All the talking points of New York Fashion Week


All the talking points of New York Fashion Week

Rihanna's knickers, wine bags and flip flops go haute – here's everything you need to know about NYFW

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Rihanna's knickers, wine bags and flip flops go haute – here's everything you need to know about NYFW


  • Marc Jacobs made a glittery finale

    Marc Jacobs always brings New York Fashion Week to a close in the most dramatic way possible. This season, it was with a fashion feast of everything from multicoloured power suits to oversized, organza ruffles that enveloped the model wearing them. Vogue described it as a fashion-mad “fever dream” on Jacobs’ part, and that sums it up perfectly. But one of the best bits surely had to be the opaque, glittery tights – worn with mini dresses and midi skirts alike. Interestingly, & Other Stories has a similar-looking pair for just £11, which suggests we’ll all be wearing them come party season. What an ingenious, inexpensive way of dressing up. Wear absolutely anything you like and just add glitter tights. Thanks, MJ.

  • Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty hit the catwalk

    Rihanna brought Savage x Fenty to NYFW for the first time and it proved to be exactly the fun, fearless event everyone probably expected it to be. Not only were there a diverse cast of models – various body types were represented, all looking brilliant in Rihanna’s underwear designs – but also Slick Woods, the model who covered Elle’s September issue, was one of two pregnant women who walked the catwalk, wearing only nipple tassels and a body harness that perfectly framed her bump. It felt like a celebration – the perfect way to bring one of the most diverse NYFWs ever to a close.

  • Are bucket hats the next big accessory?

    Last seen on Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke in Kevin & Perry Go Large, bucket hats are in the running for making a serious comeback. Spotted on the Anna Sui, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Michael Kors catwalks, they were fashioned in tropical prints and 70s florals. Big fish, little fish, cardboard box.

  • Tome is the brand to watch  

    Tome is another brand that returned to New York from Paris for this season’s shows. And the brand, founded by Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin, is one that feels like it’s making a genuine statement, particularly in our post-#MeToo culture. The duo have always celebrated female artists as part of their collections, and for SS19 they decided to focus on Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot, two of the few female impressionists who worked in Paris. The idea of a woman working in a man’s world is something that has been explored by a few designers this NYFW, with Tome exploring that concept through masculine tailoring. Tome has always stated that it looks to empower women and, given that all of the tassels featured in the collection (of which there were many) were made by refugee women who have resettled in Texas, it suggests that they’re not simply paying lip service. The designers are also very concerned with sustainability, so many of the materials used in this collection were organic cotton, hemp and linens.

  • NYFW pays homage to All Saints

    If they say three’s a trend, then it’s safe to say that combat trousers are definitely that for next spring. Spotted on numerous catwalks, it seems the 90s special are back with a bang. Prabal Gurung’s were pink and sat just below the waist, Ralph Lauren’s collection featured several pairs, both sporty and more fitted, Jonathan Simkhai’s were crisp white versions and Claudia Li even made a combat skirt. Someone tell All Saints, quick.

  • Flip flops go haute

    Following the ubiquitous sight of flip flops at last month’s Scandi fashion weeks, Havaianas were spotted on the actual runway at Dion Lee. Paired with everything from wide-leg trousers to evening gowns, the famous flip flops were apparently supposed to reference the “ongoing casualisation of fashion”, according to the designer himself. Whatever it is, at least they’re comfy.

  • And the winner for most Instagrammable T-shirt goes to…

    Calvin Klein, who not only referenced The Graduate but also Jaws – the famous shark could be seen on T-shirts stamped with the CK logo. The shark attack didn’t end there – some of the dresses had “shark bites” cut out of the side, while both male and female models wore some pieces half undone, to mimic wetsuits. Designer Raf Simons’ flirtation with Americana is proving to be incredibly inventive, and you could bet those T-shirts are an instant sell-out.

  • Marco Marco featured a cast of transgender models

    If every fashion week this month proves to be as inclusive as New York has been so far, then it looks like progress is being made. Marco Marco continued the celebration of diversity at his show, as he chose a cast of 34 models, all of whom are trans. Speaking to Mic about his decision, he said: “I wanted to create a space to celebrate trans bodies. This was an opportunity for their presence to be undeniable and reinforce that trans is beautiful.” The show also sent the hashtag #TransIsBeautiful viral, as people started sharing images from the catwalk on social media. As well as some of the lesser-known models, famous faces walked the runway including Gigi Gorgeous and Transparent actor Trace Lysette.

