After several seasons of treading carefully and cautiously, New York Fashion Week S/S 2023 arrived with fresh vigour. An influx of international imports may have helped – Fendi made its way to Manhattan to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Baguette bag, while Marni staged its first US show in Brooklyn, right in view of the Brooklyn Bridge. But really, it was the hometown pride for New York talent that was palpable across the board, from Collina Strada’s gathering of their close-knit community at an under-the-radar nature reserve to an intoxicating collection from Eckhaus Latta that poignantly featured prints from the late artist Matthew Underwood, who was a friend of the brand.

Here, reported by Wallpaper* US editor Pei-Ru Keh and contributing editor Tilly Macalister-Smith, is the best of New York Fashion Week S/S 2023.

New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

Wednesday 14 September

Michael Kors

Model wears Michael Kors on runway at New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

Polished concrete, mirrored walls, ferns and fig trees provided the backdrop for Michael Kors ‘Urban Resort’ collection, shown in the Meatpacking District on Wednesday morning. 

Vacation bodies (glistening thighs, polished shoulders) of all proportions were shown off with cut-outs, racer-front vests, one-shoulder tops and plunging halter necklines that reached navels. Linen palazzo pants, jersey bandeaus and crepe de chine sarongs – when styled with barely-there high heels, double gold cuffs and low-slung belts with gold hardware – were transformed into legitimate city options. 

It’s a particularly strong season for tailoring: a cross-front halter waistcoat was immaculately cut, while a buttonless white gilet was belted with a strap of gold. Fine gauzy linen – a notoriously tricky fabric for suiting – was fresh, not a crumple in sight. Shirting and jackets with silk fringing cascading from arm holes in place of sleeves were well executed. As for the palette, a vibrant chilli red added depth, notably in a satin kaftan that will translate easily to eveningwear. TMS

Deveaux

Model wears Deveaux on runway at New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

After a three-year hiatus, Deveaux celebrated a refresh this season with a complete relaunch of the brand. For Andrea Tsao, the label’s co-founder, ‘Deveaux’s aesthetic and identity really stands for utilitarianism, wardrobing, and the kind of thoughtfully considered, interesting pieces that our customers depend on,’ she says. ‘This season feels like the start of a new chapter – we are refocusing on our original founding principles and paying close attention to things we’re passionate about, like menswear details and functionality. But at the same time, injecting a sophisticated and elegant joyousness to the brand.’

For the occasion, Tsao drew from the brand’s hometown, New York City, for inspiration. Inspired by the life cycle of New Yorkers through the seasons – dramatic thunderstorms, relentless sun showers and blistering summer heat, all of which showgoers endured within this single week – the collection teamed relaxed silhouettes and classic mainstays with clever, utilitarian details. 

‘To me, American sportswear is about finding beauty in function. What we are creating is a modernised version of that – for instance, some of the more relaxed tailoring pieces that can be styled back to a nylon utility pant,’ she says. ‘Our community and audience are full of people who have such unique and interesting demands, and are looking for creative, one-of-a-kind pieces that aren’t trendy but feel emotional in a different way.’ PRK

Tom Ford

Smouldering. Sex. Appeal. Tom Ford’s woman is entirely her own. Stalking the mirrored runway under flashing disco balls, the models exuded prowess and power: the audience was putty in their hands. Sex, of course, is a Ford hallmark, but recast against the backdrop of the overturning of Roe v Wade, the collection felt like an empowered statement. 

As Robert Palmer sang ‘you might as well face it, you’re addicted to love’, models walked in shorts and jackets appliquéd with sequined love hearts and stars. Then came A-ha’s Take On Me, remixed with a throbbing club beat, as Western fringing and intricate cowboy detailing rendered in more sequins took a turn. String vests encrusted with crystal, lamé tailoring and louche satin tuxedo sweatpants embodied the driving new wave synth pop of Dead or Alive’s You Spin Me Round

The final passage was slower, more sombre. Freddie Mercury’s distinctly sorrowful voice sang out Time Waits For No One. Ford just gave us a reason to relish every minute. TMS

Willy Chavarria

It’s unlikely that the Marble Collegiate Church, bordering Koreatown and Madison Square Park, has hosted such a crowd in the nearly 400 years it’s been standing. Jostling several rows deep at the front steps and queuing around the block, Chavarria’s community – which reaches all boroughs of New York and beyond – turned out en masse to support the designer. Known for his tendency to treat lowly workwear with reverence, this season he turned his attention to papal matters. Opening the show, a handful of male models wearing oversized while T-shirts down to their knees (as roomy as priests’ robes) carried roses, red and black, to the altar. For Chavarria, bagginess is next to godliness. 

