NYFW: History, Hubbub, & High Fashion

NYFW: History, Hubbub, & High Fashion

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Illustration by Cienna Thorndill.

Written and Illustrated By Cienna Thorndill

Last week, New York City streets became flooded by a gazillion more cameras and stilettos than usual. Why? New York Fashion Week. The event that decides what will dominate the pages of our magazines, the racks of our favorite stores, and more importantly, our very own closets for Spring/Summer 2017. (Yes. Next summer! Because the time and scale necessary for the production of this $1.2 trillion global industry is immense.)

New York Fashion Week began in 1943, when Eleanor Lambert, a fashion publicist, created “Fashion Press Week” to highlight American designers during the complicated times of World War II. Up until then, Paris was the trendsetter, and the Garment District of NYC was better known as a manufacturer of clothes, rather than for its designers.

Now, before I unleash a fashion recap from the past few days, one thing I want you to bear in mind is the purpose of a fashion show. Aside from generating consumer interest, designers put on a show to express their artistic vision holistically, aspects such as the room arrangement or styling of the model have the power to change our perception of their collection. Unless we visit that designer’s storefront, a collection is often split up or even altered to fit the needs of retailers and tastes of the consumer.

After watching countless shows (and geeking out over sighting Grace Coddington, former Creative Director of American Vogue, among other celebs, in the famed “front row”), I’ve noticed trends amongst designers. Honestly, everybody has a little bit of something, as is most often the case, but the repeating elements are stripes/plaid, neutrals/color pops, deconstructed/asymmetrical silhouettes, lace/sheer, silk/metallic, florals, lace-ups, knots, ruffles… I could go on.

To pinpoint specific pieces to share with all of you, I chatted with Grand Rapids Community College Fashion Merchandising senior, Christy Sihavong, for a look into her favorite shows this season.

Christy, how would you describe your personal style?  To be honest, I don’t really have a personal style. I would mainly say casual, but there are some days where I like to dress it up by wearing a basic tee with jeans and casual shoes or I would wear a cute blouse with pants and some heels.  

What show(s) are you following this season?  McQ Alexander Queen, Warm, Kendall + Kylie, and Yeezy

Which was your favorite show, and why?  I would say my

favorite show is Warm’s collection by Winnie Beattie and Tracy Feith. I like the tropical floral they added in most of the designs, but with a different color. I feel like having floral and plaid prints on the designs are all year patterns that most people tend to enjoy wearing. The silk and cotton fabrics look pretty comfortable and easy to wear. I love how natural the makeup and hair look on the models because you can look cute and casual, but you can also dress it up by adding more makeup.

What look are you loving?

Look #36 from the Warm collection. It’s a basic outfit, but I love how cute and casual the jumpsuit is.  

If you want more, you’re in luck. **side-eye emoji** Fashion Week is more accessible than ever! You can view summarized collections on www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2017-ready-to-wear.

P.S. I personally recommend viewing the Parsons MFA show. It’s always inspiring to see student work! 

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