Every season, when Fashion Week approaches, all we can think of is the designer’s upcoming collections. We can almost forecast what their next range is going to look like. The week-long festivities were your chance to bear witness to trends being set in real-time. Some of the NYFW highlights are included. Christian Cowan had celebrities such as Sam Smith, who has been the talk of the town since the Brit Awards. Chart-topper Sam Smith seems to be getting close with NYC-based designer Christian Cowan. There was also Lil’ Nas X, Bella Thorne, and more. Designer LaQuan Smith took over one of New York’s most famed locations for his Fashion Week show on Monday, presenting his Fall 2023 collection at the Rainbow Room. Smith transformed the glamorous space on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza into a catwalk, complete with a celebrity-studded front row that included singer
Actresses Lindsay Lohan, Julia Stiles, and Quinta Brunson kept each other company during the Christian Siriano show, and they all wore stunning pieces designed by the Maison.
Christian delivered an ode to some of the queer community’s most beloved female icons. The collection “focuses on the heroines of the dawn of pop culture: Dietrich, Garland, Baker, Mansfield, Kitt, Crawford, and Monroe.” Women who became legends, icons of talent, beauty, and sorrow Legends who became idols of allyship to marginalized queer communities across America.”
Cowan’s show notes also mention the largely popular belief that the death of Garland, arguably one of the queer community’s most beloved figures, was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” on the evening of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, a.k.a. the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement. (Garland’s funeral took place earlier that day in the streets of New York City, where over 20,000 fans grieved — some claim that many attendees went to the Stonewall Inn afterward to mourn together.)
So, when a model appeared in nothing but black trousers and an oversized caped veil, the connection to Garland felt nothing short of somber. With her top completely exposed, the look seemingly acknowledged Garland’s deeply vulnerable position throughout her career, constantly being taken advantage of and misunderstood — one of the many reasons the queer community felt connected to her.
Laquan Smith brought showstopping Hollywood glamour to New York Fashion Week. While the display was intended to evoke the ’80s Hollywood glamour inspiration behind Smith’s Monday night show, it was also a subtle reminder to his attendees that this was a house that LaQuan Smith has built from the ground up into a global luxury brand launching with Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. It was only fitting that as Smith displayed his menswear pieces, rapper and red carpet style star Lil Nas X was sitting in the front row.
Smith departed from his use of bright colors last season to incorporate warm, rich tones, from the body-hugging, velvety eggplant-colored evening wear dress to the olive full-length bodysuit and ivory trousers paired with a sheer blouse. Smith mixed in some patterns, including a sheer chiffon polka-dot dress and a form-fitting, nude-and-black striped dress. “This collection is really rich in texture, and it screams luxury quality,” Smith said.
The pleated wool skirt in Tory Burch’s opening look was held together with a large safety pin; the waistband was more than an inch or two askew. In the looks that followed, satin dresses were worn back-to-front, belts were barely holding on, pumps walked out with one broken heel (“a feat of engineering,” Burch said), and it looked like one of the double Ts on a handbag had come loose.
Burch was toying with the notion of perfection. “I wanted to challenge the concept of traditional femininity and beauty and twist it,” she said. Why? “I don’t think women want rules anymore.” For evening, Burch’s proposal was to expose the thing that women traditionally hide—their shapewear. This idea worked insofar that the power mesh and satin camisoles were modeled on mid-century styles when indeed those unmentionables were kept firmly under wraps. Women today, of course, expose their shapewear every time they leave the house in a sports bra and performance leggings. Their stitched floral appliqués and undone hooks and eyes proved Burch’s point that we’re perfectly imperfect and that vulnerability can be our strength.
It’s only February, and 2023 is already monumental for American designer Thom Browne. At the top of the year, Browne succeeded Tom Ford as Chairman of the CFDA. Later that January, Browne beat sportswear giant Adidas in the “battle of the stripes.” In his first collection since winning the trademark lawsuit, some of us were expecting his Fall/Winter 2023 collection to be stripes galore. That said, with references from past shows including Cinderella and Moby Dick, Browne’s next stroke of genius for his Fall/Winter 2023 collection was anyone’s guess.
Browne’s latest show was held in a room that modeled an analog clock. A solar system hung overhead, a crashed plane lying slightly askew inside a circle of reference numbers. “Two lost travelers meet on planet Earth,” said the narrator as two models walked the runway. One is not from this planet, we are told. A series of celestial beings begin to emerge wearing long, slim-fitting turtleneck dresses matching the color of the sandy desert floor beneath them. Decorating these otherwise muted garments was colorful, childlike imagery of varying themes, from elements of nature to the entire universe.
Sergio Hudson presented its Collection 11 at New York Fashion Week’s fall/winter ’23 season. The designer created a nostalgic scene with shoulder pads, neon colors, and graffiti prints taken right out of the early ’90s with his latest collection Saturday. Hudson, who has dressed the likes of Beyoncé and Michelle Obama, borrowed inspiration from artist Jason Naylor’s colorful and borderline psychedelic murals for New York Fashion Week in an eclectic celebration of energy. Models walked on a graffiti print by Naylor with voluminous Fran Drescher hairstyles in multi-colored minidress suit sets to thumping beats. Hudson told The Associated Press that Naylor added his vision to Hudson’s brand iconography, and the two merged their styles into graffiti letters that were spray painted on white T-shirts, incorporated into the fabric of the collection, and sequined designs. The artist’s murals also have quite a deeper meaning for Sergio.
“One thing about the Sergio Hudson girl, she wants to have fun,” he said. Many guests attended Sergio’s show. Kimora Lee Simmons was supporting her model daughter, Aoki Lee, who walked for Sergio Hudson this season.
Christian Siriano’s location is the stately former residence of one Elizabeth Taylor. In the heart of Midtown had already set the tone for his elegant show. The historic turn-of-the-century mansion is dripping in old-world elegance with its salons and winding marble staircases. He began with modern takes on suiting: wide-legged with structured shoulders like clouds and cummerbund waists. He paired them with supersized boater hats in monochromatic hues. Models came down the stairs dripping in old world taste, but remixed for now. He organized his robust number of looks into saturated color stories and played on his trademark textures and embellishments.
The color story began with red, including a gown made of two puff tiered details at the waist over a long sheer maxidress and sheer top over a crop top, then moved on to a cobalt blue section with a boatneck long-sleeve look with a massive bow detail in the front over a skirt that opened up into the perfect cigarette pant. They underscored his take on a thoroughly modern glamour. Cocktails under the stars, a gala at any number of cultural institutions? Siriano has you covered.
Lindsay Lohan, Quinta Runson sat frot row at Christian Siriano’s rosy runway along the icon that is Miss Janet Jackson. While his collection brought to life new takes on well-dressed muses of the past, Janet Jackson was his more powerful muse in the present. She ascended the stairs in an elegant black suit and sheer top, finishing her look with a stack of geometric black bangles on both arms and a ladylike Siriano purse. “Truly, that is all you need.” “Hope she likes it,” said Siriano.
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