Fashion month just kicked off with a bang (well, a couple of tumbles and a cartwheel, anyway). 3 days in, our Fashion Editor fills you in on the 3 shows you need to know about…
The first major show of New York Fashion Week, combining collections from five young designers/collectives chosen by public vote, was dominated by Brit art school grads doing what Brit art school grads do best – nudging conceptual design to the very edge. Amongst the rather more wearable tailoring, denim and sportswear options, think extreme fun fur, gender neutrality pushed to its outermost limits… and phallic inflatables.
Celebrating 50 years in the business, Betsey “Button” took us on a journey back through the decades, as her models transformed from beaming ’80s prom princesses to perky ’50s showgirls before our eyes, via a couple of pitstops in the intervening decades (nope, that ’70s trend still hasn’t died). But it was her ’80s-inspired “clothes for the walk of shame” which dominated the show and provided the majority of the “wow” moments – with bold, brash peplums, puffballs, raras, shoulder pads and cycling shorts accented with studded ankle bracelets and Rubik’s Cube handbags. If you feel like we could all do with a bit of a break from dressing tastefully right about now, next summer is looking bright… And yes – in case you hadn’t guessed, it was Betsey, 73(!), who provided our on-catwalk cartwheel (ending in a full split position, naturally).
No number of tumbles (of which there were two, if we’re counting) could detract from the haunting homage to 9/11 provided by Givenchy’s first New York runway show. As the sun set on musicians and performance artists perched on an open-air set constructed from debris and recycled materials, an ethereal parade of models materialised amongst the A-list onlookers. Made up of monochrome-toned bride-and-groom-inspired designs crafted in delicate silk and embellished lace, Riccardo Tisci’s latest collection couldn’t have provided a sharper contrast to Betsey Johnson’s orgy of colour and texture. Which isn’t to say that opulence was in short supply, with the designer taking his penchant for facial ornamentation to the next level. If you were in any doubt: pearls = officially cool.