Hard to believe it’s already Day Six, but that’s mainly because we aren’t attending the same number of daytime shows as last time. While that won’t be the case for the next fashion week, it sure helps to make the days feel a lot shorter.
Day Six includes stops at Mara Hoffman and the CAAFD Emerging Designer Collective, each of which had a unique focus. Oh and Happy Valentine’s Day.
Political statements from fashion designers are hardly uncommon and particularly in this political climate, as designers continuously search for ways to make statements on the runway and in their showrooms; voicing their sentiment of the current administration. Mara Hoffman’s presentation was no different, beginning with a speech by the founders of the Women’s March on Washington, Linda Sarsour, Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez. While the message was definitely more of a “I am woman, recognize me” stance, there was definitely a quiet defiance to the socioeconomic reality of more than just women, but all people.
Freedom of expression seemed to be a point of Hoffman’s latest collection, which featured a mixture of models and dancers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, body types and heights. Diversity definitely personified. Models half strutted / half danced and posed around the actual dancers, who were also outfitted in pieces from the new fall collection. Part runway, part contemporary dance, Hoffman’s entire message seemed to be geared towards making a statement about freedom, movement and unfettered expression.
All images courtesy of Trend Council.
New York Fashion Week has definitely shown that designers can be very outspoken in their reservations about the world of politics, but that didn’t lessen the impact and beauty of Hoffman’s Fall / Winter 2017 Ready to Wear collection in the slightest.
The CAAFD has definitely been moving in the right direction and their name is starting to become synonymous with both quality production and accessibility. As the nightcap of the Shows at Pier 59 Studios, this presentation was equal parts creative showcase and musical grandstanding, definitely in line with what we had seen today.
The show opened to the blaring horns of a trumpeteer clad in white (plus a nice fur coat), bellowing out tunes in unison to a sync keyboard with equal harmony and disdain. It was his show, but at times he shared the spotlight letting the keyboard drift into a familiar melody before again blowing that horn. Once the trumpeter left the stage, the designs of Sumy Kujon were streamed out in well choreographed fashion.
Sumy Kujon’s collection could be described as “earthy”, almost at odds with the more polished appearance of the Piers, which definitely helps draw a contrasting attention to the collection. The opening look was a knit cape dress, setting the expectation for the presentation with looks could be worn off the runway. The Peruvian designer wisely closed the collection with a flowing green cape, bringing together the more earth tone hues with the beiges, dark greys, olive greens and tans gliding up and down the runway.
Following Sumy Kujon, another trumpeter (also clad in white) decided to have his own synth battle in what would of course be a decisive victory for the trumpet, blaring loud and proud. Shortly thereafter, the trumpeter surrendered the stage to the quiet coilings of a beautiful violinist, less forceful but leaving a sense of longing in the air and drawing the energy of the room whenever she landed. Compared to the previous aggression of the trumpet, the violin almost seemed calming yet equally aggressive in shaping her space, almost foretelling that the presentation would take a decisive shift.
This fed beautifully into the final designs by popular Italian designer Chicca Lualdi and her BeeQueen collection. Italian elements were distinct in her collection, channeling the sophistication common in European designers to looks that were almost ready to wear right off the runway. A mixture of sheer, cape tops and feminine scarves combined with slightly loose striped blouses, sweaters and checkered jackets sporting muted palette of greys, beiges, pinks and tans were prevalent in the fall / winter collection; showcasing Chicca’s familiarity with fashions celebrities love to wear on and off the carpet.
While there wasn’t a ton verbalized about the various designers, the statement of the CAAFD was clear, a showcase of emerging creative talent that we should hear more about sooner than later. Day Six of NYFW started and ended pretty late, but somehow feeling more energized than ever for the remaining two days. In fact I’m a little sad it’s over so quickly.