FASHION Twenty years of covering New York Fashion Week, and we’ve seen the city go through confidence, recession, and cautious recovery. This season? Lola Cristall makes her picks
Photographed by Mike Coppola, Elvia Gobbo, Dror Baldinger and courtesy the designers
Lola Cristall is Paris editor of Lucire.
Lucire has covered New York Fashion Week for 20 years this season—our first was fall 1999. That season was one of confidence, with labels ready to face the new millennium. This fall, however, designers are wearier, more careful about what the future might bring. There’s still glamour galore—there’s still a belief in the spending power of high-end customers—but it’s not an unbridled opulence, knowing that that’s not the only market you must serve. Here’s a cross-section of the designers that we think represent the best of New York’s autumn–winter 2019–20 collections.
Chelsea and Walker
Creative director, Jackie Yang, emphasized effortless and undeniable chic with her contemporary, well designed fall collection. The Jimmy Rooftop at the James Hotel, steps away from one of the New York Fashion Week hubs, Spring Studio, welcomed a select few to enjoy and appreciate the Chelsea and Walker collection. The rooftop, elegantly set up for an intimate fashion presentation, featured asymmetrical dresses and tops. Ensembles included a draped asymmetrical deep V-neck dress accompanied by a chubby.
Carolina Herrera showed what she called a ‘garden of colour’ for fall ’19, inspired by Robert Mapplethorpe’s floral still lifes. Mapplethorpe had shot for Herrera, so there is a personal connection. Bold floral prints and bright magenta, yellow, pink, orange and blue shades made the Carolina Herrera collection one of the most joyous of the season.
One of the most consistent designers at New York Fashion Week in all the years we’ve covered the event, Tadashi Shoji went with a southeast Asian inspiration. However, it was a relatively safe collection: the opulence we usually associate with him was toned down when it came to his silhouettes, and he let the details do the talking for fall: tulle, sequins, gold-leaf embroidery, among others. There was an imperial feel to the designs, but a more modern, restrained interpretation.
Shoji spends half his time in Los Angeles, and the other half in Shanghai, catering to Chinese customers. No doubt the winds of change are affecting China, with its lowered economic growth forecast and banks tightening up on borrowing as factories cut production—and that must translate into caution.
Chloé Mendel and Gustave Maisonrouge presented masterpieces with a collection inspired by the rockstar vibes of the 1970s and David Bowie. Maison Atia is all about incorporating high-end methods and meticulous workmanship, using faux fur. The look, touch and feel of each piece, from long overcoats, vests and alluring jackets are luxurious.
Raised in the centre of the fashion industry, Mendel (daughter of Gilles) continues in her family’s shoes. Maisonrouge focused on the luxury industry first, starting out as a fragrance specialist at Hermès.
The brand’s first solo presentation was presented at the Baccarat Hotel’s Grand Salon. The surrounding crystal chandeliers highlighted the beauty of each piece.
Barbara Tfank presented sumptuous textiles, subtle hues and meticulous workmanship. There were off-the shoulder cocktail dresses with elbow-high gloves, square-neck dresses, puffed set-in sleeves on an A-line dress as well as slightly slit necklines, an off-the-shoulder mermaid dress and a sheath piece with gold touches on balloon organza sleeves. Her inspiration: the magnificent, everlasting world of Elizabeth Taylor. While the designer created a tribute collection following the Hollywood legend’s passing, she revives the actress’s allure for fall 2019, presenting at the Elizabeth Collective off Fifth Avenue, also known as Taylor’s former six-storey townhouse. Soprano Sydney Anderson sang on the stunning spiral staircase surrounded by lit candles.
Hakan Akkaya transformed the runway into a rock-’n’-roll-themed catwalk with a collection entitled Glam Rock. Menswear and womenswear flaunted metallic silvers with bold glimmering studs; thigh-high platform boots, bellbottoms, deep V-neck dresses, a silver spike-adorned mini-skirt, accentuated epaulettes and single-shoulder strapped diagonal-cut dresses were the highlights of the collection.
For Yuna Yang, fashion is all about freedom and self-expression. Wrap coats, cascade necklines, midi-skirts, off-the-shoulder long-sleeve tops and poet sleeves exemplify many of the details throughout the collection. Layered and loose-fitted looks are casual yet stylish.
Stuart Vevers showed Coach’s fall ’19 at the American Stock Exchange. There was plenty of vigour, with psychedelic and kaleidoscopic patterns, layered textiles, and deconstruction. Plenty of celebs attended: Michael B. Jordan, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maisie Williams, and Joan Smalls among them. Models included Kaia Gerber, Dree Hemingway, Missy Rayder, Tasha Tilberg and Cat McNeil. •
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