Every day is fashion week when you commit to clothes as a religion, but for one week each winter, congregants in New York converge in their teddy coats and wacky sunglasses as they observe the following season in trends. Lately, the following season in trends looks a lot like the current season, and the previous season and the one before that, which makes sense considering that these style cues, presented now, are being applied now, too. In that way, fashion week has started to feel much more like window shopping.

Different in that around the windows (well, runways), sit members of an establishment jonesing to critique the contents, but much the same in the common, collective pursuit that envelopes the week’s purpose: identifying the sparks of joy that will carry the torch of expression through the next six months. We don’t know what’s going on, and at first, that was scary, but now it is kind of liberating, even thrilling. There is so much change to be had! So the best we can do is report on what we see — write our fingers off (but only in run-on sentences!) until the dust ruffles settle. Welcome back to the One Sentence Recap, your officially unofficial guide to everything you need to know about New York Fashion Week in a single sentence or less.


Day Eight

Staud

As a great man once said on Weekend Update, this show had everything: sheer New Years Eve dresses and going out tops, dresses that confirmed a sneaking suspicion of the prairiecore pendulum swinging even further back to the silhouettes of a Renaissance Fair, baby blue boots with red heels, plaid daytime gowns and shearling bags to keep your lap warm, with models gyrating down the runway faster than you can say “Gstaad,” their shimmies transporting you to the Todd Oldham shows of the ‘90s and assuring you that Staud seized the opportunity to end the week on a high note. – Edith Young

Michael Kors

Michael Kors sweet spot decade is the 70s, which was made clear this morning at his Fall 19 show where a venue covered in a black carpet and decorated with disco balls and chandeliers overhead set the scene for a 75-look collection full of groovy platforms, sequined wrap dresses, bell bottom flare pants, feather boas and curly shearling collars; imagine if Freddy Mercury and Farrah Fawcett threw a New Years party at Studio 54 together, what could be better? And just as you begin to wonder, there it is: Barry Manilow, IRL, in full orange sequins singing Copacabana. Heaven! – Leandra Medine


Day Seven

Oscar De La Renta

At every fashion week there is a show that will restore your faith in the season to come and sometimes this is because the energy intoxicates you or the clothes take your breath away or they wink at you or they get you — sometimes it is a combination of all these things and on the rare occasion it is none, that in effect what enlivens you is an expectation you did not know needed to be met — a fringe hem on a long sweater cardigan or a little lamb imagined as an evening clutch or more broadly the coalescence of references and ideals you never realized could so seamlessly commingle, you can’t help but breathe in deep then let it go, remembering how much, but also little, it takes for a moment in time to move you. – Leandra Medine

Christopher John Rogers

In a small alcove on Canal Street, Christopher John Rogers presented his new collection in a dimly-lit room with models clustered in the center, lights reflecting off the clothes. Each look — whether a micro mini dress, a 60s flare dress with portraits printed on it or two different three-piece suits (one metallic fuchsia, one a slick red) — was memorable in its own right, and almost seemed to suit the personality of the person wearing it.- Elizabeth Tamkin

Vaquera

Vaquera makes the case for character dressing, in the same way that you might say you look like Mr. Smee from Peter Pan went to Burning Man on a day you wear a cropped bateau shirt with Birkenstocks, or in the way that Leandra has historically likened her outfit to that of an unlicensed masseuse. I saw all sorts of characters stomp by me, with that walk that has become a signature of the brand, somehow barreling forward while dragging their feet at the same time, and each look appeared to have walked out of a scene: actors having a temper tantrum and putting their ballet flats back on after a take gone wrong in Beauty and The Beast or Dracula or Bad Teacher or Super Mario Bros, some emblazoned with the philosophical monogram of “WHY,” some in super-soft leggings that look like the sibling of a mattress pad. Not least of all, Vaquera ranks high in the competition for Biggest Bib at fashion week. – Edith Young

Rosie Assoulin

Rosie Assoulin showed Pre-Fall and Fall 2019, with five disparate natural wine pairings to complement the clothes, as joyful and bubbly as ever (there was an effervescent rosé that will agree) — some, like a trio of multi-color gowns, just there “for the hell of it,” though if you ask me that hell of it is the magic of Rosie: When you enter a room full of her clothes, nothing if not the impulse to have or to wear or to simply to be around such silhouettes overtakes you — you don’t need to say a lot, you don’t need to say anything at all, they’re the writer, you’re the pen. – Leandra Medine 

Batsheva

Batsheva’s runway-cum-presentation (a format that multiple designers have employed this season, including Sandy Liang) was a true embodiment of the brand’s signature off-kilter sweetness, wherein prairie dresses that might otherwise seem precious or doll-like are chucked into a high-power blender with weird hair, spoken word poetry and music performed live by a distraught runaway bride. It was fascinatingly and deliciously bizarre, a testament to how ambiance can shape the tone of a brand whose designs have remained relatively consistent since inception. – Harling Ross

