New York Fashion Week is full of surprises but that goes without saying. It may be cut down from ten to five days now and there are less of those fun lounges then there used to be, but it is still worth attending. Even if you cannot afford any of the fabulous runway creations that you see, NYFW is where most style trends start. You can always borrow ideas from NYFW to put your own look on the cutting edge of style without blowing a month’s pay on one outfit, bag and shoes. NYFW is as much about fashionistas mixing and mingling as it is about seeing the new designs for the coming season. I like having an eclectic mix of NYFW shows on my agenda and don’t just attend ones by the major designers. I look for a fun time as much as fashions that inspire me. I love the way the NYFW shows often have themes and moods reflected by the clothing coming down the catwalk. Here are the five shows that made me say “wow” the most times this season!
Susanne Bartsch—When you let the queen of NY nightlife do a NYFW show, you know it is going to be a blast of color and that a lot of crazy things are going to be going on at one time. Bartsch has a new collabo with UGG and to celebrate she turned her show into a combo floor show, circus and concert. The partying lasted for three hours or more and the clothes were very out there—lots of colors that pop, platform shoes and a lot of nods to the concept of “1950s space age.” There is a lot of camp in Bartsch’s shows and the clothing is probably not anything you could ever wear just walking down the street to get a slice of pizza, but your mind is blown with everything that comes down the runway. Bartsch had the closing show in the Runway 7 two-day series (which Naeem Kahn and Anthony Rubio where also part of), so she felt that she had help so much creativity in 48 hours end with a bang. (By the way, Runway 7 platform is going to be a permanent fixture during NYFW.) Ms. Bartsch is proud to be called “The Queen Of The Night” and her show/party was whimsical and more. Many NYFW guests said it was the absolute best time that they had all week. It kind of made me weepy eyed for the 80s when Bartsch first became a NYC party scenester and there were great events at clubs every night (Covid and a cultural shift has obviously changed that).
Anthony Rubio—I first met Anthony Rubio three years ago at the now defunct NYFW Pet Fashion Show which is was such an integral part of and enjoyed both speaking to him and getting to pet his well-dressed and well-groomed pets who wore clothing created by their human daddy! I am so happy that I finally got to see a whole show by this unique designer. How can you not love playful pet clothing that compliments mom and dad’s ensembles? This show had a Café Society theme was full of surprises including princess inspired gowns for both Mommy and mutt and super hero capes for both Daddy and dachshund! (I am taking a liberty here as there were no wiener dogs in the show. Rubio’s clothing for women is classically elegant and unlike most shows during NYFW, there are demure hemlines and not much skin exposed. If you like tasteful fashion and dogs, this is the show to see. I have to say that the dogs seem to truly enjoy wearing their unique and often multilayered ensembles and reveled in the attention that the audience gave them!
Negris LeBrum—the Spring/Summer 2021 Negris LeBrum collection show had a little bit of everything from street looks with large logos to elegant leopard cocktails and daytime dresses. There was a whole lotta leopard—something that is always A-OK with me! Come to think of it, the collection has a lot of black and white polka dots which also is A-OK with me because it is something that reminds me of the original punk movement back in the late 1970s. This collection brought together vintage inspired looks with classic elegance. If you are someone as in place at a rap concert as you are at a gala for a royal, this is the designer for you. Prices are reasonable and clothing is suitable for all ages and figures. Brand director Travis Hamilton said he was aiming to make creations that look effortless when you wear them and he certainly succeeded with this collection. Everyone can wear and afford these high quality pieces. I loved the great diversity of models in this show that ranged from male hipsters with long beards to elegant Latino leggy beauties with pulled back hair.
Naeem Kahn—This Indian American designer had dressed former First Lady Michelle Obama, Queen Noor Of Jordan, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and other female luminaries who want to be tasteful, elegant and stylish at the same time. His gowns scream class and luxury and the intricate details are something that you can stare at for hours, especially if you are a hardcore fashionista. Kahn creates styles that are timeless and head turning and while every collection is strong, his Spring/Summer 2021 blew away most other designers showings last week! His S/S 2022 collection was done as a presentation rather than a runway show at Sony Hall and featured some amazing gowns with floral silks and handmade lace that were “off the charts” as they say. Pleasant surprises included adventurous capes and pant sets and he certainly did not shy aware from creating gowns in bright solids like the one pictured above. Kahn’s deep love of texture always shines through in every dress and separate that he creates. This man is a modern master of sublime sophistication and I predict that someday soon he will reach legendary status in the fashion world for his clothes are as much art as anything else.
Edwing D’Angelo–This is a designer that has an renowned atelier on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and 131st Street— and he had his fun and fast paced show right out on the street! He literally turned the area in front of his atelier into a public block party that included food, fashion and fun! Some people were referring to it as “The Harlem Takeover”! D’Angelo is one designer who has people waiting in line for his show at least 90 minutes ahead of time and every seat and standing area is taken—but by using the street he could have a lot more people viewing his spring/summer 2022 collection. (This was a very wise decision!) D’Angelo is the epitome of a designer that makes sure all his garments are very wearable and not items that are going to be out of vogue in two weeks. His spring collection is full of cool white basics, especially for men, but there were also plenty of very wearable dresses for the ladies that were both sexy and short (what I call “club appropriate” like in the photo above) and some that I would call basic everyday street wear. D’Angelo is one designer who knows how to mix classic and contemporary and makes clothing that suits all body types.