The collection explored the similarities – and juxtapositions – between church and streetwear. A pair of long shorts could have referenced basketball shorts, or ecclesiastical robes. A traditional nun’s black habit with white collar was reworked into a bell-sleeve shirt. Black then red silk taffeta gowns, replete with corsages the size of dinner plates, decorated neat tailored jackets. Shiny patent black choir-boy loafers were worn with oversized T-shirts emblazoned with city names in reversed varsity type (Fresco, Sacramento). Many of the models were friends of Chavarria, and brought with them a true representation of New York. The show was a highlight of the week. TMS

Batsheva

As far as local designers go, Batsheva Hay is as New York as they come. Case in point: an invitation to editors, buyers and friends to savour her new collection in a classic Jewish deli, Ben’s Delicatessen, alongside latkes, knishes, orange juice and coffee. Against the deli’s retro features, vinyl seating and well-worn carpeting under foot, Batsheva turned out 1980s-era favourites, including a white patent leather skirt suit, acid pink party dresses covered in black polka dots and sparkly tunic dresses. The throwback carried over into the label’s use of its trademark florals, this time cut into blazers, pyjama sets, bralette tops and bloomers. Relaxed, even frivolous and open to interpretation, Batsheva’s subversive take on saccharine sweetness is alive and well. PRK

Tuesday 13 September

Gabriela Hearst

Model on runway wearing black and gold at Gabriela Hearst show, New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

There was a distinct, elemental quality to Gabriela Hearst’s new collection. Inspired by a chance introduction to the work of Ancient Greek female poet Sappho, Hearst expressed a more contemplative mood with uncomplicated silhouettes in a neutral, monochromatic palette. Despite its apparent minimalism, Hearst’s flair for creating unexpected beauty with intricate craftsmanship was at full strength. An abstract collage featuring black and gold shapes proved to be the grounding force of the collection, particularly in a series of garments featuring contoured gold leather that was soaked in water and then draped on the body to create each individual piece. Knitted dresses featured intricate pebble stitches and swirling designs knitted into the garment itself. Hearst’s elegant tailoring was adorned with custom-made rose-gold bars, bestowing a hint of shine as models moved. 

As always, Hearst’s passion for sustainability, eco-transparency and ethical production continues to make her an industry leader. In addition to using eco-certified materials and implementing carbon offsetting measures for the production of her show, Hearst published a list of the materials used in the collection, ranging from deadstock linens and silks to upcycled denim. The show itself was set to a rousing live performance by the Resistance Revival Chorus, a collective of women and nonbinary performers, and culminated in Hearst skipping out joyfully to take her bow. The Chorus is actively raising funds for Act Blue, a New York abortion access fund that supports anyone living in or travelling to New York, who may need help paying for an abortion. PRK

Peter Do

Model wears black Peter Do at New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

Memory. When we close our eyes, what bubbles up? And what causes us to be sucked back to a place we might not have visited for days or years? A scent or a song can trigger instant recall, but do clothes wield that power? Peter Do enlisted Korean American author Mary HK Choi to pen a letter for his show notes; in it, she talks of her father dying, memories, the feeling of time slowing down. 

The last would prove a theme of the collection, which was titled ‘Time’. In his own work, Do manages to embody this feeling of time slowing, while always looking towards the future. Blush, chocolate, sand and mushroom-coloured tailoring in patent leather, satin, and dry tropical wool had a feeling of sensuality and softness. Open-backed leather jackets and shirting appeared as powerful silhouettes from the front, before revealing an unexpected vulnerability as the models walked past. Cityscape prints were blurred like a flashback, appearing on silk scarves fashioned into capes, and then blown up on black and white degradé prints (Do revealed they were images he took himsef of moments that he ‘wanted to memorialise’). 

