why don’t you just get to that point first?” Nonoo may have a point, and a good one at that. Sooner or later we’re all just going to have to be done with the neat little boxes we like to put things in, because the reality is that they don’t exist anymore. But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here for the clothes, and this shot (above) of Mischa Nonoo’s S/S ’16 collection kills two well clothed birds with one stone, so to speak. I love this slinky white blouse and floaty white dress, although I’m just too short to get on board with the culottes.
Something which I’ve noticed about designer Prabal Gurung’s past collections, is that’s they’re all quite unapologetically bold. That’s great – a brave designer is a good designer, and we’d all get bored otherwise. But Gurung’s S/S ’16 collection is a more gentle one. That isn’t to say it’s not bold, because it is. The shapes are unique and daring, and the palette is interesting. The colours are derived both from Holi powder, and the work of artist Laxman Shreshtha. I loved the show-opener (above), this off the shoulder number with it’s tissuey sleeves and lashes of bright metallic warmth.
TOME, although based out of New York, is actually a homegrown brand. Headed by two Australians, Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo, TOME’s S/S ’16 collection was inspired by all number of pretty fantastic ladies – including Australian artist Fiona Hall. Subdued and calm in terms of colour, the collection didn’t disappoint where it’s now-signature intrigue is concerned. One of the most visually interesting runways of the week, TOME’s highlight for me was right at the top (above) of the show.
I’m no trendsetter, but I hope that these ten looks from NYFW are a good encapsulation of what I felt was a diverse, wide-ranging week of sartorial delights.