10 Ways NYFW Reimagined Itself This Season

10 Ways NYFW

Reimagined Itself This Season

How many times can a bird replenish its feathers you ask? Well If you’re an expensive bird dedicated to high-fashion dramatic displays and the exploration of the modern woman, it appears you will never lose them, you will simply, reimagine their colors and patterns.

NYFW began in 1943, and for decades was exemplary of everything high-fashion is: exclusive, expensive, beautiful and elitist. With the dawn of social media and the widening access however, its appeal has wained, and many designers in recent years have upped and moved their shows abroad to the glamor of Paris or the historic Milan.

The rejuvenation of an institution is no easy feat, with both designers and producers striving each season to ignite the passion that once was. This past week was no different. We rounded up 10 not-so-effortless ways NYFW managed to stay relevant this season.

1. Minimalism to the max

Millennials are obsessed with minimalism. Look at all of our most-followed Insta-influencers. They are artists of neutral shades, muted tones and pastel color-coordination. And these hot trends were not abandoned on the runway or in the frow either. Ukranian designer Bevza showcased a muted, minimalist line that will inevitably be found on the ultra-hip of Instagram’s elite. Colovos and Max Mara cascaded their catwalks with further pastel and light hues, but it was Victoria Beckham who made the biggest splash with her collection of minimalist-forward pieces. Having dragged crowds all the way up to 91st St. for her show at the James Burden Mansion, the former Spice Girls certainly spiced things up, before her 10-year anniversary next season. #thebeckhamtrench was our favorite minimalist piece this week. 

2. Edible Runways

Doritos and popcorn, two foods highly unlikely to be found in a model’s cupboard, were instead were found underfoot on the runway this season. Raf Simons for Calvin Klein took immense pleasure covering the floor of the American Stock Exchange in six inches of popcorn for his audacious show, while designers Chromat, had each model scoff a flaming’ hot Cheeto at the end of their walk for the cameras. Genius product placement or altruism for skinny models? Still TBD.

Chromat runway. Photo courtesy of Harpers Bazaar
3. Death of the exclusive

Once the most exclusive week of the calendar year, with every passing season, fashion weeks attendees are changing. Whether it’s a new wave of influencers brought over by makeup brands, or fashion bloggers from the other side of the globe, the reams of people that rock up now are drastically different to those who used to adorn the seats of the illustrious shows. The frows of yore, peppered with celebrity, Hollywood elite, fashion icons, can now be found to be decked out with the latest insta-style sensation, audacious tweeter or Facebook favorite. Sure, a ticket to Tom Ford isn’t easy to come by, but if you’ve got enough Youtube subscribers or followers on Instagram, you can be certain of gaining access to the world of NYFW without much, if any, hassle. 

4. 3D makeup

Our love for Jeremy Scott knows no bounds. His recent collaboration with MAC solidified him into our hearts and makeup drawers, and only to further that was his fabulous display of creativity for the catwalk this season. Gigi Hadid, pictured below, and her fellow neon-haired models donned the runway in all their fantastical glamour featuring a 3D cat-eye courtesy of a lot of craftsmanship and a little acrylic paint.

Gigi Hadid feat. cat-eye at Jeremy Scott runway
5. The Instagram takeover

Aside from the fact that SWAAY had different takeovers on our Instagram nearly every day, this was something almost everyone was doing, because fashion week is different for every person. You simply cannot go to every single show, event or party, and thus the takeover allows for a little variety in your coverage. Before the insta-story was a thing, it was veritably impossible. This season however, we saw takeovers from everyone, be it show organizers, to actors, singers, stylists, to the models themselves. Both a fun way to engage with a new audience, and express a new voice to those already following, we can see this becoming a lasting hit with the fashion media and beyond. 

6. Military mavens

Women are made of steel – that much we know to be true, and female designers were paying homage to that strength in their collections this season. The previously mentioned #beckhamtrench was one of a few pieces that particularly stood out for its encapsulation of both strength and femininity.

Alongside Beckham in her fusion of militia and maven was Macau native Gemma Hoi. Upon arrival at Hoi’s show, guests were greeted with a complementary Hoi studio pin and the infamous women’s “we can do it” rendering synonymous with posters encouraging female work during WWII. “The collection was inspired by female American factory workers in the 1940’s,” Hoi told SWAAY. “It was a very beautiful time in American history.” Models, adorned in bejewelled goggles were shrouded in denim shape works that again placed importance on both the beauty of the female body and the tough female resilience. 

Gemma Hoi runway
7. The empowerment effect

This time last year, (most) women of New York were still reeling from the President’s inauguration and the defeat of their first female POTUS. None of the big stories had broken about Weinstein, O’Reilly, Lauer, Batali. Fashion week took off as scheduled, and while there were whispers of defiance on the runways, nothing like what we saw this week is even comparable.

Almost every show was a testimonial to women’s resilience and strength. The models are no longer mere objects on whom the clothes rest, they’re now vessels for how the women will feel while wearing them. From makeup to hair, as TResemmé lead stylist Odile Gilbert commented, the looks were created so that women would be able to say, “Yes, I can be strong.”

Everyone from Phillip Plein to Nathan Zenden of DVF to Dior made a big deal of the movement creating an undeniable atmosphere of support for the movement at large.”I just wanted to say that with everything that’s happening with women right now… I personally am more committed than ever to the empowerment of women,” Von Furstenburg said during a speech at her showroom.

8. Bangs

I am perhaps just a little biased on the above given my current hair situation, but bangs rocked out this season, and all of the coolest people had them, period. Both Selena Gomez and Rosie Huntington Whiteley showed up on the frow donning fresh wispy bangs, in keeping with much of the models of the week. On runways from Jason Wu to Jeremy Scott, full, exaggerated fringes stole the show, and we’re so here for it. 

Bella Hadid at Jason Wu. Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for TRESemme
9. Plus-sized no longer a plus

We have finally begun to normalize the inclusion of plus-sized models on the runway, and in fact, I would posit that we’re subsequently not far off from ditching the “plus-sized” title and simply calling them models.

Project Runway winner Leanne Marshall presented with a plethora of curvy ladies in beautiful silhouettes gliding down her catwalk. Ashley Graham turned up for Michael Kors. Iskra Lawrence was everywhere. And many other designers of note, including Chromat and Christian Siriano continued to elaborate on what was once a ‘niche’ or ‘token’ trend. No longer the exception, we expect to see more and more plus-sized adorned runways, with the focus broadening on diversity and inclusion.

Leanne Marshall runway
10. Departures

There’s nothing like saying goodbye to open the door to invigoration. This season at NYFW, quite a few designers said goodbye to New York, or the fashion industry as a whole. And while it may seem a sore spot for some time, change, especially in this industry, is always a good thing.

Alexander Wang announced right before the week kicked off that it would be his last season conforming to the fall, winter and spring, summer calendar. Instead, he will present his collections in June and December, or just before they’re released into stores. He nevertheless made a major splash for his Times Square show, with every big name in the industry turning up for what is arguably the most anticipated show of every season.

Carolina Herrera made her departure from NYFW, with her last show held at the Museum Of Modern Art before understudy Wes Gordon takes the reigns as creative director. Herrera, who has been in charge of the fashion house for 37 years, insists this is not retirement, rather, a move forward.

Carolina Herrera and her atelier team FW18. Photo courtesy of Vogue
Amy Corcoran

Head of Content at SWAAY: Amy is an Irish writer, avid foodie and feminist with an insatiable appetite for novels and empowering women's writing. She has enjoyed calling Dublin, Paris and now New York her home.

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