New York Fashion Week Spring / Summer 2016
Text by/ Wesley Sin Photo by/ Seung Min Lee, Brand PR
Without the sponsorship from Mercedes Benz, the biggest fashion event in NYC officially changed their name from Mercedes Fashion Week New York to New York Fashion Week (NYFW) in this season. The main venue also moved from Lincoln Center to two Skylight Studios located at midtown and downtown. The new location with stages of different sizes provided more designers the opportunities to present their 2016 spring/ summer collections at the New York Fashion Week.
For the next spring and summer, floral themes are still a trend. Different types of spring flowers were blooming on the runway of Tadashi Shoji and Lei Sang Bong. As designers originally from Asia, they both incorporated traditional Asian cultural elements into their new concept. Another hot topic for 2016 is the Olympic Games. Lacoste’s collection with the twist of national flags and functional elements interestingly connected fashion and sports. Other brands with different street styles such as Desigual, KYE, Jeremy Scott and Public School also brought in various vibes for the new NYFW. Not only famous designers, but also up-and-coming student designers got more and more chances to showcase their collections during the NYFW. The runway shows of Academy of Art University, The Art Institutes and Supima Design Competition all gave us fresh perspectives to the trends to look for in 2016.
Los Angeles – based Japanese designer Tadashi Shoji is famous for his elegant eveningwear with floral lace. This season, he decided to show the world the “beauty of Japan”. His whole collection is inspired by the traditional Japanese Zen garden. Lavender, irises, peonies, magnolias and violets were blooming on the runway with a gorgeous strapless gown, crepe dress, eyelet crop top and kimono coat. The paintings by Japanese artists Ogata Korin and Hokusai are also incentives to Shoji for his pattern designs. With a bow to Japanese culture and wink to tradition, Shoji’s spring 2016 collection is awash in the joyful celebration of spring time in Japan.
LEI SANG BONG
Top Korean designer, Sang Bong Lei, named his new collection “Bojagi” which is a traditional Korean wrapping cloth with beautiful patterns. Beginning with an examination of Bojagi, Lie sought to create a collection of relaxed, airy garments that would also demonstrate the brand’s mastery of architectural garment design. “This season is all about combining and playing with fabrics,” said Lie, “so it’s almost as though, through a unique mix of traditional and innovative materials, we’re creating something remarkably new.” The runway was decorated with blooming dandelions to create a dreamy atmosphere for the spring. From the pure white, royal blue to all black, Lie created different moods for the urban ladies in the coming spring.
The Summer Olympic Games will be hosted in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Lacoste, the legendary sportswear brand made its S/S 2016 collection playful by the “Olympic spirit”. “We turned the ballet of national flags into a strong graphic statement. Cuts have been dictated by the geometry of banners- lines, triangles, lozenges, the horizontal Y of South Africa,” said the Artistic Director Felipe Oliveira Baptista. Not only the cuts, we can see the color combinations are also inspired by national flags from around the world; for example, the blue, red and white shared by the flags of France, USA, England and Russia, and the bright yellow and sky blue of Sweden. In addition to playing around with the graphic patterns, Felipe also paid attention to the functionality of the garments by making them reversible, modular and versatile.
Spanish brand Desigual’s S/S 2016 collection explored the urban women who are free-spirited, bold and fun. Inspired by the city of Barcelona, the charming Mediterranean port town, the new collection with vivid colors and geometrical patterns reminds us of the passion and enjoyment of Spanish culture. The brand collaborated with stylist Misha Janette, who is also one of the fashion icons in Japan for the runway show. “I love the city of Barcelona and I try to use my unique sense of style to showcase the daring, fearless, and irreverent Desigual women!” commented Misha. With her Japanese background, Misha also added some “Kawaii” elements to the styles, such as the little pony hat, crown-like headpiece and the colorful nose ring.
Young designer Kathleen Kye wishes to have young urbanites wear outfits that carry contemporary themes – human violence, unemployment, ecosystem crisis, to name a few from her past collections. This season, she decided to show the “HATE” on the runway. People everywhere love to HATE their friends – they find fault with their actions and poke fun at their outcomes. In Kye’s interpretation, HATE became black, white and pink snake patterns and metal arrows in random directions. Silk, polyester, various jerseys, metallic knitted fabric and other new materials were used throughout the collection. HATE is absolutely a new fashion statement for S/S 2016!
The designer duo, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, is the recent hot topic in the fashion industry. Not only for their own brand, Public School, they are also going to be the new creative directors for the signature New York brand, DKNY. Public School has been famous for their street style men’s wear but this time they are going to show something different for the women’s collection. “This time it’s mainly about the woman, she is not taking the lead from the Public School boy anymore and she has gone out for her own journey. She traveled all over the world and came back with everything she picked up with new perspectives,” said Dao-Yi Chow. From the silky maxi dress, ribbed wool gilet to loose straps jumpsuit with all simple colors, the Public School girl absolutely interprets the new street chic in the Big Apple.
Jeremy Scott is always one of the most anticipated designers in New York Fashion Week.His crazy but fun designs can be seen on Moschino’s recent collections and a lot of collaborations with other brands. In his own collection for S/S 2016, he created a scenario for the “cool kids” in the 80’s. Super model, Gigi Hadid, opened the show with the Barbie-like floppy mod hair. Dresses with pop colors, cartoony sweaters, t-shirts with digital television prints and pants with polka dots made the whole collection playful and eye-catching. For Jeremy’s fans, you can also watch his first documentary film titled “Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer” premiering this fall.
Academy of Art University has been showing their student designer’s collection at New York Fashion Week since 2005. This season, there were 8 students presenting their designs for the S/S 2016. Max Lu from Taiwan and Jessie Wang from China paired up for their womenswear focusing on special shapes and new materials such as lame, metallic and leather to show the plausibility in the dream. Top male model from South Korea, Hyeong-Seop Park, opened the show for another designer, Ruone Yan. “I am very excited to be part of the New York Fashion Week for the first time. Yan’s collection inspired by the life of cocoon is really interesting. I heard the beige-toned canvas are dyed with oolong tea!” Park commented. The winner of New Silk Road Model Competition, I-Hua Wu, presented the collection by Bom Kim and Liz Li. “I think student designs are always creative. Li and Kim’s collection is inspired by traditional Chinese painting. I like their artistic hand painted fabric a lot,” said Wu.
About the writer
Wesley Sin is a writer for travel and fashion guides from Taiwan. His personal publications include What’s New in Tokyo, Tokyo Fashion Guide, Travel in New York by Subway and more. He is currently working in New York as a PR professional all the while writing and contributing from the Big Apple.
Follow him on Facebook @ facebook.com/Sin.Wesley