Reports from the Spring/Summer 2018 Catwalks
By Faith Hope Consolo
Each season of New York Fashion Week brings new trends, new faces and a new outlook of what is to come. Spring/Summer 2018’s catwalks brought a much needed boost! New York’s designers were determined to turn up the joy for SS18 and to celebrate the brighter, finer and more diverse things in life. Designers embraced the City and created their runways in the most iconic places. Oscar de la Renta overtook Sotheby’s and used the escalators as an extended runway, how clever. Carolina Herrera staged her show in the garden at MoMA, marking the first time a full-fledged fashion show had been held there.
Tory Burch’s show took place in the beautiful garden of the Cooper Hewitt museum on 92nd Street. Alexander Wang completely broke the mold by showing in Bushwick, Brooklyn, at 9:30 P.M. on Saturday on a dead end street. The street was packed, the show was standing-room only, and the celebrity crew was everywhere.
Ralph Lauren’s show was held in Bedford, New York at Lauren’s personal garage alongside cars from the designer’s impressive collection of exotic automobiles, with a collection of clothes that went from runway to retail as part of the label’s ongoing “see-now, buy-now” strategy.
Let’s Talk About the Trends
The NYFW spring-summer 2018 was diverse to say the least; from the American horror film references at Calvin Klein to motocross stuntmen flying through the air around pink glittery sand dunes at Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma show. There was a reappearance of runway themes; Western wear, strong shoulders, bold, maximalist pieces, but there were trends that for sure made a daring debut.
End of the Traditional Runway
Designers went for the bold and the new; Ralph Lauren unveiled his collection out of town alongside his collection of racing cars. Jenny Packham completely ditched the runway in favor of a photographic and video campaign.
Styles the Reigned Supreme
Designers & Denim
Basic jeans got a major fashion update this season; designers put their own stamp on jeans and denim jackets with unexpected embellishments and combinations.
Suits the Models Just Fine
Dressing down is out, dressing up and suits are in! Designers released versions of the power suit for work, evening or anything in between.
The “cold shoulder” trend has evolved, and geometric cut outs were all the rage.
Sheer was everywhere and multiple variations of “The Naked Dress” look.
Flounces and ruffles galore incorporated into a multitude of ways.
Color Me Happy
Sunny yellow is one of the biggest color trends for spring and summer! Yellow was a show-stopping statement color at Carolina Herrera and Ralph Lauren. Primary colors, sparkles and shine! Pink is the winner of the season with red, yellow, green and lavender tied for second. Rainbow color combinations were exploding everywhere– hot pink paired with red: the color combo of the season for Tom Ford. Marc Jacobs was orange, green and psychedelic.
Bold prints, all-over embellishments and lots of sequins! The runway was covered with ruffles, fringe, raw edges, and tassels! All-over print outfits, mixing of bold prints and even a large variety of abstract prints and checks.
Body Positive Runway – Casting Got More Diverse
Not only did racial diversity on the runways reach an all-time high, but there was also an influx of plus-size, transgender, non-binary and over-50 age representation. Plus-size models are having a moment; Ashley Graham walking for Prabal Gurung and Michael Kors, not to mention plus-size only collections from Addition Elle and Chromat.
Runway Show Favorites
Calvin Klein was a road trip around Americana with horror-story asides (blood-red-splattered cowboy boots), cheerleader pom-poms, and a dash of Andy Warhol. Hitchcock-esque blondes wore rubber, and gauzy nightgowns a la Sissy Spacek in Carrie. “American horror, American dreams,” Raf Simons summarized in his show notes.
Coach 1941 was all about feel-good Americana with prairie dresses, varsity and leather jackets. Keith Haring graphics were mixed into the collection, the artist’s best-known works appearing on T-shirts, outerwear and bags. Retro patchwork denim and dresses covered with glitter, while models debuted the looks on a shimmery runway covered in glitter.
Diane von Furstenberg sent models down the catwalk in bold hand-painted flowers on sundresses and wide-leg trousers with a bold stripe. The trend was in full force, and color reigned supreme.
Fenty x Puma was by far the most exciting show as motocross stuntmen roared up a giant ramp performing electrifying 360-degree tricks over mountains of pink sand on the runway below. Rihanna’s collection was a mix of biker, surf and scuba influences with sheer mesh detailing, industrial zippers, adjustable lacing, and toggles. Shown at the Park Avenue Armory, everyone was highly taken by the show and death-defining entertainment. RiRi closed the show by riding on the back of a motorbike.
Jeremy Scott’s show was the 20th anniversary of Scott’s line. The show had all of his favorite models: Devon Aoki, Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss, Slick Woods, Liberty Ross and Gigi Hadid all wore camo jackets over sweatshirt dresses emblazoned with graphic cartoons and glitter.
Rag & Bone – Marcus Wainwright staged a photo project in place of a runway show where he invited friends of the brand to wear the spring/summer Rag & Bone collection and take self-portraits. Money saved on the show meant charitable contributions were made to organizations of each cast member’s choice.
The Row’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen staged their show over scones and coffee at the Carlyle Hotel with a breakfast presentation. They wanted a soft, romantic ambiance, and it came to life in the Bemelmans Bar; dreamy, evening dresses, all-white outfits in a fabric made from actual paper, and low-slung khakis. Fitting because a famous gathering place for socialites, world leaders, and celebrities when Ludwig Bemelmans began to create his masterpiece murals at the hotel bar.
Tom Ford returned to New York after seasons of jumping all over the globe. Opening New York Fashion Week, the designer transformed the Park Avenue Armory into a luscious lounge with lavender lighting. The show was sexy and seductive, with crystal-embellished panties, power-shoulder suiting and bandage evening dresses. After the show ended, the site transformed into an after-party.
Victoria Beckham’s designs were both beautiful and wearable. Feminine but strong; the new tailoring was a boxy blazer and slim pants. A standout star was the new glitter Harper slippers; named after her adorable daughter. We saw beautiful sorbet shades paired with pale neutrals and graph-paper checks. I loved every piece.
Marc Jacobs ended Fashion Week just as he did last season, in complete silence. It was at the huge, echoing high-ceilinged Park Avenue Armory, and there was no elaborate set, no fancy lighting and no music. All one could hear was the sound of the clothes swishing as models walked on the old wood floors. Seating was arranged on metal folding chairs on the perimeter of the wide open space, which made guests on the other side of the room seem tiny and the models, who carried weekend totes and wore fanny packs (another big trend), look as if they were in transit from a faraway imaginary locale.
It was another amazing edition of NYFW with exceptional collections. Those moments when jaw-dropping garments debut down the runway eliciting “oohs and aahs” from the crowd leaving the attendees feeling creatively inspired are always a highlight. Looking forward to seeing how these designer trends translate into prêt-à-porter. Look for it all soon in the fashionable stores near you…