Ulla Johnson

Where will we go next? The title of a short story distributed at the Proenza Schouler show, this question was a driving factor in New York this season as designers explored subversive romance, embraced formal attire, and challenged the status quo with grunge-inspired statements.

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Subversive Romance

LaQuan Smith | Elena Velez | Duncan | Dion Lee

This season, designers explored the dichotomy between hard and soft, durable and delicate, masculine and feminine. Finding this balance, Elena Velez combined strong materials with romantic styles to reflect the toughness of femininity. At LaQuan Smith, models strutted down the runway in form-fitting silhouettes and layered cut outs, while, at Dion Lee, models wore contrasting looks that combined oversized cargo pants with elegant lace. “There’s strength in beauty,” Chris Peters said of Duncan’s subversively romantic collection.

Gala Girl

Michael Kors | Christian Siriano | Christian Cowan | Carolina Herrera

“Our customer is looking for pieces that celebrate the moment,” said Wes Gordon of his collection for Carolina Herrera.This sentiment carried through the week as designers presented gala-worthy attire. A modern interpretation of Old Hollywood style, Michael Kors’ collection featured oversized fur coats, hot pink sequins, and bold red lips. Christian Cowan opted for shortened hems and feather accents, while Christian Siriano put forth sheer corsetry and ruffle draping.

Wearable Resistance

R13 | Collina Strada | Marc Jacobs | Coach

Designers viewed their runways as vehicles of resistance this season as they elevated gothic dressing. Chris Leba of R13 presented a collection that lands between hype and haunting, experimenting with structure and embracing the grunginess of baggy silhouettes. Similarly inspired by the grunge of the early 2000s, Collina Strada shredded chiffon and cut into fringe. A darkly romantic, gothic collection reconstructed from existing garments made an impact in Marc Jacobs’ surprise digital lookbook. Coach also reworked items from the past, featuring youthful accessories and graffiti-inspired prints to create this season’s edgy collection.

Statement Sequins

Altuzarra | Christian Cowan | Jonathan Simkhai | Marc Jacobs

Altuzarra, Jonathan Simkhai, and Marc Jacobs offered an edgy update to the sequin this season. At Altuzarra, scaled, graduated metal sequins mimicked the scaly nature of mermaids being aged by saltwater. Jonathan Simkhai presented glittering sequin “jewelry” dresses that doubled as works of art, while Marc Jacobs brought glamor to his dystopian collection with massive sequin tops and body chains.

Accessory Overload

Peter Do | R13 | Proenza Schouler | Ulla Johnson

Armored for the resistance, models walked across runways overloaded in accessories. At Proenza Schouler, Ulla Johnson, and Altuzarra, designers decided one bag per look was not nearly enough, opting for multiple bags, in varying shapes and sizes, per outfit. Peter Do drew the audience in with unexpected hardware, accessorizing his simplistic looks with stacked belts, while Chris Leba of R13 emphasized the grunginess of his collection with layered gothic necklaces.

Don’t miss out on a more in depth analysis of NYFW, including trending colors, materials, key items, accessories, beauty looks, and more.

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