One-sentence reviews are BACK, which in fashion week terms is essentially the equivalent of a box arriving on your doorstep full of confetti and potential outfit ideas. The promise of new identities to be explored and new ideas to be transcribed. The promise of thoughtful debate and internal examination. It’s all there, on runway platforms and ballpoint pen tips: infinite question marks waiting to be turned into exclamation points. So scroll down for our preliminary takes—in other words, brief stabs at the heart of what makes NYFW tick—and chime in with your own thoughts in the comments below.
The crowd at Spring Studios boasts so many hair colors, which I can see from the vantage point of a lateral fourth-row seat, where it has become even clearer that I am no longer the youth; so it goes, they say, with living, but from this vantage point I get to watch with stars in my eyes, attempting to understand the panoply of crystals and sequins and this one handbag t-shirt (I don’t know how else to describe it) that I saw someone wearing while we waited to check in (it had leather handles flapping out of the crew neck on both sides), and all this perfectly sets up what Area is going to show me: an enchanting cocktail of fantasy and escapism (birdcage skirts, crystal beards, literal armor that is beautiful, but clearly protective) stirred judiciously by the straw from which the culture drinks, dropping in tears of pragmatism (white eyelet button downs, an army green puff sleeve anorak vest) as if a translation, or proposition, the invitation to buy in—and let me tell you I’m in because while I may not be the youth anymore, I’m also not blind, and this, Area, is awesome. —Leandra
Christian Siriano designs for the red carpet, and his show made me feel like I was riding one, from the throng of people waiting outside the venue, no doubt hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity, to the grand interior once I stepped inside, made even more luxurious by the faint brush of Alicia Silverstone’s thigh against my elbow as she squeezed past en route to her seat, which I couldn’t find even when I craned my neck, but I imagine was well-situated to witness what unfolded next: an ocean of mermaid-esque ensembles in various iterations of rainbow and seafoam, worn by a cast of models that exemplified a refreshing consideration of size-inclusivity. —Harling
Whoa, sorry to be filing this after the sun is beginning to set, but you know what they say in the heat of the digital age—it is better late than never, or worse, early, and let me tell you, I might be late but creative director Nicola Glass delivered right on time this morning at the Elizabeth Street garden in Nolita where 35 models, a combination of those by trade and those by proxy (real people! In the world! Who give personality to the clothes they wear!) showed a collection of loose pants and tunic tops, pastel crochet knee-length covers, and ribbed knit numbers; there were some khaki jumpsuits and these rly cute Dr. Scholls-style slippers, which made the fact that everyone was holding some form of greenery make so much sense, as if to say: people in green houses should totally throw parties. —Leandra
In this episode of “What I Would Wear to a Mediterranean Beach, but Touch Neither Surf nor Sand Lest It Ruin My Shell-Adorned Hemline, I’ll Just Have an Orange Wine and Salty Olives Thanks” is: Ulla Johnson Spring/Summer 2020. —Amalie
Scott Studenberg of Baja East invited his audience to peek into his newfound California life at Milk Studios on 15th Street, in a room furnished with his own living room rugs. Studenberg explained the brand’s relaunch, following a three-season hiatus, to the 40-or-so-person audience with heartfelt honesty. The designer used Tarot Cards—which he recently learned how to read—as inspiration for some of the pieces, while other looks featured trippy psychedelic prints and all-white combinations (which Scott adores and was wearing himself). With an emotional thank you, he sat among the models, each clad in the sporty ribbed knits, fringes, sequins, and prints for which the brand has been known and loved. —Elizabeth
Christopher John Rogers
In CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Christopher John Rogers’s NYFW runway debut, the idea that humans contain multitudes was on full display: iridescent tent dresses, metallic teal suits, ruffled collars (if you’re feeling it, put it on!) were all accompanied by no-holds-barred vogueing courtesy of models who clearly relished the opportunity to express themselves in clothing that said more than words ever could. —Harling
You know that feeling when you’re just like, in between? Weather, moods, ideas—whatever! You want to have your cake, but eat it too, because you’re not sure if you’re hungry but value optionality; I don’t know if I’m packing too many metaphors into what is supposed to be a single sentence but Khaite designs for that in-between and it’s a great exercise in compromise—what do you wear when you want to be on a beach, but you’re in a city? Maybe a wrap skirt that could be a sarong and button down shirt hooked only at the chest, or it’s Saturday night, right? And you’re not sure if you want to go capital-O Out or lowercase hang, so you wear a tulle Top (capital T, of course) and jeans—best yet, you’re in a flashy beach mood, so wear the skirt and the top, add rhinestone or pearl epaulettes, and off you go. —Leandra
“Extreme Glamping” is the phrase that came to mind at Adam Lippes’s presentation, set in a brick-walled room in a Downtown NYC skyscraper, in which one wall was lined with models wearing tent silhouettes, floor-sweeping dresses with matching or coordinating bucket hats, sequins, cozy knits, and raw denim touches, slivers of morning light shining between their bodies. Gowns were embroidered in sequin-encrusted nature scenes and pockets were a detail for nearly every dress or skirt worn, presumably meant for storing a Thermos? —Elizabeth
I will never be sure how the Tomo Koizumi beauty team managed to get model Ariel Nicholson’s long hair to gel into a sharp point for their one-woman show, but they did, and it stayed that way, all while she frolicked in larger-than-life Koizumi creations, which were made even *more* alive this year than last (which had been Koizumi’s fashion week debut), with wilder construction by way of incredible fabric appendages that moved like jellyfish legs as Nicholson danced from one look into the next. —Amalie
Hellessy is like Dylan’s Candy Bar for going-out tops, as evidenced from today’s rundown of delectable décolletage poofs, one-shouldered delights, torsos draped in silk, and billowing sleeves—each paired with unexpected bottoms like light-wash denim and hot pink velvet leggings, an homage to the universal truth that a good going-out top is as versatile as a Tootsie pop is interminable. —Harling
Shrimps designer Hannah Weiland recently admitted her distaste for digital prints and preference for patterns with a “painterly” feel, a sentiment on full display in her latest collection, which engenders the charming effect of looking simultaneously of the moment (thanks to pearly mini bags and horseshoe-emblazoned faux fur coats) and reminiscent of a different time—or rather, times plural (see: cloche hats, saloon-inspired skirts, parasols, etc.). —Harling
For sustainability-driven Hoffman’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection, the idea of “what a woman might have worn on vacation in Greece in the 80s” was on the brain, which makes the familiar smocking, color-blocking, and voluminous silhouettes feel warmly at home anywhere, not just among white-washed walls and hee-hawing donkeys. —Amalie
My mom got married in 1985 at a venue that provided photo-taking opportunities not unlike those presented in Rodarte’s Spring/Summer 2020 lookbook, boasting the faces of a cast of familiar, famous characters dressed to the 11s in an array of sequins and brocade and iridescent materials layered upon ruffles and big sleeves and mermaid tails and tulle; some pants are interrupted by knee-high, sparkling boots, but to resuscitate my initial point: If only—my mom wishes (I called her, she told me)—she had worn Rodarte. —Leandra
Feature Photo via Getty Images, Photos via Vogue Runway.
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