Despite the label still being relatively young, Do’s hallmarks are becoming easily recognisable: tailor’s white top-stitching left in place on the exterior of garments (also this season, black tape used to the same effect); billowing white shirting in various fabrics; double-breasted suiting, left open or pulled taught across the waist; steel toe-capped, chunky-soled footwear and intimidatingly high spiked heels; razor-sharp pleating, this season in sheer chiffon. It lends the feeling that Do is not just creating clothes but also a world; as such, he asked K-pop star and NCT band member Jeno to open the show wearing one of his inaugural menswear looks. Male and female models both walked, but one gets the feeling that the girls and boys will be borrowing from each other. TMS

Tory Burch

Model on runway wears Tory Burch at New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

For her latest collection, Burch looked back to a moment of personal transition, the 1990s, when she first moved to New York. By association, the silhouette became longer, leaner and cleaner – in her words, experimenting freely while paring everything back. Fabrics had a sporty stretch, aiding a feeling of movement in shin-skimming pencil skirts and cropped stretchy leggings (the latter worn with flat slingbacks and slippery satin maxi skirts). Richness, and a feeling of travel, came in a lustrous gold leather coat and woven fabrics with historical patterns. Unexpected moments appeared throughout – an apple green satin mac, a sheer turquoise turtleneck, giant shimmering paillettes – while sporty open-collared tops, nylon macs, and sleeveless gilets grounded the collection in the everyday. TMS

Jonathan Simkhai

Model wears Jonathan Simkhai S/S 2023

Amber was the starting point for Jonathan Simkhai’s S/S 2023 collection. Re-examining the fossilised resin, he emphasised that the material is not a semi-precious gemstone, as is often believed, but something more humble (albeit beautiful). He was particularly drawn to its healing qualities, and thus looked to fabrics that would soothe the wearer.

Simkhai was also taken with amber’s inherent ability to capture and preserve moments in time. The designer was feeling nostalgic for the minimalism of the 1990s, as well as much older craft techniques used over generations. Tightly knotted crochet was treated with precision, with panels inserted into silk dresses (it felt less bohemian and more cocktail party appropriate). Waists were cinched with folded buttery leather belts. Shoulders were subtly built up on suiting to emphasise form. Sporty mesh pencil skirts and dresses, reimagined from white cotton shirting, will feel as at home in the city as packed for vacation. TMS

Monday 12 September

Carolina Herrera

Model on runway wearing Carolina Herrera at New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

For S/S 2023, designer Wes Gordon conjured up the magic of storybook romance for a feminine, flower-laden collection that threw back to American glamour from another time. Inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, The Secret Garden, one of Gordon’s childhood favourites, the silhouettes on offer ranged from strapless bustiers teamed with oversized balloon sleeves, and figure-hugging mini dresses with whimsical taffeta ball skirts, to floaty chiffon dresses covered in handpainted tea roses and peony blossoms. Set under the chandeliers and opulent interiors of The Plaza hotel ballroom, the maximalist collection was offset by a dash of precise tailoring, such as a double-breasted suit, a black wool jacket and, of course, crisp white shirting, in a nod to the label’s namesake, who sat approvingly in the front row. PRK

Coach

Model on runway wearing Coach at New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

It’s unlikely many mornings after the night before roll in as buoyantly optimistic as Coach’s show today. The dreamy tableau that opened proceedings was titled ‘The Morning After’, showcasing a street scene bathed in tangerine-pink dawn light – a young couple in love strolling hand-in-hand; party-goers (with ballet moves) still revelling; a pedigree dog; and a spherical red balloon, bobbing along and passed between characters. 

Coach is certainly steering headfirst into a new dawn for the brand. Looking to overhaul its ‘accessible luxury’ positioning and transform into a true luxury player, it’s been quietly tightening distribution and upping its prices, reintroducing updated versions of bags rather than phasing styles out after a couple of seasons. All of this dovetails with a creative shifting of gears. Stuart Vevers played subversively with American codes: baby-doll prairie dresses with white socks and patent Mary Janes, varsity sweaters styled with buckled leather shorts, Fair Isle sweaters naively over-knitted with colourful yarns. Outerwear was also given serious attention – oversized leather coats had a pre-loved softness – while jelly sandals and rubber pouches in boiled-sweet tones will likely be social media catnip. 

