On day five of New York Fashion Week, the fashion crowd encountered both a bonjour and an adieu as Monse creatives Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia debuted their first collection for Oscar de la Renta and Proenza Schouler showed its last collection before departing to Paris for future fashion shows.
Launching the day’s events was Carolina Herrera, falling into lockstep with many other New York-based designers who decided to play it safe with familiar silhouettes for the Fall/Winter 2017 season. Herrera’s use of feminine shapes was intentional – she was going for simplicity, she declared backstage. The results bore all the stylistic hallmarks of a Hitchcockian heroine, from bow-finished blouses and ladylike skirts to dramatic capes and polished cocktail dresses.
Over at 3.1 Phillip Lim, both the show notes and the vibrant pink catwalk signaled the designer’s creative mood. “Color, curiosity, courage is what a new romanticism makes,” said the show notes, and one couldn’t help but read into the bold Yves Klein shades of blues and sculptured earrings on the runway. Clearly, wearable art was on the menu. Supporting Lim’s creative theme was a polished spin on bohemian dressing, with peasant frocks tied off with drawstrings and finished with top-stitch details. Geometric shapes created negative space on knits, while honeycomb mesh pants drew the eye downward where festively appointed footwear was on full display.
Further down the stretch, Proenza Schouler was the hottest ticket at day five because it was NYFW’s last chance to see the brand present in the Big Apple for the foreseeable future. In a move that surprised everyone, designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez decided to make the switch to Paris for future shows, however, they’re not showing ready-to-wear but joining the couture calendar instead. Naturally, the buzzworthy show met the crowd’s high expectations with a collection that paid homage to the brand’s longtime home. The NYC-themed collection celebrated the uptown girl, the downtown girl, the art junkie, and the 20-something hipster with a surfeit of artistic looks. Included in the dazzling line-up were a few of the brand’s signatures like asymmetrical construction, porthole cut-outs, and intricate layering, but they were engineered in unexpected fabrics like leather and latex. Of particular note was the inclusion of logos, which made for sly moments on the runway. If you’re keen, you’ll notice them on straps and dangling from zippers. Look for Proenza Schouler again at Paris Haute Couture Week in July.
Laura Kim’s and Fernando Garcia’s Oscar de la Renta show was slightly difficult to unpack as its structure has not been tried at NYFW before. The duo also share Monse – an emerging brand brimming with “It” factor – and decided to package both their Monse presentation and their Oscar de la Renta debut together. The joint show might have been unusual, but from a commercial stand-point, it was ingenious. We’re willing to bet that Demna Gvasalia wishes he had thought to do the same with Vetements and Balenciaga. By showing the two collections one right after the other, Kim and Garcia proved their versatility as designers, changing pace easily from intriguingly engineered, dramatic daywear and slinky sequined gowns at Monse to sophisticated classics and princess gowns at Oscar de la Renta.