#SuzyNYFW: Tectonic Plates Are Shifting In New York Fashion
New designers at established houses, a fade-out of uptown style and a confusion of names jostling downtown – the New York fashion week was a hub of confusion.
Yet this was only reflecting what has happened – or is on the way – in other cities, as long-established names pass the flame, often to young designers who want to keep their own-label businesses.
Occasionally, this two-way designer plan works, as with Monse. After a strong showing as joint designers for Oscar de la Renta, a lively film shot among the funfair of Coney Island was the way that Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim presented their personal vision. With Nicki Minaj on the soundtrack and a carnival spirit, the clothes were mostly riffs on classic pieces, so that a plain beige raincoat might have a checkered jacket worked on top.
Charming as these mix-and-meld effects might look in moving or still images, there is no substitute for seeing live what appeared to be half a zippered cardigan or a newspaper print (which John Galliano owns in fashion history). ‘International Monse’ was a tagline printed on some of the outfits. And with their quirky, fresh and individual look – and the exposure via the house of de la Renta – these two may make it internationally.
Anna Sui is one of the most steadfast yet light-spirited designers on New York’s fashion calendar. In fact, the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) ought to give her an award for consistency at the highest level.
Her moody colours, her perpetual playfulness with items that she loves and her light-hearted obsession with the hippie years of the 1970s are the soul of her brand – and the Autumn/Winter 2018 collection felt like a pure draft of her groovy style.
Firstly, there was the purple rain that has doused every show since the beginning, this season including every shade from amethyst through plum.
Then there was the presentation – so simple, yet so rare: twin runways with a fashion electric shock for the opening, as Bella and Gigi Hadid walked out in the rich colours. Both sisters were in red, but one in a wine-coloured coat with an inky flower pattern; the other in a shiny red patchwork of a dress. The next of-the-moment model was Kaia Gerber, daughter of 1980s supermodel Cindy Crawford, wearing the palest blue satin coat with yellow flowers which also rambled over the short dress. That was proof that the designer can meld other colours among her favourites.
Above all, Anna Sui shows the consistency and continuity, ever refreshed, that mark the designer and her brand as a jewel – amethyst or ruby – in New York’s fashion crown.