Five amazing things we learnt from New York Fashion Week
The New York Fashion Week- one of the biggest fashion weeks in the world has come to a glorious end but it was four days of magic, as old, new, upcoming and even two Nigerian designers served magic on the runway. Even though the week is over now, there are beautiful memories from the week, observations made and new grounds were broken.
Nigerian Designers are taking the world by storm
This is definitely wonderful news and acknowledgement that Nigerian fashion is beginning to take its rightful place on the world’s biggest stages. Twin sisters, Sylvia and Olivia, brains behind Gozel Green, showcased their Autumn/Winter 2017 collection titled ‘Igbo Mask’. According to them, “Our AW17 collection (Igbo Mask) means so much to us as we have particularly laid emphasis on one of our cultural heritages/rituals as Igbos – the masquerades! ‘Igbo Mask’ encapsulates the artistic beauty of the Igbo masquerades and also tells the story of our childhood in the eastern part of Nigeria – where we watched regal performances of heavily adorned masquerades, as they danced to the rhythms of local musical instruments (Igba, Ichaka, etc) on our red earthen sane. Every detail of each piece symbolizes our colourful culture!
Maki Oh partnered with OXOSI for her AW17 collection and she paid homage to her Nigerian roots by infusing African prints in a few pieces as well as the unmistakable ‘Danfo colour’ that served as the backdrop of the catwalk in Space Studios, New York. We definitely did not miss the ‘No condition is permanent’ inscription on the blouses, a popular Nigerian slogan.
Many shows tackled the political climate
Several designers used their shows to send messages (some subtle — others much more overt) about the present administration and the political atmosphere in general. Public School showed red baseball caps that read “Make America New York,” while the designer Adam Lippes made signs and displayed them outside his Washington Square Park home, where the Planned Parenthood march took place later that day. And at Prabal Gurung, the designer closed his show by sending models out in a series of T-shirts with message such as “I Am an Immigrant” and “Revolution Has No Borders.”
Fashion Show Parties are back
A handful of designers presented their collections in a way that felt more like a party than an actual show. Rag & Bone hosted a photo exhibition of their collection, which turned into a celebrity-filled dance party D.J.ed by Thom Yorke, Baja East threw a late-night bash at Gilded Lily and Phillip Plein had Nas open his runway show (with the Kills performing throughout). Alexander Wang didn’t have his famous after party, but his actual runway show felt like one. Beer was served upon entering, and guests stood in a theater where hip-hop music was blasting to watch the show.
Model casting was more diverse
This season, designers were more inclusive in the models they chose for their shows. Kanye West cast the hijab-wearing model Halima Aden in Yeezy, our very own Maki Oh filled her presentation entirely with women of color, and J. Crew featured 65-year-old Jacky O’Shaughnessy who walked in the Tome show.
Marc Jacobs Made a Strong Statement With the Quietest Show
There was no music to mark the beginning of the Marc Jacobs show — no curtain drawn to reveal the runway, no lighting cast on a dramatic set. In fact, there was no set at all; just two long rows of folding chairs, which faced each other, to form the catwalk. Usually relied upon to close New York Fashion Week with entertaining, theatrical runways, the designer laid back this season. He invited fewer guests, and insisted on no social media during the show. He stripped away the pomp and circumstance, sending models across the center of the empty Park Avenue Armory floor, to put the focus wholly on the clothes.