After a dazzling September week, New York Fashion returns.
New York Fashion Week, or rather fashion month, kicks off this February with The Council of Fashion Designers in America (CDFA) partnering with IMG Models, for yet another collaborative fashion extravaganza– brimming with ready-to-wear collections designed by fashion pioneers. Although rumors persisted that Fashion Week would be canceled this year, the bi-annual event will officially begin on Friday, February 11 through Wednesday, February 16.
For those new to the fashion industry and its affairs, NYFW is held every February and September. During this jam-packed week, designers showcase their international fashion collections to buyers, the press, and the general public.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, last September’s Fashion Week looked a bit different than what followers have become accustomed to over the years. The usual seven-day event was cut down to five, yet in spite of this, the majority of the 91 shows were physical exhibitions. A few designers such as Oscar de la Renta and Pamella Roland, did decide to trade the usual in-house audience for virtual attendees instead. With limited seating and double-masked guests, chances are next month’s runway will likely maneuver in a comparatively similar approach.
February’s live stream shows are set to broadcast on nyfw.com, each designer’s social media platforms, and runway360.com. The latter is an innovative digital platform created by the CDFA to “support designers by bringing together every aspect of a collection launch.”
For the remaining designers deciding to opt-out of URL displays for IRL shows, guests are instructed by the CDFA and IMG to practice strict safety precautions and social distancing. Steven Kolb, CEO of the CDFA reassures, “We will be following the COVID protocols that were instated in September that call for mandatory vaccination, mask-wearing indoors, and scaling back the size of audiences. We continue to be in contact with local and state health officials as we monitor the Omicron variant.”
Since NYFW’s inception, Spring Studios has been its home. However, COVID didn’t just change what the audiences would look like inside the venue, it also altered the very runways themselves.
On September 9, 2021, LaQuan Smith shut down the Empire State Building to host his iconic Spring/Summer 2022 collection. Smith’s clothing seeks to define sexy-meets-sartorial elegance as shown by his 56 daring looks that compliment and accentuate the wearer’s silhouette. The show commenced at the building’s front lobby and progressed all the way to atop of the observatory deck. The event became the first-ever fashion show at New York City’s historic skyscraper in its 90-year history, and the first collection presented outside of Spring Studios, per crfashionbook.com
According to reuters.com, IMG’s Vice President of Brand Management, April Guidone has produced some location modifications of her own last Fall/Winter. “We are offering the rooftop at Spring (Studios) to designers for more traditional runway shows that may have a very small and limited, socially distant audience,” said Guidone.
This season we’re sure to see more designers utilizing a wide array of different venues and sets to debut their artistic collections. In this niche, highlights from the 2021 Spring/Summer season include: Jason Wu, Rebecca Minkoff, and Christian Siriano. The three visionary designers partnered with Lowe’s Home Improvement to, in Lowe’s words, “reframe one of fashion’s most iconic moments and transport high fashion from the runway to the home.” Each designer was invited to “curate” a home décor-inspired-runway, inclusive of Lowe’s-only products, as seen below.
Presently, the designers and brands confirmed by Vogue to hold virtual-only shows include Adam Lippes, Imitation of Christ, Sandy Liang, Theophilio, and several others. Per Nylon Magazine, names like Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Rodarte, Thom Browne, Staud, Chromat, and Pyer Moss are still MIA from the schedule.
In addition, Tom Ford just announced he is canceling his Fall 2022 collection, which was scheduled to debut at 8 p.m. on February 16, due to staff falling ill with COVID. “I am incredibly disappointed not to be able to present a show during New York fashion week as I feel strongly that a live presentation is the best way to convey a clear message for the season,” Ford expressed in a statement. “We have struggled internally over the past month with many of our staff out with COVID in our design studio and atelier in Los Angeles as well as in our factories in Italy. We have tried everything possible to avoid canceling our New York show but ultimately are faced with the sad fact that we will simply not have a completed collection in time for New York Fashion Week.” The lineup will likely fluctuate as the Omicron variant plotline continues to develop.
Regardless of whether the events are digital or in the flesh, NYFW will be the eclectic hub to see nearly 100 designers and their creations on center stage. Each designer represents international fashion at its purest and most stylish quintessence in an extraordinary spectacle. Fashion enthusiasts eagerly wait in anticipation for the reveal of Kim Shui, Altuzarra, Telfar, Coach, and Michael Kors collections, to name a few. Other designers such as Dion Lee and AREA return to the runway, with a collection of new names demanding to be remembered.
Here is a peek at the official Fashion Calendar. Oh, Fashion Week, how we’ve missed you.