The Daily Telegraph
8 lessons from the glitz and glamour of
Big Apple catwalks were a discorama of sequins and flamboyance, says
The exuberance felt by all in New York at the return of fashion week for Spring 2022 was matched in festoonery by designers and audiences alike. From Carolina Herrera’s stunning puffball gowns to Tom Ford’s disco-infused brilliance on the closing night, high spirits and heady looks proved NY can still deliver.
Among our favourites; out-there back-to-the-office dressing at Proenza Schouler and Peter Do, denim done differently at Coach and body-skimming classics at Khaite and Rachel Comey. While big names including The Row, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta were absent, new and highly shoppable Eckhaus Latta and ever-stronger Joseph Altuzarra and Brandon Maxwell filled the gaps. Collections shown outside dazzled in sunshine as big names including Michael Kors and Tory Burch claimed cautious optimism in the autumn air.
Bra tops, bare midriffs and peek-a-boo tums are unavoidable for next summer. Not as terrifying as you might think, designers produced versions for everyone. Really.
A bra top above highwaisted trousers or skirts, beneath an oversized jacket kind of works, as Michael Kors.
His camel cashgora miniskirted suit featured a chicly simple samefabric bra top. He also reworked a cashmere twinset, pairing a matching bra beneath a cropped, blackribbed knit.
This was granny dressing without the granny. Forget dowager-style for next summer, just hack five inches off your old twinset cardi, wear your silk scarf as a bra underneath
– and boom!
At Californiabased rising star Staud, a gathered turquoise taffeta bustier was flattering over voluminous trousers.
New York favourite Maryam Nassir Zadeh offered multiple ways to wear a string bikini top – over office trousers, beneath a sheer slip dress, over a T-shirt.
2. PUFF DANDY
The party spirit was everywhere. Tom Ford offered guests champagne on the terrace at the Lincoln Centre before dazzling with his show.
Models, led by Gigi Hadid, shone in the most splendid gold lamé knickerbockers. And satin combat trousers, rich purple-andchocolate sequin vests and sumptuous wear-withanything dinner jackets made us want to go clubbing right after the show.
Ford’s star guest Rita Ora headed off to the MTV Video Music Awards afterwards and some in the audience wished they had bagged a VMA ticket too.
The house of Carolina Herrera celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a glorious rhapsody of going-out garments. A sparkling white mini frou-frou, sweeping red taffeta and a pink puffball bodiced mini dress with a Cinderella train hit home. Critics agreed the highlight of the week was Herrera designer Wes Gordon’s show at New York’s latest art space, Salon 94 on the Upper East Side.
3. TURN UP THE VOLUME
An unusually romantic spirit ran through a number of collections, in the form of subtle volume in luxurious crepe and silk.
Designer sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy at La-based Rodarte showed swirly, sheerlace strapless gowns and a high-necked, caped mididress in peach printed silk that formed a perfect balloon in the breeze.
Earlier in the week, Proenza Schouler’s billowing stretch crepe overdresses and capes in vivid orange, fuchsia pink and yellow drew gasps from the excited audience.
Not known for such lightweight, colourful concoctions, the change in direction is deliberate.
“We’re starting to build up a library of fabrics,” commented designers Jack Mccollough and Lazaro Fernandez after the show.
“We wanted to use fabrics with stretch and movement like this beautiful, bi-stretch crepe.
“These are joyful clothes to step up, explore, enjoy life in.”
4. NO MORE TIERS
The prairie dress has officially left town, taking floral prints and pie-crust collars with it.
Even Batsheva Hay, Laura Ashley-inspired queen of the prairies, has chopped skirts mid-thigh and replaced floral cottons with silver or bronze lamé.
In one of the first shows, a gaggle of Ulla Johnson fans welcomed the brand’s usual pintucked, pretty detailing which this time incorporated a more wearable, less flouncy look.