  • Novelty bags are officially a thing

    After Brandon Maxwell made see-through bags to carry your rosé (and Gigi Hadid carried one on the red carpet just hours after the show), it seems irreverent handbags are quite the thing at NYFW. Oscar de la Renta also embraced the novelty factor, sending models down the catwalk with bags in the shape of bird cages, complete with pretend parrots housed inside. There were also clutches in the shape of parrots, which, while unexpected, seemed like the perfect holiday handbag.

  • Coach proved that everyone loves Disney

    Who doesn’t love a good old Disney movie? Stuart Vevers certainly does – he collaborated with the film company on his spring 2019 mens and womens show, which took place last night at Pier 94. Dumbo jumpers and hoodies sporting the Aristocats came down the runway, paired with prairie skirts and ruffled dresses. A remix of “beloved American pop-culture icons”, the collection aimed to create “relics for the future”, said the show notes. This is the second time that Disney has made an appearance at NYFW, having also been a theme at The Blonds catwalk show, which saw Paris Hilton dressed as Cruella de Vil.

  • Alice + Olivia made the case for neon lipstick  

    Every season, statement lips are given a new twist – from Preen’s AW17 smudgy lips to Maison Margiela’s SS18 heart-shaped mouth. SS19 has already seen lots of lip action, including glittery pink at Jeremy Scott and marbled designs at Eckhaus Latta. Keeping things infinitely more simple, however, are Alice + Olivia, who opted for neon orange. The new and improved classic red? We’ll keep you posted.

  • Proenza Schouler returned to the Big Apple

    After a two-year absence, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez brought Proenza Schouler back to NYFW much to the delight of the fashion pack. The collection – a mash-up of acid-wash denim, cotton twill and the odd flash of black leather and silver foil – was a nod towards a more real interpretation of fashion. “We want the clothes to be fashion, but also to be more real… That’s what feels right in the world today. It’s kind of a cliché, but it’s gotta be real,” Hernandez told As well as the newbie models on the block, 90s supermodels Amber Valletta and Karen Elson walked the catwalk.

  • Victoria Beckham climbed into a bag (again)

    In honour of her brand’s 10th anniversary, VB decided to recreate the hilarious campaign she shot for Marc Jacobs a decade ago – one which, she says, marked the “beginning of my journey into the fashion industry”. Shot by Juergen Teller, who also photographed the Marc Jacobs campaign, the image appears on limited-edition T-shirts available on the Victoria Beckham website, designed as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations. “Marc gave me his blessing to recreate the shot,” Beckham said in a statement. “I have always put all of me in to my brand and I wanted to convey that message with these images. That I am and have been literally ‘putting Victoria into Victoria Beckham since 2008’. If there was a strapline, that would be it! It’s tongue in cheek but there’s a real message in it for me.”

  • Double-buckling is now a thing

    Haven’t you heard? One-buckled belts are sooooo last season – it’s all about doing the double. Seen on the Zimmermann catwalk, waist belts with two buckles were slung over lacy frocks and patchwork trousers. Though they no doubt looked great; one can only imagine the faff when trying to go to the loo. In other news, after having been championed at the Tommy Hilfiger show, tracksuits made their second appearance The look was matching top and joggers with stilettos – think Chas Tenenbaum meets Paris Hilton.

  • The CFDA wants to fund plus-size fashion education

    The fourth annual Curvy Con conference – an event that works to promote plus-size fashion – was timed to coincide with NYFW this season and, during proceedings, there was an announcement that the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has partnered with plus-size e-commerce brand Dia&Co in order to fund a joint education initiative. The programme, entitled #TeeUpChange, will ensure that the designers of the future are taught how to design clothes for bodies beyond the traditional (and tiny) sample size that the fashion industry has made its ideal.

  • Raincoats became a fashion favourite

    Normally, street style at fashion week doesn’t lend itself to practical, everyday clothes that you’d want to wear when you pop to the shops for a pint of milk. This season, however, it seems the show-goers plumped for practicality over anything else. While blazers were almost ubiquitous, so were waterproof coats of every kind, from trench coats to vinyl macs and parkas.

  • The theme of Talisha White’s show? Inclusivity

    This season’s NYFW has been one of the most diverse yet, with brands like Chromat and Christian Siriano leading the charge. But a lesser-known brand, Talisha White, also chose to focus on inclusivity, choosing a 21-year old model with Down’s syndrome to lead its catwalk show. Marian Avila, the Spanish model in question, told Associated Press: “I wanted to show the world there are no barriers.” When White was asked how she chose her models, she said: “I like to showcase all types of girls, from pageant girls to models in wheelchairs, models with Down’s Syndrome, models who are four feet and told they can never be a model. They are my ‘it’ girl.”


