Fashion Week Analysis From an Insider’s Perspective

By Marti Rose Shanker

Like New York City, the fashion industry never sleeps. At Fall 2016 Ready To Wear New York Fashion Week, I worked long hours as a Freelance Production Assistant lifting benches, moving heavy signs, and running around the crowded venue to usher guests to their seats. Even though I was exhausted at the end of each day, I absolutely loved being a part of successful runway shows. In fact, at times, I was fortunate enough to score some front row seats! From a fashion student’s perspective, here is a 2016 NYFW roundup of everything you MUST know:

1. Most Innovative runway set designs:

Rodarte: Sometimes the simpler, the better. In this case, Rodarte’s Fall 2016 Ready to Wear darkly lit atmosphere was truly breathtaking with its eerie romanticism. According to W Magazine, the juxtaposition of the flowers, glass, and colorful fluorescent lights along with the fog machine transformed the show into a dreamy-like atmosphere with sensory feelings of an actual fire.

Key words: dark, romance, dreamy, neon lights, flowers

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Alexander Wang: In St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal on Park Avenue, Wang showed his signature badass, gothic, rebellious rock-star against the backdrop of the angelic and sacred.

Key words: goth, historic church, dark, gold, sacred

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Opening Ceremony: According to WWD, “Their runway at Pier 90 featured an installation of gigantic space mobiles, some suspended in midair, all serving to set the tone for their galactic-themed lineup, heavy on metallic textures, graphics and hypnotic prints.” When it comes to putting together a fashion show spectacle, I think that one of the most unique elements is having a boldly colored or patterned runway floor just like Opening Ceremony’s Hermes orange.

Key words: futuristic, boldly colored, metallic, space, galactic

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2. NYFW 2016 fashion trend: Silver Metallic

Over the course of the week long stint, I recognized metallic silver as a trend, especially in shoes. Looking around the runway venues from guests of the runway shows to off duty models, fashion editors, and bloggers on the sidewalk, the shiny shoes were everywhere. This trend crossed all borders: from Istanbul is a fashion writer, Ece Sukan, to Moscow is an owner of a concept store Kuznetsky Most 20, Olga Karput, to Brazil is fashion blogger Helena Bordon. As seen below, these shimmery silver booties are the perfect way to make a statement to any casual outfit!

Key words: silver, booties, metallic, shoes, globalization.untitled1

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3. Makeup trends:

#Nofilter “dewy” look: Just like new beauty brand Glossier, founded by beauty guru and creator of blog Into The Gloss’s Emily Weiss, this 2016 Fall/Winter RTW season’s makeup trend paralleled this natural, wet, and glowy skin look. With minimal makeup and glossy highlight applications on the model’s lids, nose, and cheekbones, this “dewy” model look evokes an aura of healthy feminine radiance and confidence.

Key words: dewy, natural, wet, glowy, healthy, feminine, confidence, highlight and minimal.

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Dark Sinister Lip: On the opposite side of the spectrum, a gothic hue makeup palette of jet-black to eggplant purple lips were also seen on the runways. On the catwalks of Fenty x Puma by Rihanna, Rodarte, and Zac Posen, these vampy lips complemented by minimal eye makeup and a pale complexion demonstrates that any other makeup is unnecessary to elicit a strong, fierce attitude.

Key words: vampy, gothic, purple, jet-black, lips, fierce, and strong attitude.

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4. Upcoming designer you NEED to know:

For this 2016 Fall Ready to Wear season, Anna K put the New in New York Fashion Week. The young twenty year old Ukrainian designer made her first NYFW show an epic runway debut for its youthful, fun, feminine, and overall whimsical designs. From baby printed short dresses to intergalactic accessories (brooches and patches) of comets, planets, and stars, Anna K was out of this world! Unlike any other lineup I’ve seen, I loved how she was able to unify her collection and design concept through asymmetricality of both pleats and accessories (ie: one oversized earring or brooch). The thin black fabric strips around the model’s legs with embellished pearls is also one of my favorite details of her collection because it adds such a unexpected and creative touch and contrast to her white shimmery, feminine, and silky dresses.

Key words: youthful, fun, whimsical, design, galaxy, accessories, and unexpected.

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5. Most overrated collection: Yeezy

Dubbed as a “musical genius, twenty-one time Grammy winner, and reality TV star” (Vogue), Kanye West is also considered a rule-defying fashion designer. Yeezy Season 3 was unlike ANY other NYFW collection:

1. The show was set in Madison Square Garden with an audience of around 18,000 fans and 200 fashion influencers, whereas traditionally a regular fashion show has about 250-1,000 guests.
2. Clothes didn’t show any innovation in design or transition from the previous seasons. The skin-tight jumpsuits and ripped dresses have the same exact style as his other collections, except this time there were more colors added.
3. Guests had to pay $74 dollars to simply attend the 2 hour (ridiculously long) show. Personally, I think that a fashion show should be free, as it usually is, because it’s not supposed to be a concert where the designer makes money off the show. Rather, it’s their own form of expression and perspective as told by clothing.
4. Everything seemed commercialized: celebrity sightings in the audience were immediately covered by the press, which made it seem like their presence at his show was staged. Also, I felt like using supermodels, Naomi Campbell and Veronica Webb, was only to boost ratings about the collection, and they were underappreciated as iconic figures who have significantly impacted the history of fashion.

Key words: Yeezy Season 3, pricey, commercialized, no innovation, and design.

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6. Most underrated collection: Delpozo

This collection by Delpozo was one of my favorite collections of Fall RTW 2016. I felt like this collection was underrated because it’s the actual clothing itself that I’m completely in awe of, not the celebrity sightings or the special venue that goes along with it. Delpozo creative director, Josep Font, has created ensembles that defy all fashion standards and rules. His clothes speak to the brand image as structured, sleek, and fun silhouettes but can also be considered works of art with a strong architectural design aesthetic and reference. According to Vogue, “ Still, in places there was the sense that perhaps Font has achieved a kind of beautiful stasis, technically faultless and instantly recognizable: the sharply contrasting jewel tones, the couture-level embellishment, the otherworldly hauteur.” The synergy between voluminous over-exaggerated sleeves, printed graphic textured patterns, and the colored leather evening gloves covered with 3-D flower appliques surprisingly all work together to create an uncanny beautiful, futuristic, and romantic style. One of my favorite elements from Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”, a sci-fi drama of a dark, futuristic, urban dystopia, inspired collection were the boldly colored leather gloves. Incorporating gloves as an accessory in the collection immediately adds a sense of elegance.

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