NEW YORK FASHION WEEK F/W 2017Text/ Wesley Sin Photo/ Brand PR, Ronald Ji
Do winter looks have to be dark and plain? For this coming fall and winter, you can definitely stay chic with the new creations by top designers shown at the New York Fashion Week. For women dressing for casual occasions, you can choose Lacoste’s sportswear inspired by space travel or some neon-print pieces from Vivienne Tam’s collection influenced by the night life in Hong Kong. If you’re going formal, Michael Kors’ dress with sequins and fringe or Tadashi Shoji’s rose-print gown would be the best options.
For gentlemen, it’s the season to dress up again. You can select from Joseph Abboud’s classic American Gothic style, or John Varvatos’s wild animal prints. In other casual days, there are even more choices for the next fall and winter, such as General Idea’s over-sized Korean trend, Robert Geller’s military influenced style, or the iconic 90’s campus look from Nautica.
When I entered the Lacoste Fall/Winter show venue at Spring Studio, I felt like I had arrived on another planet when I looked at their special stage setting. Undoubtedly, Lacoste is going to take us on the next space trip with their new collection. “My father is a pilot, and I am always fascinated by science fiction since I was young. So, this time I am thinking what if the crocodile goes on a space trip?” said Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Creative Director at Lacoste. `
This collection is a perfect blend of the designer’s imagination, fantasy and high technology. In order to show more futuristic features, the designer chose a variety of fabrics and mixed them up; including leather, nylon, cotton, gabardine, tricotine, fleece and synthetic fur. Outer space and the planets were also printed on some sweatshirts and jackets to emphasize the theme of the season. Some details such as multiple pockets, knee and shoulder padding, and leather or cotton ribbing also added some interesting elements to the crocodile’s new adventure.
Michael Kors’ concept for the next winter is from the 1980’s in New York City. During that time, women could be powerful in the day, then express another side of themselves in the discos at night. A part of his women’s collection is influenced by his menswear; including the long camel coat, baggy trousers and over-sized tops. On the other hand, the leopard patterns and glittery materials used in the other sections show some sexy and wild party looks. Kendall Jenner closed the show in a strapless black dress with sequins and silk fringes which is the must-have party look for this winter. For menswear, Kors, as usual, tried to combine the dressy and sporty looks by matching the long coat with hoodies and sweaters and sports jackets. Taiwanese actor Jasper Liu showed the best example of the men’s style by Michael Kors. “This is my first time attending New York Fashion Week, so I chose this white sweater to match the gray jacket to show something similar what you might find here in New York City. It’s simple, but also comfortable and stylish,” commented Liu.
Tadashi Shoji creates a stunning and romantic rose garden for all the ladies this season. “My new collection is inspired by the late 60’s and early 70’s. A wave of change was taking over the world. The youth revolution was on the streets from London, Paris to Berlin and Japan. This is a revolution of the senses, “commented Shoji. A large amount of rose prints are used with his signature lace dresses, skirts and the flowy long gowns. At the same time, Shoji is launching his first fragrance collection which features the scent of roses as well.
In addition to the floral prints, the rich colors that Shoji chose for this season were also very eye-catching. Winter is not the season only for dark tones. It can be as passionate as summer. Sensuous velvet gowns in vibrant royal blue, forest green and cardinal red will absolutely be seen on the red carpet soon.
In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Chinese-American designer Vivienne Tam brought the electrifying energy of Hong Kong nightlife, ablaze with neon lights, to her new collection. “I tried to convey the visual culture of the city that never sleeps, also my hometown, into bursts of bright colors and metallics. Iconic signage, traffic lights, and contrasting dark tunnels in Hong Kong were also translated into neon prints, alluding to the modern city life,” said Tam.
On the runway, uneven hems and lace metallic skirts and cropped trousers were paired with draped and oversized blazers, while shoulder pads provided some structure. Dresses were easy and modern, expressed in a plaid Chinese qipao or a gathered, sequined form. Puffed jackets were rendered in both metallic and matte nylon while bomber jackets and sweatshirts were constructed from unexpected fabrics such as gathered wool plaid and jacquard. Through the video projection and lighting effects, guests at the show felt like we just had an amazing trip to Hong Kong.
The model for Public School’s Fall/Winter ‘17 show opened by wearing a red “Make America New York “ cap. This was the designer-duo’s reaction to the political circumstance by changing Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”. “This season we are trying to look at those borders that hold people back. No matter physically or figuratively, we have borders around us and borders within us. We tried to break those things down and confront new ideas by looking at the past and the hope in the future,” said Dao-Yi Chow, one of the designers of Public School.
Both of the designers are from an immigrant family. For them, New York is the best example of racial variety and cultural comprehensiveness. Accordingly, “Make America New York” will make the country more free, open and pluralistic. Besides the political appeal, their new collection showed a lot of details for street wear design, such as the tan corduroy hoodie with chest pocket detail, the navy plaid shirt with extended hem, the navy and gold striped double coat, and the burgundy nylon bomber jacket with cape.
