NYFW Review: The Good, The Bad & The Utterly Ridiculous

Another New York Fashion Week has come to an end. Over the past seven days, designers showcased Spring & Summer 2017 collections, while some debuted current fall styles that could be purchased right off the runways.

The industry – the fashion industry AND the fashion show/event industry – is changing. In the last couple of years, runway shows have gone from being centralized in one location (Bryant Park, then Lincoln Center) to being spread out all over Manhattan. And Brooklyn. And this year, to the site of a former smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island. (Which was fitting for Kanye’s Yeezy show, which in and of itself was a disease. See “THE BAD” below.)

Halston with Liza Minelli in his former office.

Those were the days. Halston with Liza Minelli in his Olympic Tower Office.

This year, there were more presentations designed exclusively for social media exposure and direct-to-consumer buy-now offerings. Designers and brands seemed to be much more focused on the venue and the show itself than the actual clothing they were presenting. It was a little too much hype and way too little fashion, making me wish I could transport myself back to the seventies and attend one of Halston’s shows that he would host in his Midtown office. (Complete with an amazing view of the Twin Towers. Sigh.)

While I watched most of the shows from the comfort of my laptop (and most of the time, still in my PJ’s), I did attend a few events during the week that made me realize how happy I am to be somewhat of a fashion outsider. I don’t have millions of followers on social media and Stylaphile is not a big enough brand (yet) to really get noticed by any of the major movers and shakers in the fashion industry. I am never inundated with invitations to runway shows or fancy after parties.

And you know what? I am 100% okay with that. Especially after what I witnessed this week. Here is my take on the good, the bad, and the utterly ridiculous that was NYFW – the Spring/Summer 2017 edition.

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THE GOOD – Runway Diversity

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If you are like me, you’re probably tired of seeing the exact same body type parade down the catwalk ad nauseam. Extremely tall and so paper thin that you can’t focus on the fashion because you’re waiting for a bone to actually pop out of the model’s skin so you can be the first to Snapchat it.

This year, a few designers proudly presented their latest looks on models that represented more of what most women actually look like. If NYFW were the Olympics, then Christian Siriano, Chromat, and Eckhaus Latta would all get gold medals for being bold enough to show the world they understand that women come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages.

Christian Siriano

cs3 cs2 cs1

Chromat

chromat chromat2 chromat3

Eckhaus Latta

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photos from VogueRunway.com

And a special kudos and shout out to the folks over at  J. Crew! The brand showcased their collection by having actual employees of all shapes and sizes model the clothes. Well done Crew!

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THE BAD – Diseased Venues, Rude Staff and Dicey Footwear

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By now I’m sure you’ve all heard what a disaster Kanye’s fashion show was. Very important editors from very important magazines (not me, I’m a pion, thank god!) were stuck in traffic for hours on chartered buses enroute to a former smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island. Once they arrived, they had to stand around in the hot sun for hours because the show was delayed. Models were dropping like flies from the heat. And a few of them were dropping because the Yeezy shoes they were wearing basically fell apart as they stomped hobbled down the runway. And the clothes. Were. Horrible.

Speaking of horrible, the Art Hearts Fashion show on Monday night was the most unorganized and chaotic event I’ve ever attended in my life. I actually PAID for VIP tickets to this, but instead, was treated with as much contempt as a common subway rat (not the Pizza Rat…he was seated front row). We had to stand in long lines outside the venue because the show was delayed for over an hour. (Had I known this, I wouldn’t have rushed through a lovely dinner at Essex with my friend Jeannette. Had I known how the rest of the night would go, I would have stayed my fashionable ass at home.)

The free drinks/open bar mentioned in the VIP breakdown were non-existent. AND we were supposed to have guaranteed second row seats, but when we finally got inside, there were no seats left. When I asked one of people working there, she very rudely told me that all the seats were already taken and I would just have to find somewhere else to sit. Then, once we actually did get seated, the show didn’t start for almost another hour. By this time, I wasn’t even interested in the fashion. Worst experience ever.

And back to the disintegrating shoes for a minute. There were so many designers that sent the models down the runway with ridiculously sky-high shoes. Models fell (hard) at Michael Kors, stumbled in platform stiletto boots at Vera Wang, and looked extremely apprehensive teetering in the highest platforms I’ve ever seen at Marc Jacobs. These girls are already six feet tall. Do you really have to prop them up on stilts like a circus act? And speaking of circus acts…

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THE UTTERLY RIDICULOUS – Carnivals, Delayed Shows and Trends That Suck

SpacerYou know what everyone is talking about when it comes to fashion week? They’re talking about the Kanye disaster at Roosevelt Island. The Tommy Hilfiger carnival at Pier 16. Which celebrities attended the Tom Ford dinner. Nobody is talking about the clothes. (And the clothes at Tom Ford were DEFINITELY worth talking about!)

There is a huge difference between fashion and spectacle. And NYFW has become all about the spectacle. It’s about the venue. It’s about who’s sitting front row. It’s about the blogger with a million followers getting paid to show up and post a few photos to their Instagram. It’s about street style photography.

It’s certainly not about the editors. If it were, the shows would actually start on time. I consider my time very valuable. If my time is valuable and I write for a little blog like Stylaphile, what about all the editors from Vogue, Bazaar and WWD, whose job it is to actually to review a slew of shows? Their time is incredibly valuable. When a show is delayed for more than 15 minutes, it says to me that the designer and the show organizers have a complete lack of respect for other people’s time.

And while there were a lot of trends to get excited about for Spring 2017 (sheer fabrics, sequins & sparkles, bright tangerine), there were a few that just need to die before they even go into production. Like these.

  

The "No-Pants" Trend | The "Onesie" Trend | The "Anything That Adds Inches to My Hips" Trend

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This past week, I saw a lot of “How to Survive New York Fashion Week” articles. And I think I’m now qualified to offer an opinion. Want to know the best way to survive (and enjoy) fashion week? Stay your fashionable ass at home.

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Check out some of my favorite looks from the SS17 collections on Pinterest.

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