The show was closed by Lil Nas X, who was revealed as Coach’s new global ambassador, while the brand also noted its support for the youth education programme at Park Avenue Armory (where the show took place) with a donation from the Coach Foundation, made to empower a new generation in the New York and beyond. TMS

Area

Area’s move towards a more couture-based approach appeared fully realised in its newest collection, ‘Tetrahedron’, which saw designers Piotrek Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg dissect ancient architectural tropes to explore ideas around fetish and worship. Opening with a cage-like bondage dress, covered in jumbo, jewel-encrusted spikes, the collection exuded an otherworldly spirit that straddled both punk and primitive. The spikes – actually 3D-printed cones handset with Swarovski jewels – also appeared on dramatic evening coats, belts and stilettos, giving garments a powerful, otherworldly aura. 

Panszczyk and Fogg have experimented with provocation ever since founding Area in 2014. This season, that came in the form of bondage motifs that oscillated between the classic feminity of ribbons and bows, and the bold strength of BDSM wraps and corsetry. One dress, crafted entirely out of metal ribbons adorned in rhinestones, appeared to swirl around the body as if caught by an invisible breeze.

Construction and shape were key elements in this collection. Distortion of form appeared everywhere from couture pannier jeans to shrugged bodysuits developed around folded pyramids in vibrant silk duchesse. The same motif also took shape in spherical column gowns and skirts. As fantastical as these pieces were, the offering was rounded out with comparably more wearable items, such as a jewel-encrusted tunic tee and ribbon-shaped bustiers and cocktail dresses. PRK

Sunday 11 September

Sandy Liang

Model on runway wearing Sandy Liang at New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

Sandy Liang took showgoers back to simpler times with an ultra-feminine collection evoking the unbridled romance and naivety of youth. Filled with bralette tops, gauzy slip dresses, low-slung trousers that sat way below the navel, ruffled nightgowns and a bounty of silk hair ties and ballet bows for the finish, Liang’s S/S 2023 collection tapped into girlhood at its truest. The teenage fantasy hit its high points in the creations Liang unveiled earlier in the week – a silk Mary Jane pointe shoe, complete with a blocky square toe, which has been in development for over two years, and a bridal capsule collection, featuring four dresses and three veils. Playful, unexpected and just the right amount of off-kilter, Liang’s version of femininity exudes an effortless energy. PRK

Khaite

Model on runway wearing Khaite at New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

When you take a show apart – strip away the venue, the music, clever styling, models – what are you left with? Clothes, pure and simple, seen in just the same light as a customer will find them on the hanger. How clothes hold up once the support acts are eliminated can say a lot about the calibre and health of a business – ultimately, how clothes feel, and how they are cut to hang on the body, is what will keep shoppers coming back. 

Cate Holstein has perfected the recipe of making really great clothes that women want to wear now. Without oversimplifying: clothes that make you feel relevant, seductive, and strong. Clothes that are uncomplicated to wear but cut so precisely as to deliver maximum effect. Today, Holstein deftly cherry-picked the sexiest elements of the 1980s (an oyster satin trench coat; ten-denier black tights worn with satin heels; pussy-bow blouses; python prints), spinning them together with 1990s David Lynch references and entirely of the moment silhouettes that she is making her own. 

Often, clothes seen in a runway show are made for effect and later ‘cancelled’ from the production run, deemed too expensive or complex to make on a larger scale. Not for Khaite: what you see in the show is what you can buy, and creating a collection with a compelling spirit that still passes muster once it’s dismantled to its individual items deserves acknowledgement. TMS

Puppets and Puppets

Model on runway wearing Puppets and Puppets at New York Fashion Week S/S 2023

Carly Mark has a way of bringing together incongruous references to deliver something cohesive yet out of the ordinary. For her S/S 2023 collection, Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, the dramatic illustrations of Danté’s Inferno by Gustave Doré, and parties in New York City provided the inspiration. ‘By weaving together these three themes, I’m able to tell a story about New York that is universal and also uniquely my own.’

