New York Fashion Week 2023 highlight

Rodarte kicked off the 2023 New York Fashion Week with a magical showing, with designs inspired by fairies and seemingly witches too. It is the first of 74 labels on the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) calendar

Rodarte’s collection was split between black dresses with distinctive silhouettes and colourful creations that featured whimsical elements like wings.

Starting his show almost an hour late, Dion Lee’s creations for his eponymous label for day one of New York Fashion Week 2023 also made an impact.

His skin-baring ravewear had a clear focus on reptilian motifs. The Australian designer revealed that how plants and reptiles shed their skin served as the inspiration for the visuals.

Shows from the other days of New York Fashion Week proved to be just as memorable.

In his last live fashion show, Joel Alvarez of The Black Tape Project brought out a “body chain collection”, which are basically bikinis made of tape and chains.

Photo: The Black Tape Project

Alice + Olivia’s was very Americana-inspired. Founder Stacey Bendet shared that the collection borrowed from a slew of American icons. Inspirations seemed to range from Andy Warhol’s pop art and skateboard culture to supermarkets and rock ‘n’ roll glamour.

The 20th-anniversary collection of Proenza Schouler sees quite a change for the usually avant-garde US fashion label. Led by Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, the designs proved to be functional and sophisticated this time around.

The designers shared that the collection started with headshots of the women in their lives that they looked up to and respected. They made a conscious effort to step away from “fantasy, and like, Instagram clothes.”

Actress Chloë Sevigny opened their runway show with a suit and a long skirt of leather. The collection consisted of mainly practical pieces for the wardrobe.

Khaite rolled out an austere collection of mostly black outfits with no-nonsense fits. This showing marks a series of new beginnings for designer Catherine Holstein, as the first Khaite store will open this week and her first child is due next month.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong designer Vivienne Tam went the other way of Khaite’s approach. Her collection featured bold prints, with elements borrowed liberally from the East, West and the digital world.

Tory Burch’s runway featured relaxed fits that didn’t sacrifice shape for comfort. Much buzz has gone on about the shift in aesthetic for the label as it moves away from its preppy signature look to a more grown-up and sophisticated feel. We can see it.

Leather was the dominant material in Coach’s runway show, with shearling featuring prominently as well. The jackets brought in sharp silhouettes without too many frills.

Notable fashion labels like Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Tom Ford were noticeably absent this year. However, we will be looking forward to the remaining runway shows from the likes of Gabrielle Hearst, Thom Browne, Altuzarra and Michael Kors.    

All eyes will be on Thom Browne, who is the toast of the week as he succeeds Tom Ford as the head of the CFDA.

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