Halima Aden, backstage at Philipp Plein
There have been plenty of awe-inducing and go-getting looks, as well as standout runway sets during the autumn/winter 2018 ready-to-wear shows in New York. However, these three will surely linger in our memories that little bit longer.
Philipp Plein’s Winter Space Invasion
Whether it’s the staging or the clothes, we’ve come to anticipate unchecked excess at Philipp Plein's shows. And the German designer certainly didn’t let us down with his space-odyssey themed show at Duggal Greenhouse, a huge warehouse space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He took us to Planet Plein, a wintry galaxy not so far away, featuring fluffy, fake snow-covered ground, ice walls, large moon rocks and snow mobiles zipping by. And the space odyssey, illuminated by 800 lasers, began when Irina Shayk, accompanied by a robot, stepped out of an 18-metre wide spaceship.
An all-star cast of super models and performers, including Migos, Rich the Kid, Halima Aden, Cordell Broadus and Christian Combs, helped to display Philpp Plein’s men’s, womenswear and Plein Sport collections. During the show a Paralympic runner sprinted by in the latter.
Some of the models looked like Barbarellas in big pastel hair-dos, metallic jumpsuits and fur ski boots, while tough astronauts were seen in studded biker jackets and red-stripe denim. See-through plastic “Blade Runner” macs, spacesuit puffer coats and mirror-panelled tracksuits orbited alongside latex trousers, goggle sunglasses and snow hoverboards. Elsewhere, cosmic catsuits, knee-high boots and teddy bear bags encrusted in crystals sparkled like bright constellations. In a nutshell, it was a sci-fi fantasy where luxury, high street and sportswear collided in a supernova explosion.
Happy Times at Tory Burch
It may have been seriously freezing outside, but Tory Burch’s ode to spring time really brightened New York Fashion Week up. Burch, one of the richest self-made women in America, transformed a vacant marketplace into a temporary garden with a sea of 14,000 tall, pale pink carnations, inspired by the drama of Pina Bausch’s “Nelken,” and imitation grass. All that pink, as well as the notable botanical prints that were spotted on ruffled collar blouses and handkerchief dresses, helped make it a highly Instagram-able affair. Another attraction to help that spring time feeling permeate through the air was the Chamber Orchestra of New York playing the spring section of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”
According to the show notes, the relaxed, flowy, feminine and beautifully retro pieces were inspired by the “effortless style” of Princess Lee Radziwill, the late First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s socialite sister. However, thoughts of the Duchess of Cambridge, who is known to be a big Tory Burch fan, quickly came to mind too. Loose, fluid dresses with scarf hemlines balanced tomboy jackets and trim blazers. Layered outerwear — from a classic peacoat to fluffy shearling and a blanket poncho — also added to the effortless vibe. Patterned silk scarves, bags and pointy toe boots accessorised the refined caftan-like silhouettes. As well as the tried-and-tested palette of ivory and ‘Tory navy’, colours included pale pink, red, leaf green, deep burgundy and jolts of fuchsia and cobalt. There was an eclectic mix of prints and patterns, including a modern take on chintz, a patchwork of florals, stripes and classic checks. And the soft and slackened fabrics ranged from delicate lace and organza to wool and cashmere.
Bottega Veneta’s Love Letter to New York
To mark the opening of the company’s new flagship housewares and furniture store on Madison Avenue, Bottega Veneta swapped Milan for New York for one season only. And during his dedication to the Big Apple, German-born designer Tomas Maier, who often stays there, pulled out all the stops with a fittingly grand show at the American Stock Exchange. The star-studded affair, with superstars Gigi Hadid (who closed the show) and Kaia Gerber among the models walking down the runway, could easily be described as a mega debut.
The runway set was created in collaboration with scenic designer Scott Pask. Designed to look like an elegant apartment, it juxtaposed iconic mid-century Italian furniture, contemporary pieces from Bottega Veneta’s furniture collection and modern American sculpture with a stark but serene Brutalist backdrop. And the show, with women’s and men’s collections, was homage to the spirit of New Yorkers who are free to fearlessly express themselves in a city that’s seen everything. The collection also explores the various facets of life in New York, including the necessary escape from the city’s intense whirl of activity, whether to the wilderness of the country or the serenity of one’s home. That’s why pieces like floral pajama silks and ethereally soft evening dresses were included.
The overarching vision of the season was rooted in New York’s architecture, and Maier extracted the detail of the cube as a motif that weaves its way through the collections. For women, it was evident in richly hued intarsia silk dresses, lush shearling coats and on iconic bags, which are a combination of artisanal and pragmatic. Plus, the collection included unexpected textures and a vast palette of unique colours, just check out the touches of fur, multi-coloured coats and animal prints. Looks were finished off with statement-making boots on a pavement-friendly low heel, perfect for hitting the streets of New York.