After 71 years of New York Fashion Week history, it seems the show has taken a new turn. The exclusive front row seats are now overrun with toddlers, designer collections are taking a back seat to New York street fashion, collections are unveiled on social media instead of the runway, and Athleisure has transitioned to nap-inspired fashions. The rules of fashion and proper etiquette during the shows have been tossed out the window.
What’s termed as “street style” is photographed and evaluated more than runway looks inside the venue. During Fashion Week, models, showgoers and trendy New Yorkers roam the streets in their best attire, predicting fall and spring fashion trends, as shutter-happy photographers await the commencement of designer shows. Photographers begin snapping photos as practice for the main event, and these images end up scattered on social media sites to give the general public a first glimpse of what’s to come.
There seems to be a breaking down of barriers to the exclusive New York Fashion Week shows. Some designers are recognizing the need for everyday consumers to be a crucial part of the event, and are extending their reach beyond the elite and celebrity guests. Designers are connecting with the consumer, in the same way a musician interacts with fans, and it seems to be paying off. Opening doors that were once closed to the general public, the fashion world is laying out the red carpet and giving the average consumer a sneak peek at the collections before the official unveiling. For instance, Burberry initiated buzz and brought attention to its brand with their Snapchat account. Rag & Bone, as well as Givenchy, released a select few fashion show seats to the general public, to be more consumer friendly. Partnering with Uber, Rag & Bone had fashion-savvy citizens running all over the city’s boroughs to catch Uber rides in hopes of winning tickets for entry into the audience.
We assume the designers kept general public seats limited to the back rows and at an appropriate distance away from celebrity guests seated along the front row. Yet even the front row has become less exclusive than it had been in recent years. The entire Kardashian clan can be seen in the neighboring chair of Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. We can only imagine Wintour’s thoughts behind her infamous tinted glasses as 2-year-old North West belted out a distracting tantrum in the middle of a meticulously choreographed show.
Aside from the occasional few extreme fashions created for Spring 2016 season, the consensus is clear: the 70s and even some 90s fashions are making a comeback, and we love it. Hit up your local thrift stores and resale shops now to get the former retired styles before fashionistas catch on. Flared jeans are one classic style consumers will be revisiting, along with a multitude of takes on denim. Patchwork jeans and denim button-down skirts are being explored further. Don’t be afraid to pair these trends with an off-the-shoulder flowy blouse to pull off the ultimate 70s throwback look. This spring, we’re disregarding the rules of fashion, and subtlety is no longer a concern. It’s all or nothing in the coming seasons, so don’t feel the need to contrast the laidback style with a modern twist.
Glancing over the street style once again, it seemed that by day seven of Fashion Week, everyone was too worn out to care, or maybe their closets were empty, as stylish showgoers were roaming the streets in silk-trimmed pajamas, paired with their Christian Louboutin stilettos. You heard it here first: Athleisure wear has hit its peak. Forget working out; people want to be prepared for a nap at any moment of the day. Fashionable robes took over runways as the new wrap dress, and pajamas have replaced workout wear and yoga pants. We hope this was something of a spirit day throwback from high school, like a pajama day, but only time will tell. Watch out for the Midwestern Wal-Mart shoppers who already have this trend down to a science.
As far as the return of the 90s, break out your low-slung pants in true Aaliyah fashion. The boyfriend jean just got even more relaxed, transitioning to the B-boy silhouette. Pair this with an updated modern choker necklace and a pair of sneaker boots, yes a mix of sneakers and boots will make their way into your closet this fall, and you can roam Soho in style. The tightly clung bodysuit is being reinstated as well into the fashion world, specifically so we can master this look all over again.
It’s very possible this is simply a test to see how the general public reacts without the traditional rules of the seasons, such as no white after Labor Day. It’s comforting to know our opinions are beginning to matter to large clothing brands. Designers opening more doors to the general public could be a reaction to the evolving cultural changes and acceptance of genders and sizes. Embracing our differences is clearly the trend for New York Fashion Week. We see a continuation of these throwback styles and social media viewings continuing on as London Fashion Week is in full swing. Glance over your Instagram feed for inspiration and let the shopping commence.