Fashion Week Goes Full Circle With the Shock of the Wearable
When spray painting a hyped-up model into a latex dress seems a bit old hat (hello Alexander McQueen, 1999), it’s perhaps a sign that outlandish fashion week moments no longer enliven us with the slap of the new. Show us a garment that we can actually wear, though, and critics and consumers alike are enraptured.
The most headline worthy moments of New York Fashion Week 2023 have not involved any smoke, mirrors or subversive mud baths, but good old fashioned clothes you could put on and go outside in. Shocking, I know.
In an age where clothes, makeup and even faces often seem to be crafted with Instagram images in mind, silhouettes that are designed to actually be worn in the real world feels like a full-circle moment.
In a radical move, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler designed their collection by considering famous women they admired and how they dressed. Instead of an overriding concept or theme, they worked in pieces creating individual garments or as McCollough put it in a Harper's Bazaar interview “just clothes.”
With the help of longtime stylist Camilla Nickerson, looks were put together from the individual pieces to reflect how they thought their inspirational celebs would love to wear them.
In short, they made a capsule wardrobe with style icons like Chloë Sevigny in mind.
This classic, common-sense approach to designing was so revolutionary in the fashion week landscape, it required a veritable mission statement for Proenza Schouler to explain their bold choice.
It wasn’t just Proenza Schouler who left fashion editors like Harper's Bazaar's, Rachel Tashjian effervescent at finally being treated to something “so straightforward it might sound nuts.”
Eckhaus Latta channelled utilitarian yet sexy style with their supremely wearable collection which felt like an edgy middle finger to superfluous fashion week clichés. These looks which ooze Berlin techno club vibes, felt stripped-down, exciting and very real life.
But the most iconic moment for me, and I’m sure many women who are perpetually chilly, was the newish designer Fforme finally giving us a great winter coat… in winter. A practicality which — in fashion week terms — is just jaw-dropping.
As so many of us strive to put timeless, sustainable garments over disposable “clickbait clothing”, it’s refreshing to see this concept gaining momentum. Vive la revolution!
Cover image: NY Times via Getty