Viva Highlights: New York Fashion Week Spring 2019

The Viva fashion team highlight their favourite shows from New York's spring 2019 runway shows



“Despite a lengthy apology for starting an hour and half behind schedule, the usually punctual show was berated for the delay. “I think we all have to be a little more sensitive and flexible to the fragile state of the live experience” said the designer in his Instagram post after the show. Never mind though, because the collection itself showcased the extreme whimsy fans have come to love about MJ. Oversized shapes continued from his Fall 2018 collection, still riffing on power suits and excessive evening wear of the 80s, and in a time where fashion can provide some escapism, the collection offered a much needed lesson in showmanship amidst more clinical runway presentations on the schedule.” — Dan.

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"Uruguay-born designer Gabriela Hearst is known for her particular brand of tailored, wearable luxury, and her spring 2019 collection was full of small details that elevated her minimal yet expertly constructed designs to another level. In particular, her use of fabrics — from a dark, freshwater pearl-adorned gown to a finely pleated poplin corset dress — means that there is more to each piece than initially meets the eye. I like how Gabriela dresses a woman’s body. Baring skin is not her priority; instead garments are given shape with the use of built in corseting, clever ties and ingenious construction. With sustainable values at the core of her brand, Gabriela proves that a green ethos can be the backbone of luxurious clothes that women want to wear." — Rosie.

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"The spotlight on American fashion and what it stands for is prevalent right now, and brands like Telfar by 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Winner Telfar Clemens provide the perfect examination of this idea. The show featured a coterie of singers and performers (Ian Isiah, Moses Sumney and Selah Marley), with music a major part of the label's diverse community. As for the collection, separates riffed on a jazz mood via the 50s and 70s with voluminous trousers and camp collar shirts. I particularly loved the polo knit tops and the splicing effect on denim jeans mixed with college sportswear." — Dan.

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“Creative director Wes Gordon’s first collection for house Herrera started off with a bang. A riotous collection of prints came together in a welcome embodiment of optimism and colour that planted itself on the right side of cheesy. I’m a sucker for the polka dots, voluminous shapes, florals and crochet — many of which had a distinctly 70s twist that wouldn’t have been out of place in a young Carolina’s wardrobe, and the show finished with a series of gowns made for making a grand entrance down a set of stairs in a Spanish villa.” — Rosie.

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"While some might look at this brand's revival as a retro pastiche, I liked this. Upbeat and irreverent, yes some of it looked a little literal, however the majority of it looked fresh. Designers are once again mining the archives from the 80s and 90s for inspiration, so its brands like Emanuel Ungaro and Escada’s colourful archives that are now influencing other designers."— Dan

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“Always masters of the minimal, for their spring 2019 collection The Row have showcased their usual penchant for impeccable craftsmanship with a collection that plays with volume and proportion. I like the oversized tailoring and coats that both complement and contrast the sleek eveningwear — plus, as someone who always finds sleeves too short and has terrible circulation, sleeves that are long and hand-hiding greatly appeal. The Row always manages to convince me that it’s okay to throw away every impulse purchase I’ve ever made in favour for an achingly chic, pared-back wardrobe, and while this collection doesn’t particularly scream ‘spring’ to me, there is a certain lightness to the fabrics they’ve used that makes me think a palette of black, grey and cream is all I need.” — Rosie.

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"The Pyer Moss collection celebrated the everyday lives of African Americans, with an all-black cast of models wearing languid dresses and elevated streetwear. “What does a mundane Saturday look like when we’re just left alone? What is black leisure wear?” the designer Kerby Jean-Raymond (2018 CFDA Fashion Fund finalist) explained post show. The collection highlighted the idea of clothes for a life free of racial profiling. What if? was the question prompted. Featuring a collab with “for us, by us” originators FUBU and Reebok, other highlights included the art work of rising artist Derrick Adams, a choir performance and the setting itself, held in Weeksville, Brooklyn — one of the first free-black communities in the U.S." — Dan

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READ: The Powerful Message Pyer Moss Took To The New York Fashion Week Runway


“Another designer turning their back on today’s trying times in favour of utter escapism, Michael Kors took us to the sun, to the beach, to anywhere but here with a collection that channelled West Coast vibes and good times. “What does everyone dream of globally? They dream of turquoise water, of beautiful sand, of a blue sky, and optimism,” he said, “Because quite frankly, the world is full of such negativity. Maybe I’m Polly Anna, maybe I’m Mary Poppins, but this is sort of my fashion Xanax.” Graphic florals, acid-knit bucket hats and great short-suits for both guys and gals were some highlights, as well as a cool-kid surfer emblazoned sweatshirt. Cowabunga my dudes.” — Rosie.

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"Denim and knitwear are the key categories for this hip NYC label designed by Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, finalists in this year's LVMH Prize. Known for rejecting gender binaries and the conventions of the fashion industry, the pair have been an important part of the New York Fashion Week schedule for creating a community through their fashion, often sending friends down the runway along with professional models. Artful separates included tie-dye denim, relaxed suiting and brightly coloured knit dresses. Also worth noting is the show's unique hair look — hair wefts of different lengths hanging from some of the models heads, perfectly offset some of the more avant-garde looks from the label."— Dan

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“At the core of Matthew Adams Dolan’s design sensibility is an interest in the evolution of American style — he has his own unique viewpoint of it having been born in Massachusetts then relocating to Sydney before attending high school in rural Japan and finally studying at Parsons in New York. His focus is on the utilitarian — while his last collection featured exaggeratedly proportioned button-down shirts and denim, this year it was suits of all shapes, sizes and colours — pleasingly acidic lime, saturated lilac and fuchsia, pale blue and metallic skirt, short and trouser suits all stomped down the catwalk. Denim, the working man’s pillar of America, was not forgotten either, and the casting of slightly oddball-looking models gave the effect of a tribe of outcasts subverting traditional workplace uniforms.” — Rosie.

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"I have a soft spot for Ralph. The father of American sportswear celebrated his 50th anniversary extravaganza with a guest list including Hilary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. Featuring 120 looks for men, women and children across its various categories from extreme sportswear to black tie, the show was an encyclopaedia of the Ralph Lauren world. While some critics could argue the brand's elitist values might seem out of touch with the rest of society, there's no denying its longevity and enormous contribution to American fashion." — Dan.

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READ: Stars Come Out For Ralph Lauren's 50th Anniversary Show


“Rihanna’s first show for her lingerie line Savage X Fenty was never going to be ‘normal’, but the show/extravaganza/360 degree experience choreographed by New Zealand’s own Parris Goebel was pretty out of this world. It’s been described as ‘a Garden of Eden meets Mad Max’ — paradise but not how it’s been sold to us by vanilla, narrow-minded brands before. Although it would have been electric to be there in person, watching the live stream was good because viewers were given a fuller idea of the varying movement and dance happening all over the jungle-like set thanks to multiple cameras. Performers, models, dancers of all sizes and skin colours showcased underwear looks from the brand, many of which aren’t for the prudish. But seeing a pregnant model in nipple pasties and little else actually served to remind us that in Rihanna’s Garden of Eden, every woman is welcome and, more than that, celebrated.” — Rosie.

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