By Sherah Ndjongo
The much-anticipated New York Fashion Week was held last month and bloggers, stylists, buyers, photographers, magazine editors, and celebrities gathered in New York City to catch a glimpse of the newest styles and trends for the upcoming seasons. There was everything from intricate details and embellishments, to classic basics, to loose and flowing lines, to captivating ruffles, and color-blocking prints. There was also more diversity in the casting of models who walked down the catwalk for major fashion designers.
Here are four NYFW Ready-to-Wear Spring 2016 collections that I believe stood out among the rest.
Deciding to take a rather unexpected route this season, Rodarte successfully blurred the line between 1970s Glam Rock and the romantic Victorian era. There were quite a few fabric selections and styling methods, like sheer blouses, coats, and scarves embellished with metallic, glitter, and sequins, that directly paid homage to the Glam Rock era. There were also pieces that were intricately beaded by hand and high-waisted velvet trousers that have come back into style due to the current 1970s redux. On the other hand, Rodarte’s designers, sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, have been quoted saying that this specific collection was inspired by Romantic poetry, which can be clearly detected with just one look at the clothes. The 19th century is referenced with silhouettes that are composed of long loosely fitted shapes lined with lace. The beautiful beading, embroidery, and exquisite fringe also shows how the duo are masters of accurately conveying feeling through a visual medium, which is similar to what romantic poetry achieves. The shoes in this show included plenty of silver and gold heels and ankle boots, which are predicted to be a huge spring trend.
The big news was that Givenchy made history when it waved goodbye to Paris Fashion Week for the first time in 63 years to display a monumental show with numerous A-list guests in New York City. Better yet, the French fashion house topped this surprise by making 820 tickets available to the New York public for free to enjoy the designs along with the bloggers, industry regulars, and celebrities that attended. There was an abundance of sheer material, tuxedo jackets, and lace creations sent down the catwalk that could be described as classic. The gowns and coats all stayed within the realm of black, cream, and white shades, and these extreme color opposites somewhere found a way to balance each other out. I also appreciate how the meticulously trimmed silk slips were paired with wide legged pants for a timeless look. However, it was the makeup that left me stunned and speechless, but in a good way. The face jewelry or embellishments in a couple of the looks were unique and paid great attention to detail. Not only did they enhance the element of drama to the clothes, but they can also be considered individual pieces of artwork on their own.
Carolina Herrera’s Spring ‘16 runway show was truly magnificent. For her spring collection, Herrera claimed that she was in “a rose period,” which can be recognized through her pastel creations. Her gorgeous gowns allowed her to openly delve deep into subjects like transparency, optimism, and delicacy as well. The collection, which had a refreshing updated feel to it, included the use of a “techno fabric” that is similar to a much lighter version of scuba fabric. This resulted in an ultramodern outcome with see-through mesh in between and sheer cutouts. Therefore, the dresses appeared flowy and somewhat sporty. Organza that was in several shades of blush were cropped at the thigh, but the best part about this transparency is that it was that it used in moderation. Carolina Herrera also made more edgier ensembles than she usually opts for, which could possibly mean that she is also targeting a newer and slightly younger audience. For many of her looks, hems were high and shoulders were revealed, which is not exactly her signature style. Yet, there were still feather decorations and silver and flower-shaped beading that will interest and satisfy her long-term fan base.
Extravagance is a vital component of Alexander Wang’s runway shows. While his tendency to gravitate toward neutral color palettes and his inclination toward taking elements from the street wear movement aren’t new, the high-status designer, who celebrated ten years of his namesake label, is beginning to turn all his attention to branding. Silk baller vests, leather jackets with fringes, and grunge-inspired slip dresses all fall into Wang’s intention of “being modern by noticing what is really surrounding you and what is in front of your very eyes each day.” He was inspired by mundane things and normal activities in this collection because it is by rejecting innovation and envisioning clothes simply and to the point when ideas about “being modern” are realized. This interesting perspective is what allowed Alexander Wang to achieve all the success that he has in the fashion industry today. In the end, this runway show can be viewed as a declaration of his plans as a designer both in the present and in the future.
New York Fashion Week lasted for eight days, but a lot happened in this short period of time. Not only did it successfully celebrate the fashion industry and all of the art that goes into it, but it also gave hardworking fashion designers and diligent models a share of the spotlight. In conclusion, most of the collections at New York Fashion Week Ready-to-Wear Spring 2016 embraced darker hues, contrasted black and white in a wide variety of ensembles, and ensured that the iconic styles of the 1970s could be spotted everywhere.
About the Author: Sherah, 17, has been homeschooled for three years. “I am passionate about raising awareness about topics such as current events and culture and being able to effectively deliver a message that matters to me. I also enjoy researching and writing in hopes of educating, informing, and inspiring others.”