As New York Fashion Week, the first of the month, draws to a close, we’re looking back at the top five moments that were on everyone’s lips over the last seven days.
Diversity across the board, with nine-year-old Daisy May Demetre making history
A luxury junior label showing at NYFW is a feat within itself, with every model at label Lulu et Gigi making a statement in stunning couture-inspired get-ups. But the star of the show, making history in the process was nine-year-old model Daisy-Mae Demetre, the first double-amputee to ever grace NYFW’s runways.
Daisy-Mae, whose legs were amputated as a baby, will appear at Paris Fashion Week later this month, and her star is definitely on the rise.
Elsewhere across the city, diversity and inclusivity were thankfully much more present in fashion week showings, with many designers and brands aiming to make a strong, talked-about statement on their runways.
Swimsuit brand Chromat featured plus-size model and activist Tess Holliday, in her NYFW debut, wearing a full-length gown with the words ‘sample size’ stamped all over, in a statement against the historically size-exclusive industry.
Mothers, another demographic that historically are not counted in the narrow subset of fashion week models, were centre-stage at Rebecca Minkoff.
Her exhibition-style runway show focused on working motherhood and featured model and new mam Mara Martin, who breastfed her daughter Aria during the show. Martin showed the function of her stylish blue wrap dress, paired with a colour-coordinated breast pump on the table.
Speaking on Instagram, she said that Minkoff is, “the example I am constantly looking up to. So proud to be part of your vision”.
Marc Jacobs candy-coloured dreamland
Love for the ’70s abounded at NYFW this year, and nowhere more vibrantly than the Marc Jacobs runway. Candy-coloured ruffles and puffs, OTT tailoring and pop-art beauty looks made it one of the highlights of the season. This orange crochet-trimmed creation, complete with Twiggy-style lashes, was a personal favourite.
On Instagram, Jacobs said the show was indicative of the brand’s “celebration of life, joy, equality, individuality, optimism, happiness, indulgence, dreams and a future unwritten.” A technicolour dream.
Janelle Monaé stealing the show at Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren’s show was predictably classic — sequinned and sleek partywear, with plenty of masculine tailoring and accessories can act as our mood board for December party season for years to come.
The real highlight, though, was in guest performer Janelle Monaé’s set. As fashion weeks increasingly lean towards performance and experiential showings, rather than the straightforward runway-and-go of decades past, Monaé was the perfect example of how an Instagram-friendly element can elevate a show to the next level.
Monaé was, as always, fabulous and the sumptuous black-tie motif of the evening suit her aesthetic down to a tee.
Tommy Hilfiger at the Apollo Theatre
Tommy Hilfiger’s recent ongoing collaboration with Gen-Z favourite Zendaya has proven a winning formula, with their 70s’-inspired colour palette and silhouettes staying as fresh as ever for SS20. With many of the shows at this year’s NYFW spreading out of Manhattan and into the surrounding streets (sometimes literally, with many shows outdoors this year) of Brooklyn, Hilfiger’s, in particular, was really something special.
Taking place at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, a venue that has served as a stalwart for the African-American creative community since the 1920s, Hilfiger showed the rest of NYFW how to embrace diversity in a way that’s truly sincere.
With a noticeably diverse selection of models and attendees alike, everything from the music (Aretha Franklin and Curtis Mayfield) to the models’ carefree dancing down the runway conveyed an atmosphere of joy and ease in inclusivity — a glimpse into the possible future of fashion weeks across the board. A great show of an even better collection.
With sustainability activists around the world making an effort to boycott fashion weeks, it seems that designers are finally (in some small ways) beginning to take notice. It’s no secret how environmentally damaging fashion month can be – even apart from the devastating effects of the clothing manufacturing itself, the logistics involved in the runway shows, from travel to entertainment to waste disposal, is poison for the planet.
But thankfully, efforts are being made to curb this damage where possible. Gabriela Hearst attempted NYFW’s first carbon-neutral show, with hot tools and hairdryers banned from backstage, and models taking to the runway in slicked-back braids and hemp dresses.
In one of many outdoor shows, Collina Strada’s setup involved a farmer’s market, where attendees could take the produce home too. As always, the collection was made from 100% deadstock fabrics, now with the addition of accessories made from upcycled children’s toys and plastics.
In the world of leather, a new global initiative by Hyundai was launched at NYFW, in collaboration with New York label Zero + Maria Cornejo. The result was a capsule collection made with leftover car seat waste alongside Cornejo’s responsibly created textiles.
Featured image: Jason Lloyd-Evans
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