From runway shows in a deserted subway station to political-statement-making designs, scroll down to catch some of the top highlights from New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020.
Prabal Gurung gets political
“Amidst the deep wounds that are severing the unity of our country, I continue to seek the America I came here to be a part of—the America that I know is still there. And so, with the Spring/Summer 2020 collection, we seek to celebrate hope, courage, and present an ode to the true American dream,” Prabal Gurung expressed in his heartfelt show notes. The Nepalese-American employed the season’s runway as a medium for political activism, and sent a diverse cast of models down the catwalk wearing sashes that spelt, “Who Gets To Be American?” — an obvious attack against Trump’s immigration agenda.
Non-traditional show formats
This season, many designers took a break from traditional runway formats. Tommy Hilfiger’s see-now, buy-now #TommyNow collection with actress Zendaya debuted at the iconic Apollo Theater, in the form of a ’70s block party complete with live performances, singing and dancing.
Ralph Lauren, meanwhile, hosted a Great Gatsby-esque extravaganza at a sleek and stylish Art Deco-inspired nightclub, the Ralph’s Club, where Janelle Monáe took the stage — donning a black-and-white tuxedo-inspired halter gown from the collection — for a spectacular performance. Tom Ford, on the other hand, invited his guests to a decommissioned subway station, transforming the platform into a runway complete with drinks and real subway workers.
Diversity and inclusivity at its best
Leading the way for diversity across all fashion capitals, models across a range of body types, races and ages could be found in New York this fashion week season. Kate Spade casted 65-year-old ‘Accidental Icon’ blogger Lyn Slater, along with actress Debi Mazar and her teenage daughter, Evelina Corcos, while 9-year-old double amputee Daisy-May Demetre made history by walking the runway for junior couture label Lulu et Gigi. The aspiring model, who had both her legs amputated as a baby, will also appear at Paris Fashion Week later this month.
Elsewhere at Tomo Koizumi, the Japanese designer tapped transgender model Ariel Nicholson to debut seven frill-filled dresses with an extravagant, flamboyant performance, while swimwear label Chromat continued its efforts in inclusivity via a diverse cast, including plus-size model Tess Holliday, who appeared on the runway in a white dress emblazoned with words that read ‘Sample Size’.
NYFW’s first carbon-neutral fashion show
Gabriela Hearst‘s always been a firm believer in sustainable fashion, and this season, the designer orchestrated NYFW’s first carbon-neutral show. She worked with environmentalist group EcoAct to work out the offset amounts necessary to neutralise the carbon footprint created from putting on a show. As a result, she banned the use of hairdryers and hot tools in backstage preparations, and instead, sent models down the runway with hair slicked back in braids.