And you know what that means? All of our favorite brands will be hitting the runway, with everything kicking off in New York in just a few short weeks. This season, Rihanna will be joining the NYFW lineup, with her new lingerie brand, Savage x Fenty making its runway debut.
Of course, Rih is no stranger to the fashion fanfare. Before launching Fenty x Puma, which she presented during NYFW and PFW ahead of the brand’s current hiatus, she sat front row at shows for everyone from Yeezy to Alexander Wang. But the inclusive lingerie label she announced last spring hit stores earlier this summer, following a series of viral Instagram ads featuring influencers of all sizes and colors. Hopefully Rihanna will maintain the brand’s focus on diversity and ethos of empowerment for their first runway show.
As of now, not much is known about the presentation, other than that it will take place on September 12 in New York City, and that it won’t be just like any other fashion show. Rih described the event as an “immersive experience.”
There’s one thing we do know, though: Rihanna definitely doesn’t like to follow convention. When she released the Savage x Fenty line in May, she even included a set of handcuffs as part of the collection. So, whatever she does on the runway this Fall, we know it’ll be lit AF.
Is it just us or is fall fashion just so much better than spring? That was definitely the case at the NYFW FW18 shows the past two weeks. And so while most New Yorkers might be pining for spring sunshine throughout this temperamental (but mostly cold) Northeast winter, we find ourselves counting down the days until September finally returns, and we can look cute again.
From Matrix-inspired office wear at Alexander Wang to ’80s power suits at Marc Jacobs and ’00s-era Paris Hilton puppy vibes at Gauntlett Cheng, we’ve compiled here our favorite Fashion Week moments – plus two honorable mentions because, well, we just couldn’t bear to narrow it down.
We’ve loved Alexander Wang since he first debuted his part minimalist, part rock ‘n’ roll It-girl uniforms; but we have to say, the last few seasons have left us with a never-ending #WANGOVER. This season, though, the San Fransisco born designer channeled The Matrix-meets-The Office, delivering a range of post-apocalyptic professional wear that we want every piece of – especially, the fur-lined ’90s CK-inspired undies.
Marc Jacobs is basically the Alexander Wang of the late ’90s. So, needless to say, we’re giant fans. But much like last season’s awful #WANGOVER, Marc has fallen off a bit the last few years. I mean, remember the dreadlocks fiasco? Still, it seams Jacobs got the memo (or finally found it again), and this season felt like a return to form. Part ’80s power suit, part goth noir, the Marc Jacobs FW18 collection felt like Bianca Jagger in her white suit days, if she had Grace Jones’ attitude and Siouxsie’s sense of color. What more could you possibly as for?
One of fashion’s favorite new brands, Eckhaus Latta has mastered minimalism in its purest form. For their FW18 collection, designers Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta built upon the easy going feel of their last few seasons, but experimented more with shape and color than they ever have before. While the knits and sheer dresses fit right into the Eckhaus Latta playbook, bright yellow flowy fabrics were a new look for the brand. Overall, the collection was bold but understated, yet what Eckhaus Latta does best isn’t actually their clothes. Season after season, and despite its growing popularity, the brand remains dedicated to its outsider ethos. And did we mention their casting always rules? This season saw a diverse runway filled with New York City favorites, including model Paloma Elsesser and indie rock royalty Coco Gordon-Moore.
Nobody does sleek and sexy like Tom Ford. This season, the designer went all in with leopard print, mixing loud colors with the even louder print in all different sizes from head-to-toe. Not only did each look feel totally timeless, you’ve got to give it to someone who can make lime green or bright red leopard print look not only classy, but cool.
Another one of the fashion industry’s favorite young designers, Becca McCharen-Tran built Chromat to empower women of all shapes, sizes and colors. While most brands have embraced a long overdue push for diversity on the runway (not looking at you, Stefano Gabbana), Chromat also delivers it IRL. With a focus on emerging technology and body positivity, the label pushes boundaries and challenges the fashion status quo. For her latest collection, McCharen stuck with oranges and neons, accessorizing each look with Flaming Hot Cheeto bags tied to models’ pants and in their hands. Rapper Slay Rizz finished out the show with a killer performance in an orange two-piece by Chromat, and even though we didn’t get any cheese puffs to go, we were sold.
