In the fashion industry, February means one thing- New York Fashion Week. The New York shows are remarkable in that designers always express strong political statements and this year was no exception. Our society sees women speaking out louder and prouder than ever before with the #MeToo movement and this reflected on the catwalk.
Alexander Wang based his entire Fall collection around the working woman, naming it ‘Boss Lady’ and holding his show in an old office space in downtown New York. The women at work theme continued throughout- oversized coats, combat boots and blanket scarves made an appearance. Puritan influences of the hit TV show The Handmaid’s Tale translated into the runway in long overcoats, buttoned up to the top.
The obsession with elaborate coats is going nowhere- Victoria Beckham and Michael Kors featured leopard print tailored overcoats. Tom Ford and Calvin Klein saw similar themes of very oversized, long and bulky jackets. ‘Survival couture’ made its mark especially in Klein, where models wore lots of layers, cosy knitwear and balaclavas. Raf Simons wanted to translate a world of ‘no cultural hierarchy’, with burnt orange colours and glamour nowhere in sight. The dystopia-inspired show reflected the emotions of the current the political atmosphere – but at least, Simons hopes we’ve survived.
The other show that was on everyone’s lips from the week was of course Marc Jacobs. Closing off the week, the 80s made a return- with broad shoulders, high waisted tailored trousers and again, oversized scarves that wrapped up towering models. Bold colours and colour blocking made a comeback with yellows, dulled blues and reds. Jacobs finished off his looks with large hats to nearly completely hide the model’s faces. Oversized everything seemed to be the theme- with huge coats, long skirts and cinched in waists recalling 60s trends.
London Fashion Week saw similar trends, but ideas were approached with a lot more emotion and softness. Not to mention, Queen Elizabeth herself took a seat in the front row at the Richard Quinn show beside Anna Wintour and presented Quinn with an award for British Design.
Christopher Bailey saw his last show for Burberry after 17 years and closed with the iconic Cara Delevingne strutting down the runway with a pride flag fur cape on her shoulders. Romanticism, although normally a frequent trend in spring and summer shows, reared its head at Simone Rocha, with dreamy lace and applique flowers on dresses. Delicate embroidery is going nowhere, especially with lace and chiffon; femininity at its finest is here to stay.
Just like many designers during NYFW, Christopher Kane referenced the liberation of sexuality in his show through red lace dresses and explicit illustrations sketched on dresses. He brought back the ugly shoe trend that first made its debut two years ago with a collaboration with an orthopaedic shoe company- where shoes saw the traditional high heel replaced with a bouncy spiral.
In terms of beauty, sparkles made the runway more so than ever- pressed glitter was applied to the lid with fingers, crystals were added to hair dos and Preen even saw fairy dust blended into the skin and the hairline. Models sported colourful bowl cuts with rose coloured eyeglasses and cornrows were spotted in an ode to the black woman.
As always, London and New York fashion weeks have left their onlookers inspired and heads full of new ideas and trends- we can’t wait to hit the shops for a much needed wardrobe update.
By Gabija Gataveckaite