NYFW breaks boundaries

Sky Barratt, Staff Writer

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No music was playing, no phones and few cameras were out via designer’s request, and everyone sat in silence as models walked down the “runway”- a single set of one row of foldable chairs formed the runway at The Park Avenue Armory- wearing earthy shades of beige and red paired with chunky accessories and textured fabrics. There had never been a major designer at New York Fashion Week who had designed a show in this unique of a way before. But Marc Jacob’s doesn’t usually follow the standard rules. And these days, fashion certainly doesn’t.

New York Fashion Week’s fall and winter collections were displayed this past week, February 9-16. For those who don’t know how fashion week works, it’s pretty simple. In the span of a week, designers and brands in the fashion industry present their collection to the important people in the fashion world (such as Vogue editor Anna Wintour and other editors of influential fashion magazines) and different media outlets that present their collection to the public. Often these shows determine or influence trends of the year.

Corduroys, denims, suedes, and sequins all combined in a hodge podge on models. Lots of earthy colors mixed in with sudden bright splashes filled this year’s NYFW runways. There were big fur coats, turtlenecks with dresses, and lots and lots of plaid, floral, and other patterns. None of the clothes were the kind us plebeians would commonly wear unless we had a sudden burst of confidence (PRO TIP: confidence lets you get away with wearing anything. In fact, I think that’s a massive part of the present day fashion theme: wear whatever you want as crazily as you want and you’ll look perfect if you walk with confidence.). However, fashion is opening itself up to more and more people, not just the cookie cutter skinny frames that none of us can achieve. There were 27 plus-size models who walked the runways and a wide variety of ethnicities. Fashion is stepping out more and more, making bigger and bigger statements and opening its arms to more and more people.

 

This year all the shows were a bit different, although maybe not as much so as Marc Jacob’s. In present day America, the air feels thick with politics. Everything seems to be a political statement and everyone seems to choose sides: commercials, celebrities, news sites, and even fashion. The runways were thick with political statements. Shirts with various feminist statements clothed Prabal Gurung’s models with sayings such as “The Future is Female,” “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” and “Stay Woke.” Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow re-designed Trump hats with “Make America New York,” “This Land is Your Land,” and other such phrases. Even Tommy Hilfiger had all of his models in white bandanas as a part of Business of Fashion’s #tiedtogether movement promoting human equality. One model even wore a dress made of multicolored bandanas all stitched together.

Fashion is designed to make a statement. The clothes we wear give passersby a five-second preview of who we are as people. And these days, in such a politically charged climate, designers know that it is their responsibility to give others an opportunity to share their feelings with a stranger without uttering a single world. Designer’s definitely helped achieve that this year, giving their own statements and helping us make our own.

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