Susan Alexandra

Susan Alexandra made her NYFW debut at Baz Bagels in Nolita, where bags and bagels coexisted side by side intermixed with lox and cups of beads, the kinds of pairings that made you stop and think to yourself, “of course!” Waitresses in pastel uniforms made rounds with tiny cream cheese schmears and Susan’s mom was there. It was the epitome of “instagrammable” but not in a way that felt forced or overdone — a triumph in 2019. – Harling Ross


Day Six

Proenza Schouler

On the success of a satisfyingly streamlined Spring 19 collection of white denim, acid wash and silver, Proenza Schouler presented the fall equivalent today by way of black scuba and leather skinny pants with zippers; navy knits creatively designed with halter bra overlays; and khaki trench coats — two of which were made with a built-in breast plate, one to resemble a motorcycle jacket and the other of the jean variety. The crowd was rly cool too. – Leandra Medine

3.1 Philip Lim

How to say a lot with a little: refuse to design outside the lines of neutral colors — I’m talking black navy white cream and maybe a dash of utility green, maybe, then blow everyone away with your fine understanding of how style cues are changing; create the perfect length pants, long enough to cover your ankles but short enough to wear with flat shoes, and boots — not quite ankle length, or knee high, more like somewhere half way (CALFWAY!) down your calf then mix it all together like it’s in a blender making dressing and pour it over your salad before presenting your masterpiece to the world; I had three coffees today and have been up since 4:30am can you tell? – Leandra Medine

Carolina Herrera

Getting dressed for a formal affair is so boring; what are your options, really — a dress here? A skirt and shirt there? Is it all going to be black and beaded? Not if Wes Gordon, designing for Carolina Herrera can get his hands on you, look at all that color set on silk faille rendered in unconventional shapes that swing like a 60s frock, hem length irrelevant and to round out this poorly punctuated run on sentence id like for you to know that the orange anorak dress layered over a peach-colored turtleneck is my look, which the green embellished swing thing as close runner up. – Leandra Medine


Day Five

Prabal Gurung

Welcome to the Prabal Gurung party! Dress code: fabulous, which means if you want to wear an embellished, one shoulder feather trim dress that flirts with your ankles, or conversely a pair of cargo pants of the same fabric (different color) with a contrasting blazer (cinched, of course), or an anything-but-plain black mini velvet dress that could be mistaken for very expensive holiday wrapping, you are welcome to — and don’t worry about keeping warm there are brighter-than-joy blanket coats for that. –Leandra Medine

Sies Marjan

Set in a pitch-black room strewn with silver glitter, Sies Marjan was like a trip to a candy store where the stuff is sugar-free but no less devoid of the high induced by colors and flavors that turn your eyeballs into cartoon spirals, most notably a smattering of jewel-toned leather suits, silken trenches galore, a pair of lime green pants and exactly two garments that looked like wearable cotton candy. – Harling Ross

Sandy Liang

Sandy Liang continues to be the cool downtown kid of fashion, with a presentation packed to the gills on Canal Street. Excepting a memorable fleece jacket moonlighting as a caftan (the first thing all of us mentioned upon convening), the offering was more about styling. With frilly prairie dresses, tapered track pants, gingham half-zips, colorful shearling and a smattering of Warby Parker wireframes, it was very apres-ski-meets-the-lower-east-side, underlined by fashion’s favorite axiom: everything looks cool with sneakers. – Haley Nahman 

Tibi

For proof that traditional winter shoes suck I invite you to look no further than Tibi’s fall show, which boasted flip flops to complement plenty of suiting and some dickie/belt hybrid things that will add wackadoo to your streamline and, to the extent I can convince you that pants suck too, enjoy the oversize blazers that may as well be dresses — belts welcome, bottoms not. – Leandra Medine

Mansur Gavriel

Mansur Gavriel delivered their signature platter of solid-colored outfits in various shades of neutral interspersed with flashes of primary color and metallic — or as I like to call it “minimalism for maximalists” — which, per usual, makes me want to ditch my entire wardrobe and only wear monochrome for the rest of my days. They also served up the best ballet flat I’ve ever laid eyes on, a new style for SS19 (which means it’s available to buy now, huzzah!) – Harling Ross 

Tory Burch

New York fashion week has been cracked open and split in two with one side firmly rooted in a pursuit of looking grown up, heralded by Tory Burch, who showed some holiday party outfit ideas replete with sequins (mind the caftan!), great Mary Janes, both metallic and not, more very big bags (hot trend alert or what) and the inkling of a shift towards mega-stud earrings — mark my words, you’re going to hate all your dangling earrings 12 months from now. – Leandra Medine 

