NYFW Recap: AW17 Part 1

Last September was the first time I skipped NYFW since I started attending, choosing to finally actually travel on our wedding anniversary (4 years after getting married!)  The trip was amazing and absolutely worth it, but I was ready to get back into the swing of things with fashion week this season.

After a 60+ degree day the day before, we got our first blizzard of the year right in time for the first official day of NYFW.  Figuring out what to wear in this weather was not easy, but after an extensive bout of trial and error, I landed on my shimmery mini shift dress and a tonal longline fur vest with deep purple tights and moto boots.  With a long, heavy wool plaid coat on top, I was cozy enough to make it through the day.

My first show was Malan Breton, a designer with a heart of gold if I’ve ever met one.  I ran into Liz Black right away, which is no surprise since we always end up spending time together during Fashion Week.  I also saw OITNB’s Jessica Pimentel rocking Malan before the show:

The show was part of Style Fashion Week and at the Theater at Madison Square Garden – not a typical NYFW venue.  As soon as the lights went down, it was clear the show would be full of surprises as well.

With scratchy music that would have been right at home at a 1940’s movie theatre, the show opened like a classic film.

Malan’s collections tend to be sweeping and romantic, and the opening pieces were very true to that aesthetic.

Even the gorgeous formal suiting felt right at home with the retro theme.

With shine and glitz, the gowns were festive and luxe, and the music started out celebratory as well.

However, as the show progressed, things got darker, in both figurative and literal senses.  The cheery, golden age music took a turn into something darker and more ominous, and burnouts started appearing in the shining facade of the stage.  Suddenly, the palatial background disappeared and abstracted nuclear explosions consumed the projection.

Wearing a severe patent gown, the model stood for a beat longer at the center of the stage, inviting reflection.

The sinister tone carried through to the end, when models marched out with blank faces in lockstep.  The music stopped, and the only sound was their regimented stomping.  I left the show with the warning about creeping fascism clear in my mind.  It is all too relevant today, but I appreciate Malan for not shying away from the political when it is so pertinent.

Liz and I headed to Rinat Brodach next.  This was my first show from this designer, and I drawn to her edgy aesthetic from the very first look.

The looks were not bound by the expectations of gender norms, and did not place a primacy on traditionally flattering shapes, which I personally appreciate.

This structured oversized sweatshirt, for example, does not emphasize feminine curves, but it is incredibly appealing.  I will definitely be trying this on once it is in stores.

Rinat’s use of asymmetry was so good, and the textural details added even more interest up close (this navy dress is actually a ribbed sweater material).

I also appreciated how she nods to the trends (like frills and oversized sleeves) while making the execution of them fully her own.  There is nothing precious about these puffy shoulders:

The structure and soft folds of the finale dress were perfection.  Rinat Brodach is definitely a designer to watch.

One of my favorite things about NYFW is jumping back and forth between wildly different aesthetics, and heading straight to Tadashi Shoji after Rinat is a prime example of this.  Tadashi is all about luxe evening and cocktail wear, and this FW17 collection was full of 70’s influence.

One mini-trend I was already spotting across shows was fancy suiting.  This silver pinstriped number was full-on disco, but in the best way.

Off the shoulder and velvet were two trends that show no sign of going away soon.

One of my favorite dresses was this vibrant pink crushed velvet number – serious Jenny Lewis vibes.  The bell sleeve detail was another prominent trend that seems to be sticking around.  I hope this is offered in Tadashi’s plus size line.

There were also some red-carpet ready gowns, like this liquid silver featuring an unexpected tattoo sleeve.

Sheer lace seems to be holding strong as well.

The final dress showcases one of the newest trends of the season – the mixed dress.  With the appearance of one dress falling off another, it is a fun twist on an asymmetric neckline.  Expect to see a lot of this style in the coming year.

Next I was off to Berenik at Pier 59 Studios.  It was not a usual standing-around presentation – there were modern dancers in the center, and all the models rotated through their places in choreographed motions.

The collection had an emphasis on oversized pieces and heavy texture, perfect for cold winter days.

Shimmery satin stood out amongst the nubbier fleeces and knits.

The entire presentation took place on top of custom art for the show.   The menswear in the collection wasn’t generally my thing, but there were many Berenik separates that I’d love to add to my wardrobe.

Next up was my perennial favorite Katie Gallagher, with her presentation fittingly down on the Lower East Side.

Her collections tend to be monochromatic (SS17 was all black everything), so I was surprised to be greeted by bright orange accents.

I particularly loved the opaque orange tights under a high slit skirt.

Sheer layers were the star of the show, and the black strips of fabric – evoking a “censored” bar IRL – were prominent throughout.

Which of my Day 1 shows is your favorite? Which trends are you excited about?  I have more NYFW coverage coming up soon!