Let’s be honest, New York is the worst out of the fashion week lineup. Most of the trends that come out of the nine days of shows either involve sportswear or dulled down, recycled trends that appeared in London and Paris two seasons ago. This year was exceptionally bad, because a large fraction of the designers (Rodarte, Rachel Comey, Tommy Hilfiger, etc) who normally present in the city migrated to either Los Angeles or Paris to showcase their Fall/Winter collections. But enough with the negativity. Because what New York lacks in creativity and innovation amongst it’s hyped brand names, it makes up for with its abundance of young designers that most people (that is, those who don’t work in fashion) have no clue about.
When I think of New York Fashion Week, big designers like Ralph Lauren, Altuzarra and Alexander Wang illicit no excitement whatsoever. Instead I lose my shit over the rising stars. Take Rosie Assoulin who launched her label of statement daywear a mere four years ago. This season I was loving her eccentric take on the pantsuit as well as this origami folded red day-to-night dress:
Other notable takeaways from New York were newcomers Rejina Pyo and Maryam Nassir Zadeh. Pyo, a graduate of Central Saint Martins, has had her brand blow up in recent months thanks to Instagram street style pics. For the coming Fall season, she’s got me daydreaming about corduroy mini skirts like it’s 2008 and I’m back at boarding school again. Then there’s Maryam Nassir Zadeh, who makes amazing shoes that appeal to anyone obsessed with 90s nostalgia. Last month, she not only put on her first runway show at the Guggenheim, but she also launched her first handbag line. I now know what I’ll be saving for all summer.
Hands down, the most underrated city for fashion. I studied in the British capital for the past two years, because it’s home to essentially all of my favorite designers ever. And they all happened to graduate from the same school: Central Saint Martins.
When anyone asks who my favorite designer is I always say Mary Katrantzou without skipping a beat. And this season, unlike her past two, she did not disappoint. Katrantzou stepped it back up for fall with luscious, candy colored faux fur coats and matching platform loafers and mules.
Meanwhile, across town Christopher Kane put Crocs on the runway…again. Maybe one day people will come around to wearing those again, but for now they still haven’t caught on. Additional highlights from London included fur everything from Simone Rocha: fur slides, fur robes, fur satchels, you name it, and then also some great shirting and animated printing from Isa Arfen.
Over the past two years, something miraculous happened. Milan Fashion Week gradually got good again for the first time since like the 90s. Of course, most of this hype has to do with the newly transformed Gucci under Alessandro Michele. And yes, I agree that Gucci is amazing (Prada too) but there are a lot of overshadowed labels that not many talk about. For instance, a lot of editors hate Moschino for it’s kitschy, tongue-in-cheek clothing and accessories, but I find it all hilarious. Take this dry cleaning bag dress for example. How great would it be to wear this to some black tie event?
Other designers I always love to see from Milan are: Vivetta, Stella Jean, Marni (accessories only though) and Marco de Vincenzo. Life goal is to marry an Italian man and run away to a villa in Capri, so I’ve got to dress the part first.
There are two shows I get way too excited for come Paris fashion week. One is Carven and the other is Miu Miu. Carven sucked this season, because the brand has yet to hire a new creative director so that left all my focus on Prada’s little sister label. I was left lusting after this PVC coat with a colored fur trimmed collar. (See below.) Other key pieces were the matching knitwear sets and cutesy wool coats. The newsboy hats were….interesting. Very Lizzie McGuire circa 2003.
Then I surprisingly loved Stella McCartney this season, probably because there were none of those wooden platform oxfords in sight. And then Chloe, not normally a go-to for me either, proved to be another standout collection and sadly, Clare Wright Keller’s last for the brand. With an accelerated designer turnover rate occurring at a number of the biggest houses right now, here’s to seeing what’s next.
* Artwork by Christina M Garcia *