New York Fashion Week
The Things We Learned at New York Fashion Week
The Daily Beast
February 21, 2016
Fur, fur, everywhere
J. Mendel’s show, one of the last of Fashion Week, set an emphatic seal on what had been a very fur-friendly seven days, with long and short fur jackets made from silver fox, mink, sable in a multitude of colors and patterns too. And they were all gorgeous to look at.
Where did this new flagrancy in using fur come from? The once verboten material also appeared at Marc Jacobs and the grand-scale, bizarre Kanye West fashion and music extravaganza at Madison Square Garden that was Yeezy Season 3. Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Prabal Gurung, and Vera Wang also used fur to lesser and greater effect.
It wasn’t just the designers: Attendees at NYFW were also were spotted swathed in luxuriant rabbit, fox, and mink—and there were no outraged demonstrations by PETA or thrown ketchup.
Not everyone played fur for real: Francisco Costa, designing for Calvin Klein Collection used fake fur in his politely kinky presentation, which also involved lots of leather.
The first family of reality TV were sighted en masse at Kanye West’s “Yeezy season 3” presentation, one of the most-hyped events of Fashion Week, all dressed in white—and together at that presentation were Kris Jenner and her ex-husband, Caitlyn Jenner.
Their power was visible—Anna Wintour sat with Kim Kardashian to watch the show. West, with the show and his subsequent railing via Tweet, successfully made the early part of Fashion Week mostly about him.
Kris later told Fashion Police that she hadn’t thought much of Cailtyn’s shoes, though was jealous of her custom-designed outfit.
Kendall Jenner walked in multiple shows, including Marc Jacobs’s and Michael Kors’s, cementing her status as a leading model. Younger sister Kylie, meanwhile, sat front row—at the Alexander Wang show with boyfriend Tyga.
The Shows They are a-Changin’
Much has been written about how Fashion Week had changed—with some designers electing not to show clothes on the runway, and sell clothes directly to consumers in the moment, rather than the latter having to wait six months to buy the clothes on the runway.
But for those that remain, old traditions die hard, and part of the theater of Fashion Week is not just what is on the runway, but how you watch it.
This week, you could have sat in the traditional rows, with the most lauded and gilded right at the front.
On these benches, you must not man-spread, you must prepare to be squished, and run the gamut of each other’s jabbing and raised elbows as you raise your phones to take pictures of the clothes.
That in itself is a bizarre thing: You are supposed to be watching the clothes, but many are watching the clothes through the lenses of their phones, ready to then send out into the world via social media.
Away from the traditional runway are “presentations”—where designers including Rachel Zoe and Alice + Olivia showed their clothes in rooms, where spectators wandered around looking at the models.
At Zoe this was a perilous exercise, and the models static and in a plain white room; at Alice + Olivia a whole New York cityscape was created.
Thom Browne showed his collection in Washington Square Park, circa 1920—a haunting, playful theater piece that evoked The Great Depression.
Never for a moment think that just because you are not modeling on the runway means you are not, in fact, modeling. You are very much on display, and some of the most memorable outfits and shoes are on attendees, not models.