Skip to main content

The 8 Most Critically Acclaimed Shows of New York Fashion Week

If your head's still spinning from all the nonstop fashion action at Milk, Lincoln Center, and points further afield, flash back with Report Card through a digest of each day's critic's pick for top show.

Is it just us, or does it feel like New York Fashion Week started more than a week ago? (Well, technically it's been 8 days--but you know what we mean.) If your head's still spinning from all the nonstop fashion action at Milk, Lincoln Center, and points further afield, flash back with Report Card through a digest of each day's critic's pick for top show.

Thursday, September 6: Creatures of the Wind Designers: Shane Gabier and Chris Peters

  • "Swingy, bejeweled silhouettes from the '60s and shimmery, vintage snakeskin lame stood out." {The Associated Press}
  • "Struck a balance between cute and experimental." {The Cut/

    New York Magazine

  • "An overall menswear-inspired silhouette, offset by pastel hues and playful pink and green picnic-esque checks." {FashionEtc}
  • "Detailing like the snakeskin arms on a crisp white blazer and the Swarovski crystals decorating the bottom of one cream-colored skirt kept up the visual interest." {fashionologie}
  • "The show, the clothes and even the music came across as a little old-timey and very conservative looking." {On The Runway/The New York Times}
  • "There was something almost orderly about the eclecticism on display today." {}
  • "A gorgeously assured and focused move on from their rather more uneven fall, glowing with inspiration and aspiration." {}
  • "We’ll inevitably see no shortage of the mundane over the course of this collections season. Cast in that light, Gabier and Peter’s spring show burned all the brighter." {WWD}

Friday, September 7: Rag & Bone Designers: David Neville and Marcus Wainwright

  • "Each look oozed the cool vibe that designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright have mastered." {The Associated Press}
  • "Each look was deftly balanced in mood, fabric, and shape, never veering into the overly girly or overly sporty." {The Cut/

    New York Magazine

  • "Full of electric green, cobalt blue and hi-vis coral, the British-born designers produced a collection that every New York City girl will want to be seen in next summer — no small feat, either." {The Daily Mail}
  • "An explosion of modern, sportif greatness." {FabSugar}
  • "All in all, this is a collection for the downtown cool girl Rag & Bone has come to define." (FashionEtc)
  • "A hodgepodge of influences — off-road racing, motocross, prep, sport, and military — expertly layered in the very embodiment of downtown cool." {fashionologie}
  • "While we've always enjoyed its artful mixings and matchings, the simplicity shown for spring was over-the-top refreshing." {Refinery29}
  • "The designers' fluency with the source material galvanized a strong, focused collection." {}
  • "It was a tall drink of water for eyes still blinded by the neon skinnies of the past season." {Thread NY/NBC New York}
  • "A great evocation of a romanticized, and Anglicized, vision of the Dakar car rally, yet which never lost the brand’s usual effortless, urban edge." {}
  • "Wherever she may roam ... the nomadic British expat that serves as omnipresent muse Neville and Wainwright come back to time and again has one thing with her at all times: an unaffected, and utterly contemporary, sense of style." {}
  • "David Neville savvily synthesized those two disparate worlds into a potent cocktail for the contemporary market." {WWD}

Saturday, September 8: Alexander Wang Designer: Alexander Wang

  • "Alexander Wang thrilled his guests with futuristic outfits that glow in the dark as he reaffirmed his flair for the theatrical at New York fashion week." {AFP}
  • "Though I am the first to acknowledge the power of his brand, I have long remained immune to the charms of Alexander Wang, so I am happy to report that his spring 2013 collection is, even for me, an extremely seductive exercise in black, white, and silver." {The Cut/

