New York Fashion Week may have come to a close, but as with every season, there’s still plenty to be said about it, what with the political statements, controversies and street-style stars still dominating the headlines. From Rodarte’s dreamy, romantic dresses to the breathtaking diversity at Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty show, these are our favourite collections from the Spring/Summer 2019 runway shows.
After a two year absence from New York Fashion Week, Rodarte made a spectacular return amidst a rainstorm and in the eerie confines of the city’s Marble Cemetery — a fitting setting for the label’s moody, romantic aesthetic. In yet another testament to founders and designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s exquisite dressmaking skills, models were dressed in couture-caliber confections with extravagant fabrication. Ruffled lace gowns with matching headpieces — many woven with fresh roses — floated down the runway along with swathes and puffs of tulle, all-over embellishments, and eighties bows and puffed shoulders. Completing the bewitching sight was makeup inspired by Picasso portraits with soft, geometric bright pops of colour of pinks, blues and yellows on the eyes.
2. Gabriela Hearst
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Though best known for her cult cookie-shaped Nina Bag, Gabriela Hearst holds her own in the clothing department. Catering to her “alluring and powerful” clientele, her designs are “uniforms and armours…[for the] real woman”. Hearst stayed true to her minimal yet immaculate aesthetic with her SS19 collection; tailoring and clean lines continued to be the focus, but with a feminine touch: Suits came in pink wool linen silk and metallic brocade, and corsets championed the female form, giving shape to shirt dresses and off-the-shoulder numbers. Her obsessive attention to detail this season took shape in tubular pleats — these showed up in the white and navy poplin dresses with asymmetric shoulder straps that opened the show, and muted, form-fitting knitted dresses.
3. Proenza Schouler
After two seasons in Paris, Proenza Schouler returned to New York with a ‘Made in America’ collection that eschewed elaborate embellishments and fabrics. Denim was placed front and center — acid-washed and tie-dyed, the humble fabric was worked into A-line dresses, oversized button-downs with photographs of New York City emblazoned on tiny snapshots, cut-out dresses and long-lined blazers, paired smartly with wide-legged trousers. Making a repeated appearance were exaggerated, drop-waist dresses in an acid wash and cotton that will, no doubt, be an off-duty favourite amongst the fashion set.
Longchamp’s debut runway show had fringe stealing the spotlight, and the bridge between the collection’s theme of “Parisian sensuality with a Californian vibe”. Fringe accents were incorporated in all of the looks: On waisted belts cinched above lace dresses, knee-high gladiator sandals, sixties suede tops and vests and biker jackets paired with sheer, diaphanous animal print dresses. Bags, a key focus of the label, received an update with new fringe and fur updates. A rich palette of contrasting hues, with green as a main accent, was the key palette of the show.
5. Michael Kors
A fog might have loomed over the day of the Michael Kors presentation but nothing was going to stop the designer from showering his guests with sunshine. Held at New York City’s seaport center of Pier 17, the sunny set was thanks to artist Christina Zempel, whose artworks of islands and coastlines filled the gallery and featured on the season’s accessories. Against the backdrops of bold, bright colours, models dressed in summery ensembles of explosive colours and patterns meant to “spread the joy”. There were painterly florals on shirtdresses, trousers and frilly frocks; stripes and checks were worn together, and bright metallics were studded with gems. The collection ended with wearable monochromes of white eyelet dresses and jumpsuits as well as black melange knit trousers and tops for the colour-weary.
6. Marc Jacobs
His runway show might have kicked off with controversy thanks to a 90 minute delay, but the wait paid off the fashion insiders in attendance. There were plenty of statement-making looks: Candy coloured frothy dresses in light-as-air fabrics, strong shoulders, voluminous dresses with colossal ruffles and swishy feathers on frocks. While it was pure excess in fabrics, you only have to look past the massive silk georgettes and jaunty top hats to see the wearable pieces of delicate slips, pastel trenchcoats, flesh-toned knits and modern tweed jackets.
7. Savage X Fenty
Closing New York Fashion Week was Rihanna’s powerful Savage X Fenty lingerie collection. Beautifully choreographed, the presentation was pure performance art and an empowering celebration of womenhood in all forms. Models, including heavily pregnant Slick Woods, of varying ethnicities and body sizes danced and walked in an interpretation of the Garden of Eden, which brought together foliage, botanical structures and hydroponics. The lingerie, which ranges from the everyday to the racy, celebrates diversity as one of the most inclusive sizes ranges on the market.