It’s the month that every fashion junkie adores and awaits, when every designer scrambles to put finishing touches on their collections and planes are filled with models making their way from the airport to the runway. Ladies and gentlemen, the Autumn/Winter fashion month has begun.
As always, we begin our fashion month journey in the Big Apple and we’re here to give you the full run-down of upcoming trends and designs in fashion for your next chilly walk down Central Park.
It seems the glimmer of fashion week in New York City this year has faded, with an unprecedented number of heritage New York designers not attending or showing collections this year. There are a number of factors that have influenced the decisions made by the designers that abandoned NYFW, one of them being this 2020 Oscars.
This year’s Oscars fell in the middle of the New York Fashion Week, which presented setbacks for industry officials. The collision of these two major events created a setback for Hollywood stylists who often pull looks directly off the runways of NYFW for celebrities attending the Oscars. It also meant that many of the stars that typically sit front-row at the fashion shows were instead preparing for one of Hollywood’s biggest nights.
Major Brands Abandon Ship
NYFW also lost some of its major brands and designers whose names typically adorn the elite line-up, such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Jeremy Scott. Lauren released a statement confirming a ‘special show’ scheduled in April to present its fall 2020 collection, following their noticeable absence from the NYFW 2020 schedule that was released.
Despite having one of the most talked about shows last season after teaming up with Zendaya for their second Tommy x Zendaya show at the Apollo Theatre; Hilfiger instead opted to take their fourth Tommy x Lewis collaboration with Lewis Hamilton to London Fashion Week.
Jeremy Scott, who typically holds the place for most anticipated show of NYFW, cancelled his show two week prior to fashion week’s commencement. Scott revealed he opted to present his fall collection in Paris during couture week in July, however many have speculated his decision was made due to Tom Ford’s surprise Los Angeles fashion show.
Other brands that made waves at past NYFW’s, such as Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty and Telfar Clemens, also did not present collections.
Tom Ford + Shock Los Angeles Fashion Shows
In December, Tom Ford announced that he would be taking his next runway show to Los Angeles to debut his fall 2020 collection- a mere two days before the Oscars. This decision came as a surprise considering Ford is the chair of the CDFA, whose mission was to bolster New York Fashion Week. This created obvious competition for NYFW, with many celebrities and models choosing to walk and attend Ford’s show prior to the Oscars; and forgoing their attendance to NYFW.
“The decision to show in February in Los Angeles feels very natural to me,” Ford told WWD. “It is my home and has a strong impact on the way that I live and work within both the fashion and film worlds. This year, the New York Fashion Week calendar overlaps with Oscar weekend, and the last time that happened I showed in L.A. and it worked quite well. There is an excitement in L.A. on that particular weekend and the relationship between film and fashion is a strong one.”
Many felt that this move was calculated and a statement about the lack of support for NYFW. Despite this, designer brands such as M Missoni and Baja East also joined Ford in Los Angeles for their own shows.
Despite the controversy, many illustrious brands still showcased their enchanting designs for the dazzling New York elite.
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2020 collection served some gorgeous night-time looks to help you master the art of looking chic for your nights out in the city during winter. Set in the backdrop of the New York Public Library, the collection moved from tailored daywear to beaded fringed and crystal covered party frocks. Cara Taylor and Bella Hadid walked the finale of the show, revealing some stunning feathered looks.
It appears Jack and Lazaro chose to hone the art of effortless, lazy sex appeal that has recently made itself popular amongst fashion circles. Their Fall 2020 collection included asymmetrical bodycon dresses, cut-outs, leather slip dresses, giant bags, and an obvious winter essential: over-the-knee boots.
Carolina Herrera brought elegance and softness with a dash of theatrics to NYFW. Showcased on the backdrop of the glass-walled, modernistic The Shed in Hudson Yards, creative director Wes Grodon’s designs dazzled the audience with sheer lace whites, voluminous gowns with full skirts, and every shade of lemon imaginable. The real lesson in fashion balance were the simplistic belts and flat lace-up brogues that were paired with many of the extravagant looks.
Lela Rose has racked quite a reputation for holding the best fashion shows in the industry, attendees never leave without a feed and a party favour. This year, Lela Rose’s show included flower arranging and cake decorating classes, as well as cocktail parties and collection viewings. The collection itself range true to the brand’s essence, with hyper-chic, floral, and layered patterns and fabrics. Relaxed suiting and midi dresses worn over trousers also made their mark on the storefront runway.
It wouldn’t be a true FIB New York Fashion Week coverage if we didn’t make mention of beloved Aussie brand; Zimmerman. The travesty of the Australian bushfires was brought to the forefront with the show’s dedication to help Australia recover. The Fall 2020 collection offered more tailored, bold printed suiting as opposed to its usual bohemian beach girl vibes. Gorgeous pastel lace gowns with dramatic sleeves and high necklines, as well as a poncho or two, graced the runway.
37 year old Los Angeles-based Kenneth Nicholson set the record straight on his position in the fashion industry, stating that he is an artist that makes clothes rather than a fashion designer.
“It’s the most real way of expressing art in the sense that it’s worn; one can communicate their internal feelings externally…the ultimate version of performance art.”
Nicholson’s collection, interestingly titled ‘Grandmas Couch’, embraced “florals, crystals, figurines, sounds of gospel, and sports imagery”; as he described it. A range of colours, textures, patterns, Seventies-style tailoring, a houndstooth printed skirt suit and refined frock coats, all made their mark on the runway.
Puppets and Puppets
Newcomers, Puppets and Puppets, launched just last year and have already made their bold first impression on the industry with their theatrical and intricate creations. This season’s collection embodied sci-fi codes, colour palettes and cuts that were inspired by Jean Giraud’s illustrated storyboards for Alejandro Jodorowsky’s doomed adaptation of Dune.
Although Carly Mark and her former assistant Ayla Argentina trained in the fine art at the School of Visual Arts and Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, they stated that Puppets and Puppets creative influence was born from disillusionment with the art world.
“I discovered it’s [the art world] more corporate and commodity-based that I had originally thought….Art pretends to be visceral and emotional, fashion doesn’t’ pretend to be anything other than a business, so I feel they almost do the inverse to what they’re meant to do. We spend months putting together a show, it’s here and then gone and we do it because we love it, not because it makes us rich,” said Mark.
Prisca Franchetti, born in raised in Rome and now based in New York, endeavours to find the perfect balance between creative and commercial in fashion. For her collection, Franchetti presented an interesting take on the modern woman’s wardrobe. Presenting slouchy silks in magenta, an interesting rendition of the ‘Little Black Dress’ with a hooded long-sleeve minidress, and misbuttoned glossy puffer jackets.
Staging the show in The General Society Library gave the show a studious vibe that was only emphasized with many of the models being adorned with thick-rimmed glasses and backpacks.
“I observed what women wear on the street… I aim to give them the tools to express themselves, feel comfortable, powerful, professional, naughty, sexy, tough or simply have fun,” said Franchetti.
Street style during fashion month is perhaps as influential as the gorgeous designs that grace the catwalks and runways. Every season we look to the celebrities and fashionistas that make their way to each fashion week for inspiration, making muses of the street fashion innovators. Take a look at FIB’s curated gallery of the best street style looks from New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2020/21.
To stay up to date with all Fashion Month this season, Subscribe to FIB’s Weekly Alchemy Report!