Taking Notes: Secrets from #NYFW (Part Two)

by Wendy Sy Photographed by Zach Hilty/BFA for Milly & Tanya Taylor, Courtesy for Nicole Miller, Dan Lecca & Kevin Tachman for Jill Stuart, Nicolas Kern for Elizabeth Kennedy, Patrick McMullan/PMC for Vivienne Tam
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

In the midst of New York Fashion Week, we’ve rounded up some more spring/summer 2018 collections that caught our eye.

MILLY Presentation

Location: 158 Mercer Street.

Spotted: The choice of location for the presentation was more than just a cool, downtown venue—it’s the site of the brand’s pop-up store, which is open now through December 31st of this year. Among those in the crowd: Leandra Medine, Ken Downing, Cipriana Quann, and TK Wonder.

Collection: Although the theme of flowers is not an unpredictable one every spring and summer, Milly co-founder and creative director Michelle Smith took the idea of something otherwise basic and made it notable. The collection compares similarities between wildflowers and women—both are “delicate and soft, fluid and lovely, but so incredibly strong” as described in one of the brand’s Instagram posts. The bright color palette and feminine silhouettes show range from the designer, whose last collection, named “Fractured” (which was also meant to inspire strength), included deconstructed shirts and oversized wrap coats in neutral tones. 

On the Record: “The camaraderie in the office is great. We were working late nights and everyone gets really crazy,” says Smith during the presentation. “We snacked on a lot of bad foods and shared great laughs leading up to fashion week.”

NICOLE MILLER Presentation

Location: Gramercy Park Hotel Roof, 2 Lexington Avenue, 18th Floor.

Spotted: Setting up the space for Nicole Miller’s presentation wasn’t complicated due to the lush plants already housed at the garden oasis-like venue. The spot perfectly matches the designer’s collection this season—the concept of a city girl dispatched on a safari.

Collection: Nicole Miller had the classic Clark Gable and Ava Gardner movie, Mogambo, in mind while designing her collection. Stylish, yet not very practical for a safari, looks include a khaki and stripe double faced twill trench coat with high heels and a floral print dress with combat boots.

On the Record: “We thought to do something different other than the traditional runway show,” says Miller during the presentation.“This is an experiment for us.”


Location: 150 Varick Street.

Spotted: It might have been the start of the weekend last Saturday morning, but there was no time for rest—Jill Stuart’s show was about to begin and guests, in line with coffees in hand, were ready to see what the designer has created for her 25th anniversary collection. In the front row were Tasha Tilberg (who was featured in the label’s first campaign as well as the spring/summer 2018 one), Jaime King, Chloë Sevigny, and Julia Goldani Telles.

Collection: Named “The ARCHIVE Jill Stuart,” the collection curated iconic looks from the label throughout the years, reimagined with a modern approach. Stuart played with layers, mixing sheer fabrics (in floral and polka dot prints) with knitwear. Looks ranged from romantic dresses blouses, wide-leg trousers and skirts of various lengths. Jewelry by Lady Grey also made an appearance as well as platform sandals paired with fishnet socks. “It’s feminine, yet rock ’n roll,” Stuart says backstage. Correlating with the show was a live performance by NYC-based experimental rock band Psychic Ills. “A very good friend introduced me to them and I love their music,” says Stuart. “The bass player Elizabeth Hart is a big inspiration for me.”

On the Record: “I’ve known Jill and worked with her since I was fourteen years old,” says Jaime King after the show. “One thing that she’s always done is knowing how to put everything together. Her love for vintage and for clothing goes beyond anything I could possibly describe. There is not one piece or one era that she cannot tell you everything about. It was staggering to me, watching the show. How is it always so beautiful? It’s modern, youthful, relevant and classic. That’s the thing a lot of people can’t do.”


Location: 257 West 38th Street, Suite 5F.

Spotted: Sitting on the windowsill of the designer’s atelier are three framed artworks by Elizabeth Kennedy’s husband, contemporary artist Igor Bogojevic. The duo collaborated on the design of the collection. Bogojevic created new pen and ink drawings, which were translated in the form of beaded embroideries on select pieces. 

Collection: Inspiration was also derived from surrealist artists René Magritte and Man Ray. “This collection felt the most youthful to me,” says Kennedy during the preview appointment. “We focused a lot on evening separates and jumpsuits, reinterpreted in a fresher way. We still make gowns but adapt to the domestic market. The way people are dressing for evening is changing, so the collection is changing to stay relevant to the customer.”

On the Record: “This was the first time my husband and I collaborated,” says Kennedy, a Parsons School of Design alumni and former senior designer at Isaac Mizrahi, Donna Karan and J. Mendel. “He usually does beautiful oil paintings on flat surfaces and doesn’t have to worry about proportions or the positioning of the motifs on a body, so that was the biggest challenge, but it was really enjoyable working together.”


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

Spotted: Actors Bebe Neuwirth, Molly Chiang, Emma Myles, Holly Taylor, James Chen and Jiani Zhang, sat front row.

Collection: “I first watched Monsters Hunt two years ago and fell in love with it. Now that the second movie is coming out on the first day of Chinese New Year in February. It’s perfect timing,” says Vivienne Tam on the launch of her spring/summer 2018 collection. “It has a great message on family values, love and hope.” Inspiration stemmed from the mountains and river landscapes portrayed in the scenes. As a result, an earthy color palette including shades of blues, greens and browns with a few pops of corals and muted pinks, found its way into pieces of soft denim, cotton twill, silk chiffon, lace and fine mesh. Mystical creatures including the main character of the film, Wuba, a four-armed baby monster with the looks of a daikon radish, are also depicted in the collection in the form of prints, some more obvious than others. Tam’s signature East-meets-West and Yin meets Yang approach is seen in the pairing of oversized, boxy coats with romantic ruffled dresses.

On the Record: “I’ve always been a fan of Vivienne’s,” says Monster Hunt 2 producer Bill Kong, backstage before the show. “We are thrilled to finally work together and bring Wuba to the world.” Indeed they did, or at least, they brought Wuba to the fashion world—the character (in a costume suit) walked the runway with Tam following the finale, in a custom look by the designer.

TANYA TAYLOR Presentation

Location: Spring Studios, Studio 2, 50 Varick Street.

Spotted: Attendees included Linda Fargo, Steven Kolb and Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert.

Collection: Tanya Taylor isn’t afraid of color, or prints, for that matter. In April, she visited the Keukenhof Garden outside of Amsterdam with her mother-in-law, where fields of flowers run wild. “I was pregnant and thought it would be nice for the two of us to do something together,” Taylor says between greeting friends at her presentation. “My mind exploded by all of the textures and colors that I saw.” 

On the Record: In the backdrop were custom handmade art installations hanging from the ceiling. “These were actually made by the first employee I ever hired. I sent him all of the printed fabrics that I painted in our Soho studio and he sliced them together, sewing them into tapestries,” Taylor says about Will McLeod, who left the company a year ago to pursue art. “It just came full circle.”

Stay tuned for more NYFW coverage on AVENUE, coming soon. Click here for our Secrets of New York  Fashion Week: Part I.


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