THE STRANGE PAR­A­DIGM SHIFT AT NEW YORK FASH­ION WEEK

Muscat Daily - - FEATURES - Troy Pat­ter­son

At 6pm last week, for one of the fi­nal shows of New York Fash­ion Week, a throng of pho­tog­ra­phers and a file of ea­ger spec­ta­tors mobbed a side street in Man­hat­tan’s Green­wich Vil­lage. The garage door of 16 Mor­ton Street was then raised to re­veal 16 mod­els perch­ing on porch swings.

They were wear­ing Cyn­thia Row­ley’s per­fectly lovely Spring col­lec­tion, which was sheer, sporty, and ex­actly on trend. Dream a Lit­tle Dream gen­tly drifted from the loud­speak­ers as fash­ion week reg­u­lars stormed the scene. A per­plexed on­looker asked, “Why are peo­ple so ex­cited to take pic­tures of peo­ple swing­ing on swings?”

Be­cause it was New York Fash­ion Week, of course. The goal of the en­ter­prise is to sell clothes, but more than ever, the events of fash­ion week found peo­ple sell­ing an­cil­lary prod­ucts - bev­er­ages, and cars, and most of all them­selves as the in­flu­ence of in­flu­encers reached a fever pitch.

Sure, the run­ways were filled with looks that ex­tended and am­pli­fied the hottest looks of the cur­rent sea­son. There were denim (Alice+Olivia), dou­ble denim (Tom Ford), and head-to­toe denim fan­tasias (Os­car de la Renta). There were pinks that ranged from pretty (Cinq a Sept) to shock­ing (Christian Siri­ano).

But with some of Amer­ica’s most no­table de­sign­ers (Thom Browne, Ro­darte, Rick Owens) in­stead show­ing in Paris, and with those who re­mained also in­creas­ingly show­ing men’s cloth­ing, the em­pha­sis on dig­i­tal spec­ta­cle was more spec­tac­u­lar than ever. It felt like a shift, small but mean­ing­ful, in the na­ture of the event, as if NYFW had moved from the Baroque era ush­ered in by the as­cent of Instagram into a manic Ro­coco phase. It’s al­ways been a zoo, but now the zookeep­ers are fran­ti­cally tout­ing their tie-ins, col­lab­o­ra­tions, and syn­er­gies. It is now, for in­stance, a place where - al­low­ing ex­cep­tions for Nicki Mi­naj and var­i­ous Jen­ner-Kar­dashi­ans - the reign­ing celebrity is NBA star Rus­sell West­brook. Om- nipresent, West­brook used the week as a plat­form to launch a cof­fee ta­ble book, Style Driv­ers, via a Q&A at the 16th Street out­post of Bar­neys New York. His an­swers were cir­cum­spect enough for any post-game in­ter­view. Who was his own per­sonal style icon? “My mom.”

On Sun­day night, at the La MaMa Ex­per­i­men­tal The­ater the syn­ergy was at its most re­strained. Open­ing Cer­e­mony pre­sented its Spring line by way of a dance per­for­mance cre­ated by film di­rec­tor Spike Jonze and star­ring ac­tors Lakeith Stan­field and Mia Wasikowska.

Fur­ther down­town, at Fulton Mar­ket, there was a party to cel­e­brate the de­sign­ers of the streetwear brand Public School and a bot­tle they’d crafted for Moët & Chan­don. The event was like a full-em­ploy­ment plan for semi-pro In­sta­gram­mers.

But this was hardly the crazi- est event of the week. That award went to Alexander Wang, who sum­moned the fash­ion press for an event dubbed #Wangfest on a dead-end street in Bush­wick, Brook­lyn, and then asked them to wait for 75 min­utes un­til his mod­els ar­rived, via party bus, in lack­lus­ter sports- wear. The bru­tal­ity of the re­views still ring: “The col­lec­tion shown on Satur­day night was such a side note to the un­wieldy, con­fus­ing event, it’s barely worth dis­cussing.” I was out­side the Ham­mer­stein Ball­room in Man­hat­tan, nav­i­gat­ing a rugby scrum to gain en­trance to the Philipp Plein show. Be­cause guests had dressed in a way that matched Plein’s vi­sion of ex­cess, the press of bod­ies-upon-bod­ies in the over­flow crowd on 34th Street cre­ated an in­ter­est­ing tex­ture of metal studs, black leather and blue mo­hair.

In­side, the hec­tic scene trans­ferred to a spec­ta­cle that went heavy on dance, with solo per­for­mances from Dita Von Teese and Teyana Tay­lor and cho­rus girls who dressed in boots and body­suits and ev­i­dently learned their chore­og­ra­phy at Scores.

At Plein’s af­ter-party (also at Ham­mer­stein, with Nicki Mi­naj per­form­ing), as at Wang’s, Red Bull was the mixer of choice. Call it the of­fi­cial spon­sor of the most over-caf­feinated fash­ion week in his­tory.

A model in Cinq à Sept Denim col­lec­tion by Os­car de la Renta A model walks in a Vivi­enne Tam col­lec­tion Calvin Klein’s sheer col­lec­tion A model dis­plays Lib­er­tine’s sheer col­lec­tion

(Bloomberg)

In­side the Philipp Plein show at the 2017 New York Fash­ion Week

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