Off the Beaten Track: Some Secrets of #NYFW (Part One)

by Wendy Sy Photographed by Benjamin Lozovsky/ for Pamela Rolland. Georgia Nerheim for Novis. First View and BFW for Noon By Noor. Getty for Tadashi Shoji.
Friday, September 8, 2017

The big names get all the attention, but New York Fashion Week includes shows and presentations galore, scattered all over town. For the Spring/Summer 2018 collections, we asked AVENUE Senior Editor Wendy Sy to highlight some lesser-known lines.


Location: Pier 59 Studios, Studio B, 59 Chelsea Piers.

Spotted: Backstage, Pamella Roland posed for a photo with Nigel Barker and Miss Jay Alexander before checking her collection one last time. In the front row, Olivia Culpo chatted with Nadine Leopold and Devon Windsor.

Collection: At 4:20pm, a serene yet spirited tune from DJ Javier Peral plays in the backdrop as the show kicks off with a navy stretch crepe cocktail dress with a feather embroidered cape. Inspiration for the season came stemmed from Roland’s family trip in May to Monte Carlo. As with travel, there were serendipitous last minute changes. “We had to do a very early show because my daughter’s wedding is on Saturday,” Roland says. “Some of the dresses were over-the-top for me, so I cleaned it up a little bit.” Making the cut were hand draped tulle ball gowns, dresses with swingy metallic fringe, crystal and sequin firework motifs and embroidered lace, paired with diamonds by De Grisogono. The color palette ranged from cobalt, navy and aqua to brighter pops of fuchsia, blush and lilac.

On the Record: “We listened to the customer. It’s the best thing for the brand,” says Roland. “We do a lot of sales out of Paris and the Middle East. They want color!”

NOVIS Presentation

Location: 508 West 26th Street, Penthouse 12.

Spotted: Editors and friends of designer Jordana Warmflash viewed her collection up-close and personal before a floor-to-ceiling window view of Chelsea on a sunny morning.

Collection: The old-school elevators with folding gate doors—which took what seemed like forever to deliver the audience—matched the aesthetic of the five-year-old brand’s latest collection. This season, it’s all about vintage, an ode to decades past, with a multi-colored eyelet dress and a cream botanical print long sleeve top with a circle skirt. Botanical drawings inspired the collection with its jungle-like elements: a rose v-neck layered gown resembles strawberries; a chartreuse lace-edged skirt paid homage to banana leaves. 

On the Record: “We really like mixing the display of the mannequins to create an art installation along with the live models,” says Warmflash, who started her career with Zac Posen, Peter Som and Alice + Olivia.

NOON BY NOOR Runway Show

Location: Skylight Clarkson Square, Gallery III, 558 Washington Street.

Spotted: A mob of photographers yell, “Kate!” and “One more smile for the camera” at Kate Mara, dressed in a clover green bell sleeve shirt and trousers from Noon By Noor’s resort 2018 collection. Mara sat front row alongside Caitriona Balfe and Leigh Lezark of The Misshapes, who DJ’ed the show, which ran about half an hour late, but that’s fashion. 

Collection: This season, designers Shaikha Noor Rashid Al Khalifa and Shaikha Haya Mohammed Al Khalifa looked to their home country, Bahrain, as the inspiration for a 34-piece collection. From a mix of white and black looks, the color palette expanded to flaming red and a soft pink. Masculine-meets-feminine pieces ranged from wide leg trousers, tailored blazers and over-sized shirts to strapless dresses, blouses and even a ladybug-printed maxi dress. Cotton embroidered printed t-shirts with the words “Love” and “Wisdom” in Arabic script (with an English translation on the back) also appeared. Noon By Noor also introduced uts first handbag collection, a collaboration with L.A.-based handbag designer Tyler Ellis.

On The Record: We caught up with stylist star Freddie Leiba, who’d come from Barbara Tfank’s presentation at Maison Gerard earlier in the day. He’s lately focusing his attention on designing street-chic uniforms, a project for Ian Schrager, the hospitality entrepreneur and co-founder of the famed Studio 54, which recently hit its 40-year milestone.“We just did Public and are now getting ready to do Edition in China and Dubai,” says Leiba. “I observe the collections and get inspiration to see which silhouettes are appropriate for the hotel, and of course, look at the architecture to come up with ideas.” 


Location: Skylight Clarkson Square, Gallery I, 550 Washington Street.

Spotted: Against a planetarium-style projection on the runway background, actresses Chloe Bennet, Chrissie Fit, and Camren Bicondova, sat front row.

Collection: Tadashi Shoji’s collection is made for sun-drenched days and star-lit nights in SoCal. In the midst of the fashion week madness, Shoji seemed to want us to take it easy and imagine ourselves driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in a whimsical floral matching set or at a Malibu party in a celestial embroidered gown.

On the Record: “…We’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow. That’s where we want to go, way down in Kokomo,” the Beach Boys’ song played as the models walked the finale of the show. Its color palette of gemstone jade, rose quartz, yellow opal, azurite and agate meshed together gracefully. Then, awakened from a ten-minute daydream, it was back to the East Coast and off to the next show.

Stay tuned for more NYFW coverage on AVENUE, coming soon.


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