If you live in New York City and work in the fashion industry—or in a college student’s case, strive to—one hopes to make it on the list of any major fashion show happening during that season. This was my chance to participate in this much anticipated series of events to live the life as a true New York City fashion journalist and the experience NYFW from the crowd instead of my couch.
I had a total of 10 shows on my list to attend, but due to a horrific toothache I endured that Friday morning and a last minute job obligation, I had to cut a few loose.
Overall, to say I’m excited for the autumn/winter 2016 collections to reach store shelves is a complete understatement. From BCBG Max Azria and Marissa Webb to Herve Lerger by Max Azria and two emerging South Korean designers that collaborated with Concept Korea—Yohanix and Jarret—each designer delivered something different and special in their own beautiful way. I even had the opportunity to get backstage to interview Yohanix and Jarret before their show to talk about their collections and what inspired them. Can you say dream come true?
As I sat in section A in the fourth row at “The Arc”—one of the two rooms hosting runway shows at the Skylight at Moynihan Station—the venue started filling up quickly. The lights slowly dimmed, and everything went to black, except the back wall where the models would soon file out. A heady version of the late David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” started playing as the first model walked out onto the runway. One look to the next, I was in love. Lots of rich colors made up this collection: navy, dusty rose, burgundy, black, burnt orange, and ekru to name a few. Striped long sleeve sweaters worn under dresses, beautifully constructed kimono style robes, metallic shimmer lurex tops with matching leggings and chic shearling fur coats were a few key looks that made up this stunning collection. Aside from the razzle-dazzle from the sparkly lurex, the designers threw in a little tribal inspired embroidery patterns on a few of their garments, too.
With a classic and tailored theme in mind, Banana Republic’s ex-Creative Director Marissa Webb awed her guests as her first full collection since stepping down from the Gap family brand graced the catwalk at the Skylight Clarkson Square venue. The clean and crisp pallet of the space allowed for the garments to stand out against the spotlights, allowing the detail and texture in the beautiful wool pin-stripe blazers and frothy floral motif dresses to show. From retro gray tartan and definitive navy check to crisp earth tone greens and pops of rose-colored Victorian flair, the mix of masculine and feminine looks meshed well, giving this collection the ultimate range for one’s wardrobe this fall. My personal favorite? Look 38: a black lace A-line maxi with three black ruffles down the center bodice.
Concept Korea | Yohanix
Dark, mysterious and esoteric. Yohanix unveiled a collection unlike anything I’ve seen in a long time at his NYFW debut. The young South Korean designer mixed vintage inspired floral prints with new-age, all-black street-styles in his autumn/winter collection titled Hamlet’s Syndrome. Sunglasses and eye glasses framed the perfectly made-up faces of the models strutting down the runway. Their teased, voluminous hair billowed in the wind with each step. Even the garments had volume you could feel from your seat. The show transformed you to a futuristic time but with a contemporary twist. I couldn’t get over the amount of detail that went into each garment: floral beaded socks, sweaters, jackets, and leather tote bags to the concise mixed-media looks of leather, wool and silver metal zip hardware. Yohanix struck a chord that I can’t seem to kick.
Concept Korea | Jarret
In her second-ever NYFW show, South Korean designer Jarret presented a collection that was full of life, color, energy and romance. The black lurex hot-shorts weren’t the only chattels heating up this show. A mixed version of Austrian DJ and music producer Parov Stelar’s "Libella Swing" brought this vampire-inspired collection to life with its modern-day techno-infused jazz number. Deep reds, blacks and electric blues played a critical role in the story of Jarret’s collection as models walked the catwalk in various fur jackets and stoles along with sheer organza blouse and skirt combos. Her use of exaggerated tassels along with colorful embroidered vampire fangs and calligraphic text gave the collection a playful, fanciful edge.
As I kicked off my first fashion week experience with Max Azria, I also ended it with him. Filled with various tartan plaids, fur, and punk-embellished hardware, Azria’s Hervé Léger autumn/winter showcase did not disappoint. Staying true to their classic bandage-style dresses, the designer took these looks to the next level by adding details of metal grommets, safety pins, and not to mention threaded gunmetal chains throughout some of the dresses. Rich royal blues and crimson reds played a prominent role in this collection, along with hints of lilac gray, jade green, stark-white, and the ever so famous New York black-on-black. Growing up a punk-rock chick, Azria had me feeling nostalgic as each model graced the catwalk. It’s almost as if 15-year-old-me was speaking to 26-year-old-me, telling me not to lose sight of where my love for fashion stemmed from.