Dreamers and Dracula as New York Fashion Week draws to a close

Source:AFP Published: 2020/2/13 18:43:18

2020 Fall/Winter New York Fashion Week Runway Raisavanessa Photo: IC

AFP wraps up the latest highlights from New York Fashion Week.

Gigi Hadid 

If jury selection had gone differently then US model Gigi Hadid would have been in court for Harvey Weinstein's rape trial instead of walking the runway for Proenza Schouler Monday.

Hadid, 24, was last month excused from serving as one of the jurors in the high-profile case owing to her fame after appearing for the first round of pre-screening.

On Monday, she lined up for Proenza Schouler's 2020 fall-winter collection, which, after a spring show that evoked the 1980s, approached the present and near future head-on.

The New York duo of Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough showcased a series of large, thick coats complemented by big shawls, designed to provide protection in an "unpredictable decade."

"For us it's always a mood, an attitude. We just take it from the world around us," Hernandez told AFP, following the late Monday show.

"Things are falling off, falling apart, unraveling but then held together. It's just like how people feel right now," he added.


Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy had brought their label Rodarte to New York Fashion Week just once since September 2016, opting instead to showcase in Paris and Los Angeles. 

On Monday, they were back, reminding everyone that - along with Marc Jacobs - they are arguably the closest thing the US has to haute couture.  

At St. Bartholomew's Church, the Mulleavys put on a masterful show imbued with the solemnity of the venue that added a Gothic touch and a wink in the direction of Count Dracula.

Embroidered crystals, pearls, flowers, hand-painted elements and sequins added a finesse that is sometimes hard to find in ready-to-wear collections.

Black lipstick and embroidered cobwebs recalled Dracula and the Gothic style.

The parade started "in a very innocent place," with a 1940s polka dot dress worn by supermodel Bella Hadid, and then journeyed "into the unknown," Kate Mulleavy told reporters afterwards.

"I like the idea of something seeming very sweet and not necessarily being sweet," she added.

'Misfits, dreamers'

Singapore-born and Nepal-raised designer Prabal Gurung paid tribute to his adopted home of New York with a show on the 65th floor of the famed Rockefeller Center late Tuesday.

From eclectic dresses paired with boas and stoles to animal print trousers and thick jackets with white feathers, the collection reflected the mish-mash that is the US' largest city.

"Tonight I pay tribute to all of you, New Yorkers by name or soul, a cocktail of 8 million people," 40-year-old Gurung wrote in the notes for the collection.

"The daring. The misfits. The free. The beautiful, bold, impossible dreamers."

Dressing responsibly

Gabriela Hearst cemented her reputation as the flag-bearer of high-end responsible fashion with a stunning fall-winter collection that focused on sustainability onTuesday.

Hearst's designs were all made from natural fibers, including recycled cashmere and remnants of antique Turkish rugs that were pieced together to form long coats.

Many of the sweaters, cardigans, shawls and dresses had been handknitted by Manos del Uruguay, a nonprofit cooperative of female artisans from Hearst's home country.

The collection had a distinctly 1970s vibe with hand-painted leather coats and designs chosen from mandalas or abstract shapes associated with dreams.

Any carbon footprint from the show will be offset via a donation to a project that aims to save the Cardamom forest in Cambodia.

"True luxury is knowing where everything comes from and how it is made," said Hearst, who grew up on a sheep farm in Uruguay. 

Vera Wang's ace

Tennis star Maria Sharapova served up a celebrity appearance in all black at Vera Wang's show held in a plush Upper East Side mansion just off Central Park Tuesday. 

The multiple grand slam winner sat front row alongside Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and English fashion journalist Hamish Bowles.

Models glanced at themselves in the grand residence's elaborate mirrors as they walked through the house's various rooms wearing black silk chiffon paired with thick platform heels.

Seventy-year-old Wang's evening wear also included a neon yellow French tulle corset and a green floral featherweight stretch long sleeve bodysuit.

"I wanted to bring a kind of importance but a lack of formality, a kind of ease, youth, charm and delicacy to the evening," Wang told AFP.

Chic wool

Michael Kors reminded everyone to stay warm during the winter months with a "cozy glamour" 2020 collection on Wednesday that mixed comfort with chic.

Thick knitted sweaters, cashmere ribbed turtlenecks and herringbone tweed skirts evoked curling up beside a log cabin fire with a mug of hot cocoa.

Languid silhouettes, ponchos, mufflers and flat riding boots all featured as the 60-year-old US designer mixed town and country feels.  

Canadian country music star Orville Peck played live, and actresses Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Blake Lively sat front row at the show, which took place in the American Stock Exchange.

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