New York Welcomes Fashion Week Back in Person

Jessica KladermanEditor-in-Chief

For the last two years fashion shows have been almost exclusively virtual events. In the fashion and entertainment industry the show must always go on. Designers, models, and other members of the industry have made many sacrifices and have had to adapt to strict COVID-19 policies to keep the beast of fashion fed.

This year, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health issued strict guidelines welcoming back New York Fashion Week (NYFW) for the Spring and Summer season for 2022, also referred to as SS22. According to governer.ny.gov all vendors must keep guest counts at or below 50 people and operate at 50 percent of the maximum capacity approved for the venue; social distancing must be observed by all participants, as well as temperature checks before entry. Anyone involved in NYFW must also keep to travel advisories, as well as regular diagnostic testing and screening showing negative COVID-19 results. Finally, face coverings must be worn at all times during events.

One rule that is unwavering is a lack of spectator presence. Not only must the models be vaccinated but the first two rows of prestigious on-lookers must also be fully inoculated to attend. With a limit of no more than 50 guests, show production companies have had to limit guest lists to essential parties only.

There were several trends that were apparent throughout the weekend. Glitz and glam shown through several lines from Vietnamese American designer Peter Do, to the iconic Tom Ford’s closing show revealing heavily Disco inspired looks paying homage to Fashion Weeks hometown of New York City.

Collina Strada spotlighted an inclusive line up of models spanning in age, race, gender, and disabilities revealing quite the accessible runway. Strada’s collection expressed a chaotic theme of reconnecting to different archetypes on oneself, brought on by Hillary Taymour, the company’s creative director. Throughout the collection recycled materials were used to bring life to raffia bags, nylon dresses and deadstock, unsellable, fruit T-shirts.

There was an avant-garde trend seen among several designers allowing makeup artists brushes to run freely. A cosmic radiance came from models of Eckhaus Latta who were dressed in muted fabrics that looked almost alien, which in the fashion world is quite the compliment. We saw this trend continue with Saint Sintra’s children’s book inspired collection which was not so safe for work. This collection showed attention to detail down to laced embroidered pieces to metallic woven fabrics, giving a peek into the kaleidoscope of the designer’s imagination.

Bold and bright colors were drizzled throughout the shows of the weekend seen Dur Doux, mother and daughter twosome, Cynthia and Najla Burt. This collection aims to create luxury pieces accessible to the middle class. These pieces were created to have an avant-garde look while still being wearable. House of Aama showed a moving collection inspired by nautical black resort’s that were popular in the US at the turn of the 20th century, paying homage to powerful and gracious Yoruba water spirits. Another talented mother daughter team, Rebecca

Henry and Akua Shabaka, led the creative direction for House of Aama with their thought-out story telling through the collection.

In contrast to the bright and bold color selections were warm and earthy tones. Chelsea Grays has returned to NYFW this year with a collection entitled The Cookout. This collection explores the concept of unity and togetherness though an event that is symbolic throughout the entire black community, focusing on menswear. Chelsea Grays creates a feeling of comfort and hope through use of linen and tapestry with warped prints in several pieces. The brand has always created collections that raise awareness of timely social issues ranging from police brutality, homelessness and colorism always leaving on-lookers with more reflective questions than answers.

There were many designers weaving a message of hope throughout their ensembles. As we learn more about COVID-19 and can better combat ourselves and our community there is hope that better days are ahead as New York Fashion Week closes for another successful season.

Collina Strada explores the inner self strength early 2000s skater fashion September 7, 2021. / Photo Courtesy of vice.com