    New York Magazine

  • "Looking beyond the horizon, the boy wonder produced a sporty, futuristic lineup." {FabSugar}
  • "If any New York designer is setting the agenda in modern fashion it is Alexander Wang, whose latest collection was a surgically re-constructed interpretation of the modern urban uniform that managed to be beautiful and gutsy, bizarre yet plausible." {Fashion Wire Daily}
  • "It's rare, during New York Fashion Week, to attend a show that has audiences literally cheering aloud. At Alexander Wang's Spring 2013 show today, that's precisely what happened." {fashionologie}
  • "The show already felt vital and dynamic--then came its vibrant ending: Models lined up for a glow-in-the-dark effect that changed graphic into color, bringing an ovation from the crowd." {International Herald Tribune}
  • "Mr. Wang’s fancifully sliced-up clothes seemed to hit a wall." {The New York Times}
  • "Deconstructing garments is not a new conceit in fashion ... but the designer proved his authority in this collection by taking that idea in an intriguing direction that stayed true to his own streamlined, hard-edged contemporary sportif-chic aesthetic." {}
  • "Alexander Wang has come undone. Kind of. At least his fall collection, a clever riff on his usual It-girl doyenne vibe, had the audience rethinking what it means, exactly, to come apart at the seams." { UK}
  • "More than merely engineered for the in crowd, the lineup was sophisticated and very smart. While Wang holds fast to something quite specific--stripped-down street with an urgent attitude--he does not lack for inventive ways to handle it." {WWD}

Sunday, September 9: Victoria Beckham Designer: Victoria Beckham

  • "Victoria Beckham sent out a sumptuous spring-summer 2013 collection Sunday during New York fashion week, proving her designing career is no flash in the Spice Girl pan." {AFP}
  • "A knockout. Beckham's collection is really evolving, and it's been impressive to watch her designing things that you wouldn't necessarily imagine her wearing. The brand isn't just about Beckham anymore, it's about her customer." {All The Rage/

    The Los Angeles Times

  • "The clothes for spring had a delicacy that she said was new for her this season, although the clothes remained substantial and structured." {The Associated Press}
  • "Here, for the first time, we saw impeccably tailored pieces. The trousers looked so easy, sitting on exactly the correct part of the waist. Not too hipstery, so you look all trunk, like a dachshund. Not too high on the waist, so you resemble Simon Cowell." {The Daily Mail}
  • "More gamine and modern." {The Daily Telegraph}
  • "Looks a lot like the ideal working woman's wardrobe: crisp, clean pieces with an interchangeable appeal that are easily able to go from day to night." {FabSugar}
  • "This is for the VB fan who wants to look city chic but doesn't have time to be high-maintenance." {Grazia Daily}
  • "Had a new, laid-back ease." {The Guardian}
  • "Combined with flat sandals or ankle bootees, the collection had come down from its haute pedestal of elite dressing." {International Herald Tribune}
  • "Has Victoria Beckham become a minimalist?" {The New York Times}
  • "It was a pleasant surprise to see the opening looks of the collection actually included a few loosely fitted blouses and skirts, rather than the usual skintight dresses that can look rather constricting. (Those came later.)" {On The Runway/The New York Times}
  • "Blahnik-designed flat sandals and monk-strap men's shoes that the models wore may have felt like a grand departure (VB is strictly a heels girl herself), but otherwise this was a subtle evolution." {}
  • "With a graphic, clean, and focused collection that introduced new proportions and elements to her characteristic body-conscious line, Victoria Beckham continues to grow her brand with quiet assurance and intelligence." {}
  • "This time she let go, and it was a wonderful move." { UK}
  • "From a minimalist baseline, she worked interesting details into good-looking coats and jackets, slim pants and crisp shirts." {WWD}
Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Monday, September 10: Marc Jacobs Designer: Marc Jacobs

  • "Marc Jacobs kicked romanticism to the curb with a bold New York fashion week show dominated by hypnotizing stripes and delivered at crackerjack speed." {AFP}
  • "Let's switch gears: For the past five days, the chatter at New York Fashion Week has been about softening the edges, but Marc Jacobs changed the conversation--as he often does--after going graphic at his show Monday night." {The Associated Press}
  • "Points to Marc for not doing the same old thing over and over--he has firmly turned his back on neo-Victorian coats and Dr. Seuss hats and proffers something entirely new, even if this means a plethora of vertical lines only occasionally relieved by a leopard print." {The Cut/

