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37 One-Sentence Reviews From New York Fashion Week
09.12.19

One-sentence reviews are back, which in fashion week terms is like the equivalent of a box arriving at your doorstep full of confetti and outfit ideas. The promise of new identities to be explored and new ideas to be transcribed. Of thoughtful debate and examination. It’s all there, on runway platforms and ballpoint pen tips: infinite question marks waiting to be turned into exclamation points. And it’s all so much, so consider this your text message recap. Scroll for our preliminary takes—brief stabs at the heart of what makes NYFW tick—and chime in with your thoughts. What good, after all, is a text message sent without a rebuttal received? Oh, and if you’re in New York this month, might I suggest swinging by your nearest Maman to celebrate fashion week with an oatmeal raisin latte, created by Leandra, just for you.


Day Six

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs

The first glimpse I caught of the Marc Jacobs show on social media was the very end—shaky footage of Marc Jacobs himself, wearing sky-high red platform boots and prancing (literally!) in front of the audience in what was clearly his final bow. The palpableness of his joy, still apparent even after so many years of doing this, was a sentiment I couldn’t help applying to the entire collection when I immersed myself in photos afterward: 61 looks, 61 characters, 61 joy-infused versions of the people I see when I walk to work, when I’m on the subway, when I’m wandering through aisles at the grocery store, when I’m waiting in line for a sad desk salad. This is Marc Jacobs’s gift to us all—his ability to cup his hands and blow glitter onto our everyday existence, adding a new layer of intrigue onto common things we might otherwise overlook, like a polka-dot dress with a Peter Pan collar and velvet neck bow, a boot rendered in the precise shade of turquoise as the skirt they’re paired with, but perhaps most importantly, the very act of being alive, of waking up and doing the same thing you did the day before: deciding what you want to wear. —Harling

Batsheva

Batsheva

Based on prior Batsheva shows, I heavily suspected there would be some kind of performative aspect to this one, a hunch that was confirmed as soon as I entered the room where it would be taking place–a relatively mundane classroom in the basement of NYU Law–and saw dozens of T-shirts and sweatshirts placed at each seat, emblazoned with the words “Batsheva University.” Indeed, class was certainly in session at my last event of fashion week; we were treated to a lecture from three professors on the subtext embedded in Batsheva’s designs, a meditation on femininity and modesty that served as the soundtrack for the collection of signature gingham, pinafores, ruffles, and “house dresses” worn by a cast of definitively non-model models. —Harling

Dion Lee

Dion Lee

Atop a middle school in lower Manhattan under the blazing hot sun, Dion Lee sent a bevy of minimalist-90s club kid looks down the runway. Casual white day-corsets, thigh-high black boots with structured suiting, mesh tops, bandana dresses and GIGANTIC purses were all made to look like feasible Thursday (sexy Thursday, but Thursday nevertheless) outfits by mixing reserved color palettes and beautifully-made neutral-colored harnesses for looks that were more eye-catching than shocking. —Nora


Day Five

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler

Brevity has not been my strong suit this week, but for the sake of Proenza Schouler, precisely, conclusively, indelibly itself and to that point, absolutely immaculate, it can only be said: 80s, baby! But make it 2019 fashion. Omg, and also, not to break character, or my commitment to run-on sentences, but this next one deserves its own. If you see what I see, you must know what I know: Proenza Schouler x Birkenstock is-a-coming. —Leandra

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta

There is something so satisfying about observing a fashion show meet the expectations you had for fashion shows before ever attending one—I always assumed that like any other basic story, they had beginnings, middles and ends; that the clothes took you through a day in someone’s life. This fictitious person changes by brand but for Oscar de la Renta, who delivered on my incipient expectations, she’s got the works laid out for her with a collection of tunics and caftans for sunbathing and galaing, tea dresses and skirts for luncheons (and blazers in case it gets chilly!), there were a few great asymmetric mini skirts rendered in structured poplin or silk moire and those were paired with short sleeve button-down shirts, at the end of it all came the !evening! wear — not just dresses but dresses and two instances of separates in a couple of crystal tops and tulle ball gown skirts, I loved the whole damn thing — start to finish. —Leandra

Coach

Coach

I love a show that has so much production budget that you get to sit on The Highline at sunset with a cool breeze and a cocktail, and then Eva Chen sits next to you and you introduce yourself and become five years old again and can’t ask her for a picture and then the show starts and the music is thrumming so loudly you can feel it in your whole body and you watch the looks approach you but the breeze-blown hair from the seatmate to your left is flying in your mouth and you’re making light spitting noises BUT the clothes were tailored and crisp and bore Barbra Streisand’s face and you feel the warm energy of being surrounded by clothes. —Amalie

