New York Fashion Week: A Mix of Wearable and Whimsical


New York Fashion Week has taken the fashion industry by storm due to multiple quality performances. Courtesy of Melania Gluch.

“Fashion is like eating, you shouldn’t stick to the same menu,” Kenzo Takado. This statement made by the well-known fashion designer perfectly encapsulates the dynamic and creative industry of the fashion world as it is continually evolving to meet new style trends and consumer demands every day.
The fashion industry is anticipated to put up and execute four collections in a year (spring, fall, winter, and pre-fall) and occasional fashion weeks in a year. Milan, Paris, London, and New York being some of the largest fashion weeks, there are a few over a hundred other fashion events and fashion weeks happening around the globe, presenting local trends and fashion.
One of the most glamorous and exhilarating experiences of fashion is “Fashion Week.” In specific terms, it is a fashion industry event, lasting typically a week, where fashion designers, “houses,” or brands display their latest collections in runway fashion shows to the media and potential buyers. These events generally influence the upcoming fashion trends for upcoming and current seasons. In particular, the New York Fashion Week that occurred between the days of February 10, 2023, to February 15, 2023, has gained significant popularity.
Year after year, New York Fashion Week showcases its remarkable capability to stretch the breadth of American fashion. One category that persists to develop is the contemporary market.
Last season marked the return of nearly all in-person shows, and A-list celebrities came into the city for a packed schedule of artful high-production shows all around Brooklyn and Manhattan. With this show, the direction toward iconic backdrops and lavish architecture persists, with shows taking place at historical sites, such as the classic hotspot the Rainbow Room, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
While numerous collections highlighted the everyday wearability style, with designers including Gabriela Hearst, LaQuan Smith, and Sandy Liang showcasing clothes that could go from runway to closet, others such as Rodarte and Thom Browne instead put forward more whimsical ideas.
Many designers also experimented with themes of transformation this season, varying from Collina Strada’s animated representation of models-turned-animals to Dion Lee’s edgy club-kid looks that played on the vision of clothes as shedding snake skin (the latter attended by the internet’s favorite “it” girls, Julia Fox and Ice Spice). The area’s high-octane runway turned bananas, grapes, and watermelons into dynamic sculptural ensembles, with bright purples and pinks shifting into black to signal decay. Models walked to the sound of uneasy buzzy flies and a thumping echo.
At the New York Public Library, designer Prabal Gurung sought to create a starlit escape in the heart of the building, inspired by meditation and his Nepalese heritage. Models walked the runway in asymmetrical draping and a variety of outwear, as they stepped upon the mirrored floor beneath projections of a night sky.
“I wanted people to forget for 10 minutes that they are in New York — to feel like they are on a spiritual journey with me to Nepal,” Gurung told CNN prior to the show.
In addition to creating traffic toward the shows, celebrity runway moments were highly anticipated. They began with Lindsay Lohan’s siblings Ali and Cody, who walked Christain Siriano’s early Thursday show, as well as a surprise arrival from White Lotus actor Jon Gries on the Eckhaus Latta runway on Saturday night. Emily Ratajkowski closed Simkhai’s production of “power-dressing ensembles”, as well as Toru Burche’s take on prep. Dennis Basso’s show was completed with supermodel Beverly Johnson’s walk in a gold-caped gown. The Blonds closed out the week of Wednesday night with a catwalk cameo from “Pose” star Dominique Jackson.
“I’m so flattered that people get it,” said Sandy Liang when speaking of cultivating a loyal following, including Bella Hadid and Phoebe Bridgers. Liang’s latest collection envisions her dress as a “modern, everyday uniform,” a mixture of feminine silhouettes with functional additions using signature bows, battle pointe flats, and rosettes.
New York has shifted the expectations from the traditional style to the modern world; the fashion industry is exceptionally pleased with its capability to emphasize everyday wearability yet also incorporating more whimsical ideas.