A snowstorm at New York Fashion Week did not deter fashionistas from racing show to show through the snow, clad in designer stilettos. If one thing is for certain, the fashion community was not restricted by the blizzard. Rather, designers embraced the weather as an opportunity to showcase their best winter pieces.
Inspiration for fall looks extended beyond the arts. This season, several designers pulled inspiration from their own international voyages. Using their miles prior to hitting the design boards, designers were influenced by places including Turkey, Spain and France.
BGBG Max Azria took hints from layered textures in Turkey while Anna Sui looked to France for a post-Revolutionary, French “new-wave” look. Brocade garments and faux fur jackets in deep red and blue colors as playful as Jean- Luc Godard’s films decorated Sui’s runway. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig went for a rather fiery Spanish look with matador trousers and satin coats to compliment their signature evening gowns at the Marchesa show.
New York also served as a source for fall inspiration. Designer Kenneth Cole played it well for the cold urban blizzard. After a seven-year hiatus, Cole returned to NYFW crafting a sophisticated collection of elevated street wear inspired by life in New York City. Playing with the theme of “Urban liberation,” Cole’s runway collection featured a unique mix of knits and leather, wool vests, metallic sweaters and tweeds. Drawing on the idea of finding freedom from the constraints one experiences in real life, the show was titled, “Yield To Social Netwalking.”
The presentation began with a video expressing a phrase that said, “During the @KennethCole runway show, out of respect for other members of the audience, please make sure your phones and tablets are switched ON.” The models snapped pictures of the crowd on smartphones, paying homage to the projected tag line during the end of the show.
Also using the New York skyline as a backdrop for inspiration, DKNY placed oversized masculine blazers with trousers and maxi dresses on the runway for a timeless urban style. Models walked in animal-inspired prints, leather trimmed and color blocked knits. The backdrop for the show exposed brightly colored city snapshots, as they would appear through various filters on Instagram.
Marc Jacobs closed NYFW with a sepia-tinted light show. The round runway centered around a giant yellow orb that cast a glow on the scene, synonymous to a bitter yellow sun. The set was inspired by Olafur Eliasson’s, “The Weather Project,” an exhibition at the Tate Modern in London that centers weather as a topic consuming everyday conversations.
The first half of the show was lighted by the sepia tone, allowing viewers to focus completely on the intricate textures and shapes of the garments. The models appeared with only black and white tones as they were cast onto the glowing runway. Bathed in natural light, the models came out for a second lap, and this time the color scheme was vibrant. Evening pajamas decorated with crystal embroidery, lady-like fur coats and scoop-neck gowns, Jacobs sent models with feather-cut sixties wigs down the runway. The look was very much reminiscent of the early seventies in London. The beadwork, fox fur pelts, pinstripe details and Peter Pan collars conveyed a type of effortless glamour similar to that of swinging sixties model, Twiggy.
Whether the message Jacobs sought with his presentation referenced the current snowy situation in New York, or emphasized how an uninteresting and banal topic like the weather inevitably dominates everyday conversation, the inspiration behind the collection was left up for interpretation. Yet, as the glowing sunset concluded NYFW, conversation on the weather became perhaps a rather compelling topic of conversation.
Images originally photographed by G K Lee for NOVASTYLE