Best of New York Fashion Week Spring 2018
There is no easy way to say this: New York Fashion Week left this fashion lover feeling jaded about the place fashion is in. I just keep thinking that, try as it might, fashion can't escape the existential crisis that has burgeoned in the industry over the last few years. Allow me to explain.
There were a lot of good clothes, but not a lot of great clothes, and even fewer clothes that made me think. There were exceptions. Demna Gvasalia, of Vetements, stands out in my mind for provocatively calling out fashion's relevance to our everyday lives by displaying his new collection on people he approached on the street: old people, young people, families.
Images courtesy of Vetements / Demna Gvasalia via Vogue
It's as if photographed in their city, on their streets, in their real lives, these people were collectively saying: fashion exists to serve us. And yet, so removed from the fantasy of fashion and instead entrenched in the reality of life, Vetements' presentation had me wondering: is this even Fashion? Of course it is, but then, what do we make of the artifice of the runway? This is one example of what I mean by fashion's existential crisis. Does fashion exist to help us dress the women we want to be or the women we are? Can runway and reality co-exist or does one necessarily need to give way to the other? Do the commercial pressures that weigh on designers end up taking precedence over their creative expression? If not, how can we explain why, looking past the patina of the new and shiny, so many of the clothes felt (at least to me) less than fresh?
Fashion is at an interesting, important moment in its arc. And I think it just might be a victim of its own ambition. The volume and speed at which the industry is moving, envisioned as pillars of profitability and growth, are in my opinion threatening fashion's very foundation. How can we, as consumers, meaningfully take in thousands of new items of clothing by hundreds of designers in New York and London and Paris, for spring, and fall, and now between seasons? How can designers produce meaningful clothing with this frequency and speed? How can fashion be meaningful if the people buying it and the people making it are struggling to find meaning in what is being made and consumed?
I don't know. What I do know is that considering the future of fashion isn't going to stop me from enjoying the present, so here are the clothes that stood out for me from New York Fashion week.
I loved the pleating, the bright colors, and the interesting silhouettes. There's something so soft here, but strong, too. And I imagine these pleats will produce such a gorgeous effect when moving.
Images by Sara Kerens / Courtesy of Tome via Vogue
Maryam Nassir Zadeh
This was just a collection of good clothes. So much of what came down the runway felt instantly relevant, which I believe is one of Ms. Nassir Zadeh's innate talents. I felt like I could relate to the pieces but I didn't feel like I was looking at clothing I'd seen before. The presence of the unexpected kept the collection feeling fresh and interesting.
Images by Monica Feudi / Indigital.tv via Vogue
Despite normally not being drawn to clothing that is too feminine, I can't pretend I didn't love this breezy, romantic take on femininity from Brock Collection. I particularly loved the asymmetry at the shoulders and the pops of contrasting textures of fabric.
Images by Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv via Vogue
This sage green wonder from Sies Marjan is absolutely everything I want to be wearing right now, from the materials to the color palette and that bright pop of orange red lip. Sign. Me. Up.
Image by Luca Tombolini / Indigital.tv via Vogue
Were I to take the above ensemble off for an evening cocktail or a warm day in fall stroll through the park, I'd wear the below number from Gabriela Hearst and then I'd continue wearing it, not hyperbolically, for the rest of my life. What a simply gorgeous, timeless silhouette and just about the most perfect length I could imagine.
Image by Marcus Tondo / Indigital.tv via Vogue
I loved this fringed silk dress topped with a modern spin on a kimono from Alejandra Alonso Rojas.
Image courtesy of Alejandra Alonso Rojas via Vogue
And finally, I almost lost it on sight of this sheer, pleated, architectural top from Sid Neigum. How very lovely.
Image courtesy of Sid Neigum via Vogue
That's it! Eager to hear your thoughts on what you saw at NYFW.