It was a somber day — one of those uninspiring wintery bleak-sky days when the ground is perpetually wet from snow showers as I again questioned the wisdom of Fashion Week giving up their former more temperate climate schedules just to competitively show before Europe. Ego, ego, ego …
I was headed to Spring Street Studios, which as a West Villager is certainly more convenient, but unfortunately unaesthetic, unwelcoming, crowded and disorganized. But a passion for fashion still prevails, so I trekked forth.
Gone are the glory days of Fashion Week, when there was true excitement and a community of peers, colleagues, true glam and fashion regulars. Now is the time of Wannabees. At its best, Fashion is an Art, bringing us together. As an inveterate New Yorker, yours truly was bought up in both those worlds. The wonder of the shows is that one can still leave the dismal wintery streets and enter into a vibrant world of fantasy & fashion — a colorful, sometimes surreal land. I am always seeking trends, what this fashion world mirrors back to us about the zeitgeist of our culture, our times.
Karl Lagerfeld: Genius Creator. I write this under the cloud of the passing of a true creative force — Karl Lagerfeld — who not only was a significant influencer as a fashion designer but whose impact was reflected in everything he touched; from his art, through interiors and his personal style.
The larger sociological trends I witnessed were as follows:
Diversity on and off the runway: In the early ‘90s, when I first visited Hawaii, I was in awe of its beautiful people. They represented a racial mix of the indigenous with a myriad global cultures. It was as if nature had synthesized the very best of each into glorious new beings.
I am an admirer of some of the “new” faces surrounding us — a splendid diversity. As a young ingenuous person I used to think that in a new age when everyone is mixed, there would be a racial fusion that would preclude prejudice and bias.
Asian influence and “influencers” everywhere. The gradual rise of Asian designers had exploded. Asians are everywhere and their unique sensibility in design is outstanding — a kind-of fearlessness and whimsy in the manner in which they combine textiles, colors and shapes.
Forecast in the 2010 Museum at FIT exhibition Japanese Fashion Now by the savvy fashion historian and curator, Valerie Steele, NYFW included the works of Chinese, Korean and Indonesian designers.
The world through a screen and the legacy of technology. The dominance of the iPhone in everything … not only for photographing indiscriminately every show, but everyone, coupled with incessant texting. It seems no one is conversing not only vis-à-vis, but minimally on the phone. It has been documented that these newer generations have lost the “Art of Conversation” with some actually enrolling in courses that teach one how to chat.
Youth monopolized. In attending the NYFW shows, it is impossible to ignore the multitudes of 20 and 30-somethings. Waves of know-little, extremely ill-informed (although sometimes refreshing) KIDS! Youth culture increasingly prevails … occupying not only runways but filling the audience and lining the front row.
Sustainability. Hopeful, is the rising concern for the environment and recognition of climate change. Noting that several decades ago Stella McCartney led the way by showcasing collections fabricated with sustainable fabrics and manufactured with lesser environmental impact.
We always appreciate the charitable Events of NYFW. Perhaps most adored is The Red Dress Collection for Women’s Heart Health (The Heart Truth). For years the American Heart Association sponsored by Macy’s presents celebrated high-visibility women walking the runways in their red ensembles created by their favorite designers.
Initiated in 2001, this Go Red movement educates women and all about heart disease, and does life-saving research. The good energy is palatable when everyone is brought together for this vital purpose.
This season among so many other greats, Sherri Shepherd walked wearing Jay Godfrey, The Bella Twins rocked Pamela Morgan, and Reem Acralooked super on Padma Lakshmi …
At the third annual BLUE JACKET Fashion Show to benefit the Prostrate Cancer Foundation, celebrities from theater, film and television, clad in one-of-a-kind Blue Jackets, sprinted down the runway to promote education about prostate cancer.
The stars included Billy Porter, Nigel Parker, Simon Doonan (wearing Banana Republic), Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, and more!
ADDITIONAL TRENDS include Neon Colors, Large Dangle Earrings, Delicate Fragile Jewelry, Ethnic-type Embellishment, Pony Tails, Nude Lips …
And my Favorite: Casual relaxed pajama-like pant suits. Perhaps we’re all a bit tired of the weather, the politics and need a long winter’s nap!