Highlights from New York Fashion Week Day 4
1. Sportswear on Acid
Hood By Air, the avant-garde label with a cult following, took the fashion crowd to school Sunday with a set and theme centered around misfits punished in school detention. HBA specializes in deconstructed clothes, like a dress with no back. So with school on the brain, we asked Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, to educate us on what this audacious show was trying to say.
“You reach back and there are things that seem post-Punk,” she said. “Everything is torn apart. You don’t know what’s going to come down the runway next. There’s a whole kind of gender clash thing going on which is really exciting.”
“You know he likes the bondage, he likes things that are tied up, things that are body exposing, things that you can’t tell what sex they’re supposed to be for. It’s like sportswear that’s on acid.”
2. Jammie Time
If you’ve yearned to gad about in pajamas, the Spring 2016 season is promising. Some fashion-forward attendees at the shows are already wearing gent-style pajama-look blouses in the stands. On Sunday, fresh options came from Thakoon, whose cozy belted bathrobes could take the chill off his silk shorty pjs. Alexander Wang offered the pajama look this weekend as well. We’ll be seeing more of this trend in coming weeks and months, so keep in mind if your boss wears this look to work: These PJs aren’t meant for sleeping in.
3. Well-Choreographed Stumble
The first model to take a tumble at Opening Ceremony on Sunday evening fell flat forward at a frightening pitch onto the concrete floor. It isn’t funny to see someone fall on the runway—the pain, embarrassment and potential injury as the model gathers herself and continues the rest of her very public march. So it was doubly horrifying when a second model fell in precisely the same spot. We in the audience scrutinized that floor. Was it wet?
This model visibly shook herself and lunged forward, stretching her arm and spinning about dramatically. It was the best recovery from a fall we’d ever witnessed, and some people oohed audibly at her aplomb.
When the third model took a tosser and then leapt up and twisted gracefully, some of us recalled the thanks to the New York City Ballet in Opening Ceremony’s show notes. So now we know. If you need someone to take a convincing fall, ask a ballet dancer.
— Christina Binkley (@BinkleyOnStyle) September 14, 2015
4. Tracy Reese’s Very Enthusiastic Front-Row Audience Member
5. Wearable Mentions
It’s easy, during fashion weeks, to become distracted by showmanship that leaves less drama-minded labels out of the klieg lights. Derek Lam’s never-fussy designs are consistently deserving of attention for being on trend without being faddy and for their investment-worthy fabrications. His Nina Simone inspiration this season is a case in point: The late singer is trending now thanks to Netflix, but she’s certainly no flash in the pan. Ditto for his suede trench coat and blue bell-sleeved shirt dress.
Similar wardrobe workhorses come this season from Victoria Beckham, whose deep scoop necklines and shin-length skirts seem aimed more at flattering the female body than at thanklessly shocking editors with a new silhouette.
It’s worth tossing Diane von Furstenberg into this mix. Under the design direction of Michael Herz, the label’s easy-to-wear, flirtatious skirts and dresses re-capture the original energy of the wrap dress for women who want to run, and then curl up on the couch in their clothes.
6. Susan Sontag’s Influence
Jenny Packham, best known for her glamorous evening gowns, added a touch of masculinity to her Spring collection. “I read a quote by Susan Sontag. She said what is most beautiful in a man is a bit of femininity, and what is most beautiful in a woman is a bit of masculinity,” Ms. Packham said, backstage before her show Sunday. Looks augmenting her elegant dresses included a waistcoat over a lace dress, palazzo trousers under a cascading skirt and a floral print suit made in Savile Row.
7. Public School Travels To A Different District