    New York Magazine

  • "A vortex of high-fashion moments, centered on stripes." {Daily Front Row}
  • "like chess this was a seriously cerebral fashion show, where a few simple ideas were repeated and refined recurrently in a striking technical display." {Fashion Wire Daily}
  • "This wasn't sex appeal in an aggressive Versace kind of way--not that there's anything wrong with that. No, we're talking here about Marc Jacobs." {fashionologie}
  • "This wasn’t the soft focus apparent in other collections, but it had a rigorous purity that meant you could fairly hear the whistle of the wind as it powered past. Ace." {Financial Times}
  • "With skirts cut perilously low on the hips and jackets cropped to reveal tummies, Marc maintained his signature subversive twist to conservative staples." {Grazia Daily}
  • "Putting the catwalk on fast-forward is a psychological trick invented by Christian Dior 65 years ago. If Dior changed the walking pace from stately to brisk in the 40s, Jacobs is now experimenting with putting it on fast-forward." {The Guardian}
  • "The show--from its Edie Sedgwick hair to its graphic handbags--was an eye-zinger and a blockbuster." {International Herald Tribune}
  • "For the first time in a while, a designer has successfully pushed the sex button in a compelling way. Remember McQueen’s bumster trousers from the mid-’90s? That was a frankly raw style that eventually set in motion the near-universal trend of low-riding jeans. Mr. Jacobs has done something perverse with the straight office suit, a symbol of conservatism and get-ahead careerism." {The New York Times}
  • "It takes a certain wink to make mom’s dowdy suits look like jailbait. Marc Jacobs was winking at us--as usual." {Speakeasy/The Wall Street Journal}
  • "The monochrome, amphetamine-sharp brilliance of the designer's vision cut a precise swathe through all the uncertain murk that swirls around pop culture right now." {}
  • "Jacobs has a uniquely suave talent for distilling all these ingredients into a heady brew that ultimately bears nothing but his own emphatic signature and looks not so much retro as, well, very Next Season." {}
  • "Jacobs stripped down everything for spring. Or should we say stripe-d down? Because what Jacobs did for the polka-dot in autumn of 2011, he’s about to do for stripes next season." { UK}
  • "If Jacobs startled a bit with his economy of message, the clothes looked beautiful and sexy." {WWD}

Tuesday, September 11: Narciso Rodriguez Designer: Narciso Rodriguez

  • "From the triangular cleavage cutouts to the plunging V-necklines, Narciso Rodriguez made his point with pointed shapes." (The Associated Press}
  • "Narciso Rodriguez wowed us today with a masterful collection for Spring '13, concentrating on fluid shapes and bold colors." {FabSugar}
  • "When Narciso Rodriguez said his Spring 2013 show would start at 8 pm Tuesday night, he meant it. ... Perhaps that urgency stemmed from all the new statements Rodriguez had to make with this show." {fashionologie}
  • "The evolution was in decoration, as the designer used laminated wood beads to create abstract floral patterns, giving rich texture to streamlined shapes." {

    International Herald Tribune}

  • "Narciso Rodriguez started out as a minimalist designer 15 years ago, became known as a sublime colorist over the last several years and now, after showing his spring collection tonight, can henceforth be known simply as the master." {On The Runway/The New York Times}
  • "Satisfying both a woman's wardrobe needs and a man's eye, that's the whole package. And that's why this was the most successful lineup of Rodriguez's career." {}
  • "What happens when the two-dimensional—that would be a plane of fabric—and the three-dimensional--that would be you--collide? That is, of course, the story of fashion, and claiming a sizeable chapter in this tale this season is Narciso Rodriguez." {}
  • "Rodriguez reduced his work back to its core: linear, geometric shapes and a shrewd eye for colour. From his languorous, breezy dresses to his unstructured, airy tailoring, there was a feeling of lightness and nonchalance--the ideal proposal for spring." { UK}
  • "A beautiful collection of spare silhouettes, exquisite cuts and colorful graphics that, while arty, were executed with a perfect sense of control." {WWD}

Wednesday, September 12: Proenza Schouler Designers: Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez

  • "Mind-blowingly cool. ... They built on the foundation of last season's experiment with a boxy, oversized silhouette, playing with fragments of images, colors and textures that flew by like so many pixels in our visually-overloaded digital world." {All The Rage/