This winter Nautica is going to bring us back to campus in the 90’s, when classic sportswear with bold color, color blocks, navy and white stripes were the hottest trends. “From 1990 to 2017, the world has changed. The fabric got smarter; the fabric got smarter and the fit got better. So we try to reinvent our icons, update our classics and take a deep dive into our own heritage,” commented Steve McSween, VP of Global Design. Indeed, classic can be cool again, so it’s time to check your closet for some good ol’ clothing, or get some new classics for yourselves.
“Extraordinary” is the theme for Desigual’s FW ‘17 collection. Designers took the inspiration from the subculture aesthetics of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and interpreted them into a 21st century look. “Dance is the heart of subculture, for example, the all-nighter parties in the northern England and the end of 60’s or the voguing rage of the early 80’s in America. So you can see a lot of dance-inspired pieces on the runway such as bowling shirts, sport vests, brogue shoes, and high-waist oxford trousers,” said Daniel Perez, Marketing Director of Desigual.
Joseph Abboud celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a dark and mysterious runway show hosted in a Gothic church in New York’s Murray Hill. “My concept is based on American Gothic. I was deeply inspired by the striking architecture of Gothic cathedrals, which is reflected in the construction of my clothing- lapels are exaggerated, coats are sweeping, cape-like, and our signature ‘Traced Fit’ is slightly relaxed to allow for ease of movement, “ explained the designer. The palette began with black, dark gray, aubergine, madder green and stained glass blue; later evolving into a crescendo of angelic ivory and alabaster.
Some formal suits are back in trend with some variation. “It’s time to sell suits again. Some people say suits are dead but they’re not, they’re just changing. The suit is the anchor of menswear. So I try to make my suits interesting, not just for the office but for different lifestyles”, said Abboud. Supermodel Sean O’pry also showed up on the run way to support Abboud’s 30th Anniversary. “When I came into the gorgeous venue and heard the music from the live orchestra, I knew tonight was going to be different. I am glad to be part of this show today.”
John Varvatos tried to release the “Wild at Heart” in all men with his fall/winter collection. “Emphasized in texture and character, my new collection gives the idea of nonchalant cool with an uncompromising devotion to elegance and boldness. From statement animal-inspired finishes to dandyism details and razor-sharp silhouettes, runway looks march to the beat of their own drum while maintaining a connected mutability for layering and styling- proving the modern man’s heart does indeed beat wild”, explained the designer. In order to match his theme, Varvatos chose to host the show at the Diamond Horseshoe club, a former historical theater.
Coats dominate this year’s winter in a cascade of impactful finishes and thoughtfully-constructed wrights, creating an array of intelligently layered ensembles. “ A coat is the must-have item this season. It doesn’t mean that it has to be a heavy coat. It depends on where you live and how the weather is. A lot of things we did look very textural but very lightweight. It’s time to get dressy again, pick out something and feel chic!” said Varvatos.
For General Idea’s FW ‘17 Collection, “Duality” is the theme throughout the design. “Everything is one, yet everything possesses a distinct dualism. I tried to explore the conflicting sides of wearing masks that display an outward façade that differs from our inside. Take myself for example, I took the stress that comes from the divide between Bumsuk Choi, the designer, and Bumsuk Choi, the person, and used it in the designs”, commented Choi, the designer of General Idea. Fabrics with different texture were used to present the duality of contradicting feelings. Heavy shades were selected for this season such as olive, gray, burgundy, navy and black. Oversized outerwear continued to be the staple for the brand, and for this season, was paired with tailored pants. As a designer from South Korea, Choi also tries to promote Korean fashion styles through collaboration with K-dramas which are popular all over the world. “Not only the men’s collection, my goal of the year is to also launch the women’s collection. You should be able to see it in the coming summer,” said Choi.
Robert Geller tried to combine two contradictory meanings “Love” and “War” in his new collection. For him, all negativity also bears positivity and from that arises the opportunity to create something. This collection referenced militarization, protest, and revolt; mirroring the current political frustration, yet trying to show a sense of optimism. The camouflage pieces especially caught my eye. The double-breasted waxed cotton coat with gray and purple camo and the cashmere sweater with olive green camo were all back in the trend.
Winter time in New York is actually the hot summer in Honduras, the hometown of Carlos Campos. The designer tried to bring some sunshine from South America to the snowy city. Instead of darker tones which are more often seen in a winter collection, he chose pink, mustard yellow, and baby blue to match his signature navy color. Some women’s pieces were also shown on the runway. “My girlfriend sometimes picks my clothes to wear and they look nice on her. So it comes to my mind that why not create some women’s pieces in this season! “said Campos.