Runway Recap: #NYFW Notes (Pt. 1)

by Wendy Sy Photographed by Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA, Neil Rasmus/BFA, Samantha Nandez/, Dan Lecca and Erez Sabag
Sunday, February 11, 2018

New York Fashion Week is here, once again. The fall/winter 2018 collections are the main attraction, but often, the most intriguing sights are behind-the-scenes. This week, AVENUE is all over town with a notebook in hand. Here’s some of what we’ve seen (so far).

YIGAL AZROUËL Presentation

Location: 225 West 39th Street, 5th Floor.

Spotted: Among vases of flowers, a number of polaroids are laid out on a table upon entrance to the showroom. Looking closely, the images are of models and muses during fittings of seasons pastMariacarla, An Oost and Alek Wek, to name a few.

Collection: For Azrouël, this season commemorates 20 years in fashion. The first women’s ready-to-wear collection for the brand debuted back in fall 1998 during a show in Bryant Park. Like the past few collections, Azrouël has been showing his designs presentation-style with one-on-one appointments throughout the day. His signature use of draping is apparent in modernized versions of separates from the design archives. Think: a black shrunken leather jacket with a fur collar, a fuschia long-sleeve shirtdress and a mid-length houndstooth pencil skirt with a touch of leather.

On the Record: The best thing about NYFW? “For me, it’s a time to celebrate. Every season is a new baby being born,” says Azrouël. On what’s ahead for the brand: “To continue empowering women. That was the mission from day onecoming in here everyday with love and passion to make clothing that feels good and looks good.”


Location: Spring Studios, Gallery II, 6 St. John’s Lane.

Spotted: Jay Alexander getting photos taken backstage before taking a seat in the front row, alongside Olivia Palermo, Alexa Chung and Alessandra Ford Balazs.

Collection: Designers Shaikha Noor Rashid Al Khalifa and Shaikha Haya Mohamed Al Khalifa found inspiration within the starry night sky of their home country, Bahrain. Staying true to their use of sharp tailoring and clean silhouettes, the collection features a combination of delicate and heavy fabrics. In the mix: crepe de chine dresses, oversized wool coats and lightweight blouses with billowy sleeves. An embroidered gold feather motif—referencing the Bulbul, the national bird of Bahrain—are weaved into the lapel of a jacket and on top of a vest pocket One black sweatshirt in particular spells out “to the moon and back” in Arabic. Matched with a bright yellow shirt underneath and pants of the same color, the look stood out in contrast to mostly all-dark looks down the runway. A few pops of hot pink, white and midnight blue also make an appearance.

On the Record: “It’s whimsical, tailored with a touch of femininity,” says Shaikha Haya Mohamed Al Khalifa, ten minutes before the show. Her thoughts behind the design process: “To make architectural references relevant and modernize the appeal to the international market. That’s the statement we like to make every season.”


Location: Spring Studios, Gallery I, 6 St. John’s Lane.

Spotted: Backstage, a film crew rolls in to shoot last minute footage of hair and makeup touches before the big reveal of the fall/winter 2018 collection. All week long, the brand has been teasing its Instagram followers with glimpses of behind-the-scenes pics; a peek of a blue embellished dress here, a throwback of the previous season there.

Collection: Ever bold and unapologetic. That’s the theme of this season’s lineup. With all the talk about women’s rights as of latenamely the #MeToo and #TimesUp movementsShoji’s collection couldn’t be more relevant. Wearing any of the pieces, from the jewel toned above-the-knee cocktail dresses to the bare-shouldered evening gowns, would be a fearless statement without saying a single word.

On the Record: “No matter what you’re wearing, if you don’t have confidence in it, the clothing will wear you rather than you wearing the clothes,” says Shoji. “All you need is confidence and that’s it.”


Location: Pier 59, Studio C, 59 Chelsea Piers.

Spotted: Nigel Barker, Jay Alexander, Vanessa Williams and Kate Connick mingling in the front row.

Collection: A piano melody cues and the show starts with a mid-length white dress and fur-collared overcoat. The collection, consisting of embroidered cocktail dresses, chiffon gowns and structured separates, shows what Roland does best—red carpet-worthy pieces. An ultraviolet pantsuit stands out in particular for its Pantone Color of the Year hue. Roland noted the addition of the pantsuit in this collection was created in response to Hollywood request and to cater to every age. “We like to dress the daughters and the mothers,” says Roland. This has us wondering which stars will be in the collection come Oscars night.

On the Record:“I’ve been to Prague so many times but last August was my first visit to the Charles Bridge,” says Roland, who took the trip there to see her son’s hockey game. “The sights of the buildings were rich in gem tones and metallics. There, I knew it would be the inspiration for this collection.”


Location: Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue.

Spotted: Alina Cho, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Linda Fargo, Yvonne Force Villareal, Jessica Hart, John Dempsey, Julianne Moore, Caroline Vreeland and 700 of just about everyone noteworthy in the worlds of fashion, entertainment and media. More like a cocktail party, the show is complete with champagne and gift bags filled with a bottle of the brand’s Vanille Fatale fragrance. Following the last look, Ford makes a quick appearance before jetting back home to L.A.

Collection: The 80’s are calling. Ford took us back to the time when eccentric animal prints, sequins, metallics were the norm. Oversized silver hoops, headbands and lots of attitude are required, of course. Songs of the decade such as LL Cool J’s hip-hop classic, “Going Back to Cali” blasts through the speakers as models including rising talent Kaia Gerber walks down the purple back-lit runway. Almost every single look includes some sort of leggings in daring prints and fabrics. Can lamé make a comeback this season?

On the Record: “To me, being at Tom Ford is like back to school,” Alina Cho says before the show. “He’s a starwe’ve lost a fewso it’s great to have someone like him show in New York.” 

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


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