Welcome To New York

New York fashion week unofficially starts tomorrow. Here, Ashley W. Simpson discusses the shape of things to come.

There’s an ongoing joke within the industry that it’s always fashion week somewhere. You could theoretically travel year around, doing the traditional New York-Paris women’s cycle, then jump over to Madrid, Moscow, Tokyo, Berlin—even Honolulu has a fashion week now—not to mention running around for men’s months, and Pre-Fall and Resort shows and appointments. The circus never ends, and the scene is increasingly global. Fashion week here in New York, of course, starts tomorrow. 

There is quite a bit of buzz around Yeezy—he’s taking over Madison Square Garden on Saturday, selling tickets to the public, potentially debuting Waves (or whatever he may be calling his album today), and apparently even showing some clothes, with a rumored 1,000 street cast models and extras in a Vanessa Beecroft choreographed. Rihanna will also be showing, debuting her highly anticipated Fenty collaboration with Puma on Friday. Erykah Badu is styling a show—her friend Pyer Moss’.  And Kendall and Kylie have already introduced a line—last night in fact, at a party in Tribeca that seemed less a party than a social media opportunity.

With so much celebrity performance, it’s easy to wonder if NYFW, especially now, has much to do with ideas in design at all. That being said, there are a few young designers quietly showing in their own, less conventional ways.

Last season, tech-knit focused Alexander Wang-alum Amanda Phelan staged a neon-lit dance performance, and this season, she’ll present her first runway show—one that comes with a new type of dance performance. Young designer Jonathan Cohen is creating an installation at the Aire Baths—Ready-to-Wear with your massage, anyone? Eckhaus Latta, a brand known for its visceral, post-gender artisanal aesthetic and performance-focused shows (with art world friends walking alongside agency models), will compel us to trek to MoMa PS1 in Long Island City. Vejas offers gender-free, earthily futuristic wear, and LRS will present cool, oversized separates. 

Genderlessness is still a theme among the young guard, but does a less assigned collection have any real impact anymore?

In the blur of the fashion cycle, some New York designers are posing the question of whether the traditional show has any relevance at all—Wes Gordon is throwing a cocktail party and debuting his line on Instagram; Misha Nonoo will also have a reception to celebrate Fall 2016, saving the reveal for when the line actually hits stores. Rebecca Minkoff will be showing not Fall, but Spring 2016 apparel–offering viewers the opportunity to shop immediately after. She’s not alone. 

Perhaps Alexander Wang will wow us with a his post-Balenciaga downtown sportswear vision. Oscar de la Renta alums behind Monse are generating some anticipation. There’s always interest in the Proenzas, the Altuzarras, and Rodarte’s crystallization of ethereal things. 

While we’ll undoubtedly spend the next month pondering the future of our ever-shifting industry, or trying to find a way to keep it from imploding, perhaps it would be better to just find some humor amidst the louder-than-ever sugary surface, and to buy our New York menswear, womenswear—whatever suits us—as soon as it hits our inboxes. Even if, this season, that means right after the shows. 

Photo: BFA. View more at

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