Your Next Journey:
NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
SPRING / SUMMER 2017Text/ Wesley Sin Photo/ Wesley Sin, Wenqu Lin, Brand PR
This summer in New York felt particularly long, so all the fashion insiders at New York Fashion Week were still wearing their summer outfits and kept the vacation mood alive. Indeed, summer is the best season for travel, no matter to the relaxing Riviera or some exotic islands. For Spring / Summer 2017, most designers coincidentally get their inspiration from travel. Let’s start the journey with Lacoste to Capri, then visit Rome, Cuba, China with Cadet, Carlos Campos and Tadashi Shoji. Not exciting enough? How about taking a time machine back to the 50’s and 80’s with Timo Weiland and Robert Geller; or enjoying an amazing space trip with General Idea and Vivienne Tam!
Lacoste’s creative director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, is going to take us to the Villa Malaparte in Capri, Italy. Impressed by the ocher and white hues of the modernist Villa Malaparte, he dreamed up a tennis match on its rooftop. Chiseled by swimming and sunbathing sessions, sexy and tanned bodies hammer balls back and forth, against a backdrop of pine forests, creeks, and rocky inlets. The new Lacoste collection freely redefines the notions of comfort, elegance and sensuality. “I just wanted to create the scene of an endless summer. In the summer time, I would like everyone to stay chic and comfortable so you will see a lot of tracksuits, loose fleece sweatshirts and oversized mesh coats on the runway, “said Felipe.
It’s also interesting to see Lacoste’s animal mascot appear on a new generation of tropical prints in this collection. Enlarged crocodile graffiti are covered with childish scribbles, halftone flat tints painted à la Andy Warhol, and free-spirited brushstrokes. The runway was also decorated with tropical plants to create the atmosphere of Malaparte. “I really enjoy the setup of the show. I just arrived in NYC from Italy, but I feel like I am taking a summer getaway to Capri!” commented the Italian fashion icon, Mariano Di Vaio.
Where would you go if you could travel to anywhere in the world? Designer Bumsuk Choi’s answer is outerspace. Inspired by his imagination to travel around the Moon and Mars, General Idea’s S/S 2017 collection is named the “Pale Blue Dot”. Space travel, once a source of imagination, is no longer confined to space exploration and becoming closer to reality. “I want to explore the blurred boundaries between the human race and space, and create a style-defying character and innovative collection,” Choi told me.
A lot of interesting combinations can be seen on the runway: neutral shades such as white, black, and beige are paired with hues of light blue, blush pink and sage green; oversized silver jumper jackets are paired with equally oversized trousers; white cotton shirts with grommet details are paired with sage green leather shorts. Besides the clothing line, General Idea is also launching their suitcase collection that can be paired with any outfit for all your journeys.
Carlos Campos’ next summer journey takes place in Cuba. Inspired by the uniforms at Cuban tobacco fields, Carlos created a new hybrid jacket aptly named “The Jackebera”. He blended the classic guayabera with the impeccable tailoring the brand is known for. The palette reflects the attitude of the season with shades of green reminiscent of unpicked tobacco leaves. Along with his signature navy, he incorporated a “Deco Stripe” print with color combination.
Cadet’s new collection reflects the designer’s recent trip to Rome. Inspired by the art, architecture and fashion history in Italy, the designer duo, Raul Arevalo and Brad Schmidt, reinterpreted the warrior of Rome in their S/S 2017 collection which evolved from the expected military references of past seasons and showed a lighter, softer side of Cadet. To this end, they partnered with Reda to develop fabrics in pure merino wool mixed with silk or linen that were applied to the collection.
Nothing is better than the Riviera for a summer getaway. Surprisingly, Nautica brought the whole French Riviera to New York Fashion Week. Some models were chilling around the beach-like space with wine and champagne while others were playing squash balls on the grassland. “Our inspiration is the modern Riviera and we re-imagined the blue hues, stripes and nautical details with a contemporary spin,” said Steve McSween, VP of Global Design.
Robert Geller took the audience to 80s’ Berlin where many young people were squatting in buildings waiting to be torn down by the city. Out of such fertile ground emerged an incredible art scene. Youth culture, an effervescence of music, record labels, magazines, and clubs all represented the lifestyle of the era. Robert’s s/s 2017 collection takes elements from this rather raw and provocative time, and brings refinement and sophistication to it, translating it into colorful leopard prints, loud stripes with neon accents, all brought back to a casual chic look.
For Spring/Summer 2017, Timo Weiland takes a time machine back to urban New York in the 1950’s. The collection titled “Go Bananas” features the vintage styles of the 50’s. Skinny ties, sweaters with color blocks, and suede biker jackets were shown on the runway with Weiland’s choice of retro music. They also collaborated with Zenni Optical to curate a selection of fun and fresh custom-selected eyewear.
Japanese designer Tadashi Shoji got his new inspiration from Chinese artist Junyong Wu’s art work, The Flying Ark, during his trip to China. surrounded by an array of wild animals from sinuous snakes to fearsome tigers creates a dreamlike scenario for an earthly journey. “Spring 2017 is an ecstatic vision of rebirth. I use a lot of signature laces but give them more colors inspired from beautiful Chinese paintings like red, blue and green. The patterns I choose such as Buddha’s eyes and hands with floral and birds also add more oriental twists to the whole collection,” commented Tadashi. Models walked on the runway with the projection of Wu’s painting, a mysterious oriental journey with Tadashi has begun.
Vivienne Tam surprised the audience with a video message from a NASA spacewoman to start off the show. She is going to take everyone on a space trip through her 2017 S/S collection. “I visited Houston a while ago and was amazed by the diversity and the artistic scene in the city. I also visited NASA’s headquarters and found the concept of space travel may be something interesting for my new collection,” said Tam. Indeed, Tam’s collection is usually elegant and romantic, but in this collection we saw a lot of fun elements such as NASA’s logo, little rockets, stars and butterflies on the jackets, dresses and blazers. Metallic materials and sequins she chose also made the whole theme more urban and feel street-chic.
DESIGUAL’s Spring 2017 collection paid homage to the “Global Traveler” whose unique reality lies between the urban and virtual jungles. This bold, female pioneer is defined by her fearless attitude, conveyed in her bold individual and creative style. “With the flowing fabrics and prints of animals, plants, floral and tribes, we want to show different styles of women when they travel all around the world,” said Daniel Perez, brand Communication Director. Since a lot of fashion insiders are social media addicts, the styling team amusingly put some real-life “filters” such as the dog face and floral head wreath from Snap Chat on models to show how online and offline worlds can be connected.
Academy of Art University
Student designers from Academy of Art University always bring New York Fashion Week some different vibes. This season, the runway is particularly interesting because participating students are from all over the world and each of them integrate their own life and travel experience into their creation. “This season each of designers holds a unique and thoughtful vision,” said Simon Ungless, Executive Director of AAU. “ Taiwanese designer Yi-Ru Chen aims to express the changeable and soft feeling of water in her design; Ben Ellis from Alaska combines denim and the element from Alaskan tribes; Melissa Kheng from Singapore got her inspiration from the unabashed masculinity of the Japanese subculture Bosozoku. There is another collaboration with eyewear designer Yolanda Chiu. Her collection of acrylic glasses featured western decorative patterns, and baroque laser-cut forms in flashy pop-art colors bringing playful accents to the show.
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