Jenny Packham Wants You to See Outer Space on the Red Carpet
At NYFW, Jenny Packham showcased starry skies, Pyer Moss energizing activism, and Sies Marjan striking subtlety. Plus, a new broom at DVF, Jonathan Simkhai, and Vivi Zubedi.
It's always a bit of a guessing game, seeing a rack of Jenny Packham's beautiful red carpet gowns, because in front of you are a series of garments you will likely be seeing on your TV screen at an awards ceremony pretty soon.
Indeed, Packham told a reporter on Sunday that yes, there would be at least one celebrity wearing her at the British BAFTA awards in a week's time. And yes, next stop Oscars. Discreet silence all around.
Hers is still the most civilized show at NYFW. Packham showed her latest collection by private appointment at her Meatpacking District showroom, and said she had been inspired by the idea of an intergalactic fashion show, an outer space red carpet, "because we all just want to escape right now don't we?"
Packham is best known and cherished by her celebrity clients like Kate Middleton, Viola Davis, Angelina Jolie, and Kate Winslet, because Packham knows how to make things slink and sparkle.
The treat of seeing her dresses up close is to see the delicate design and stitching of bugle beads, diamanté, and sequins. The most space-like dress, echoing other stunning gowns at Christian Siriano, was black and covered in sparkle. Photographed on the red carpet, it will look like its own fireworks display at night.
A select few of Packham dresses come with no spangle. More classic Golden Age of Hollywood-inspired creations, they are beautiful, but the eye is always drawn back to the shine and spangle, as are the stars who wear them so dedicatedly. TIM TEEMAN
It was all change on Sunday afternoon at DVF's Meatpacking District HQ. Jonathan Saunders resigned as the label's chief creative officer in December. Today, pretty darn fast, his successor Nathan Jenden unveiled his first New York Fashion Week collection for the label.
Holding the title "chief design officer and vice president, creative," Jenden told The Daily Beast that as a former long-term employee at DVF he had a good knowledge and grounding of what had made the label so memorable.
The familiar bold patterns and bright colors were present and correct. There was a flaming red, flared trouser suit, and there were also new flavors, like a short emerald blazer and a dress boldly patterned with nature patterns and red diamonds. A short fur came in dark red and with blue stripes. Best of all: a long, floaty, yellow leopard print gown.
In a speech, Diane von Fürstenberg, the label's founder (who is married to Barry Diller, chairman of IAC, The Daily Beast's parent company), introduced the label's new muse, her granddaughter Talita.
Von Fürstenberg said that in light of recent harassment scandals, she was "even more committed than ever to the empowerment of women." DVF the label had always "been about a woman being in charge of her life," she added, then ushered the start of the show with this merry command: "Alright, where are the clothes, Nathan?" TIM TEEMAN
Dreary weather outside, high wattage glamor inside. At Jonathan Simkhai's NYFW show the crowd was gorgeous, well-coiffed and fancy. Front row celebrities included Maye Musk, Kate Upton, Devon Windsor, Jourdan Dunn, Maya Jama, Olivia Palermo and Victoria Justice.
The lights went out and the show began. Booming music by Gesaffelstein played as lovely, lithe models walked down the runway. Deep V necklines and high collar necklines seemed to dominate the show. Tailored jackets and slinky dresses also made debuts, along with off-the-shoulder dresses and sexy takes on menswear. SARAH SHEARS
The Pyer Moss show was an argument against the pervasive, silly idea that fashion is frivolous.
During the presentation, a choir and a band performed a plaintive cover of Bruce Springsteen’s 'Born in the USA' as models walked in clothes accented with the stars and stripes.
Everyone on stage was a person of color. In this political moment, when those in power are claiming what it means to be an American and reducing it into something smaller, meaner, more simplistic, bombastic, and very white, this show felt like a celebration of the patriotic duty to criticize our country, as well of a vision of an America that should be.
The clothes showcased workmanship, highlighting exposed stitches and fringes of hanging threads. Silhouettes were pronounced with strong, defined waists, bold trousers, and prominent buttons.
Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond’s roots in sportswear and streetwear showed in the mix—suits and track pants shared pride of place and the presentation was a joint effort with Reebok. Their corporate logo festooned the backs of the models, nestled right up next to the aforementioned stars and stripes.
When the show finished, the crowd gave a standing ovation. This kind of presentation, a multi-media argument for an idea, was as powerful as art expressed through any other medium.
Of course, that’s not to say that all fashion has to be political—a pair of sharp white galoshes from the show would be cool boots regardless of the collection’s message—but attendees arrived ready to be taught and Moss delivered. BREA TREMBLAY
One of the most beautiful shows of New York Fashion Week took place within the Penn Plaza Pavilion. Sander Lak’s label has been a buzzed-about date on the NYFW calendar since its 2016 debut, deservedly so.
The clothing is beautiful and inventive (and NYFW shock, practical, wearable), and the staging immaculate and innovative. The models, male and female, first appeared and disappeared behind white pillars, and then suddenly they were walking amid the zig-zagging rows of spectators.
The lighting was a rainbow of colors, reflecting an attractive parade of Sies Marjan's shiny silver dresses, a longer sweater and flared trousers, a beautiful rust-colored dress, a sleeveless tunic shirt with brown flares, and many garments playing with ombré: rust mixing to white, red mixing to blue, and red mixing to black in a pair of silk pajamas.
Fitted jackets came with flowing trousers, and there were large, furry-looking jackets that you might want to burrow into and fall asleep. A simple, sleek dress came tricked-up with a lace film across the chest; for cold days there were a brown, white and black patterned man’s fur and a clutch of shiny coats and jackets. Subtle and striking, and close to perfect. TIM TEEMAN
Creating a collection at the intersection between fashionable clothing and modest dress codes is no small challenge. Somehow, Vivi Zubedi makes it look easy.
The Indonesian designer is known for her collections of sumptuous textiles that are layered with a jaunty styling. At her runway show models wore baseball caps with “Banua Borneo” embroidered on the front over hijabs.
Long robes and kebayas were made of jacquard, brocaded and embroidered textiles, as well as velvet and chic interpretations of the Indonesian daster— an unfitted dress—that could easily fit into a non-religious fashion forward wardrobe.
The collection was inspired by the Indonesian village of Banua Borneo, and the village’s rich and unique textile culture.
Teti Nurhayati of the Indonesia Fashion Gallery told The Daily Beast she hoped the show’s spotlight on the textiles of Banua Borneo would financially benefit the region's weavers. SARAH SHEARS