Wrapping Up #NYFW: More Secrets (Part Three)

by Wendy Sy Photographed by Sean Zanni/PMC for Dennis Basso, Mike Vitelli/ for Lela Rose, Courtesy for
J. Mendel, Veronica Beard and BCBGMAXAZRIA, Emma Summerton for Jenny Packham
Thursday, September 14, 2017

September 13 marked the last day of the spring/summer 2018 shows and presentations on the fashion calendar. Just like that, New York Fashion Week has come and gone. Here, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites from this week.


Location: The Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom, 768 5th Avenue, 3rd Floor.

Spotted: Backstage, there were scores of looks on the garment racks, more than the average amount for a show, but this is Dennis Basso’s 35th anniversary collection so one expects a lot. Nearby, a table was stocked with jewelry by David Webb, the finishing touches. The front row crowd included Julia Koch, Carol Alt, Dana Creel, Dee Hilfiger, Fern Mallis, and Christine Mack.

Collection: Exotic is the word to describe the aqua chiffon ruffle midi dress, the bronze hand embroidered tulle gown as well as the fox coat with khaki chiffon jumpsuit. “This collection is inspired by women I’ve met over the years and locations they have traveled to—from Morocco to Capri and all over the world,” says Basso before the final run-through. Reflecting on the brand over the past three and a half decades, he notes, “I think it has evolved because we are dressing daughters of the mothers and everyone is coming to us. It’s all very exciting.” Often worn by seasoned socialites, Dennis Basso seeks to keep its image relevant by reinventing its traditional fur designs using mink, sable, fox, lynx and broadtail, stripped or sequined together with chiffon and tulle. Instagram star and model Amelia Gray Hamlin made her NYFW debut, opening and closing the show.

On the Record: Amy Fine Collins (a Dennis Basso devotee) says on fashion, “It has gone from a small elite club to a populous organization. The doors are wide open for everyone and that’s because of social media and how fashion has merged with the entertainment industry.”

LELA ROSE Presentation

Location: Washington Square Park, Garibaldi Plaza, West 4th Street and Washington Square East.

Spotted: It was park party, complete with a cookie cart, bouquet bar and a gourmet hot dog stand by Loring Place. Guests lined up to have their sketches done by illustrator Samantha Hahn. Among those in the mix: Ellie Kempner, Ken Downing, and Athena Calderone.

Collection: Models played it cool—playing chess, reading the paper and feeding birds—while sporting looks from the collection. “This is my fantasy park party and a celebration of New York City. We thought to throw it in one of the most iconic parks and anyone who is walking by can come,” says the small-d democratic Rose, in black-and-white striped dress with a green floral print, one of her designs for the upcoming season. Other standouts include neon yellow pants as well as a matching set with blue and white stripes and a coral flower print.

On the Record: “For me, it’s always about fashion, food and fun,” says Rose during the presentation. “We’re throwing a party to make you think what to wear, what to serve and how to tie it all together.”


Location: Highline Stages, 441 West 14th Street.

Spotted: Beth Buccini, Allison Aston and friends of Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard, designers and sisters-in-law. Guests stopped to take snapshots at a photo booth, which promoted the brand’s Slash Series—a celebration of inspiring women, highlighting the sides of their personalities. The campaign’s hashtag is #andthensome, a reference to the limitless roles women are capable of having. Those involved who have been featured on Veronica Beard’s Instagram are mom/model/surfer Carolyn Murphy and wife/model/basketball player Maya Haile.

Collection: These breezy pieces are a reminder to have fun, let loose and have a cocktail (or two). Inspired by Acapulco in the 1970s, looks include bold-colored and rich-textured midi and floor-length dresses, bustier tops and plaids—lots and lots of plaids. The checkered print was seen on blouses, skirts, pants and yes, the Dickey Jacket, also known as the bread and butter of the Veronica Beard brand.

