NYFW Spring/Summer 2016: Recap


Photo by Meagan O'Shaughnessy New Yorkers might be preparing to put summer behind them, but to those in the fashion industry, the Spring/Summer season is literally just around the corner. Spring/Summer 2016 marks the first fashion season not held at Lincoln Center and kicked off on September 10. This week, designers and attendees will be splitting their time between two main Mercedes-Benz sponsored locations: 360 West 33rd Street in Midtown and 550 Washington Street in SOHO. Designers and brands were not limited to these venues, with several major brands opting for other, locations in the area. Despite the new locations and the rainy start to the early weekend, people showed up in droves to see what designers had in store - and soon-to-be closets - for next spring.

Photo by Meagan O'Shaughnessy

This season’s biggest inspiration appears to be the 1970s, ranging from slightly hippie (Rebecca Minkoff) to full-on glamrock (Jill Stuart). Collections featured less prints than expected for this time of year, opting for shades of burnt orange, cobalt blue, emerald green and mustard yellow. The two most predominant necklines were “Y”-shaped (Novis, Tory Burch, and Tanya Taylor) or perfectly square (Altuzarra, Creatures of Comfort, and Tibi). Most pants were wide-legged (Wes Gordon, Nicole Miller, and Public School) or tapered and hit well above the ankle (Thakoon and 3.1 Phillip Lim). Hem lines primarily floated at midi-length (about three inches below the bottom of the knee) or ankle-length height. The biggest trend in both dresses and shirting was the off-the-shoulder top style, displaying either completely bare shoulders (Creature of the Wind, BCBG Max Azria, and Hanley) or simple cutouts

Photo by Meagan O'Shaughnessy

exposing the top half of the arm (Tome and Derek Lam).

Other trends that will either dominate or quickly fade away in the warm weather of next year include flowy dresses worn over tailored pants (Hanley), front slits in skirts (Jason Wu and Rosie Assoulin), robe jackets cinched at the waist with belts or matching ties (3.1 Philip Lim, Public School, and Rachel Comey) and matte black leather (Jason Wu and Wes Gordon). In short, this season consisted of feminine shapes (soft and flowing), textiles (lux and silky) and trimmings (including ruffles and feathering).

Speaking of short, it is important to note that shoes this season remained parallel to the earth: models strutted down the runway in sporty sandals with wide, strappy bands (Mara Hoffman, Escada, Jason Wu, Creatures of Comfort, etc) and even high top sneakers, as seen at Alexander Wang and Rag & Bone. When the occasional heel was showcased, the shoes were either feminine with pointed toes and delicate ankle straps (Marissa Webb and Carolina Herrera) or mules with open toes and wide bands (mansur gavriel, which debut its first shoe collection).

This season’s most highly anticipated show was launched early on in the week. On September 11 around 7:30PM, an hour after the original time printed on the invitation, french label Givenchy launched their latest collection under the bright lights of 1 World Trade Center. The guest list was compiled of the usual crowed and included celebrities such as Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Julia Roberts and Nicki Minaj. Shockingly, the show opened its gates to 820 lucky ticket holders who had been randomly selected via an online lottery system.

Photo by Meagan O'Shaughnessy

Even with the late start, the show ran for over 20 minutes, almost twice as long as the average show. Despite the delay, guests and critics alike were taken aback by the reverence of it all. As New York Times Fashion Director Vanessa Friedman wrote later that week, “What ensued demonstrated, as gracefully as anything I have ever witnessed, the power of fashion to reflect history and shared experience; to weave it, literally, into the garments we all wear; and to find beauty in its future.”

Photo by Meagan O'Shaughnessy

As the models solemnly walked down the raw-wood runway at Pier 26, attendees viewed a total of 89 looks which featured mostly ready-to-wear pieces as well as a few couture pieces (some of which were repurposed from previous couture seasons). Designer Riccardo Tisci, who celebrated 10 years at the fashion house, played with proportions and silky textures, mixing feminine lingerie pieces with masculine tuxedo jackets and using only the colors black and white.

The season marks another special anniversary, this time for an American fashion legend. Women’s wear designer and 2008 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Alexander Wang celebrated his company’s 10-year anniversary. Wang is known for his theatrical and unexpected shows and after parties, and this season was no exception.

The collection focused on the essentials shapes and concepts that made his brand famous.

Photo by Meagan O'Shaughnessy

“The idea of modern is right in front of us,” said Wang in an interview with Vogue Runway. “We thought the everyday and the mundane is the most inspiring...so we just wanted to do clothes...I just really wanted this to be personal.”

New York Fashion Week draws to a close on the evening of Thursday, September 17. Per tradition, Marc Jacobs will end the season with shock and awe, leaving the show’s attendees  with something to think about as they make a mad dash across the pond to London Fashion week, which begins the following day.

View video footage from NYFW, as taken by O'Shaughnessy, here.

Follow O’Shaughnessy on Twitter @Meagan_VO and Instagram @meagan.vo.