Since launching his eponymous label in 2009, Australian designer Dion Lee has consistently delivered classic yet forward-thinking clothing, with his FW18 collection serving as further proof of his talent. Outfitting traditional sportswear looks with architectural bra-tops, it seems Lee also watched The Matrix and The Office before designing his collection. But unlike Wang’s, the Dion Lee range felt modern, not futuristic – the Neo influence was subtle. Lee also brought in more feminine elements, juxtaposing the structured suits and tops with flowy skirts.
Ever since winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2015, Rio Uribe has been making waves with his brand Gypsy Sport. Inspired by New York City, Uribe turned heads last year when he decided to present his Spring collection in Paris. But for FW18, Uribe returned to the city, thank god. Other than that, though, this was an all new Gypsy Sport. Over the last few years, the brand has become recognizable for their upcycled jerseys and I <3 NY logo tees, with the Gypsy Sport name in place of the heart. This season, Uribe ditched the streetwear element, presenting a romantic collection filled with suits and gothic ruffles, as well as a few sustainable aluminum looks. Of course, the designer stuck to his habit of using friends and members of the LGBTQ community as models, including 10-year-old activist and drag star Desmond is Amazing, who stole the show (and probably all of Fashion Week). Known for his willingness to experiment, it’s hard to tell whether this collection was a one-off, or the evolution of the brand. Either way, it doesn’t really matter, because whatever Gypsy Sport does is really, really good.
Another CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund alum, Adam Selman won Fashion Week in our book. The FW18 collection was kinky, it was campy, it was part John Waters, part new wave, it was punk as fuck. Featuring a collaboration with artist Cheyco Leidmann, who created the surrealist prints Selman used on dresses and shirts, the range was bold and colorful, mixing prints, patterns and styles in an ode to photographer Ypsitylla Von Nazareth. In addition to the outfits, Selman also debuted his latest collection for sunglasses brand Le Specs. If you haven’t already been spotting his metallic cat-eyes for the last few years, get ready – this season’s heart-adorned versions are about to be everywhere. We want ours now.
Most people had never heard of New York City brand Vaquera before last NYFW, when they debuted a dress made only of blue and gold credit cards. For some reason, the look ended up on every news outlet, even though it was one of the weakest of the show. (We’re not saying we didn’t like it – we did.) What Vaquera does best is their more subtle work. This season, the designers seemed to realize that as well, presenting a range of deconstructed pieces that were delicate and cool. The highlights: an oversized blazer dress, cropped suit and crazy snakeskin skirt that all looked like they were slightly unfinished, but in reality, took forever to make. And isn’t that the best stuff anyway? The kind that costs, like, $10,000, but looks like you got it in the back of Duane Reade.
Oh, Raf. There’s literally nothing he could do at this point that would make us angry, because every collection he sends down the runway is as close to perfect as it gets. After presenting a men’s collection for his namesake label earlier in the week that revolved around Christiane F. and Cookie Mueller’s Drugs, Simons presented a classic Calvin Klein collection that took all of his quirky eccentricities and somehow made them look, well, classic as fuck. I mean, who else could send swimming caps and sweatshirt-less hoodies down the runway, without looking like he’s trying to be avant-garde? No one. And that’s part of his charm. Unlike a lot of of designers who, when they take over a storied brand, start to lose their individual voice, Raf’s seems to get only louder with each season, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.
