Nyfwss17 Area Antidote

What you need to know about New York Fashion Week

Byline : Jessica Michault
Photo : AREA spring-summer 2017

The Marc Jacobs rave party, the conjoined twin cowboy boots from Hood By Air, the retro fabulous fashion of Area, the collaboration Alexander Wang x Adidas… Here are the 10 take away moments of NYFW.

THE COOLEST COLLABORATION : ALEXANDER WANG X ADIDAS

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Alexander Wang x Adidas spring-summer 2017

Yes, it is what we have all been waiting for: Alexander Wang finally teamed up with a sportswear brand for a bad ass, street savvy capsule collection. His partner of choice – Adidas Originals. It’s a move that might just pull the athleticwear company out ahead of Nike in the “cool collaboration” urban clothing niche.

Wang certainly held up his part of the bargain. Presenting some of the 84 piece strong collection on his Spring 2017 catwalk. And this was backed up with not just an unvarnished look book shot by Juergen Teller and a “Mr. Robot” style promotional video but also some gorilla see now/buy now consumerism. Nine pieces from the collection were made available for purchase in New York this past week if you went to a designated location at a designated time and waited for the arrival of a nondescript pop up truck to appear with the Alexander Wang X Adidas goods it sold out the back.

Wang might have turned the Adidas brand’s famous Trefoil and “Originals” logos on their heads. But what he really did with this collection was make his fans go out of their mind with desire. For those who missed out on those truck stops, the wait is going to be very long until the rest of the line up lands in stores next spring.

THE OTT ACCESSORY : THE HOOD BY AIR COWBOY BOOTS

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Hood By Air spring-summer 2016

The moment the first pair of cowboy boots hit designer Shane Oliver’s Hood By Air catwalk the audience lit up with the glow of a thousand cell phones all being pulled out of pockets and aimed at the runway. Social Media platforms blew up with images of the eye-catching footwear. And you really did need to see a photo to understand just how these boots worked.

In a collaboration with the classic boot making brand FRYE, Oliver came up with some freaky looking conjoined twins sort of boots that made the models who were wearing them look like they were both coming and going at the same time. Count on these boots making it into a lot of editorials in the next few months. And if you want to see if these boots really are made for walking count on shelling out at least 1,000 euros.

Runner up in the cool and kooky footwear category goes to Thom Browne for his delightfully fun and girly footwear. His heels came crafted in the shape of colorful sailboats, whales or ship anchors. They will definitely sail out of stores come spring.

THE FASHION HOMAGE : BILL CUNNINGHAM FOREVER

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Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham is a part of the fashion filament now but he is not likely to soon be forgotten. Adored around the world for his charming and understated manner as he chronicled the passage of style and fashion on the streets of the fashion capitals, Bill loved nothing more than a beautifully put together outfit, no matter who was wearing it. The grandfather of the street style photographer, he captured fashion’s history through his len as he speed around in his blue French workman’s jacket on his rickety old bike.

And although he followed fashion wherever it lead him, his real stopping grounds where the streets of New York City. And so it made sense that at the start of NYFW his peers…no scratch that, Bill was peerless….His children (for didn’t he call all of us ‘my child’ at one point or another) in the photographers pit choose to honor him in with the most touching homage. They all donned the same blue French workman’s jacket he worn to shoot the shows. Somewhere up there Bill is smiling.

THE CONTINUAL SURPRISE : THE LACOSTE SHOW

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Lacoste spring-summer 2017

It has been six years since Felipe Oliveira Baptista became the designer for the Lacoste brand. And since that time he has gong from strength to strength each season, offering fashion consumers sporty clothes that always have a clever touch of intellectualism. With each collection he has found new ways to perfect balance a knowing nod to the athletic history of the house while always keeping his eyes focused on the future of the exploding luxury atheticwear market.

His Spring 2017 collection was no exception. Filled with colorful, comfortable and yet stylish pieces the line up felt like a perfectly ripe fruit ready for the picking. Fans of the brand will bite into the show’s melting striped tops and tracksuits, the high waisted sweatpants and the “must have” bathrobe coats. This was a relaxed urban collection that proved that class and street styles are not mutually exclusive.

THE BEST SHOW DECO : MARC JACOBS

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Marc Jacobs spring-summer 2017

This season it was all about location, location, location. Lots of big name brands, and one music superstar, showed their collection in some pretty impressive venues. Ralph Lauren shut down Madison Avenue to show his see now /buy now collection in front of his Upper Eastside flagship store. All the better to sell you the looks right after the show, my dear. Tommy Hilfiger created a street carnival, complete with Ferris Wheel, cotton candy and hot dog stands, on Pier 16 at South Street Seaport and Kanye West invited everyone out to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park.

