The Top 10 Shows and Runway Trends at New York Fashion Week FW20
Our favorite collections from the city’s coolest labels including Marc Jacobs, Dion Lee and PRISCAVera.
Despite the decision of several big-name designers, including Tommy Hilfiger and Jeremy Scott, to withdraw from New York Fashion Week‘s Fall/Winter 2020 season, the city still managed to put on a show — many shows, in fact. Some proclaim NYFW to be dead, but the fact remains that several of fashion’s buzziest young designers — including Sandy Liang, Kim Shui and Prisca Franchetti of PRISCAVera — continue to operate in the city alongside longstanding New Yorkers Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler.
In case you missed it, check out our gallery of the best street style moments from NYFW FW20.
Designers Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk marked the beginning of AREA’s partnership with non-profit The Africa Center by bringing their latest collection to the institution, located at the intersection of Harlem and Museum Mile. Using the mother of draping, Madame Grès, as a point of departure, the new collection showcases fluid, crystal-embellished pieces at the forefront. One standout top is made entirely of crystals, constructed of a braided bodice that cascades down into a fringe of gems. Sculptural dresses create exaggerated heart-shaped forms at the shoulders and hips while playful accessories including folding chair-shaped purses and earrings were made in collaboration with luxury brand myreality. Solidifying AREA’s new partnership, the proceeds from the two brands’ collaborations will benefit The Africa Center.
Last year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Christopher John Rogers used the prestigious award’s cash prize to open up his own studio in SoHo, an endeavor that has proved fruitful. His 40-look FW20 collection is awash with vibrant, iridescent fabrics in shades spanning the entire rainbow. Greens include a pearlescent cropped blouse with ballooning shoulders paired with pair of mid-rise, chartreuse silk trousers and a deceptively simple, lime green bustier gown with a gathered bodice. Purple ranges from the lavender sheen of a bluish-silver, holographic cape to a deep eggplant velvet suit. A voluminous pannier gown in red, magenta and purple plaid is undoubtedly the statement piece of the collection. Complementing the collection, models sported gravity-defying hairstyles and Swarovski-adorned eyebrows by Marcelo Gutierrez.
Dion Lee makes a seriously compelling case for cut-outs in his latest collection. Presented on both male and female models, effortlessly slouchy trousers feature strategically placed openings at the hip bones, accented with leather straps fastened with silver buckles. Skin-baring openings are placed at the neck of tank tops and a full-length dress is artfully slashed at the waist. Hardware is also heavily showcased — hefty chains in both gold and silver act as trim and free-standing waistbands on a series of skin-tight turtleneck tops and pegged pants. Backstage, makeup artist Erin Parsons reflected the collection’s heavy metal edge with silver beads glued onto models’ hands and face.
Design duo Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta posed a series of existential questions for their latest collection: “What is pride?” and “Are we OK?” their show notes read. Though the garments may not definitively answer these questions, they provide food for thought. Curved hems and exaggerated proportions propose inventive silhouettes and knit sweater-pant sets rethink fashion’s obsession with loungewear. A column of buttons, imitating a shirt cuff’s closure, is stitched down the hem of jeans and wide leg trousers, and bright hues including electric yellow and orange are incorporated into suiting and outerwear. In an unprecedented move, Eckhaus Latta sourced all footwear from secondhand luxury retailer The RealReal, a decision encouraging a more circular fashion system.
Creative Director Catherine Holstein seamlessly blends uptown and downtown in Khaite’s FW20 collection. Silk shirts, trousers and scarves featuring an equestrian-inspired horsebit print — an emblem that instantly recalls old money — are paired with edgier offerings such as a ruffled slip dress, tiger striped skinny pants and relaxed knit sweater in oversized black-and-white argyle. Eveningwear balances polish with sex appeal: a long, white gown features a ruched, cut-out bodice while the velvet mini-dress creates interest and volume with a tulle petticoat at the base.
Born in the United States and raised in Rome, designer Kim Shui grew up as part of the only Chinese family in her neighborhood. Moving around the United Kingdom and France, she used clothing as a cultural anchor: “It was the only thing that was constant that I brought with me each time from place to place,” she said in a statement on her FW20 collection. Indeed, Shui’s latest celebrates and re-contextualizes her heritage through silhouettes constructed of calligraphy and porcelain-print fabrics. Tops featuring corseted construction, mix patent leather and silk paneling, and a series of button downs are updated with cropped proportions and fluid criss-cross draping. Separates including ruched mini dresses and leggings arrive in geometric fan prints and abstract florals. Mismatched earrings and jade-adorned glasses chains add an eccentric, off-beat quality to the range.
Despite Marc Jacobs’ decision to remain in NYFW in the midst of its mass exodus, the designer references a “fading picture of a disappearing New York” in his show notes for FW20. While last season was a flamboyant ode to color and volume, Jacobs tooks inspiration from themes of restraint and quality for his latest collection. Indeed, clean and simple silhouettes prevailed on the runway. A-line dresses with peter pan collars and cocoon-like coats and are paired with minimal accessories and flat Mary Jane shoes. Louder options including a red, sequined shift dress and yellow, boucle wool suit-bra-skirt set retain a no-frills sensibility with sleek cut and proportion.
Prisca Franchetti of PRISCAVera presented her most diverse collection yet at the General Society’s Library in midtown Manhattan, an unorthodox neighborhood for a fashion show. Despite the show’s deviation from typical downtown locales, its choice of setting seamlessly complemented the brand’s latest collection. A backdrop of packed bookshelves set the tone for what Franchetti describes as a “sober” line of garments — tailored suiting in relaxed fabrics, knit separates and collared pleated dresses can transition from day to night, and would fit in at a (stylish) office setting. However, the collection wasn’t devoid of fun: PISCAVera’s signature bias-cut slips are updated in glittery silver and floral printed fabric, and denim painted with koi fish add colorful doses of levity to the range.
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler spotlight an undone yet structured glamour that’s prevailed over fashion for the past few seasons. Double-breasted coats are cut to hang off one shoulder, and a series of dresses feature louche necklines that lean askew. Complementing the fluidity of the collection, waist-cinching button detailing and tailored leather pieces add a harder edge. Footwear exemplifies a similar duality — square-toed boots fold and crease over the leg, and particularly eye-catching thong sandals feature exaggeratedly puffy straps that contrast with a thin, curved heel.
Sandy Liang, known for her fleece outerwear, presented new versions of the fuzzy staple alongside lighthearted separates including smock dresses, ruffled blouses and relaxed denim. Set at Liang’s alma mater, Stuyvesant High School, the show presented a number of pieces sure to become a hit among the designer’s Lower East Side cohort. A voluminous, semi-sheer midi dress in sweet pastel pink is studded with septum-like piercings and a white sherpa jacket features a seatbelt-like buckle closure. A print of anime eyes and sparkles appears on a series of knits and puffer outwerwear, fittingly styled with Liang’s recent ‘90-inspired collaboration with Vans. The backstage scene included a classical string quartet providing the night’s soundtrack, as well as ample photo opportunities set against the school’s tiled walls.
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