Rosetta Getty

Here are some elastic face wash headbands to complement the paradoxically relaxed but also buttoned up vibe of Rosetta Getty’s Fall 2019 collection, staged in a room decorated to look like an after party at home where the best kind of outfits — thick sweaters and slippers, boxy jumpsuits and turtlenecks, get to flourish away from the wrath of winter cold. All in for having friends over tonight, say IIIIIIIII. – Leandra Medine


Day Four

Area

I never knew there were so many ways to wear a rhinestone until I saw Area’s FW19 show — rhinestone ponchos, rhinestone anklets, rhinestone balaclavas, rhinestone arm bands — a signature, shimmering thread that wove throughout what was otherwise full of surprises, ranging from iridescent gowns paired with wild fuzzy boots to mini dresses ruffled at the top like enormous tropical flowers. If anything could inspire the urge to change into something equal parts absurd and fantastic and dance on a table under a disco ball, this collection was IT. – Harling Ross

Priscavera

This season Priscavera launched its first made-in-Italy knitwear line of sweaters and blanket scarves — an interesting (and appetizing) contrast to the juxtaposing eveningwear and sportswear elements that intertwined throughout the collection. Also, if you’re a bride-to-be in the market for a wedding dress that shimmers like the inside of a shell, the final look is your gal. -Harling Ross

Eckhaus Latta

Eckhaus Latta was staged in a super dark and crowded warehouse in Bushwick — with lighting so counter to ideal photographs I had to wonder if it was done on purpose (a statement on social media?). The clothes were all over the map (colorful knits, dark suiting, structural cotton pieces, plenty of tie-dye variants), brought together by one common element: UGGs (literally, the collaboration on mules, boots and clogs was mentioned in the show notes). Most of the pieces were asymmetrical, sometimes featuring holes on stomachs or straps hanging off hips, giving the impression that the models got dressed in the dark. Which I suppose they kind of did. -Haley Nahman

Derek Lam

Bring back Old Celine, they keep shrieking, but here’s a novel thought: maybe Phoebe Philo leaving has actually motivated other designers to expound upon their own, sometimes similar narratives with rigor, like in the case of Derek Lam, who took himself off the calendar and instead released a lookbook for the season chock full of such clearly exceptional fabrics and clean-ass lines that don’t read so put together they’re kind of robotic but on the contrary genuinely make you want to wash your hair, or something — gimme, gimme that swing trench and to the extent that it matters? Gigantic handbags are coming back and I’m here for it. – Leandra Medine


Day Three

Chromat

With a 5:00 p.m. Friday kickoff time, Chromat didn’t waste any time jumpstarting the weekend, treating guests to colorful flashing lights, thumping music and an air of palpable excitement upon entry. The show that followed was the runway equivalent of a really great cocktail: filled to the brim with colorful swimwear sported by people of all different shapes and sizes, people who did more than just walk — they strutted. – Harling Ross

CUSHNIE

My first thought upon leaving the CUSHNIE show was I’ve never wanted to wear lilac more than now. Thanks to Carly Cushnie for making that apparent by showing a collection of ready-to-wear that highlights the importance of monochromatic dressing (red! blue! black! lilac!), slinky silhouettes, and Jon Snow-like collars. The music was also fantastic and I saw THREE babies. Are kids trending? -Emma Bracy

Jason Wu Collection

Jason Wu made me want to get all gussied up, a phrase and desire I don’t find applicable often, but such is the power of a really delicious pale dress, covered from shoulder to hem in delicate feathers that can best be described as “frothy.” The setup at the venue suited the collection perfectly — more museum exhibit than fashion presentation in nature — with various stunning works of occasion-wear hanging from the ceiling as if they were floating. -Harling Ross

Hellessy

What I learned from going to the Hellessy show this morning is that this French-Japanese label’s gorgeous womenswear is simultaneously fancy yet potentially functional, which I say because 1. I’m a proponent of suits/matching sets as day-to-night wear and 2. all looks passed my patented Tracee test, meaning I could see her Blackish character Rainbow rocking any one of these looks “casually” with a pair of kicks. Also learned that shoulders can be the hero of any look. – Emma Bracy

Brock

If you want to grab a set of jumbo pearls, wrap them twice, slap on a ruffle mid length skirt and add a fitted wool blazer, you’ll slip into the Brock attitude — part western movie scene, Victorian disco and tough-luck romance; I’m here for the brocade look plus black overcoat and boots, HBU? – Leandra Medine