But, once again, it was Marc Jacobs who came up with a show backdrop that was both moody and magical. He, with the help of set designer Stefan Beckman, transformed the Hammerstien Ballroom into a stylized dance hall, or rather a post modern rave venue. Above the raised hardwood stage covered with puddles of grease thousands of exposed light bulbs twinkled like urban fireflies, their glow reflecting back in the slick black pools of liquid.  It all made for a rich and almost interactive scenery on which Jacobs could let his imagination, and his multicolored dreadlock wearing models run wild.

THE BRAND THAT BLEW UP : AREA

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AREA spring-summer 2017

The Area brand is ready to party. And if you aren’t in the mood well then all you have to do is slip into designer Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk’s crystal tiger striped trousers and matching vest or one of their silk Dalmatian spotted dresses and you will be dancing on tabletops in no time.

The up beat and colorful collection, filled with pieces inspired by thedecadent best of Paris in the 80s and New York on the 60s, felt like a sugar high antidote to all the dark and often disparate up and coming street wear brands trying too hard to look hip. Even the accessories of this collection had a feel good energy to them. How can you not break into a gleeful smile in the face of long drop earrings with sparkling “ice cubes” at the end, wide mirror reflective sunglasses (perfect for #selfie prep) and Lucite chopstick hair adornments.

It’s easy to understand why the brand was a finalist in this year’s Vogue Fashion Fund prize in the United State. Just take look at the images the designer duo provided to press. They look like they could have been pulled straight out of the pages of a glossy magazine. And pretty soon – mark my words – that is exactly where Fogg and Panszczyk will be seeing their spring 2017 designs.

THE SHOW WITH A MESSAGE : OPENING CEREMONY

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Opening Ceremony spring-summer 2017

There has been a lot of talk about democratizing fashion. But this season a number of brands took that idea one step further by democratizing the catwalk. That’s right, real people walked the runway at the Christian Siriano show and posed for endless pictures at the J Crew presentation.

But it was Opening Ceremony that took things to the next level. Designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon created a town hall meeting where their runway models were peppered with quite a few celebrities who spoke to the night’s masters of ceremony, comedians Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, about different issues of the day. Whoopi Goldberg, Rashida Jones, Ali Wong and Sarah McBride were just a few of the marquee names who participated in the show. The result put the focus on the current events rather than the actual clothing. But with the United States election only a few months away, the show made for a nice reality check.

THE DESIGNER DEBUT : JONATHAN SAUNDERS

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Diane Von Furstenberg spring-summer 2017

With Raf Simons deciding to give this season a pass (the guy only official got the creative director job at Calvin Klein in August –even if it felt like he had had it for months already) the title of “big designer debut” felt to Jonathan Saunders who showed his first collection as the chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg.

Saunders brought his quirky British charm to the brand with a collection that was a mash up of asymmetrical outfits that had disparate prints crashing up against each other across the body. The designer took a pass on the traditional runway show and instead, over two days, had one-on- one meetings with top editors and journalists to walk them through the collection and his new vision for the iconic fashion house.

As the first designer debut in a season filled with quite a few very important first collections, Saunders showed he had the right stuff to project the DVF brand into the next decade. Here’s hoping the other houses have equally positive relaunches.

THE PORNO PHENOMENON : NYFW GETS NAUGHT

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From left to right : Namilia spring-summer 2017, Alexander Wang spring-summer 2017

Even though talking about trends these days seems somewhat passé, leave it to the young ones of New York to come up with a way to spice the idea up. They did by – you guessed it – getting sexy. Not with see through clothing or skin tight outfits, although, come to think of it, many of the brands had that too. Rather it was more about the seedy side of sexy – the porn industry.

At Jeremy Scott’s show there were t-shirt emblazed with the logo “X rated.” Adam Selman had naked girl printed fabrics in his collection, while Alexander Wang went the slightly more refined route of making his discrete centerfold motif out of embroidery. The most hard core pieces came from Namilia that featured garments covered in colorful patches depicting sexual acts. The Hood by Air show was even sponsored in part by Porn Hub. The logo t-shirts of which are going to be a must have when they hit HBA’s stores next season.

Just remember to erase your browser history after you take a look at these collections.

THE #WTF MOMENT : THE YEEZY SHOW

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Yeezy spring-summer 2017

Kanye West continues to beat his head against a wall when it comes to his Yeezy fashion shows. But you have got to give him points for his dogged determination to garner acceptance of his work by the global fashion cognoscenti.

This time he pissed off more then a few key fashion players. Not by staging his collection in a far-flung location, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park was a beautiful spot and the artist could almost be forgiven for the time (close to 2 hours) it took to get there. But then to make the audience wait in the blazing sun (without water) for hours went beyond the pale. Some people up and left, a model fainted in the heat and a number of other fashion brands were left without an audience as the Yeezy show ate up most of the day.

As for the collection itself, it was a carbon copy continuation of everything that has ever gone before it at this brand – sporty, skin toned clothing in body hugging fabrics. Even the wobbly shoes that, in some cases broke, brought flashbacks to the West’s debut show in Paris.

Next time it a bit more consideration, for his guests, his models and other designers might go a long way for West getting back in the industry’s good graces.

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