Eckhaus Latta

Eckhaus Latta

Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of neon green, neck tattoos, and clothes featuring flames in the Eckhaus Latta audience today, and the subtle social flexing was on high volume: I spotted multiple instances of seat theft and subsequent eye rolls as I waited for the show to begin in the humid industrial space in Brooklyn. Once it did start, I was sent on a stylistic rollercoaster; what do these things have in common: A silk navy suit with billowing pleats, gray cotton cargo pants, and an electric blue sequined spaghetti-strap mini dress? (Tell me if you think of an answer!) All I can say is, this collection—with its vintage-looking knit dresses, sleek oversized suits, and deconstructed going out tops—defies categorization unless that categorization is “your cool downtown friend whose outfit surprises you every time.” —Haley

Gabriela Hearst

Gabriela Hearst

You can usually tell that a bunch of designers are on the same wavelength, this is called the beginning of a trend, but this season more than any other, I’ve pinpointed so few that we might actually be post-trend; actually, no, that’s not possible—but trends are obviously no longer being born at runway shows; what you do find, however, are specific camps being designed into: generation z’s take back of tacky, millennial clothes that attract “likes” but are still conclusively wearable and the advanced, streamlined nature of a designer like Gabriela Hearst, who hails from the same camp as The Row, but perhaps with a tilt that leans more heavily on fashion (and less on presenting true wardrobe armor)—for Spring she wants you to know that while it doesn’t take a lot to say a lot, in the interest of newness, you shouldn’t look back either: these are the clothes of the moment. —Leandra


Day Four

3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim

There are three outfits from the Phillip Lim show that I can’t stop thinking about and I will share them with you, too, so we can mutually churn them in our collective minds like a song that is stuck in our heads, okay? Okay here we go: the first is a pea soup-colored suit worn over a cropped crochet top and decorated with what looks like a leather shawl (genius), then another leather shawl made an appearance except this one was more of a leather basketweave situation, worn over a loose-knit sweater with white Bermuda shorts and ankle boots so low they could almost pass as loafers, then a white jacket with cutouts worn over white culottes (culottes!) and a cream kerchief. I want to recreate all of them, which is why I just googled “leather shawl,” and rest assured I WILL report back. —Harling

Sandy Liang

Sandy Liang

As a lover of soft things (see: an abnormally large soft coat collection in my possession), I fell in love with Sandy Liang *first* through her edgy unisex fleeces, then leveled-up to loving her cheeky feminine-but-not dresses, intarsia polo sweaters, and slinky slip skirts. This season, she built and expanded upon her known repertoire with more non-gendered sheer dresses, soft coats, bleached denim, and an iridescent babydoll dress I won’t soon forget (SOS). Is it creeptastic that I know everything about her and her dog and her partner and her family’s restaurant from Instagram, too? I love Sandy, I loved the show, I want everything on my body posthaste. —Amalie

Maryam Nassir Zadeh

Maryam Nassir Zadeh

I showed up at MNZ wearing a sheer black nightgown with high-waisted black underwear, basically naked, but I put a cardigan over my shoulders out of respect, you know, for the public-display-of-nudity naysayers among us—lord help them if they were present at MNZ, where the opening looks consisted of those mini-skirt bikini-bottom bathing suits that were popular in the 90s reimagined as regular skirts within the collection and one model who actually just wore a bikini with boots; there were loads more bra tops, too, but the dead ringer for “my look” was a white lightweight (whiteweight?) nylon jumpsuit and a pair of checkered pants with a printed skirt over it; it’s unclear whether they’re skants but, anyway, I’m still naked and open to wearing more clothing. —Leandra

Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera

The entrance of the Carolina Herrera show venue in Battery Park was crowded with men wearing black button-downs tucked into black pants–the kind of uniform you might wear if you were serving champagne at a party, or checking people in at the door, but they were doing neither. I made a note of this as I walked in but was quickly distracted by the throngs of celebrities I recognized and VIPs I didn’t recognize but knew to be important by virtue of the fact that they were dressed in Full Looks with Full Makeup and kept standing up to get photographed. Fifteen or so minutes later, once everyone was seated, the aforementioned men in black assembled near the runway and began peeling back a layer of thin plastic to reveal a perfectly pristine white carpet underneath, and thus their purpose was revealed–along with the overall aura of the collection: gowns, ball skirts, and jackets so beautifully constructed you would almost be tempted to ensconce them in protective covering for eternity. —Harling