We have to be honest when we say that we love Moschino, but have never really caught the Jeremy Scott bug. That is, until this season, where Scott went full-on Fifth Element, with futuristic space-inspired looks. For those of you that don’t know, Jean Paul Gaultier did the costumes for The Fifth Element, and it’s basically a 2-hour fashion orgasm. So, when Scott sent Gigi Hadid down the runway in a silver overall dress, pink crop-top and matching pink LeeLoo-inspired wig – well, we almost stood up to give him immediate applause. The rest of the collection was equally amazing, with all of it feeling retro-futuristic without trying too hard. The key was nothing felt too much like a costume, just the uniform for a school in 2064.
This was Telfar Clemons’ second collection since winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, and though it was impeccable, it was the presentation that really kicked ass. Following the runway show that saw Clemons’ solidify his gender neutral ’70s aesthetic, singer/performer Dev Hynes, rapper Ian Isiah, Kelela, Oyinda, 070 Shake and Kelsey Lu took the stage for an intimate performance. The result was emotional yet understated, just like the collection itself.
We’re big fans of Esther Gauntlett and Jenny Cheng’s self-aware brand that makes clothes for cool girls all over the world. This season, the duo went Westminster – or maybe Paris Hilton circa 2002. Either way, we were obsessed with the high fashion pieces they presented on models and a group of pups.
As we trekked through the city for the chaos of New York Fashion Week, we couldn’t help but notice that the face of the runway seemed to finally be changing. Now, it’s been confirmed. The Fashion Spot’s diversity report for the Spring 2018 season has been released and its findings are worth celebrating.
After surveying 94 shows and 2,601 model appearances, they found that 36.9 percent of runway models were people of color – which is a great increase from the 31.5 percent during the Fall 2017 season and an astronomical change from a year ago, when only 20.9 percent of models were people of color. This season also marks the very first time that every single runway show had at least two models of color. While this is certainly nowhere near enough, it’s a noble step in the right direction.
Besides racial diversity, the season also had a record 31 transgender or non-binary models walk the runway, including Teddy Quinlivan, who came out as transgender at the end of Fashion Week. There were also a record 90 plus-size models, compared to the 26 who walked for Fall 2017 earlier this year.
This push towards a more diverse and inclusive runway is a breath of fresh air and, as usual, it’s smaller, queer designers like Eckhaus Latta and Luar who seem to be leading the charge. But for all of the diversity we’ve seen here, inclusivity on the runway doesn’t seem to be a big import across the pond this season, when it comes to some of our favorite designers like Palomo Spain and Gucci, whose runways featured only a handful of dark-skinned, non-white models each.
While any step forward is reason to celebrate, the fashion industry’s path toward diversity still has a long way to go until it’s as diverse as the world we live in.
Among the NYFW standout shows this season was Landeros New York’s Fall ’17 Ready-to-Weat presentation, which was a refreshingly daring, genderless collection unafraid to shirk traditional binary silhouettes entirely in favor of a chic, architectural, sexually charged androgynous line made up of beautiful leathers, wools, and furs. We sat down with head designer Andre Landeros Michel to talk about the collection and his swift rise to the forefront of boundary-pushing fashion.
What prompted the journey from accessory designer for Ladyfag’s popup to designing your own fully fledged collection?
From the inception of the house, my ambition has been to create a full collection and to show during New York Fashion Week. Accessories seemed like a great place to start and what better place than POPSOUK with its New York underground nightlife roots? Nightlife and the underground have been a formative part of my life for years. In short, LadyFag’s PopSouk has been — and continues to be — a great platform for the collection.
What’s the inspo behind the collection? I’m seeing French club kid-meets-Mapplethorpe-meets-The Matrix vibes.
For this collection, I took inspiration from a multitude of musical and cinematic referents, including the underground New Wave and goth/punk music scenes from the 1980s, as well as the film Rosemary’s Baby. I was also inspired by the occult — and early 20th-century séances. As far as muses, the late front man Pete Burns of the band Dead or Alive figures heavily in this collection, as does Siouxsie of Siouxsie & The Banshees.
Photo: Eric White
Fashion as it fits into politics and the current climate?
