By Michelle Odinyayeva
Published: March 7th, 2018
This New York Fashion Week (NYFW), the audience was not only captivated by the new designs, but also by the venues. Calvin Klein covered the floor in popcorn, Coach was inspired by Strangers Things as they allured a forest with flickering televisions, and Tory Burch enchanted audience members to the gardens on the Upper East Side. Philipp Plein has been known for turning the runway into a party, and Spring 2018 had people talking. Dita Von Teese performed a burlesque show, and Future was the musical performance. How could that be topped? Spring 2018 audiences were immersed in a new world that included a blizzard, a UFO, and a life-size robot.
The swimwear line CHROMAT is no stranger to supporting diversity. There was a representation of many women this year once again. Ericka Hart, a breast cancer survivor, proudly revealed her scars, Viktoria Modesta had her prosthetic leg visible, and Emme, a body image activist, strutted down the runway as well. It was inspiring to see all types of women feeling confident and radiant. The Michael Kors Collection, Brandon Maxwell, and Christian Siriano shows had more inclusivity. However, most designers did lack in the effort for more diversity. According to Harper’s Bazaar Spring, this NYFW was a big step forward with 36.9 percent being women of color and 34 plus size models.
With the women empowerment being stronger than ever, Prabal Gurung’s once again showed his support. Tarana Burke, founder of Me Too, was sitting in the front row. The show’s finale closed with the models following the Hadid sisters all holding white roses. The white rose is a symbol to support the fight against sexual harassment and abuse, which audiences may have seen before during the Grammys.
The trends we saw during NYFW 2018? Suits! The more notcible 80’s inspired suits were in almost every collection. Alexander Wang, Tom Ford, and Off-White channeled the 80’s working girl suit. There was the return of electric colors, animal prints, sequins and sharp-shouldered coats. The hair trends brought us back to the 90’s as Wang had the models slick their hair back into a claw clip. Gurung brought back the hair comb headband. I know you just remembered those headaches from the hair comb headband, but hey, they looked good!
A few highlights of NYFW 2018? Anna Wintour and Cardi B sat beside each other during the Alexander Wang show and they both seemed to fangirl over each other. Juicy Couture had a comeback! Most of us were guilty of obsessing over the once-popular velour sweat suits. Its line had animal print, chic pajamas, and 70’s inspired leisure wear. Adidas, a brand which has been undeniably unstoppable, made good move after good move. Adidas added Daniëlle Cathari to the team, an up and coming designer, who put a twist on the classic tracksuits (I definitely need a set). Pyer Moss had a live, all-Black choir that sang songs from Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” to Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright.” Black Panther-inspired designs by CHROMAT, Cushnie et Ochs, Fear of God, Ikiré Jones, LaQuan Smith, Sophie Theallet, Tome were also featured in the show. The venue that displayed the designs was transformed into the Wakanda rainforest. The pieces were then auctioned in support of Save the Children. Gypsy Sport had Desmond, a 10-year-old LGBTQIA activist and self-professed “drag kid,” walk the runway.
Bringing back the 80’s working women suit was vital for empowering women, and less about exposure. However, a more realistic representation of women is essential for the runway. Fashion can be a powerful step for people to realize and strengthen their voice. The 2017 runway was full of political and social activism; however, this year was not as lively. A few designers are making progress, yet many designers are standing still.