The Row

The Row

We get, like, three days a year to wear garments for different seasons in the same outfit, and it is up to us not to F it up. So allow me to identify the ideal summer-to-fall transition outfit for a cloudy day clocking in at 57 degrees fahrenheit: a navy blue, single-breast blazer styled over a black half-zip, with cotton sweatpants half-tucked into black socks—only slightly, but still intentionally—and double-strap flat sandals that look like a cross between a Teva and a Birkenstock. But wait, there’s another: It’s a shell turtleneck under a blue button-down paired with another-shade-of-blue straight skirt, and the shoes are actually an excuse to not wear shoes, like Saran wrap around a sole. God I love them. —Leandra


Day Three

Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung

I was wondering why Prabal Gurung’s 10th anniversary show was slated to be held at Spring Studios (which essentially provides a template for brands to produce runway shows), but then I learned that he pulled out of plans to host his show at Hudson Yards after the location’s affiliation with Stephen Ross (see: his Trump fundraiser in the Hamptons) came to light, and therefore Gurung had to think fast. The theme was “Who gets to be an American?”—it was clear where the designer stood. I may have been peering from the very back, but I felt the show was alive with the smell of fresh flowers (in both models’ baskets and hanging from the ceiling), rich reds, blues and greens, and looks ranging from yoga studio to benefit gala. The feathers and the floral headpieces all reached my line of vision, but the rest I had to drink in on Getty. As such, my phone stayed happily in my lap. —Amalie

Collina Strada

Collina Strada

I raced to Collina Strada’s venue from another show, so by the time I arrived I was on the verge of panic that I was going to miss it, causing a slight delay in my fully digesting the surroundings once I (finally) took my seat. The show was situated on the outskirts of a park in the East Village, allowing bystanders to peep through an iron gate and see what I saw: a corridor of NYC pavement lined with picnic tables topped with all manner of farmer’s market spoils—oranges, kale, squash, flowers, etc.—through which models wearing tie-dye, velvet, iridescent ensembles engaged in all manner of New York City activities, from pushing kids in strollers, or calmly eating grapes to breaking out into spontaneous freestyle dance. Dance! —Harling

Jason Wu

Jason Wu

Jason Wu is a brand that makes me want to get dressed up, an impulse that was no doubt exacerbated by the fact that I was dressed down while in attendance at the brand’s show and party, in stark contrast to the ethereal gowns floating inches away from my sturdy Birkenstocks—and when I say “floating” I don’t mean it metaphorically, the preponderance of feathers and chiffon caused each garment to literally hover with every step the models took. —Harling

Rosie Assoulin

Rosie Assoulin

Rosie Assoulin’s presentation was perched amid farmers’ market shoppers at the Union Square Italian restaurant Bocce, where her visitors were met with a self-pickling station upon entering the venye. Just past the station was Assoulin herself, taking editors through her new collection — classic Rosie in its joyful, feminine wearability; think: long, asymmetrical hemlines, ruffled shirts, skirts attached to shorts and utilitarian but sleek khaki sets. The accessories had an heirloom quality to them, from brass produce jewelry to literal basket bags and wide-brim straw sun hats—still, small quirky details made them feel perfectly of-the-moment. —Elizabeth

Tibi

Tibi

If I were handing out senior superlatives for fashion week shows, “comfiest seat” would be awarded to Tibi, which took place in the middle of Times Square in a venue stacked theater-style with red velvet chairs—a fitting perch from which to view another iteration of Amy Smilovic’s mission to clothe women both stylishly and comfortably at the same time. The components of each outfit didn’t stray far from those in previous seasons (which is kind of the point—Tibi’s formula is what makes it so consistently compelling), though there was undoubtedly a standout piece: parachute cargo pants rendered in shades so vibrant they seemed edible, from cotton candy hues to just-ripe melon. —Harling

Staud

Staud

Social media clothes are usually pretty impractical—you put them on to take a picture then take them off because they’re kind of impossible to wear—but when the clothes deliver on your color-bait desires while also being simple silhouettes rendered in easy fabrics you could practically sleep in, you get to have your likes and eat them too. Lmk how they taste. —Leandra

Mansur Gavriel

Mansur Gavriel

I was so thirsty when I got to Mansur Gavriel, which is why it felt like kismet when a kind waiter handed me an enormous pineapple juice beverage housed inside an actual pineapple, but I had an aha! moment when I realized it was also a distillation of what Mansur Gavriel is so good at doing—seamlessly marrying the “it” factor with something that actually serves its customer in a tangibly functional way, whether that’s making a warm sweater in the perfect oversized silhouette that just so happens to be bedecked with cumulus clouds or nipping the ankles of a pair of khakis in such a way that they become statement as well as staple. —Harling