Known and loved for her amusingly kitsch accessories (handbags featuring cookies, a wedge of swiss cheese as a hat), new, simpler pieces this season gave breathing room to the more expressive ideas: a burnt red wrap skirt that revealed a flash of thigh; a suit jacket with pencil-narrow lapels; conservative court shoes, worn subversively. Butterflies hovered on areas that don’t usually see the light of day: across a model’s exposed chest, and on another model’s coccyx, revealed by a dress with a particularly low back. There were perhaps fleeting whispers of the late, great Alexander McQueen, who similarly sought inspiration from Dante (his A/W 1996 collection was named ‘Inferno’) and of course gave the world his famously low-slung ‘bumster’ silhouette. Although here, Mark’s off-kilter treatment of an intarsia varsity jacket and silver cocktail dress crafted from a series of bows felt, as the designer said, distinctly her own, and a love letter to her home city of New York. TMS

Zankov

Model wears pink Zankov look S/S 2023

Henry Zankov is fast becoming known for his specialism in knitwear, drawing admirers with his bold, optimistic designs – or ‘taking up space with colour’, as the designer puts it. Zankov has been thinking about his Jewish-Ukrainian roots and artists that share this heritage, including Louise Nevelson and Kazimir Malevich. Fascinated by the idea of collecting – another reference point was the art collectors Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, founders of La Fondation Maeght – he also looked towards the works of contemporary French painter Philippine de Richemont, whom he met just prior to the pandemic. Through lockdown, they messaged constantly, sharing references and interests (‘We naturally found we wanted to collaborate together,’ he says); in the collection, de Richemont’s figurative, gestural motifs run throughout on oversized sweaters, floor-length maxi-dresses and culotte shorts. Exploring the idea of knitwear for all seasons, other standout pieces included lightweight crepe intarsias and sheer ‘tissue-weight’ ribbed tanks – easily packed for summer – and a sporty, perforated boucle terry knit in vivid raspberry pink. TMS

Tommy Hilfiger ‘Tommy Factory’

The rain may have gotten the better of Tommy Hilfiger’s recreation of Andy Warhol’s Factory, but the New York veteran nonetheless staged a larger-than-life, mega-wattage return to the runway. Held just beside the Brooklyn waterfront, Hilfiger presented what he does best – heritage Americana and preppy sportswear, with a renewed, inclusive message. Worn by an exceptionally diverse cast of models, the collection ranged from rugby-striped tunics and nautical knits to logoed denim bodysuits and plaid tailoring. Most notable was the unveiling of a special capsule designed by the British designer Richard Quinn. Featuring a rework of Quinn’s signature daisy emblem in a palette of bold colours, the collection sees the vibrant motif emblazoned on oversized puffers, peacoats, backpacks and holdalls. ‘I’ve always been inspired by working with creatives who push boundaries and Richard is no exception,’ said Hilfiger. ‘We’ve brought together our two distinct aesthetics to create a rebellious take on prep. It’s unexpected and optimistic and reflects the playful spirit at the heart of both our brands.’ PRK

Luar

As a prelude to his S/S 2023 runway show, Luar’s Raul Lopez shared a childhood memory in the show notes: him sitting at a reunion in his family’s Brooklyn living room, waiting for other family members to arrive. As each relative unzips their practical outerwear to reveal their glamorous and romantic finery for the special occasion, ‘you can’t help but gasp and sit up a little higher’, writes Lopez. ‘They float towards you with stars in their eyes, planting a kiss on your cheek as you think to yourself, oh we eatin’ good tonight, devouring legacy in the form of looks.’ 

Such was the mood for Luar’s latest collection, a supercharged tribute to the 1980s, informed by the immigrant experience, stemming from Lopez’s family roots in the Dominican Republic. Titled ‘La Alta Gama’ (‘The High End’ in Spanish), the collection reflects Lopez’s portrayal of the high and low, elegance and utility, tailoring and leisure, which have all come to define the Luar brand. ‘The women in Lopez’s family protected at all costs the American luxuries they worked hard to acquire. The jackets were their armour but the minute that these layers were shed signalled not just arrival but an inherent transformation,’ the notes continue. 