Certainly, politics figure into fashion — as we witnessed throughout the collections at this year’s New York Fashion Week A/W 17. My preference, however, is to offer an escape, and, thereby, to enable the collection to transcend a particular situation. I like to imagine the collection as a kind of reverie or dream-state that drifts above the quotidian.
How does fashion work as an expression of gender to you?
Personally, I don’t believe that a skirted man is necessarily less masculine than a man in pants. For example, most of us don’t regard a woman in a three-piece suit as masculine. Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo, which has traditionally been male attire, looks tremendously sexual. For Landeros New York, we’ve adopted silhouettes that, historically, have been labeled male or female — and, instead, we’ve given both of them a level playing field. Gender stems from within; we like to present the entire sartorial spectrum without limitations.
Chromat, the luxury swim and activewear brand helmed by Becca McCharen-Tran, gave a message of female empowerment and inclusivity at their NYFW show this weekend. The runway opened with a powerful performance from DJ UNIIQU3 and closed with a rap from Tt the Artist, who proclaimed “Fuck Donald Trump” from her spot on the catwalk.
“Fashion designers decide who is celebrated in the fashion world, and who is invisible. Representation matters,” McCharen-Tran told us. “It’s our responsibility to push for inclusivity and empowerment by highlighting diverse and inspiring models for our shows.”
When we asked for the designer’s favorite looks, she explained: “It would have to be a tie between the final red dress worn by Leyna Bloom, the jacket with puffer sleeves worn by Maya Mones (pictured above) – both beautiful trans women and friends of mine whom I love dearly!”
The show gave us incredible structures and silhouettes with it’s architectural puffy jackets and floatie-inspired garments. “We took inspiration from life vests and floatation devices designed for extended survival in rough, open water. We collaborated with innovative outdoors company Klymit to design inflatable garments that aid with internal buoyancy and help the wearer stay afloat and protected.”
On other art and shows exciting her right now, she said: “I love my fellow fashion designers Rio at Gypsy Sport and Aurora at Brother Vellies, Fluct (a choreography duo), and a lot of DJs and musicians like DJ Haram (who scored the runway show and is part of my fav DJ collective DISCWOMAN) and the performer, producer, vocalist and DJ UNIIQU3.”
McCharen-Tran’s parting message to America: “There is a feeling of paranoia, the end of truth and the dawning of a new era of persecution of ‘the other’ in the current political climate. We know that no one is entitled to a happy ending, and this has further strengthened our drive to fight for the inclusive and empowering world we want to see.”
Check out every look from the Chromat runway here.
You may have seen Stevie Boi’s wacky-chic eyewear in a little publication known as Vogue, or else on up-and-coming celebs like Rihanna and Beyoncé, or the underground artist Lady Gaga.
Just in case you haven’t:
@sbshades via Instagram
His pieces have appeared inside Vogue thirty times and counting. He’s fresh off of a successful show at New York Fashion Week…
…and he’s set to release a film about his fashion ascent next year. We sat down with the blossoming designer for an exclusive chat about where he sees himself heading and what his thoughts are on the current state of the world.
Blackbook: You used to work for the military. What was that like, and how was the transition from that into fashion design?
Stevie Boi: I loved working for the US government. It actually helped fund my career. I took my technical experiences working for the military and mixed it with my designs. For example, the job I had instructed me to build tank parts and weaponry. I was able to figure out a way to mix technicality with design from that experience.
Can you walk me through the timeline of going from just starting out as a designer to having your eyewear on the cover of Italian Vogue, and worn by stars like Rihanna and Gaga?
Well, it was literally an overnight situation! I was designing products in my downtown loft in Baltimore. Next thing you know, I’m asked to attend fashion shows and style celebrities. Some of the celebs I’ve known from skipping school at 16 and driving to New York to hang in prominent “club kid” type of venues. Having my products grace the covers of Vogue still to this day (literally today -Oct 19th 2016!) is shocking.
Following up on that – what’s been your proudest career moment?
