With all the hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the prestigious shows of the fashion industry, the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) ended with much focus on sustainability in the use of leftover fabrics and yarns and upcycled or recycled trims and embellishments, fashion trend onlookers stated.
The New York city’s first physical runway shows since February, however most of the action took place virtually. Where 40 brands packed into a tight four-day schedule from September 11 to 16.
The show started with Jason Wu’s rooftop show at Spring Studios and ends with Tom Ford’s digital debut.
“When people experience the collection for the first time, I want them to feel happy. I want them to feel optimistic. I want them to feel hope,” designer JasonWu shared.
Ashley Graham, a retail analyst at retail market intelligence company said, “Despite the prowess of comfort dressing during the COVID era, the city focused primarily on dressier materials and textures, offering an antidote to casual aesthetics.”
SUKEINA and Frederick Anderson presented evening dress was presented in silky and sheer fabrications with frills and embellishment for added drama.
Rodarte focused jersey fabrics and light cottons embodied the current comfort trend, with elevated sweater dresses and sweatsuits. In NYFW Knitwear was showed in ribbed cords and maxi-dresses, while weightier yarns offered more structure, such as cable knit cardigans at Sandy Liang.
Ashley Graham added, “Nostalgia continued as an essential theme, highlighted by several designers.”
Rightly so, as 60s-inspired lace gave an aura of the era that was additionally emphasized by muted color palettes and floaty silhouettes.
Additionally, crochet reflected on ‘childhood sentimentality’ with button-up cardigans at Batsheva and girlish puff-sleeved mini dresses at Anna Sui.
“Interestingly, we observed designers mixing fabrics, with Imitation of Christ upcycling to create patchwork-esque looks, while Snow Xue Gao played with contrasting themes for the half suiting and half kimono looks,” Graham said.
Throughout NYFW, two contrasting color stories emerged, she said. The first drew on maximalism and the 80s, with jewel-toned emerald green and bold hot pink palettes backed by Dur Doux for eveningwear looks. Voluminous silhouettes and silky fabrics further emphasized the eye-catching trend.
The second took a subtler approach, with pastels presented in barely-there shades. BEZA utilized the subdued tones for contemporary suiting, while Rodarte showcased femme dresses in soft pink tints, adorned with roses and frills.
Sharon Graubard, founder and creative director of MintModa, said the pandemic and resulting lockdown offered a pause and restart for the fashion industry, and New York designers responded with plenty of comfy at-home wear, as well as taking into account key initiatives like responsible production and a “better but fewer” approach.
“Almost every collection showed some sort of elevated loungewear, usually a matched set, whether in cut-and-sew jersey, full-fashioned sweater knits, or printed pajamas that can be worn day or evening,” Graubard said.
“One new item in particular is the housedress: an easy, unfitted dress that would be appropriate for working from home, running errands or for a casual gathering. These can be solid or in wonderful prints, A-lined or tiered, and may have a loosely tied waist or elastic shirring at the bodice to control volume. Many of these frocks find their roots in caftans, muumuus, 60s shifts, pleated goddess dresses or peasant styles,” Graubard added.
The idea of social distancing seems to have had a great influence on designers, she said, with the idea manifesting in styles from Simone Rocha, where fuller skirts and roomier, more structured silhouettes in a thick canvas seem to designate personal space.
There’s also a notable amount of tulle, simultaneously aiding volume while injecting a much-needed dose of lighthearted playfulness, according to TOBETDG.