Even with Tom Ford, the new Chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, calling for a shorter schedule, New York Fashion Week still offered lots of stellar show moments. From the standout pieces in the spring/summer 2020 ready-to-wear collections to the offbeat locations and amazing performances (who can forget Janelle Monae’s tour de force at Ralph Lauren’s jazz club?), the five-day event was as exciting as ever. Plus, there’s always something to be said about the body positivity, diversity and inclusivity, including a child amputee walking the runway for Prabal Gurung, the jam-packed sartorial spectacle is known for.
Here are two shows that stood out:
Tory Burch’s Joyful Princess Diana-Inspired Show
While talking about her spring/summer 2020 collection, Tory Burch said she was inspired by someone she has been fascinated with since she was young, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. “Clearly, she was a style icon, but I loved her fearlessness, her intelligence and, most of all, her humanity. She left a legacy that embodies what I admire most, one that has been instilled in our foundation and company since the beginning,” the American designer said. She added the collection “brings together English garden florals, a restrained volume and my own take on the 80s.”
The English garden-inspired florals, ranging from dense ditsy blossoms to bouquet-strewn scarf prints, were certainly a central part of the show, which took place at the Brooklyn Museum. However, there were other striking prints and patterns, including classic stripes and plaids. Additionally, there was a kinetic geometric print that infused some understated nostalgia into the collection.
When it came to silhouettes, there were blouson shapes with soft balloon sleeving, cinched waists and oversized taffeta bows, which were a nod to the easy exuberance of the 80s. Plus, A-listers sitting front row, like Halima Aden, Emily Blunt and Leomie Anderon, got to admire the billowy trousers, whether harem pants or wide-legged palazzos, which added a slightly nonchalant vibe. The gentle volumes created a contrast to the tailored pieces, such as button-downs, trench coats and cardigans. Fun PVC-covered Lee Radziwill handbags and pumps finished with oversized bows topped off some of the outfits, while the top-clasped handbags added a polished look.
From the crisp chiné taffeta to the plaid-woven fine tulle and iridescent silk jacquard with trapunto stitching, there was a subtle play on texture and shine with the fabrics. And the pieces came in delicate pastels like melon, lavender, and lemon, as well as earthy neutrals of cream, white, khaki, navy and black. Meanwhile, the warm bursts of red, bright yellow and electric blue injected energy and intensified the joyful spirit of the collection.
American Pie, Positivity & Optimism at the Michael Kors Show
Attended by the likes of Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Emily Ratajkowski, Sara Sampaio and Suki Waterhouse, the spring/summer 2020 Michael Kors show theme was all-American optimism. “I am a native New Yorker and I wanted this show to highlight the strength and optimism and can-do attitude of our city,” Michael Kors said. “The collection explores the balance of pragmatism and charm and power and romance that is at the core of American fashion. It is a celebration of the diversity of American style and beauty.” The celebration of the American dream went down in Brooklyn’s Duggal Greenhouse, which was transformed into a green, sun-dappled park, with live maple, ash and oak trees rented from Long Island area nurseries.
With a moving musical performance by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, the looks ranged from prep and punk to luxe and relaxed. As well as reimagined classics for today’s woman, we saw looks that highlighted the powerful romanticism of the 1940s. Additionally, there was crisp tailoring, the urban polish of uniform dressing and romantic summer dresses and rompers juxtaposing softness with nipped waists and strong shoulders. And considering the theme, it wasn’t a surprise to see patriotic stars and stirpes, which came in prints and metallic accents, and a nationalistic palette of red, white and blue. Graphic dots and conversational fruit prints (because pie is so quintessentially American) left their mark too.
The American designer had a star-studded runway, with models like Adut Akech Bior and Gigi and Bella Hadid appearing in the sparkling, dressier pieces. While Bella rocked a midnight double crepe sablé jacket romper with gold crystal pinstripe embroidery, sister Gigi stunned in a black crepe sablé draped gown with silver stud embroidery. Adut, who helped close the show alongside Gigi, donned a crimson tissue sablé ruched gown with silver stud embroidery.
One of the daywear outfits was showcased by Ugbad Abdi, who appeared in a khaki wool gabardine cutaway trench, midnight cashmere cropped pullover, sky and white dickeys, banker stretch tropical wool pleated trousers and a monogramme shoulder bag. Then there was Binx Walton meaning business in a midnight wool serge blazer bodysuit, a sky and white nautical stripe poplin dickey and similar trousers to Abdi. Model of the moment Kaia Gerber also added her magic touch in a midnight and sky tattersall stretch wool push-up sleeve blazer, a matching stretch wool flare skirt and daisy crepe de chine camp shirt, which were accessorised with a small monogramme shoulder bag.