Even amid declarations that New York Fashion Week is dead, those two weeks in February and September still send a certain life-affirming crackle throughout the city.
Last fall’s Fashion Week ushered in notable events, from Ralph Lauren’s 50th Anniversary extravaganza at Central Park, to the long-awaited return of the glamour goth label Rodarte, injecting a stylish shot of epinephrine into the Big Apple’s couturish core.
With new designers, parties, and the overlapping of menswear and womenswear shows, this upcoming Fashion Week, slated to begin February 6, may have the who, what, and wear to still show more signs of life in the semiannual fashion fun.
Raf Simons at his final collection for Calvin Klein Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
Just as trends go in and out each season, so do designers. Among the most missed from the schedule this year will be Calvin Klein, following Raf Simons’s shocking departure last fall.
Victoria Beckham seems to be nestled back at home across the pond in London after relocating there for her anniversary collection last season.
And even though Rodarte made a much-appreciated comeback to New York Fashion Week in September 2018, this season they’ll be trading the bewitching chicness of strutting models between the tombstones of a Manhattan cemetery for the sunny streets of L.A. (which, on February 5, will technically beat out Tom Ford in kicking-off American fashion week.)
Another possible absence this year might be a welcomed one: Underage models might be banned. At the behest of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, designers were told, “we strongly encourage you to support the well-being of younger individuals by not hiring models under the age of 18 for runway shows, and to create areas backstage for models to change in privacy,” according to an email obtained by Page Six.
Proenza Schouler Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2017-2018 Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images
Back in Style
Even with some favorites flying the coop, some familiar faces are returning to the fashionable festivities this year to make up for their absence.
Helmut Lang, long abandoned by the eponymous founder and last popping up in September 2017 under the helm of guest designer Shayne Oliver and editor-in-residence Isabella Burley, will show on February 11th under its new curator, Alix Browne, founding editor of ultra-hip V Magazine.
February 11th will also see the continuation of dynamic duo Proenza Schouler’s return to their New York roots, who showed in New York last fall after several stints on the Paris schedule.
Elie Tahari is back for his 35th anniversary, presenting a collection on February 7th. Hopefully it will contain references to his disco debut show at Studio 54, but since we have Christie Brinkley and her daughter Sailor closing out the show, we know it’s sure to dazzle.
Other homecomings include French accessories house Longchamp, Rebecca Minkoff, and Rosie Assoulin.
Marc Jacobs Spring 2019 Runway Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs
Even though Rodarte beat Tom Ford to the punch in terms of the first high profile collection served up to American masses, Mr. Ford will still be the pistol to start the races down the runway.
Amongst Ford’s staple show, can’t-miss-tickets like Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, and Carolina Herrera—helmed by Wes Gordon in his sophomore collection—maintain the clacissim that caters to residents of New York’s Upper East Side.
And blockbuster shows from Michael Kors and the inimitable Marc Jacobs on February 13th will serve up the #NYFW experience everyone expects.
Backstage at Telfar Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images
Fashion Week is always about what’s next, and one of the highlights is discovering new talent and fresh faces on the scene.
Telfar Clemens, winner of the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, will stage an immersive experience to present his latest collection, hopefully turning the traditional runway show on its perfectly-coiffed head.
And Alejandro Gómez Palomo of Palomo Spain, the man responsible for Beyonce’s baby bump bouquet, will make his New York debut in a coup against the stronghold of style Paris has.
Ruth E. Carter with Lupita Nyong'o Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine Innovators Awards
In addition to the main events, New York always sparkles with parties, exhibitions, hot-spots and more to capitalize on Fashion Week.
For example, Ruth E. Carter, the Oscar-hopeful costume designer of Black Panther, will have an installation of her Wakanda wear and costumes from 12 other films in concurrence with New York Fashion Week. The IMG and Harlem’s Fashion Row presentation, curated by stylist Ibrahim Kamara, will be presented on February 6th.
A little further downtown, L’Avenue at Saks, the first American outpost from the Costes family hospitality empire, opened just in time for fashion week. Hopefully the uber-modish restaurant attracts the likes of Rihanna, Joan Smalls and LVMH C-suite executives like the one in Paris does.
In SoHo, New York-based designer Batsheva Hay will mount a pop-up shop for custom made clothing—made right in front of you. Rows of sewing machines will be ready to whip up a bespoke garment, in an effort to show Americans what goes into the construction of fashion. “[W]e’re like eating McDonald’s in clothing,” Hay told Vogue. “We’re ordering fast fashion things online, we’re clicking and it arrives, and we don’t care how it’s made.” Hopefully, Hay’s social message will be the trend that lasts from this season.
And while it’s more of a treat for the Lunar New Year, Sex And The City author and New York It Girl Candace Bushnell, whose new book "Is There Still Sex in the City?" is out in August, was tapped to write cheeky, urbane fortunes for the chic Cantonese canteen Hakkasan. Perhaps the best way to top off a week of fashionable experiences is to open a fortune cookie saying, “A Real Housewife will spill her drink on you at the hotspot Omar’s.”