    Rodarte returned to New York with a bang

    For the last few seasons, Rodarte has been showing its collections in Paris. Now, though, the Mulleavy sisters have returned to NY – and with a spectacle of a show, which had all the drama and romance one might expect from a fashion show that was set in a graveyard, in the rain. The clothes were beautiful – long gowns adorned with frills, ruffles and delicate embroidery, while some models wore veils of tulle over their rose-adorned hair. Fresh flowers decorated all the models’ hair, created by hairstylist Odile Gilbert for TRESemmé, while the make-up was inspired by the Picasso 1932 exhibit that Nars make-up artist James Kaliardos had seen at the Tate Modern recently. Held at the New York City Marble Cemetery, the whole show was like a fashion fairytale that lent a bit of escapism to proceedings.



    Tribute was paid to the late Kate Spade

    The incredibly sad death of Kate Spade in June earlier this year shocked the fashion world, with huge numbers of people rushing to pay tribute to a designer who clearly spoke to so many. At NYFW, the first Kate Spade NY collection designer by the new creative director, Nicola Glass, paid tribute to Spade, not only through the clothes themselves, which remained true to the playful, often whimsical Kate Spade aesthetic, but also through the card placed on each seat. The cards read, “She left a little sparkle everywhere she went,” and on the back it said, “In Loving Memory 1962–2018.”



    Ralph Lauren celebrated 50 years of fashion

    Ralph Lauren has undoubtedly become emblematic of an all-American, preppy style that has been copied the world over. For his 50th anniversary show, there certainly wasn’t a lack of plaid shirts, tailored tweed jackets and a whole lot of denim, which was seen on a huge cast of 150 models in front of a star-studded crowd that included Kanye West, Hillary Clinton, Robert De Niro, Jessica Chastain, Tommy Hilfiger, Diane von Furstenberg and Michael Kors. Lauren – who was wearing the ultimate smart-casual outfit of a tux on top, jeans on the bottom – made a lap of honour to close the show, after which he said, “I don’t dream this big, but this is beyond my dreams tonight.”



    Christian Siriano showed his supported for Cynthia Nixon

    As a champion of diversity in fashion, Christian Siriano is no stranger to making politicised statements on the catwalk. This NYFW, he decided to use his show as an opportunity to show his support for Cynthia Nixon, who is running for New York governor. Nixon herself was on the front row, next to Whoopi Goldberg, as a model walked in a T-shirt that read “Vote for Cynthia”. Siriano even took his bow in a similar design, while he included Nixon in his show notes, writing: "Special thanks to: Cynthia Nixon for all you’re doing for New York. Also, thanks to the entire Christian Siriano team and to all of the women who have worn the clothes over the last 10 years. Thank you to all the editors, stylists, photographers and artists for all the support.”



    Oprah made a fashion-week appearance

    One of the major talking points of Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary bonanza was the sight of Oprah on the front row. Not only did she show her support to the designer just by being there, she also made a speech afterwards, in which she said, “This show is a bonus because the real reason we’re all here is not because of the show, but because of you, Ralph. We’re here to celebrate you releasing our dreams and creating a sense of value that brings wholesomeness to glamour.”



    Brandon Maxwell made wine bags

    In a show that was a riot of colour and 80s-inspired tailoring, the highlight of Brandon Maxwell’s show was that he created Perspex bags to carry bottles of wine. A lot chicer than those cardboard carriers you get from your local supermarket, the transparent bags had gold handles and a silk scarf tied around the top. While this was a fun, playful touch to the show, there was the more serious (and lovely) news that Maxwell had managed to get Kia (one of his sponsors) to donate several cars and goods to teachers in Marfa, Texas, where he has been living and where he saw the disparity between the town’s residents and the wealthier expats. Bravo.



    Chromat made diversity the norm

    As well as Christian Siriano, Chromat’s Becca McCharen-Tran is a champion of catwalk diversity. Not only does she make clothes for all women, she is careful to showcase them on a cast of models who represent femininity in all its forms. Among them this season were cancer survivor and amputee Mama Cax, trans activist and actor Leyna Bloom and Kadija Diawara in her hijab. The finale saw a model emerge in a T-shirt with “sample size” written across the front, challenging the fashion industry’s usual ideals. This shouldn’t be groundbreaking, but it still is, which shows that we need more brands like Chromat to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of their brand’s message.


    Opening Ceremony lip synched for its life

    During NYFW, Opening Ceremony always finds inventive and creative ways to showcase its collections, which tend to stay away from the usual fashion-show format. This season was no exception, as the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season nine, Sasha Velour, created a joyful drag show that also featured a performance by Christina Aguilera. One of the brand’s founders, Humberto Leon, wrote in the programme notes that, “What drew me to drag shows as a teenager is the same thing that propelled Carol [Lim, his co-founder] and me to start Opening Ceremony. A celebration of individuality, freedom of expression, and the idea that realising your dreams is only a fabulous outfit away.”