On the Record: “It’s effortless, loungy and sexy glamour,” Swanson Beard says of the collection. “When you jump out of the pool and put your hair in a headwrap, these easy pieces can take you into the night.” On putting together the presentation, Miele Beard says, “We’ve always done our presentations at spaces that go with the inspiration but this time, we wanted a blank canvas for the focus to be just about the clothes.”

J. MENDEL Presentation

Location: The Standard East Village Rooftop, 25 Cooper Square.

Spotted: In front of floor-to-ceiling windows with a backdrop of the New York City skyline, there it was: the J. Mendel spring/summer 2018 collection. The pieces were displayed on opposite ends of the room and models wore select pieces while enjoying the view out on the rooftop.

Collection: From a silk jacquard lamé gown to a chinchilla fur coat with sable scallops, this collection is classic J. Mendel with a twist of the glamorous jazz age. The color palette is soft, with shades of dusty pink, apricot, teal and burnout poppy. Inspiration also derived from artist Francis Picabia’s painting, title “Ino.” Look out for a couple of actresses who will be wearing pieces from the collection while presenting at this year’s Emmy’s.

On the Record: “The jazz age was the time of a new movement where women were free to express themselves more,” J. Mendel’s creative director Gilles Mendel says at the presentation. “I felt that in difficult times like now, you want to have a good party where you can put on a dress and go dance.”

JENNY PACKHAM Presentation

Location: 71 Gansevoort Street, Suite 2B.

Spotted: Jenny Packham took a different approach to NYFW this season. Since 2001, she has put on shows, but this year, she held private appointments at her atelier. Stepping inside, the collection was displayed throughout the stretch of the entire room. Pages from the brand’s editorial-like lookbook were spread out on a table parallel to the pieces. “I think the catwalk images are good for some things but not that long lasting,” says Packham during the appointment. “But I’m not ruling out shows; we are definitely having one next year for our 30th anniversary.”

Collection: It all started with a blouse dating back to the ’40s from a vintage store in New York. The first piece Packham created for her “Asian Gardens” collection was a floor-length burgundy red dress with the same embroidery as that blouse. Up close, you can see the intricate details on the shape of the white birds and colorful flowers. Inspiration also stemmed from the work of artists Lee Ufan and Katsushika Hokusai. A strong connection to foliage and flowers remain consistent throughout the collection filled with gowns, dresses and jumpsuits.

On the Record: As NYFW draws to a close, Packham reflects on the process. “I think you have to be quite mindful when it’s this busy,” says the British designer. “Otherwise, you can do a lot of things but not really appreciate them. I feel fortunate to work in fashion and just remind myself to stop and acknowledge what’s happening.”


Location: Gallery 151, 245 West 14th Street.

Spotted: The collection was displayed on mannequins inside Gallery 151, a contemporary space in Chelsea. Every few minutes, models would enter, circling around the clothes in the center of the room to show the movement of the fabrics.  

Collection: Bernd Kroeber was named EVP and Creative Director of BCBGMAXAZRIA in March, and this is his inaugural collection; as well as BCBG’s first show since February 2016. The pieces were inspired by the vibe of Los Angeles, falling into three categories—City of Angels, Victoria Canyon and Nostalgic Beach. The many moods of LA were reflected in the collection—from soft, floral pastel dresses to more structured pieces that channeled downtown sensibilities.

On the Record: “I wanted to give a tribute to our hometown and BCBG’s roots of effortless contemporary design,” says Kroeber of his first collection with BCBG. “My intention was to create a sensual, ethereal sensibility to capture the fusion of modernism and romanticism in the spirit of The City of Angels. Los Angeles is a multi-cultural melting pot and  the epitome of modern contemporary lifestyle. My LA inspiration for BCBG is this mix and match of diversity from streetwear to red carpet to create a playful collection.”

—contributed by Kelly Laffey

For more NYFW coverage, read our Secrets of New York Fashion Week: Part One and Part Two.


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