New York Fashion Week is upon us and it’s rolling full speed ahead with virtual, socially distant presentations, conceptual videos, creative photography, and fireside chats. The CFDA pulled together a cohesive fashion week with designers and brands creatively messaging their audience and offering clothing for the spring of 2021 when hopefully COVID will release its grip. Many used the platform to address social issues like Tanya Taylor who showed a whimsical film ending with a plea to vote. Others like the luxury cashmere brand, N.Peal opted for a commercial of sorts, promoting product placement in the upcoming James Bond film.
The pandemic forced show producers to find innovative ways to present the runway and the outdoors fit the bill. Yes, change can be good. Many presentations were set in nature, like, Rodarte, Veronica Beard, Badgley Mischka and Christian Siriano. Seeing a fashion show set against the backdrop of windblown fields or models in a forest or walking across a floral edged pond is visually breathtaking. Others oped for rooftop locations like Bronx & Branco or urban concrete runway like Ulla Johnson. Turns out the varied venues and the option to sit on the comfiest front row— your couch, makes for a successful show week.
The stay at home order has rewired fashion’s outlook. Designers have prioritized and refocused their collections and distilled them down to a simple formula that plays to their strengths. This makes for a strong fashion week with lots of options for brides planning a 2021 spring wedding and all the events that surround the big day. Options galore!
Veronica Beard SS 2021
Some designers like Khaite expressed a dark mood in their presentation evidenced in the music, the models’ facial expressions, and poses— but the ruched dresses with square necklines looked sensual and fresh and would make a stunning engagement or rehearsal dinner look—for edgy types.
The label, Chocheng opted for a traditional show video with models walking out from backstage onto a normal runway. Tailored sheath dresses with bib collars and models donning straw hats pushed back 80’s style, was the spring statement. It’s easy to see these dresses strolling down cobblestone streets old San Juan or another honeymoon destination or at a celebratory engagement or rehearsal dinner.
You’ll find lots of looks to wear for an engagement or rehearsal dinner parties at Bibhu Mohapatra, He showed his beautifully sculptural embellished gowns and dresses. In the same realm of fabulous grand dressing is Badgley Mischka who showed a reliable display of classic shapes and luxe fabric options for dressing up—bet you can’t wait to get an invite to wear one of these.
Another wedding favorite is Marchesa Notte. The designer Georgina Chapman revealed she will no longer be designing for the house but nonetheless she presented a magical array of gowns and dresses all fit for a any of the soirees and dinners were looking fabulous is required.
The contemporary line Cinq A Sept always hits the right note for easy wearability and presented a tight group of looks. The tropical prints, harem pants with cropped tops, and vacation dresses are perfection for honeymoon dressing. The presentation interspersed a model photo session with the designer and other members of the design team talking about their feelings about the pandemic.
The intersection of the environment and fashion blossomed as a critical issue of our time. A new brand, called Equal Hands designed by Monica Phromsavanh, showed the Explorer Collection which uses upcycled clothing along with partnering with indigenous craft people to create bags and accessories. Part of their mission is to address sustainability in fashion and empowering individuals ( around the world) to break the cycle of poverty. Pack any one of these exotic looks for your honeymoon and you’ll feel like a local.
Speaking of global travel, the Australian label Bronx & Banco served up skin-baring Samba looks in floaty fabrications with matching turbans a’la Carmen Miranda. It’s easy to imagine a table for two by a turquoise beach, with the bride’s skirt sailing in the ocean breeze. That’s what you call a honeymoon dream.
Closing out NYFW was the high priestess of voluminous ball gowns, Christian Siriano. Set in the backyard of a modernist mansion, models walked across a runway that flanked a pond marching out in tulle skirts and layered ruffles that any bride, bridesmaid, or mother of the bride would swoon to wear. Siriano addresses plus-sizing for most of his looks so no worries there.
Ending the show with an element of hope for the future was the pregnant model Coco Rocca, who stunned in a tonal red look. A future where we can meet in person and never take it for granted again.