    Los Angeles Times

  • "The digital-print satin dresses decorated with neon nailheads on the tops and grommets on the bottom that served as the finale were only as Proenza Schouler can do." {The Associated Press}
  • "Modernity is further underscored by the clever application of grommets where someone with rather less ingenuity might settle for studs." {The Cut/New York Magazine}
  • "A mix-and-match approach to colors, materials, and textures worked brilliantly, especially when tricked out with sporty touches." {Daily Front Row}
  • "Perforated leather, reptilian prints, and studs and grommets were aplenty; and just as we were thinking this collection was as far from spring as it could be, the Proenza boys sent out feminine printed chiffon dresses that added a necessary lightness but retained the strength seen on the other bulkier pieces." {FashionEtc}
  • "From seriously hip leather and python patchwork vests to sexy-grunge halters, they provided a contemporary wardrobe of separates and frocks with plenty of personality." {Grazia Daily Magazine}
  • "Why the duo showed their densely decorated, digital-age collection in a grungy, condemned building way downtown in the financial district is as much of a mystery as how they piece together their wondrous concoctions." {International Herald Tribune}
  • "'How was it getting here?' Jack McCollough asked before the Proenza Schouler show on Wednesday. 'Was it too far?' 'Here' was an empty building on Beekman Street, an early skyscraper near City Hall whose scarred walls and cavernous rooms contained unimaginable stories. And, no, it was not too far to travel for a collection as rich and varied in its layers as the spring Proenza show." {On The Runway/The New York Times}
  • "McCollough and Hernandez claimed Tumblr as a point of reference, citing its random associations and the delight-producing effects of happenstance. They may be card-carrying members of the digital generation, but they're also incredibly hard workers. Kudos to them for setting the bar ever higher." {}
  • "With a collection of assured modernity, shown in the majestic shell of a nineteenth-century building, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez seemed to still and quiet the noise and the chaos of our too-much-informational age." {}
  • "Building on the idea of collage, the boys constructed a collection with a decoupage quality, bringing together divergent ideas and smashing them together to exploit the garish beauty in their polarities." { UK}
  • "The designers dove down that clickable rabbit hole and came out at the highest resolution, showcasing their coolest, newest, most 'now' ideas. Let the superlatives rip." {WWD}

Thursday, September 13: Calvin Klein Collection Designer: Francisco Costa

  • "Costa tested the limits of the label's signature minimal style with sharply structured looks ... Conical bustiers and dresses--none as severe as those of Jean Paul Gaultier in the early 1990s that Madonna made infamous--came sleeveless, strapless or backless." {AFP}
  • "One of Costa's best. All the exploration of form that we expect from him, plus a heady dose of sex appeal. These clothes should play extremely well in Hollywood." {All The Rage/

    Los Angeles Times

  • "The fact that almost every outfit featured black here can't be called part of that trend--it's a way of life for this design house." {The Associated Press}
  • "It was the sense of abstraction in the sculptural shapes, revolutionary molding and bizarre compression of material that made the latest Calvin Klein show such a clever fashion moment, such a raffish statement of eroticism." {Fashion Wire Daily}
  • "With its undulating lines, feminine proportions, and transparent fabrics, it was a lovely lineup steeped in subtle sensuality and power." {fashionologie}
  • "The clinchers in Mr. Costa’s fine show were white dresses with a sheer top layer embroidered with wavy lines, like moiré silk." {The New York Times}
  • "'Black moire embroidery' ... looked like a cage made of intersecting waves of black bands, as if the designer had captured a sound wave in a dress." {On The Runway/The New York Times}
  • "These weren't just experiments for experimentation's sake. They were great looking." {}
  • "Francisco Costa took an exaggerated mid-century ideal of feminine pulchritude ... but used contemporary fabrications and technique to achieve the look and harness it to the Calvin Klein Collection ideal of streamlined modernity." {}
  • "Costa is known for his architectural shapes, which typically swing more artful than sexy. Here, by framing his penchant for intricate cuts in a more sensual context, he pushed boldly into new territory, which is exactly what he intended. The results were compelling." {WWD}