Paris and Milan may show the biggest brands at their fashion weeks, but New York is where the true star power lies, with heavy hitters from the worlds of sport, music and Hollywood in the front-row seats.
Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Victoria Beckham, Joseph Altuzarra and Kanye West were among the notable designers whose shows kicked off a week of star-studded style in the Big Apple.
For some, it was all about the shift to “see now, buy now” collections, exemplified by West’s show for his Yeezy brand, Ford, and Hilfiger in his collaboration with supermodel Gigi Hadid. Hilfiger led the way in dramatic fashion by bringing a whole carnival to his catwalk show.
New York is the epicentre for celebrity designers – think West, Beckham, the Olsen twins; those whose other talents first brought them into the public eye. So it’s no surprise to find that one of America’s top designers, Ford, should be showing in the city while also winning accolades in film.
His second movie, Nocturnal Animals, snapped up a Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival days after he hosted a star-studded fashion-week dinner party and show attended by the likes of Iman, Rita Ora, Uma Thurman and Tom Hanks.
Ford’s womenswear featured plenty of tailored, grown-up animal prints, sexy sequins and sparkle as well as statement leather belting. Signature polo necks, lush velvet and trippy patterned tuxedo jackets tied his menswear together.
Although a Briton, the United States is where Beckham forged her high-fashion credibility. And she showed her most daring textural iterations to date with on-trend wrinkled silks and crushed velvets. The ex-pop star’s foray into effortless, undone chic gave us structured bralets with cool-girl jackets to fabulous effect.
Another hot ticket was West’s Yeezy show on Roosevelt Island. Here’s another musician-turned-designer making waves in fashion. There were plenty of social-media grumblings at the location and lateness – and some guests snapped models falling over after standing motionless in the heat for so long. The Yeezy show, like its creator, has never been anything if not controversial, and its collection of flesh-coloured bodysuits, thigh-high PVC boots and oversized jumpers had fashion folk scratching their heads.
Wu, a favourite of Michelle Obama, showed a wonderful array of sexy sheers, off-the-shoulder dresses and floral appliqués. At Joseph Altuzarra, it was all about elegant stripes and romantic dresses with cinched waists.
Wang’s show turned Pier 94, in Hell’s Kitchen, into a who’s who of music and celebrity: Madonna turned up in the front row with daughter Lourdes, while Nicki Minaj, model Jourdan Dunn, reality-TV star Kylie Jenner and rapper boyfriend Tyga were also in attendance.
It was all sportswear-meets-lingerie as laces, slips and tie-around bikinis were paired with hoodies, distressed denim, shirtdresses and athleisure garb. Wang ended the show with the announcement of his new collaboration with Adidas Originals. The event was an eclectic mix of high fashion, Hollywood glamour, sportswear and sexiness, reality TV celebs and pop culture – which seemed to sum up the New York style scene neatly.