Is Fashion Week Changing for the Better?

by Sheena Pradhan

This Year, New York Fashion Week Took a Shift from its Traditional Direction

New York Fashion Week is traditionally a time for designers to showcase their new collections for buyers to come see which pieces that they like for their stores. This was in the age of the department store.

 

Today New York Fashion Week has become an outlet for the masses to see what the big brands are putting out and for bloggers and celebrities alike to make appearances to grow their own brands and support their favorite designers. Because of fast fashion and e-commerce, fashion week is no longer an essential piece of the fashion industry, but rather a showcase of work for the media to blast, tweet, and Instagram to the masses.

 

This shift in Fashion Week’s purpose is starting to shift the way designers and brands are thinking about their shows. Some designers implemented a “direct to consumer” style show this season. A direct to consumer show is where the Spring/Summer 2016 collection would be showcased right at the start of the season, when Fall/Winter collections are normally showcased. In other words, these designers are showcasing their current collections instead of the collection for six months from now, as indicated by the traditional production cycle.

 

Another shift that we saw this year is that many designers decided to add performances in with their traditional fashion runway shows. Our favorite shows that included a performance piece were Rachel Antonoff and Moncler. We also saw Sports Illustrated change things up for their 2016 swimsuit edition.

The Observer named Rachel Antonoff’s NYFW presentation as “the most musical moment of Fashion Week thus far.” The presentation featured the song “A Secretary is Not a Toy” from How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. The performance featured female office workers objectifying their male secretaries—a flip from the musical version of How to Succeed, where male office workers objectified female secretaries. The aesthetic stayed true to the 1960s theme of the musical. The female office workers were all donned in Rachel Antonoff’s Fall/Winter collections, inspired by the 1960s. The 1960s themed performance aligned with the aesthetic of her new pieces. The new looks match her signature fun and colorful style with edgy silhouettes. We saw lots of red and orange prints on her button down shirts and dresses. There was some blue plaid, denim, baby pink, florals, blue stripes and blacks. Of course we saw Rachel’s signature funky silhouettes in her jumpsuits, classic above the knee frocks, A-line dresses, midi skirts, and jackets. She also featured some of her graphic tees

 

Our designer and owner, Kandice Pelletier, reached back to her dance roots and performed in the Rachel Antonoff show. Watch Cutler Salon’s behind the scenes video below (see Kandice in the blue paid dress). 

 

 

Moncler showcased their new collection in a showy, outdoor presentation outside of the Lincoln Center. This show took place on the coldest night so far in New York City, perhaps appropriately since the brand is known for its outerwear, especially ski gear. The opening of the show featured a marching band inspired performance. The “marchers” wore blue ski gear from head to toe in an aliens meets the nutcracker style marching procession. As the marchers circled in procession and continued to march towards the back of the “stage” (Lincoln Center plaza), the models processed out in Moncler’s Fall/Winter 2016/2017 collection. The Moncler collection included colorful ski gear (coats, pants, helmets, goggles). We loved the knee high fur boots!

 

Full performance at Moncler Grenoble:

 

In the spirit of doing something different, we also saw Sports Illustrated change things up. The 2016 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue featured a model that is 56-years-old (the oldest woman to grace the pages of Sports Illustrated), as well as plus size models, continuing to change the mould for what is beautiful.

 

See video by swimsuitsforall.com:

 

Over several decades we have seen fashion change from something only accessible to the elite, to something that is accessible to all. The standards for fashion and beauty continue to change, especially with the advent of the internet and the popularity for e-commerce. Who knows what fashion week will become in the next ten years!