Exaggerated shoulders, textured leather blazers, pinstripe tailoring, nylon parkas and patchwork motifs were some of the references that mixed together. Paired with silk skirts, billowing trousers and jewel-encrusted gowns, the dynamic mash-up is reflective of Luar’s exciting appeal. Completed by its inclusive spirit and a cult handbag to boot – S/S 2023 sees a new briefcase shape join the ranks – Luar’s star continues to rise. PRK

Saturday 10 September

Eckhaus Latta

Beneath a cool canopy of trees at El Jardin Del Paraiso – a community garden in the Lower East Side – Eckhaus Latta paid homage to a friend of designer Zoe Latta who passed away in 2019, Matthew Grinnell Underwood (1983-2019), a multidisciplinary artist from Providence. With the permission of his estate, Latta and co-designer Mike Eckhaus deftly wove his artworks into the collection – notably, printing his images onto silver foiled T-shirts and knotted dresses, as well as slinky knitwear. Harpist Mary Lattimore opened with a delicate melodic riff, before sampling, scratching, and building on her own notes to create a soundtrack of depth and complexity. The press notes included a poem, which described the act of zoning out as inherently romantic. Romantic was the mood; serenely melancholic in the sunshine. 

The overall effect was ethereal and dreamlike (sheer netting ruched into dresses, tops as light as candy floss) punctuated with moments of urgency (a hazard orange workwear jacket). And then came the section of items with giant pieces missing – not suggestive cut-aways, but rather gaping holes revealing a stomach or side, or an absent trouser leg, as though something crucial had been unexpectedly lopped off, gone missing. A commentary on grief and loss, perhaps, so adept is Eckhaus Latta at reflecting back to the world the very spirit of life in a given moment. TMS

Dion Lee

Dion Lee’s selection of a raw, vacant space on the 22nd floor of a midtown Manhattan office block meant his androgynous collection was set against the sun-drenched New York City skyline. With views of the city’s changing architecture and its sea of glass facades just beyond, Lee’s consideration of the silhouette – articulated through body-hugging mesh tanks, cut-out elements, motocross-inspired leather and denim jackets as well as zippered parachute pants – could not feel more of the moment. Known for his gender-fluid approach to dressing, Lee’s ability to blur the boundaries between tailoring and utility, structure and ease was equally apparent. This season, he was drawn to similar crossovers in nature. His transformation of the recognisable Monstera plant motif into leather mini dresses and boots was paralleled by sheer cut-out tops and T-shirts that mimic the rib cage and other aspects of human anatomy. A delicate halterneck top crafted from metal beads and worn with wide-legged tailored pants was a particular highlight, as was a pair of lemon yellow dresses, interspersed with revealing, loosely strung panels, once again accentuating the body. PRK

Private Policy

Feelings of peace and love flowed through Private Policy’s after-dark sidewalk show where fans of the brand queued three deep outside the downtown venue for a chance to glimpse models walking under the floodlights which lined the pavement. The brand has been consistently working to shed light on a political global issue each season; over the years they have addressed topics as diverse as American ‘big pharma’, the potential of fungi, enslaved fishermen and contemporary capitalism. Their S/S 2023 show was titled ‘Noah’s Ark’, and the brand’s creative directors, Haoran Li and Siying Qu, were concerned with animal migration, deforestation and the impact of humans on animal welfare. In places, the translation was literal –heart-shaped peace signs and doves mid-flight adorned T-shirts. Elsewhere, graphic hoodies and board shorts, utility denim and cargo pants, and streetwear-infused tailoring meant plenty of desirable pieces for Private Policy’s many devotees. TMS