I still remember waking up to my first Vogue cover.
It appears in your latest collection, “CÄBIN,” that you’re branching out from just eyewear into clothing as well. Could you speak to the collaboration process with Weave Up?
Yes that is correct. Working with Weave Up is amazing. They also will be collaborating again with me for my F/W 17 collection, “NØIR”. I love Weave Up because they allow their customers the options to create their own textiles, which I believe gives people more freedom to express themselves.
You’re doing a movie, “CÄBIN: the Story,” in select theaters next year. Is it a documentary? Are you planning to move into filmmaking further?
Well, it was supposed to be a fashion film, but after pitching it to Hollywood I was told to make it bigger and more dramatic. So I reached out to my visual director and told him we need a script and movie outline in less than 72 hours! 2 months later we had producers, investors and a distribution team set up. I am 100% ready to take on Hollywood and do more filmmaking after this project. It was draining as hell but totally worth it.
You’re doing a reality series in Europe, and you’re appearing on Whoopi Goldberg’s “Strut.” Is acting as much as passion of yours as designing? Do you see yourself playing characters, or just sticking to playing yourself?
Yes I go to Sweden in December to film “Stevie Takes Sweden.” We filmed “Stevie Takes Vegas” which comes out next year. I’ve been taking my acting very seriously. I was cast in a few Netflix series and movies that debut next year. I would love to do more serious roles. Like as crazy as this sounds – I want to play a crack head so bad. I am really into dark dramatic roles.
You’ve got your next collection, NØIR, coming in February. Can you talk about it at all? Is it just eyewear or clothing as well?
For the past 4 years I have been working hard to prove to people that I can do luxury & ready to wear. I’m over proving to people that I’m a designer – I’m going back to my roots as a crazy club kid. I’m excited to tap back into my inner goth and fetish aesthetics.
Any other upcoming projects you’d like to discuss?
I am preparing to do something with Disney in a few months. I can’t talk about it just yet but it has already changed my life.
Thoughts on this election?
From the start of my career I had decided it would be best to never speak on political views… But with this circus of an election I must say something. Donald trump sucks! I worked with Chump a few years ago. I also did an IG post explaining the reason why I can’t stand him due to my experiences with him. Many people bashed me and still called me a supporter of his. But I do not support him nor do I agree with him. I don’t trust people that do not blend their concealer in.
Text by Sophia Haney Montanez + Elizabeth Baudouin
In the age of digital media and short attention spans, Salon No. Living with Design is set up to view as quickly as your last Snapchat story. On Tuesday, September 13th, artist Romy Northover will host a one-day event to bring a new kind of presentation to fashion week. Here she will integrate a lifestyle and design element to the perpetual runway showings. Happening just down the street from Spring Studios, Salon No. showcases Northover’s new collection in NES Creative‘s downtown loft to reimagine the space through her signature Ancient Future aesthetic.
The inspiration for Romy’s new collection is gathered from a large catalogue of references including nature, literature, ancient cultures, and fashion. The influence of layered textiles, subtle textures and muted color palettes in fashion are revealed in the rustic yet refined designs.
Prior to launching her New York based line No. in 2012, Romy lived and worked in London, graduating with a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths. She then lived in Hong Kong, Venice, and Berlin, creating video art, freelancing as a stylist and working for several fashion designers including fashion house PPQ.
Today, she is a regular collaborator with Calvin Klein’s team, where her ceramic vessels enhances the environment of the iconic brand’s retail stores. Romy has also designed collections for Kinfolk, Cereal Magazine, Alex Eagle, Soho House, and The Apartment by The Line.
Northover’s point of view is immediately delicate and minimalist creating an intimacy with each piece. This thought is cast throughout her entire exhibition. “I want to create a stillness and allow for an openness for receiving,” says Romy. “A relaxed space where the work can be functional and be touched.” Romy’s aesthetic reveals a new lifestyle, one that blends traditions of the past harmoniously with ideals for the future. And one that transcends the ephemeral trends that have become so common in the age of fast-fashion.
