Wendy Sy, Runway Reporter: #NYFW Notes (Pt. 2)

by Wendy Sy Photographed by Kelly Taub/, Zach Hilty/, Patrick McMullan/PMC and Derek Kessler
Monday, February 12, 2018

East side, west side, fashion week marched down runways all over town over the weekend. The wind and brief Biblical downpour didn’t stop street style stars (or their footwear, for that matter) from making their appearances outside the NYFW (New York Fashion Week) fall/winter 2018 collections of both new and seasoned designers. And AVENUE was there to tell you what you’ll be wearing next.  


Location: Masonic Hall, 71 West 23rd Street.

Spotted: Red carpeted floors and a center stage under a ceiling of Tiffany stained glass, hand carved moldings and 54,000 sheets of Dutch metal gold leaf. This is the sight upon stepping foot inside the historic Flatiron venue’s Grand Lodge Room. Guestsfrom editors to actresses like Isla Fisher, Lucy Hale to Jamie Chungfill the mood-lit space, originally designed for theatre and musical performances. In the back of the room, a pianist plays a soft, upbeat melody while champagne and old-school Goo Goo Clusters candy bars are served.

Collection: On stage, the models are wearing printed prairie dresses, ruffled tops, midi skirts and denim jackets. Heavily influenced by Nashville, the piecesand the vibe that comes withare meant to evoke feelings of nostalgia if you’ve been and wonder if you haven’t. This season marks the 25th anniversary for Kate Spade New York, which is currently in between designers following the departure of creative director Deborah Lloyd. Accompanying the looks are a variety of handbags, the key category that launched the brand into the mainstream since its debut of the ‘Sam’, back in 1993. New versions of the classic rectangle-shaped style in different sizes and colors are shown as well as a touchscreen smartwatch.

On the Record: “Pick a card, any card,” says a member of the brand’s crew as she fans out a deck. Prizes such as a mini horseshoe pin are given if you select a card wearing a suit of spades. Raffles are drawn with the same conceit. This is Kate Spade New York, after allit’s all about the celebration–and fun is required.


Location: Industria Studios, 775 Washington Street.

Spotted: Patrick McMullan in the front row, taking snapshots of models before rushing backstage post-show, where friends and family of the designer are gathering around for hugs and kisses.

Collection: NYFW street style in a nutshell. Down the runway are outfits that mix masculinity (a fur bomber coat, boyfriend jacket and jacquard pantsuit) and femininity (a silver beaded silk dress, black leather mini skirt and a floral sequined asymmetrical gown). One look includes a black leather jacket with patches and “New York” embroidered across the back. “We were inspired by a vintage jacket that belonged to somebody’s boyfriend,” says Miller after the show. “It has ‘Vietnam’ on the back and was probably from 40 years ago.”

On the Record: “It started off as a spoof on menswear fabrics like tweeds and plaids,” Miller says on the collection. “Then we added organza and silk. I feel like girls just want to dress like boys anyway so they might as well do so!”

JILL STUART Presentation

Location: The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South.

Spotted: Among brocade, jewel-toned sofas and portrait-covered walls are models casually sitting, placing calls on a pink rotary phone, writing handwritten notes and playing chess. Like a movie set, the National Arts Club made for the perfect backdrop, complementing the collection designed for strong, individual women. In fact, the NYFW venue (which aims to stimulate, foster and promote public interest in art), known for its exclusivity, has admitted women on an equal basis ever since its founding in 1898.

Collection: Playful, luxurious and rich. These are the words Stuart uses to describe her fall collection, where she looked to the Chelsea girls in London as her muses. “They all have their own personalities and are very creative,” she says. In the mix: a floral brocade dress layered over a delicate turtleneck as well as a ruffled top with striped pants and a floral embroidered belt. The color palette matched the décor of the space, with shades of dusty rose, deep red, emerald green, midnight blue and burnt sienna.

On the Record: On the most surprising part of the research process of this collection: “Finding this venue. I fell in love with it!” says Stuart. “It just embraces the collection. I don’t know which came firstthe collection or the venue or vice versa. It helped me finish designing the collection.”

JENNY PACKHAM Presentation

Location: 71 Gansevoort Street, Suite 2B.

Spotted: Row and rows of garment racks alongside a brick wall of the showroom. Directly across, are tables with photographs spread out of the fall/winter 2018 campaign. Shot in London by Nicky Emmerson, it features model Anna Nevala in 20 looks.

Collection: The Cosmos are the source of inspiration this season. Packham found interest in the scale of the stars, far off galaxies and the cult sci-fi film Blade Runner. Each garment has a celestial nametake ‘Apollo’, a silver embellished sequin gown with statement shoulders and the ‘Comet’, a blush pink tulle gown with cosmic and opal beading. Packham, known for embellished gowns, ups her evening wear game with unexpected separates such as ‘Marla’ and ‘Columba’ garnet red sequin wrap top with silk belt and satin crepe palazzo trousers. There’s also a can’t-miss galaxy black crystal embellished jumpsuit called the ‘Twyla’.

On the Record: “Moondust in your lungs, stars in your eyes, you are a child of the cosmos and ruler of the skies.” This poem is written on the mood board for the collection, next to sketches and photographs of the collection and of Blade Runner’s star character, Rachael.

CLAUDIA LI Presentation

Location: Spring Studios, Gallery II, 50 Varick Street, 5th Floor.

Spotted: A hollow, wooden architectural set-up complete with spotlights on top, provided a visual interest in the airy, open space of the venue. Surrounding it, were models dressed in Li’s latest collection. Guests stood close enough to really see the double pleated details of the skirts to the floral prints of the dresses.

Collection: After fortuitously coming across the Turkish fairytale The Silent Princess, the designer had the idea of hope in mind. The story revolves around a cursed prince who motivates himself to keep fighting for dear life in a difficult time. Fierce determination and perseverance is what this collection’s all about. Lia Central Saint Martins grad who’s worked as a womenswear designer for J.W.Anderson before launching her namesake line in 2015has shown growth within each season, enriching her skill in tailoring and innovation. In this collection, picture a blend of shearling separates, poppy pantsuits, heavy wool outerwear and voluminous skirts with metallic weaves.

On the Record: “Take heart, O Lala, take heart,” says the prince in story that inspired the collection. The past year has been an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least, for many on the topic of news. With that, how refreshing to see optimism in the form of fashion?

Stay tuned for NYFW coverage on Dennis Basso, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Badgley Mischka, Chiara Boni La Petite Robe and more. Click here for our Runway Recap, Part 1


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