Marni

Creative director Francesco Risso’s contract with Marni was extended in 2020, after a four-year winning streak, in part for his ability to attract and convert a younger, more diverse customer. Tonight, in a dramatically lit tunnel in Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), a milieu of curators, artists, fellow fashion designers, musicians, and more hugged hello and jostled for their seats, all pledging allegiance to the house’s vibrant, colourful prints. Risso studied part of his fashion education at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and appeared as comfortable as ever to be back in the city. The concept of the circle seemed to be circulating in Risso’s mind. The String Orchestra of Brooklyn (along with Dev Hynes), all bedecked in tangerine-red, delivered a driving, pulsating soundtrack that looped and looped; sleeves of dresses flowed into hemlines, creating a hooped silhouette that appeared to conjoin arms and legs. Circular crochet panels appeared on the front of crop tops, while slinky silk jersey separates also showcased a circular motif. The final looks leaned more into handcraft, appearing to have come unravelled on the loom before being top-stitched back together with a knitting needle. Sporty accessories took the form of sunglasses masquerading as slick swimming goggles, boxing boots and knitted sock boots stamped with soccer boot markings, while the finale dress was painted with dish plate-sized dots. A very welcome import. TMS

Friday 9 September

Proenza Schouler

Fashion’s discombobulated scheduling (viewing summer clothes in autumn, winter coats in spring) continues to disorientate, although remarkably everything at Proenza Schouler appeared just right for now. Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez delivered their vision for next summer on a sweltering fall day as people were still mentally and literally unpacking from their own summer escapes. Energy was high among the guests and in the clothes; Hernadez looked to his Cuban roots to inspire expressive flamenco ruffles and polka dots, while McCollough built on their nearly 20-year heritage of American sportswear. It made for a tantalising flirtation between city and vacation states of minds: the new perennial mindset? On the runway, models with slicked wet hair and glistening skin appeared as though they had just stepped out of the ocean, arriving at a glamourous beach bar for sundowners in gold crochet pants and dresses trimmed with kinetic beading. 
 
Everything moved with finesse – scuba circle skirts swished; hemlines of pants swirled about ankles as though models were walking through waves; exaggerated waterfall sleeves draped almost to the floor. By contrast, tailored outerwear and pristinely cut lace shirting in chartreuse and bubblegum pink presented a youthful option for those dusting the sand off their toes. A colossal waterfall, ‘a symbol of life’, was projected onto the interior walls of Hall des Lumières in downtown Manhattan opposite City Hall. Next week the full 28,000 sq ft space will open to the public as an immersive digital exhibition programmed by Culturespaces, the creator of Atelier des Lumières in Paris in partnership with IMG. TMS

Collina Strada

Collina Strada’s provocative, eco-minded ethos found an ideal soulmate in its show setting this season. Staged at the Naval Cemetery Landscape, a former cemetery now transformed into a nature preserve, with local plant species, nectar-rich annuals and milkweed varieties to attract pollinators, like monarch caterpillars and butterflies, back to New York City, the wild and unexpected sanctuary formed an idyllic backdrop for the label’s ethereal new collection. Inspired by the butterfly’s symbolic life cycle, designer Hillary Taymour emulated stages of life, death and rebirth in garment form, while showcasing the advancements in Collina Strada’s regenerative philosophy. Diaphanous orange fibre organza gowns in psychedelic florals and rose-derived ‘sylk’ pieces were teamed with embellished deadstock denim, knitwear made from upcycled cotton-acrylic scraps (a collaboration with the Italian label Vitelli), and handpainted, made-to-order jeans, created together with Unspun, to prove just how responsibly clothes can be made. Finished with cane sugar sandals and boots by Melissa and Viron boots made from apple leather and upcycled leather, the future of sustainable fashion is certainly blooming and bright. PRK 

Fendi

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Fendi’s Baguette bag, it seemed only apt that the brand returned to the Big Apple to fete the sartorial icon, the place where it was canonised in pop cultural history thanks to Sex and the City. Joining forces with other icons such as Marc Jacobs, Tiffany & Co and SATC actress Sarah Jessica Parker, Fendi’s artistic directors Silvia Venturini Fendi and Kim Jones took over Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom to stage a star-studded anniversary collection to be remembered. Inspired by the bag and the era of freedom and excess that it was born in, the collection was an ode to the piece’s multiplicity. From its multi-pocketed form, which riddled its way overcoats, skirts and gloves, to reinterpretations of the Fendi logo and the bag’s signature buckle, the collection embodied the bag’s idiosyncratic glamour, with a hefty dose of shiny satin, shimmering sequins and candy-coloured fur all muddling together in triumphant harmony. PRK

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