If you’ve been following NYFW, chances are you’ve been refreshing your feed every two minutes. There’s one brand that offers more than runway shows and prep shots and that’s Miu Miu. Here you’ll find the fantastical color matching collages created by mixed media artist Beth Hoeckel. Produced exclusively for Miu Miu’s Instagram feed, Beth assembled an assortment of treasures to best suit pieces from their accessory collection in a reimagined way.
For example, seashells, pink frosted birthday cake, toast with jam and a strawberry daiquiri surround a new eco-shearling bag in coral. Additionally, cherries, a floppy disk, a fire extinguisher, and lifesavers come together to float around Miu Miu’s new Automne ’16 backpack for a most playful digital display.
Beth’s work extends passed fashion and moves across many editorial platforms including stories from publishing heavy weights like Conde Nast and Penguin Random House. With a new book in the works and an exhibition this fall, I was curious to learn more about her inspiration and background.
How did you become interested in mixed media?
I started experimenting with mixed media techniques quite a bit in high school. I went to an arts magnet high school and mainly focused on painting and photography, and wanted to try combining the two. It also partly came from not being able to afford expensive art materials, and subsequently using whatever was around. I was very drawn to collage and mixed media artists like Robert Rauchenberg and Joseph Cornell. In addition to all that I’ve collected old books and photographs since back then and loved using those elements.
Where do you like to pull images from?
It all comes from vintage books and magazines, or any old printed material. My favorite era of National Geographics are from the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, I love old cook books with color photographs and random sewing and craft catalogs.
What do you love about communicating with collage?
I love the familiarity of the found images in contrast with the surreal nature of the context I place them in. In that way it can be very relatable. In some ways I think it more readily allows viewers to draw from their own memories and experiences to construct a narrative than some other art forms.
Is there a particular thought you are projecting with your work?
There are several themes. Memory, nostalgia, being lost, getting lost, loss in general, bygone eras and their ideals, hope, longing, and daydreams.
How did living in New York shape your work?
I moved there in 2001 right after graduating from SAIC (Chicago), I was only 21 and it was right after Sept 11 so it was a strange time. It was a struggle to say the least, I had to work a lot of jobs to pay the bills so I barely had time and definitely didn’t have space to make art. I tried to find ways to make money off of my work so I made cards and t-shirts and sold them to shops on Bedford and even sold them by myself on the streets on occasion.
Where do you find your inspiration?
In music from PJ Harvey, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Rimbaud, Paul Bowles- to be honest the book The Sheltering Sky has influenced many of my works over the years.
Tom Ford has kicked off NYFW with a stiletto-heeled bang, giving a star-studded Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear runway show and dinner at the soon-to-be-renovated Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan. In attendance at the show were Jon Hamm, Julianne Moore, Alicia Keys, Naomi Campbell, and Uma Thurman, among others.
Ford is the first major designer to adopt the radical new Show-Now-Shop-Now business model, where clothing seen on the runway becomes available for purchase in store immediately after the show. This is in contrast to the decades-long tradition of showing a line several months before it hits retail locations, allowing magazines to continue hyping up the garments within their glossy pages.
In an interview with Vogue, Ford explained: “I designed this collection six months ago, so the creative part, that frustration you go through a few weeks before a collection—Is this the right thing? Is this the right shoe? Should we change it? Rip that off? Change that!—that’s not here, because the collection’s done.”
Other major designers are also experimenting with the new sales model: Thakoon and Tommy Hilfiger are among those pulling a similar stunt later this week.
Ford’s show reflected his timeless elegance and effortless glamour: long fur coats, chunky belts, and flowing, sequined dresses ruled the runway. His models included Lucky Blue Smith and Gigi Hadid. The tight, leather silhouettes paired with oversized jackets and sparkling accessories made this collection into a stunning marriage of modern sensibility and old Manhattan socialite.
The full runway can be viewed here, and purchased here.