New York Fashion Week: Spring/Summer 2018

It’s hard to believe that it’s time to hop back onto the Fashion Week merry-go-round, but here we are once again in New York, kicking off the SS18 shows that began on September 7 and end on September 14. The frenzy is as fabulous as ever: star-strewn front rows, backstage mêlée, new hot models, celebrity antics, the parties, and the clothes…

Jason Wu transformed the Fulton Market Building into an extravagant Eden on September 8. Vast concrete troughs were filled with a profusion of blooms, the floral theme carried through into a collection of casual-chic brilliance. Eye-catching designs included red and blue ditsy-print dresses, the fabric patched, wrapped and strapped to flatter the form and flash a little leg. Large asymmetric Swarovski crystals in neutral, gold and blue tones were sewn into the patterns like huge raindrops to dial up the glamour. Wu also took the opportunity to showcase jewelry from his third season with Atelier Swarovski. Crisp ticking-stripe outfits were the perfect foil for the new sculptural pieces featuring clear and Silvershade crystals encased in polished gold-plated settings, an evolution of his admired Mosiac collection. Fans of Wu’s jewelry will be delighted that his new Prisma collection—an everyday, more widely available range inspired by Mosaic—will be in stores shortly.

On the same day, TriBeCa’s Spring Studios hosted a designer with a very different fashion sensibility: the irrepressible Jeremy Scott, a long-time Swarovski collaborator. He celebrated his label’s 20th birthday with a sporty sprinkling of stardust over everything: Sofia Richie, making her runway appearance in front of dad Lionel for the first time, shone among model pals Gigi Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Swarovski’s own brand ambassador Karlie Kloss. Richie’s ruffled nylon parka-dress in black tulle was one of four sheer outfits covered entirely in Swarovski crystals.

Others in the glitzed-up, sports-utility series were a front-zip parka-dress, a flight suit and cargo pants. In colorful contrast, crystals were everywhere on the runway, trapped in fluoro fishnet. Accessories were also made to dazzle, including Richie’s combat boots and Hadid’s backpack—even eyes were underlined with crystals.

Next up was Creatures of the Wind at Skylight Clarkson Square on September 9. The directional label’s design duo Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters were supported by Swarovski to create a collection with sustainability at its heart. The outcome was Further, a collection painted with a custom lacquer developed by the inventive pair. Made up of over 1.7 million Swarovski Crystaldust pieces—a byproduct of Swarovski’s cutting process—the sparkling lacquer was applied as a repeat-pattern finish to reworked, one-of-a-kind leather coats, skirts and boots. These inspirational designers have always gone to great lengths to minimize waste during the creative process, and their new lacquer—made from what would normally have been swept away—is inherently sustainable. Bravo!

Swarovski was again driving positive change towards a more responsible fashion industry, this time at The Kitchen on September 10, where TOME took over the runway. The talented pair behind the label, Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin, were supported by the crystal maison and chose to recycle stones used in previous collections. They drew inspiration from NYC dance icon Pam Tanowitz, who also choreographed their show: she had models on a viewing platform towering over her dancers, who wore slip-dresses, leotards and voluminous pants. The clever bit was in the detail, however: striped and pleated cottons and silks were embellished with vibrant-hued crystals to create a subtle shimmer, and geometric crystal designs were placed strategically on garments to accentuate the movement of the body. The effect of statuesque models overlooking fluid dancers was sensational.

It was Time to Shine at Galtiscopio x Luxtrada, where Swarovski crystals were used to edge circle cutouts at the waist, collarbone and pelvis on sleek bodycon silhouettes. Sparkles were also used to clothe arms and legs, as well as being layered on lots of swishy fringing and some wispy ostrich feather mesh. This emphasis on dynamic light refraction, enhanced through clever cutting and gleaming skin and hair had a multi-transmission effect on light. The ubiquitous slogan tee was also out in force, with a “Weekend Fling” shirt flirting playfully while at the same time asserting a strong femininity. Alongside the signature Galtiscopio burgundy, colors were clearly defined: black and white, silver and gold, electric blue and violet. This is a label that exudes female self-confidence.

Runway: Dan Lecca
Backstage: Jason Lloyd-Evans