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The 10 Major Takeaways from New York Fashion Week

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Hilfiger show. Credit for all photos: Lieba Nesis

By: Lieba Nesis

  1. Being overweight is in and not just 5 or 10 pounds but anywhere from 20 pounds up. Rail thin Victoria’s Secret models are done as they aimlessly wander dinners and parties looking for employment. The old days when they owned the room as millions were thrown at them to don wings, and spread their legs seductively in catalogs are over. Stay at home moms who spend their days cleaning up after their families are sick of watching their husbands drool over these twenty somethings with copious amounts of surgery who are airbrushed to the max. In the current environment it might better be kept a “secret” if you work for the lingerie company.

Karlie Kloss recently remarked she left Victoria’s Secret because she didn’t feel “it was an image that was truly reflective” of who she was nor did it send the “right message to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful.” Refusing to incorporate plus size women into their repertoire has led to a crash in stock prices-along with their Epstein association. Nonetheless, Victoria’s Secret phenomenal product affords them the opportunity to regain dominance by rebranding their image into a more inclusive one.

Designers who catered to the needs of all their customers this fashion week include Hilfiger, Basso, and Siriano with the bulk of Hilfiger’s models being size 16 and up. In fact comely supermodel Ashley Graham who was formerly ostracized for being overweight was too svelte for the Hilfiger show. Similarly, Basso who normally sticks to pin thin models closed the show with curvaceous artist Ashley Longshore. Finally, kudos to Siriano for being on the plus size bandwagon long before it was mainstream; along with Rihanna who showcased oversized women in lingerie declaring that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Shame on Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang and Michael Kors for failing to pay heed to this pivotal clientele. All sizes should be embraced especially when a large portion of their customers are sizes 10 and up.

  1. Entertainment is key-It is no longer enough to just have a show filled with clothing you now have to entertain people as Pyer Moss did with his 90-person choir and Hilfiger did with his lavish Harlem set. Ralph Lauren had Janelle Monae belting out tunes to great effect. Similarly, Donna Karan had a 30th anniversary party with Halsey and The Martinez brothers entertaining and Gucci threw a shindig at the Box with Q-Tip and Mark Ronson performing. Alexander Wang had an after-party with Rick Ross and Normani and Harper’s Bazaar followed suit with an Alicia Keys blowout.
  2. Celebrities avoided Fashion Week like the plague-Any semi A-list celebrity stayed far away this year. Appearing at more than one show could be the death knell to a successful career. Moreover, they no longer get paid for appearances as shelling out big bucks for brief appearances no longer reaps sufficient rewards to justify. Zendaya was everywhere, but she is far from A-list and is trying to break into the fashion world with a collaboration with Hilfiger. Some other ubiquitous semi-luminaries who were everywhere included Kehlani and Normani (its hard to differentiate) Saweetie, Quavo and Offset, G-Eazy, Halsey, PJ Tucker, Tiffany Haddish and other unfortunate souls (they better get a new agent).
  3. Brooklyn in the House-Phillip Lim, Tory Burch, Pyer Moss and Michael Kors used Brooklyn for their shows and bombed. The claim that Brooklyn is trendy sounds fabricated-admit it this is purely a bottom line choice as nobody wants to schlep to Brooklyn. Fashion belongs in Manhattan and if you can’t afford it forego the show. Donna Karan held her 30th anniversary party at St. Ann’s warehouse and it was a throwaway-receiving little press attention and even fewer guests.
  4. As models become lazier and lazier (don’t you hate when they complain how hard they “work”) they are now sitting at shows instead of walking in them. Kendall Jenner said she misses walking as she sat comfortably at the Longchamp show. Gigi and Bella planted their barely there bottoms in Hilfigers front row; and Sara Sampaio could be found lounging at many collections. Has getting paid thousands to walk become too arduous for these lovelies? Where is Kanye West when you need him making these girls sweat in one hundred degrees for hours? West has disappeared after receiving little love from the fashion community.
  5. Pop-ups “popped up” everywhere. Yes, Tom Ford was clever with his use of an abandoned subway station and Ralph created more buzz than anybody with his nightclub black-tie affair-but their collections received scant attention. Ford’s clothing was lackluster at best and Lauren trotted out the usual tuxedo look for women and sequined gowns. Spending the money on original designs as opposed to an off-the-beaten-track venue might be beneficial. Moreover, most of their celebrity clientele were no-shows with Cate Blanchett and Miley Cyrus being the only two luminaries who appeared at Ralph and Ford-all that expense for nothing. The Blonds collaborated for a one night only Moulin Rouge performance-expensive and effective yet who wants to see Paris Hilton each and every season.
  6. Fashion week was the shortest ever clocking in at five days from the former eight. This brief period left little time for absorption as it becomes more evident each day that this week might become a thing of the past. On the flip side it might reinvigorate as the hub of fashion remains in New York-we will have to see.
  7. There were some major disappointments. Vera Wang re-emerged at the American Stock Exchange and showed a collection that looked like she walked into a goth’s lingerie closet. Michael Kors and Oscar were two other let-downs who fail to wow each and every season. Let’s not even talk about Marc Jacobs whose haphazard collection was all over the place-been there done that. Hilfiger’s cheap designs were depressing and Lauren showed once again why his stock is falling-an infusion of new ideas is needed immediately. New smaller designers emerged such as Christopher Rogers and Caroline Hu and this might be the wave of the future-fashion week morphing into a fair for creative unknowns.
  8. Polka Dots and Stripes were back in a big way-along with hats, micro-minis and the color green-designers couldn’t get enough of these styles. Layering, corsets and lingerie worn as outerwear were another big trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Athleisure wear was not as ubiquitous as other seasons-a thankful reprieve from the sporty onslaught.
  9. Book parties were the new night activities-books about Bill Cunningham, Rick Owens, Simon Doonan and Carlos Mota dominated the landscape. What better way to garner interest then inviting fashion heavyweights to celebrate your success during the busiest time of the year. These parties were short on food but long on thought-just the way the fashion crowd likes it.

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