New York Fashion Week bowed out with a bang as three of its biggest names (Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein) gave us their autumn/winter 2016 visions.
And ‘bow out’ is perhaps the right phrase given that the announcements about close-to-season, insta-fashion and more we’ve had this week mean next NYFW could be really rather different.
So, what did our trio of fashion giants offer as they handed the baton over to London?
Well, Marc Jacobs was a challenge for anyone seeking easy commercial options. They were there, but buried beneath the event’s high-level of theatricality and definitely-not-for-the-street make-up looks.
Volume was key. Think wide sweats, oversized sweat dresses, giant vintage-inspired denim jackets, platforms the height of the Empire State Building, fur-trimmed coats and leather jackets that looked like the models were wearing the wrong sizes, and one blazer that could hardly be described as ‘boyfriend’ fit (if this was a boyfriend then he needs to lose some weight!).
We also got some skinnier cuts that looked more like classic Jacobs, but they were hard to take in with the volume trend turned up so high.
My first reaction? “Yuk”. My second? “Hmmm, not sure”. I’ve not yet reached “love it”, but by the time these pieces each the stores I might. The proportions will be constrained, the platforms will be lower, the wearability factor will be pumped up and we’ll be able to see the commerciality much more clearly.
Elsewhere, Ralph Lauren did what the label does best, which is an elevated version of classic. It’s not usually to my taste but I did love the sheen-finish jeans (looking quite boho when teamed with velevet), the skinny shearling, the giant metallic gold shoulder bag, the plissé eveningwear and the short dress with the little collar and trumpet sleeves that would have been quite virginal if it hadn’t come in supple black leather.
At Calvin Klein, Francisco Costa’s collection reminded me of his SS16 offer from which it was an obvious evolution. A little too heavy on checks for my taste, I nonetheless loved the photoreal fur prints, the oversized fur collars on slim-cut coats, the long skinny belts, the deconstructed edge, even the simple zigzag topstitch detail on tailoring and dresses.
One interesting idea was integrated jewellery. Dresses came with oval or circular cutouts into which were placed semiprecious stones. It’s a detail that screams luxury but I’ll be interested to see how (and if) the high street does its own versions of the idea.
So, if anyone was looking for a unified vision on th last day of NYFW, they certainly didn’t get it. What they did get though was a whole basket of ideas and more evidence of how diverse current fashion is.