  • The most important accessory? An umbrella

    New York was hit by rain for some of the shows, which was particularly problematic for the likes of Rodarte, whose SS19 offering was staged alfresco. Luckily, there were umbrellas for everyone, as both models and guests sheltered from the drizzle under their matching brollies. Well, they would be matching – it is fashion week.


    Pyer Moss celebrated black culture in the most powerful way

    Kerby Jean-Raymond, the designer behind the brand Pyer Moss, decided to stage the SS19 show in Brooklyn’s Weeksville neighbourhood, one of America’s first free black communities. It was founded by James Weeks in 1838, just 11 years after the abolition of slavery in New York and the perfect place for Jean-Raymond to communicate his powerful message. As well as slogans, including, “Stop calling 911 on the culture,” which referenced the recent reports of white people reporting black people to the police for no reason, there were also beautiful portraits made by black artist Derrick Adams, which were seen on embellished dresses and long tunics. While models walked, a gospel choir sang Stevie Wonder’s Heaven Is 10 Zillion Light Years Away, which meant that not even the rain could dampen the spirits of everyone at this historic, poignant show.

  • NYFW is proof that blazers are a fashion staple

    Rather than the see-through hats and micro bags of last season, the street-style crowd has been largely keeping things rather more classic so far, finishing their outfits off with a blazer. Dressed up over dresses and skirts as well as under belts, they’re proof that they really are the best in-between season jacket (and so easy to throw on). Hurrah for a trend we can all wear.

  • Claudia Li made a statement with her casting

    For her first-ever catwalk show, Claudia Li made the historic choice to cast only Asian models. Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle, Li made it clear that she wanted to break down stereotypes, stating: “People are starting to realise that there is diversity within the Asian group.” Her aim was to fracture the idea that, “you’re good at science, you’re smart, you don’t go out at night”, as well as fighting the token attempts by other brands who feature only one or two Asian models.

  • Prabal Gurung used colour as a universal language

    Prabal Gurung often uses his show to make a statement and this season was no different. The multi-coloured display saw models hailing from 35 different countries, all dressed in fluoro brights, walking down the catwalk. Inspired by his native Nepal and other countries he’s visited, Gurung used a multitude of colours to represent a multitude of people (as well as a diverse cast of models) to promote a world where, according to his show notes, there are “no borders”.

  • Jeremy Scott said it with his T-shirt 

    With Caitlin Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Cardi B and Paris Hilton on the front row, Jeremy Scott took a bow for his SS19 collection in a slogan T-shirt. Not just any slogan, Scott's tee read, “Tell your senators no on Kavanaugh," along with a phone number people can ring to express their dissatisfaction with Trump's pick for the Supreme Court. The first overtly political statement of NYFW so far, it just so happened to occur during Kavanaugh's hearing this week. 

  • Nike's new trainers are designed by women, for women

    Kicking off New York Fashion Week was Harlem Fashion Row's awards gala, co-hosted by LeBron James and Nike. Harlem Fashion Row was created to champion multicultural and emerging fashion designers, which is exactly what happened at the event. Nike decided to use the opportunity to reveal its brand-new LeBron trainers for women (the first of its kind), which were also designed by women. The shoe was created by three black designers, Undra Celeste, Kimberly Gibson and Fe Noe, who all worked with James to use his personal influences in the design. The women decided to focus on the theme of strong African-American women as the basis of their shoe design. 

  • Tom Hanks worked the FROW at tom ford

    Aside from the straight-up sex appeal of his clothes, Tom Ford is also known for the star-studded front row he always attracts. This time was no exception, as the likes of Cardi B, Hailee Steinfeld, star of Crazy Rich Asians Henry Golding and... Tom Hanks! The latter was there with his wife, Rita Wilson, and the pair sat next to Anna Wintour (of course they did). Wintour's smile was proof enough that nobody can resist the Tom Hanks charm. Hanks for president! 

  • Tommy Hilfiger wants us all to wear tracksuits 

    While not technically a NYFW event – it was in Shanghai, after all – Tommy Hilfiger is one of the ulitmate all-American brands, so it seems worth mentioning the designer's latest show. In his quest to appeal to the world's millennials, Hilfiger tapped Gigi Hadid to collaborate on a collection. This season, Hadid has been replaced by Hailey Baldwin and Winnie Harlow, both of whom were on the Shanghai catwalk. While most of the collection was the typical TH brand of American preppy, Lewis Hamilton had also designed a capsule collection within it, which featured tracksuits, socks worn with slides and graphic stripes. Time to dig out your old shellsuit. 

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