We did it, y'all! We survived another New York Fashion Week and we have the under-eye bags to prove it. Team Fashionista logged some crazy hours running from show to show over the past nine days, and we've picked up some interesting tidbits along the way. As with every season, there are certain points of discussion that come up frequently, whether we're chitchatting with fellow editors before a show begins or overhearing the conversations of others. So, before you put NYFW behind you and focus your attention on the runways in London, Milan and Paris, read on for a cheat sheet summing up what everyone was talking about this season.
Big strides were made in runway diversity. This season, several designers actually lived up to their promises of casting models of all races, sizes, ages and gender identities. Zac Posen wowed the crowd with a mostly non-white runway; Gypsy Sport and Chromat celebrated body positivity and nonconventional beauty; Rihanna's show for Puma, Eckhaus Latta, Sophie Theallet and Marc Jacobs all had people talking about their diverse lineups as well. Hopefully this momentum will continue through the shows in Europe — and, even better, in the fall 2016 ad campaigns.
It's good to be bad. If you were a Hot Topic shopper in your youth, you'll be happy to know that one of the season's biggest themes was that it's good to be a bad girl. Goth vibes abounded at shows like Rodarte, Fenty Puma by Rihanna, Marc Jacobs and Hood by Air. At Alexander Wang and Baja East, the marijuana leaf emerged as a popular motif. Plus, the most buzzy models of the week chopped their hair into a blunt, punky crop, which we're thinking will become one of the hottest cuts come fall.
The stunts that worked, and those that backfired. Instead of a runway show, Diane von Furstenberg, president of the CFDA, held an open house presentation that featured models (Gigi, Kendall, Karlie, et al.) dancing awkwardly to disco tunes. Sure, this setup was purely for Snapchat/Instagram purposes, but it was almost universally panned. The same goes for Tommy Hilfiger's "Instapit," which was a tiny raised section of seating for influencers — most of whom didn't even post photos of the runway show, just the outfits they wore to it. A few designers added theatrical elements that really shined, like Rachel Antonoff's "How to Succeed in Business" song and dance number, as well as Pyer Moss's choir that sang operatic versions of rap hits. Finally, Kanye West's album release party-slash-fashion show at MSG was the biggest power move of them all, but on many counts, it was also the best.
Kylie Jenner overload. The youngest member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan was omnipresent this season. From the Kendall + Kylie launch party to Yeezy Season 3 to the front rows at Alexander Wang, Hugo Boss, Vera Wang and VFiles, Jenner was dressed to the nines and ready to Snapchat the hell out of her travels. In addition, she announced her upcoming nail polish collaboration and news broke about her spring contract with Puma that's worth a reported seven figures. Get that money, girl! We'll see you in Paris. (Probably.)
Kanye West's Twitter rants. Yeezy Season 3 took place on the first day of NYFW, but in the days that followed, the rapper-turned-designer lit up our Twitter feeds with nonsensical rants that covered topics including (but not limited to): becoming best friends with Nicolas Ghesquiere, having $53 million of personal debt, wanting to team up with Raf Simmons [sic], Helmut Lang and Martin Margiela on a project, and revealing his business plan for Donda. Oh, but he also released an album. That was pretty cool.
All streetwear everything. Logomania swept the New York runways, but the most prominent branding was the type commonly associated with streetwear labels like Supreme. Alexander Wang splashed words like "girls," "tender," and "faded" on neon beanies and black tights; Hood by Air showed simple bodysuits splashed with "bitch;" and Rag & Bone, DKNY and Fenty Puma by Rihanna got in on the trend as well. The street-inspired look came through in many of the collections' silhouettes this week, too, from extra-long sleeves to dramatically oversized tops and pants. We're thinking a little French brand named Vetements likely has something to do with this.
"See now, buy now." Fall 2016 marked a turning point for designers who want to switch gears and make NYFW a consumer-facing event, staging shows with their customers top of mind. Rebecca Minkoff invited shoppers to her runway show (which reprised the same collection she presented in September) and it was something of a mob scene. Other brands decided to take baby steps: Proenza Schouler, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger are all offering capsule collections that make select runway items available for purchase right now. We'll be watching to see how those sales numbers fare in the coming weeks — and if even more designers follow suit.
Peacocking is officially passé. Sure, there will always be a few psychos who wear open-toed shoes in the winter for attention, but generally speaking, even the most thirsty street style stars toned it way down this season, opting for parkas, sneakers, chunky sweaters and cozy hats instead of the freshest spring 2016 statement pieces they could find at Dover Street Market. It also doesn't hurt that thanks to Vetements, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Off-White, Hood by Air and the like, sweatshirts, baggy jeans, logo tees and sneakers are all the rage right now. Comfort can be chic, folks!
Beauty was all about individuality. At Marc Jacobs, the Nars team created six different makeup looks; at Gypsy Sport, we saw just as many different hairstyles. A number of models emerged from Alexander Wang's show with edgy new cuts, each distinct from the next. Though the pendulum will no doubt swing back to uniformity in runway beauty at some point, this season was a celebration of the individual. Nowhere was this more clear than at Rag & Bone, where makeup artist Gucci Westman and hair lead Paul Hanlon both cited the show's casting as the basis for their work, which centered on enhancing each model's features. "It's not really so much about a hairstyle, it's embracing what they have already. There are guys with long hair, guys with dreadlocks, guys with skinheads. There's girls with very specific haircuts — the bowls, the fringes, the steps — girls with afro hair," Hanlon said. "It's very freestyle, which is great."
The calendar is way too packed. There are seven people on our staff, and upwards of 20 shows/presentations on some days of NYFW. This makes it tricky for us to cover all of the necessary ground — from backstage to front-of-house to dinners and parties — while still posting our reviews and fresh #content in a timely manner. Now that labels are embracing Insta-shows, livestreams, short films and other ways to tell their stories, we're looking forward to seeing how this logistical issue will be solved in future seasons. Honestly, it's almost impossible to keep up with the calendar as it stands. Plus, we witnessed more than one model backstage rolling their eyes at reporters and muttering things like, "Jesus, I hate this shit," under their breaths in reference to the ever-growing crowds. Sure, this is part of our job, but fashion week could be a little more manageable, and as a result, a lot more fun. It's time to make it great again.