Tiers were tiny, if present at all, florals replaced by ethnic prints in bold rust and gold.
Longer lengths endured elsewhere, with Catherine Holstein at Khaite abandoning her medieval princess looks for next summer in favour of urban-friendly, silk body wrapping and a bra top over a billowing stretchy silk midi as alternatives to La Prairie.
At Joseph Altuzarra, tie-dye versions of long and stretchy garments offered yet more options for fans of summer colours.
5. WORK LOOKS TO WOW IN
New York had work looks to turn heads and intimidate the competition, whatever your industry.
Proenza Schouler always delivers execlevel twists, this time sending out monochrome, structured shapes akin to crinoline bodices over rounded out skirts and trousers.
Its signature hanging ribbons and tapes accompanied longer-length jackets, offering a sideways take on the hourglass suit.
Newcomer Peter Do showed another mostwanted collection of the week, featuring oversized trouser suits that incorporated femininity through a lack of straight lines.
A crisp white shirt fell to floor-length over straight, black leather trousers, lean layers of jersey knits in ice cream hues looked oh-soeasy to wear.
Later in the week, Tory Burch offered cool, flatfronted, man pants in a thick cream cotton that some of us wanted to haul right off the model and take home there and then.
6. SKIMPY IS THE NEW BODY CON
For the past few seasons, body-conscious styling has returned to the catwalks. In New York it took a more extreme turn.
Shorts became no more than big knickers at Moschino, Kors and Maisie Wilen. Pop star Kim Petras performed as her buddy Charli XCX cheered at Wilen’s Boom Boom Room show. The Kanye West Yeezy protégé offered lingerie inspired possibly by dressing up in vintage undies and going out in just your tights.
While Maisie Wilen was gorgeous fun for the Tik Tok set, to get the skimpy vibe in a more mature way, critics were thrilled by Rachel Comey.
This Brooklyn-based, 20-year veteran of New York’s insider fashion scene showed skinny dresses stretched over footless tights, vest-tops, long sleeves and cut-outs all in the designer’s signature off-hues of sludge greys, blues and greens.
Everything Comey produces feels wearable – quiet clothes with unique oomph.
7. TWO BAGS, HUGE OR TINY
Nano, tiny and small bags worn all at once provide next summer’s most cumbersome look. Great news for luxury bag brands, a tad tiresome for the rest of us.
Ulla Johnson claimed the look with models wearing pouches and purses on strings over belt bags and cross-bodies.
There were gaggles of tiny-tot carryalls at Coach and Maisie Wilen. At Moschino, relief came in the shape of a babytoy, cube bag.
At Coach, the paper-bag shaped leather square first designed by Bonnie Cashin in the 1950s reappeared in collectable, smaller versions.
Joseph Altuzarra showed us triplets of tiny bags on one leather strap. In contrast, Tory Burch brought out a new Lampshade bag, with highly crafted seams and hefty stitching.
In contrast to every other brand, Khaite and Peter Do did humongous, hardware-free totes that looked cool but will have to be filled with care to avoid toppling over on the bus.
8. SPORTS, WHERE?
Casualwear was the biggest casualty for Spring Summer 2022 in New York. People may want to go sequin-free for some of the time but there were scant offerings for this other than at Monse.
Designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia took a break from their day job at Oscar de la Renta, focusing on their own brand with sporty shell suit track pants, stretchy cropped tops and oversized crochet knits.
British-born Creative Director Stuart Vevers also left ball gowns on the shelf at Coach and showed denim cut-offs, long-line waistcoats and hip outdoors parka-jacketanoraks.
Super-cute, quality T-shirt mini dresses featuring trompe l’oeil prints of the house’s signature handbag snap fastenings and illustrated collar, button and stud details were a pleasing side note.
“This collection is inspired by New York,” he told the Telegraph. “It’s about all the places we go and the clothes we throw on to get there.”
‘These are joyful clothes to step up, explore, and enjoy life in’