Over in a New York minute, Spring 2019 Fashion Week in the Big Apple is a wrap.
And actually, there were a lot of wrap dresses, though not so much from Diane von Furstenberg. That label opted for a concise ten look selection and went without an actual runway show this time around. There were other notable variations from the NYFW norm, including Alexander Wang and Narciso Rodriguez. Both those labels shifted their schedules and showed their Spring 2019 collections earlier this year.
But the brands that did send lineups down the catwalk this New York Fashion Week made sure to provide plenty of atmospheric moments — not to mention incredible outfits. It was tough to pick just ten of our favorites, but here they are:
Kicking off NYFW with a bang, Tom Ford set the tone for much of what followed. He tapped into glitzy, late-night glamour inspired in part by the Netflix series Babylon Berlin, the theme song of which supplied a soundtrack as his sultry lineup rolled out.
Throwing a curveball with his immaculately tailored suits for both men and women, asymmetry and deconstruction added depth to leather, lace, and 1920s-style fringe dresses topped by lamé reptile print jackets.
If in the coming months you see a skirt that looks like a shark took a bite out of it, just know that it’s probably Calvin Klein. Vogue probably wasn’t wrong in suggesting that Raf Simons might be trying a little too hard to reassure everyone of his American cultural know-how with this, his fourth collection for the most American of American labels. But we have to admit, derivative as it is, it’s delightfully derivative.
The Belgian-born designer blended references from Steven Spielberg’s Jaws and Mike Nichols’ The Graduate, teaming wetsuits with boxy blazers. As unlikely as it seems, this eclectic mélange will probably go over well with the street style crowd as they continue to up the ante in the “anything goes” challenge that fashion is obsessed with right now.
Sheer audacity aside, there are a few specific reasons to appreciate Jeremy Scott’s new show, the main one being over-the-shoulder boots. Yes, you read that right. Forget over-the-knee boots: this Frankenstein next-evolution takes the over-the-top trend even further.
The rest of the collection was just as wacky, with a color scheme that fearlessly combined blaze orange, bubblegum pink, and army green in a Nickelodeon swirl. There were surprises in basically every ensemble, making this selection another feat of imagination from fashion’s zaniest mind. Even if it isn’t your taste, you can’t help but appreciate the artistry here.
In a poignant trio of firsts, the first-ever Kate Spade New York runway show is also the first collection by new creative director Nicola Glass. This is also the first presentation of the namesake brand since the death of its founder, Kate Spade, who passed away of reported suicide this past June.
The show mirrored its soft pink-purple backdrop with sweet, feminine ensembles that pulled together a pleasant array of textures and patterns. It was more than reminiscent of Dior’s last ready-to-wear line in places, but nonetheless provided assurance that this label will continue to speak to its loyal clientele, not to mention the legacy of its founder.
Nepalese designer Prabal Gurung revisited his roots for Spring 2019, with stunning results. Graceful and wistful, there was definitely a sense of wanderlust to these vibrant ensembles. But the searching quality interacted with a deep contentedness, suggesting that the designer has found a true home within the style he has perfected.
Exceeding expectations, draping and wrapping shaped pieces that were effortless, yet full of strength. Vivid colors provided even more power to an enlivened palette. This lineup was unmistakably Prabal Gurung, and the designer truly outdid himself with what many will agree was the best show of the season in New York.
Also riffing on an escapist theme, Michael Kors went island hopping with his tropical Spring 2019 line. A refreshing mix of bright colors and botanical prints had everyone envisioning scenes from their next, yet-to-be-planned vacation.
Reinforcing the fun theme, “MK Beach Club” decorated sweatshirts and other relaxed items destined for Malibu, Tahiti, and other cruise destinations. A carefree ethos and swoon-worthy details (such as ruffled necklines and luxe brocade) gave this lineup character.
Dramatic and elegant, Naeem Khan’s high-gloss presentation borrowed draping and tucking techniques from the designer’s Indian background, including traditional sari wraps. Sharp and soft at the same time, dagger-like cuts added definition while butterfly motifs lent dimension, encouraging every onlooker to trust their imagination and believe in the beauty that is unique to this label.
There were minidresses for less formal occasions, lovely and spunky. Then there were utterly sophisticated full length gowns, many of which are no doubt destined for the red carpet. We think the butterfly pieces in particular are likely to catch the eye of celebs like Padma Lakshmi and Heidi Klum, both of whom have been known to prefer Naeem Khan.
Oscar de la Renta
Two years after taking the helm of Oscar de la Renta, creative designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia have really found their groove. After a rocky run, Spring 2019 proves that they are not only capable of conjuring the sort of romantic dress that the label is revered for, but one worthy masterpiece after another.
That’s what became clear starting around Look 36 — a bright red confection of embroidered, fern-like fronds that unfurled luxuriously to form a high-low hem. After an exquisitely exotic lead up, the show hit its stride in a jaw-dropping way with a confounding sequence of elegant dresses. Most importantly, there was also a touch of that secret Oscar de la Renta ingredient that makes a ballroom gown not just gorgeous, but maddeningly mysterious.
In short, devotees of this brand need not fret any longer: Kim and Garcia can deliver. And as this show suggests, it’s possible they even go on to exceed our wildest dreams for Oscar de la Renta.
Putting his trademark cartoonish stamp on classy extravagance, Marc Jacobs dipped back to the 1920s with this noir pastiche. Gauzy veils appeared innocuous at first glance, but there was something a tad sinister in the way they wrapped up models’ heads entirely, like sheer grab bags left on tabletops for guests at a wedding.
The impact of this little detail, like much of the rest of the collection, was lovely but restrictive. The no-doubt deliberate effect gave this offering a haunted feel, which was interesting and artistic even in the places where it seemed less than wearable.
To mark his brand’s 50th anniversary, Ralph Lauren went all out with a celebrity-studded extravaganza. The event featured a substantial runway show which saw Kaia Gerber strut down the catwalk in a rugged brown fur cloak.
Gigi Hadid also sashayed past in an equally earthy patchwork dress that was as robust and lush as the rest of this landmark lineup. Wild West in places and Homecoming in others, it was thoroughly American, and didn’t disappoint. — jas