Tory Burch

Tory Burch

Clothes you wanna wear—at this point, it’s all I ask for, and Tory Burch delivered within her Brooklyn Museum environs where scones and quiche were served pre-show and scalloped linen monogrammed napkins met guests at their seats; maybe I was well fed, and had been charmed by the gesture, but those big navy pants paired with the napkin bib shirt and striped cardigan; or the salmon pink ankle length dress styled over matching silk pants that dragged gracefully against the floor made me feel even more like I get myself. Same trick, different hat, still me. —Leandra


Day Two

Suzanne Rae

Suzanne Rae

In the rustic Flamboyán theater on the LES, I sat in a folding chair and was met by a real song and dance from two performers dressed in Suzanne Rae, backed by a big digital screen playing original video spliced with news footage and while the performers belted and shimmied, models came out wearing 20 different looks from the camps of sleepleisure, collegiate harkenings, fringe, and fun hats; the signature square toe d’orsay and Mary Jane shoes walked in vibrant primary colors and metallics— all in all it was joyful and upbeat and if you left without knowing your seat mate’s name and favorite dance move, you missed the point. —Elizabeth

Chromat

Chromat felt like that club I could never get into, but last night I did—actually everyone was welcome, including the long-ass line wrapped around the block, full of leopard print body suits and crystal-dripped shoulder pads with a wingspan of three feet. The music thrummed in anticipation of the show’s 45-minute-late start and I felt compelled to DAHNCE but the models took over, storming down the runway in cobalt blue and flaming red swimwear, with a surprise serenade from Rico Nasty. I love it here! —Amalie

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren threw a cocktail party on Wall Street last night that made me feel like I was in Paris and it was the 1920s and chilled champagne was shimmering like diamonds on socialite ears and everyone came dressed in black and white per the dress code requirement and Lauren Santo Domingo went so far as to generously offer that I was emanating a Lee Radziwill vibe and the show—a panoply of black-tie suits and gowns and sweaters with bears on them—added one more layer of glamour to the suspended time lapse in which I sat at a table eating Polo Club nuts and smoky potato chips and standing up to clap with the rest of the room at the end of the collection presentation as an unspoken but earnest thank you to Ralph for bringing us here, on this night, to remember the good old days; I don’t want to escape the present, but sometimes it’s nice to leave for just a minute. —Leandra

Area

Area runway

The crowd at Spring Studios boasts so many hair colors, which I can see from the vantage point of a lateral fourth-row seat, where it has become even clearer that I am no longer the youth; so it goes, they say, with living, but from this vantage point I get to watch with stars in my eyes, attempting to understand the panoply of crystals and sequins and this one handbag t-shirt (I don’t know how else to describe it) that I saw someone wearing while we waited to check in (it had leather handles flapping out of the crew neck on both sides), and all this perfectly sets up what Area is going to show me: an enchanting cocktail of fantasy and escapism (birdcage skirts, crystal beards, literal armor that is beautiful, but clearly protective) stirred judiciously by the straw from which the culture drinks, dropping in tears of pragmatism (white eyelet button downs, an army green puff sleeve anorak vest) as if a translation, or proposition, the invitation to buy in—and let me tell you I’m in because while I may not be the youth anymore, I’m also not blind, and this, Area, is awesome. —Leandra

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano designs for the red carpet, and his show made me feel like I was riding one, from the throng of people waiting outside the venue, no doubt hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity, to the grand interior once I stepped inside, made even more luxurious by the faint brush of Alicia Silverstone’s thigh against my elbow as she squeezed past en route to her seat, which I couldn’t find even when I craned my neck, but I imagine was well-situated to witness what unfolded next: an ocean of mermaid-esque ensembles in various iterations of rainbow and seafoam, worn by a cast of models that exemplified a refreshing consideration of size-inclusivity. —Harling

Kate Spade

Whoa, sorry to be filing this after the sun is beginning to set, but you know what they say in the heat of the digital age—it is better late than never, or worse, early, and let me tell you, I might be late but creative director Nicola Glass delivered right on time this morning at the Elizabeth Street garden in Nolita where 35 models, a combination of those by trade and those by proxy (real people! In the world! Who give personality to the clothes they wear!) showed a collection of loose pants and tunic tops, pastel crochet knee-length covers, and ribbed knit numbers; there were some khaki jumpsuits and these rly cute Dr. Scholls-style slippers, which made the fact that everyone was holding some form of greenery make so much sense, as if to say: people in green houses should totally throw parties. —Leandra

Ulla Johnson

Ulla Johnson

In this episode of “What I Would Wear to a Mediterranean Beach, but Touch Neither Surf nor Sand Lest It Ruin My Shell-Adorned Hemline, I’ll Just Have an Orange Wine and Salty Olives Thanks” is: Ulla Johnson Spring/Summer 2020. —Amalie