Day Two

Ulla Johnson

If I had to describe Ulla Johnson’s collection in two words, I would say “burnt sienna,” but given that I have a full sentence to expound, I’ll say this: Burnt sienna dresses, slacks and skirts accompanied a parade of multi-colored knit and bohemian floral prints, offset by live music that made me want to get up and dance — but only if I had one of the model’s fantastical handbags to join me. – Harling Ross

Collina Strada

At Collina Strada, Harling, Elizabeth and I were greeted by a Miranda Hobbes green-laden front row and a runway strewn with old Coke cans. What followed was a lesson in necessary discomfort, with a spoken word soundtrack about the destruction of our planet by model/activist/hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl; models carrying tupperware and reusable water bottles (sometimes stopping to casually sip and eat from them like they were strolling down the street instead of a rainbow-chalk-doodled runway); and appropriately post-apocalyptic (and sustainable!) clothes — designed and wrapped around bodies in a way that suggested they were plucked willy nilly from a bin (but a cool, recyclable bin) containing cut-up tie-dye sweatshirts, technicolor lace bodysuits and super chunky sneakers. Also there was a baby…riding on (presumably) his mom’s shoulders…in a teeny tiny yellow bodysuit, looking downright thrilled. – Haley Nahman

Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Maryam Nassir Zadeh has a distinctive knack for producing pieces that have the elusive air of something you found in a hole-in-the-wall secondhand shop on Bowery street, or perhaps in the upper recesses of your very chic grandmother’s attic. Though jester shirts and rainbow puffers made an appearance, my favorite items on the runway fell into a decidedly simply camp, like a pair of white ankle-gripping joggers that looked comfortingly worn-in, and an enormous white frilly collar poking out from the top of a gray blazer. – Harling Ross 

Ralph Lauren

Aaaaaaaaaah! The black and gold jelly-inspired wedges! The giant patent leather purses — big enough to carry both my daughters! Ralph Lauren is never not Ralph Lauren, by which I mean you get exactly what you think you will; this is unflinching and therefore likely to be irreflective of your aesthetic and yet you are consistently tempted to subscribe to his lifestyle – it is exacting and disciplined like the color palette he showed of just white black and gold and this makes it so relieving because there is no choice to be made he has made it for you and I’ll never forget what he said to me during an interview last year — that to succeed, you have to make a life that you are inspired to live, incidentally that we are all inspired to live.  – Leandra Medine 


Day One

11 Honoré

Last night was 11 Honoré‘s first ever runway show at NYFW — a revolutionary moment for size inclusivity. The show included models that ranged from sizes 12-20, a magical (and unexpectedly emotional) appearance by Laverne Cox, and approximately ZERO sad frumpy black frocks. Gone are the days of plus-size clothing only existing in one color way (I personally enjoyed the fringed sweater + leopard print combo). All in all, the theme of the show was clear: It is time for those of us who have for so long hidden in the shadows at fashion shows to finally stand out, be heard and be seen! –Emily Zirimis

Tom Ford

A warning: Tom Ford’s FW19 collection will make you want — no, crave — a teeny tiny scarf, one that looks doll-sizes in proportion and therefore somewhat absurd tied around the neck of a grown woman, but in a way that is utterly compelling. I’m cutting all of mine down to size immediately. I’m also interested in wearing a black hoodie with a black velvet skirt and matching black blazer, which reminds me, have you read my treatise on why black might be the new millennial pink? – Harling Ross 

AG

I did not expect to find inspiration in a white t-shirt and jeans sandwich but when the shapes feel new — the denim’s not wide leg, not skinny, not boot cut, just current and those shirts are long enough to cover the top of your pants, but short enough to look like they’ll be deliberately tucked out, I can’t help myself! The best of fashion week might well present itself like it did at AG, as the best of styling tricks; it’s too soon to tell but I’m looking for a black belt and some kitten heels if you have any. – Leandra Medine 

Rachel Comey

If you’re looking for duvet pants, Rachel Comey has you covered, but if that’s not your taste, she might suggest a couple straps to wrap around the ankles of your pants in order to create a peplum effect that is best served with a pointed toe zip-up boot and I know they say pictures are worth tons of words, but missing from these are a line of paillettes that trailed the back end of socks on several of the models; crafts night, anyone? – Leandra Medine 

Bode

If you, like me, have spent the last decade or so questioning the necessity of one-cent coins, I’m pleased to report that Bode’s FW19 collection has singlehandedly resuscitated their value — and I don’t mean financially. Yes, a transparent coat full of pennies stole the show yesterday, but other highlights included rainbow scarves that doubled as hoods, fair-isle knitwear and hand-drawn illustrations on corduroy. Oh also! There was a band of literal brothers playing music. It was excellent. – Harling Ross


Feature image by Noam Galai via Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows.

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