Designer debuts and anniversaries, quirky themes and collaborations — this runway season had it all. Here's the rundown on a few of the newsworthy shows at New York Fashion Week.
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Just like that, Marc by Marc Jacobs is cool again.
For their debut season, Brit "It" girl designers Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier showed a brash, Riot Grrrl/punk/ninja-themed collection that put Jacobs' flailing secondary line back on the map.
In recent years, Marc by Marc had devolved into a watered-down, fashion-irrelevant department store brand. So Jacobs hired Bartley and Hillier as creative directors to give the label a new direction. And they did just that, mixing a '90s-era agitprop vibe (Riot Grrrls meets Pussy Riot) with action sports clothing.
Judo jackets, motocross T-shirts and wrap-around obi trousers were worn with platform BMX-style sneakers. Body suits and jeans were emblazoned with '90s-era feminist punk slogans such as, "Revolution," "Grrrl" and "Twisted." Pleated tulle party skirts were topped by jackets or capelets with oversized, sculpted bows.
It was edgy, brash and cool. Way to shake up the runways, Grrrls!
After I saw two models at two different presentations faint, the idea of beauty and sacrifice was already on my brain.
Then, I walked into Thom Browne's runway show space, which is always a thought-provoking experience. It was set up to look like a church with candles, crosses and rows of pews for guests to sit in. We were all worshiping at the altar of fashion.
And for what? For the kind of beauty that Browne showed us.
His tailoring skills were on full display in suits with rounded silhouettes, sleeves that evoked angel wings and skirts with nipped-in waists and exaggerated hips that had an Old Hollywood vibe. Outerwear was also striking — as seen in capes with interesting textures and folds. And the golden goddess finale looks were magnificent.
Throughout the collection, the fabrics were ungodly beautiful — cut velvet stripes, floral jacquards and gold burnout velvet and embroidery reminiscent of burnished gilt.
One of the few designers in New York who takes chances, Browne is a fashion maverick. His collections will always be high concept, but this season, it was more possible than ever to see the commercial potential of certain pieces. Amen.
Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg, the grande dame of American style, celebrated the 40th anniversary of her signature wrap dress with a show that struck just the right note. It wasn't overly nostalgic, or self-congratulatory, just lovely. She paid homage to the style that made her famous, but didn't dwell on it too long.
The rest of the collection looked boho fantastic and hit on several trends for the fall season (sweater dressing; fun, novelty coats; and longer-length skirts among them) in a sophisticated yet accessible way.
For a soundtrack, the band St. Vincent performed live. The starry crowd included Bella Thorne, looking very "American Hustle" in a brown suede wrap dress, AnnaSophia Robb, Olivia Palermo, Coco Rocha and many others.
The first look in the show was a wrap dress, in a gorgeous gold "love knot" jacquard. Gold was a standard that ran through the entire collection, including the finale, a parade of gold wrap dresses. After Von Furstenberg did a lap around the runway, taking her trademark walking bow, she hit the stage with her golden bouquet of models behind her, and confetti rained down.
Rag & Bone