Baja East

Baja East

Scott Studenberg of Baja East invited his audience to peek into his newfound California life at Milk Studios on 15th Street, in a room furnished with his own living room rugs. Studenberg explained the brand’s relaunch, following a three-season hiatus, to the 40-or-so-person audience with heartfelt honesty. The designer used Tarot Cards—which he recently learned how to read—as inspiration for some of the pieces, while other looks featured trippy psychedelic prints and all-white combinations (which Scott adores and was wearing himself). With an emotional thank you, he sat among the models, each clad in the sporty ribbed knits, fringes, sequins, and prints for which the brand has been known and loved. —Elizabeth

Christopher John Rogers

Christopher John Rogers

In CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Christopher John Rogers’s NYFW runway debut, the idea that humans contain multitudes was on full display: iridescent tent dresses, metallic teal suits, ruffled collars (if you’re feeling it, put it on!) were all accompanied by no-holds-barred vogueing courtesy of models who clearly relished the opportunity to express themselves in clothing that said more than words ever could. —Harling

Khaite

Khaite

You know that feeling when you’re just like, in between? Weather, moods, ideas—whatever! You want to have your cake, but eat it too, because you’re not sure if you’re hungry but value optionality; I don’t know if I’m packing too many metaphors into what is supposed to be a single sentence but Khaite designs for that in-between and it’s a great exercise in compromise—what do you wear when you want to be on a beach, but you’re in a city? Maybe a wrap skirt that could be a sarong and button down shirt hooked only at the chest, or it’s Saturday night, right? And you’re not sure if you want to go capital-O Out or lowercase hang, so you wear a tulle Top (capital T, of course) and jeans—best yet, you’re in a flashy beach mood, so wear the skirt and the top, add rhinestone or pearl epaulettes, and off you go. —Leandra

Adam Lippes

Adam Lippes

“Extreme Glamping” is the phrase that came to mind at Adam Lippes’s presentation, set in a brick-walled room in a Downtown NYC skyscraper, in which one wall was lined with models wearing tent silhouettes, floor-sweeping dresses with matching or coordinating bucket hats, sequins, cozy knits, and raw denim touches, slivers of morning light shining between their bodies. Gowns were embroidered in sequin-encrusted nature scenes and pockets were a detail for nearly every dress or skirt worn, presumably meant for storing a Thermos? —Elizabeth


Day One

Tomo Koizumi

Tomo

I will never be sure how the Tomo Koizumi beauty team managed to get model Ariel Nicholson’s long hair to gel into a sharp point for their one-woman show, but they did, and it stayed that way, all while she frolicked in larger-than-life Koizumi creations, which were made even *more* alive this year than last (which had been Koizumi’s fashion week debut), with wilder construction by way of incredible fabric appendages that moved like jellyfish legs as Nicholson danced from one look into the next. —Amalie

Hellessy

Hellessy is like Dylan’s Candy Bar for going-out tops, as evidenced from today’s rundown of delectable décolletage poofs, one-shouldered delights, torsos draped in silk, and billowing sleeves—each paired with unexpected bottoms like light-wash denim and hot pink velvet leggings, an homage to the universal truth that a good going-out top is as versatile as a Tootsie pop is interminable. —Harling

Shrimps

Shrimps designer Hannah Weiland recently admitted her distaste for digital prints and preference for patterns with a “painterly” feel, a sentiment on full display in her latest collection, which engenders the charming effect of looking simultaneously of the moment (thanks to pearly mini bags and horseshoe-emblazoned faux fur coats) and reminiscent of a different time—or rather, times plural (see: cloche hats, saloon-inspired skirts, parasols, etc.). —Harling

Mara Hoffman

For sustainability-driven Hoffman’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection, the idea of “what a woman might have worn on vacation in Greece in the 80s” was on the brain, which makes the familiar smocking, color-blocking, and voluminous silhouettes feel warmly at home anywhere, not just among white-washed walls and hee-hawing donkeys. —Amalie

Rodarte

My mom got married in 1985 at a venue that provided photo-taking opportunities not unlike those presented in Rodarte’s Spring/Summer 2020 lookbook, boasting the faces of a cast of familiar, famous characters dressed to the 11s in an array of sequins and brocade and iridescent materials layered upon ruffles and big sleeves and mermaid tails and tulle; some pants are interrupted by knee-high, sparkling boots, but to resuscitate my initial point: If only—my mom wishes (I called her, she told me)—she had worn Rodarte. —Leandra

Feature Photo via Getty Images, Photos via Vogue Runway.

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