1. Um . . . where’s Fashion Week again?
Photo: Courtesy of Skylight Clarkson Square
Lincoln Center, we hardly knew ye. WME-IMG, the entity that stages the “official” New York Fashion Week shows, has packed up its tents and re-staked them in two new locations: Skylight at Moynihan Station, in the old post office, and Skylight Clarkson Sq, on the western edge of Soho. As far as getting around town goes, the new venues are a great improvement on Lincoln Center, reached via a lengthy, traffic-gnarled trek from NYFW’s (unofficial) headquarters in the Meatpacking District and West Chelsea. But once showgoers have arrived at these new spaces, can they expect an upgraded user experience as well? WME-IMG seems intent on making the check-in process for shows more seamless, and the venues themselves more convivial (and less sponsor-oppressed). Whether it succeeds remains to be seen, although attendees at the recent men’s Fashion Week shows at the Clarkson Sq venue can attest that the atmosphere was far friendlier than the norm up on 66th.
Anyway, if the shows staged by WME-IMG are good ones, people will go—regardless of convenience or whether they warm to the new venues or not. And so the key move made by WME-IMG this season is non-geographical: The organization has lured designers such as Public School, Derek Lam, and Jeremy Scott back into the “official” NYFW fold.
2. Givenchy in NYC: What’s up with that?
Photo: Courtesy of Givenchy
New Yorkers are in for a treat this season: To mark the launch of the more than 4,000-square-foot Givenchy flagship store on Madison Avenue, Riccardo Tisci is bringing the house’s Spring 2016 show to the City That Doesn’t Sleep. And all of New York City is invited. This morning, 820 tickets will be made available to the public at large—and will no doubt be snapped up in the amount of time required to read this sentence. In all, 1,200 people will watch the show from a raised viewing platform, separate from the industry types bearing the usual engraved invites; the event, which Tisci conceived as “a celebration of family and love” with his friend, the performance artist Marina Abramovic, isn’t a total free-for-all. Nevertheless, it is a pretty revolutionary move, and one very much in keeping with the egalitarian spirit Tisci has long expressed. And the inclusiveness extends to the runway: Tisci will be sending out menswear and couture looks, along with the new Givenchy women’s collection. An after-party will follow—and that, we presume, will be hobnobbed by various fab Tisci pals and be strictly invite-only. Needless to say, we’re sweating one of those invites hard.
3. Does NYFW need celebrity designers?
Photo: Leandro Justen / BFANYC.com
The Givenchy show is going to be major. No doubt about it. But even Riccardo Tisci will have a tough time topping last season’s Adidas presentation by Kanye West, at least in terms of sheer spectacle. No designer could top Kanye, in fact. West, and celebrities like him who sideline in fashion, brings a different kind of excitement to the scene. New York Fashion Week is busy and mostly workmanlike, a hustle from one catwalk show to another. Events like the Kanye West x Adidas Originals presentation last season serve as a break from the routine. They enter into the industry’s collective consciousness and give us all something to talk about, and remember, together. Admit it: When you first heard the rumor that Kanye might be back for a repeat performance this season, didn’t that perk up your day? Didn’t it make you just a little more pumped for the start of Fashion Week?
4. Can the Public School boys bring the magic back to DKNY?
Photo: Courtesy of Melodie Jeng
More often than not, when an established brand appoints buzzy up-and-comers to take the creative reins, the pairing is a bit of a head-scratcher. How, you wonder, is that square peg going to fit into that rigorously monitored round hole? In the case of DKNY and Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, however, the match feels apt. DKNY launched in 1989 and helped to establish the sleek, sporty, logomaniacal look of downtown New York in the nineties. Chow and Osborne were growing up in the city then, and that old-school DKNY look was formative to their sense of style. They’re fluent in the DKNY vibe, and at Public School they’ve proven deft at executing an elevated, updated version of it (with much of their own sui generis personality thrown in). And as alums of Sean John, Chow and Osborne know what it means to design for a mass brand. If anyone can make DKNY resonate with young customers again, it seems like they can.
5. Will this be the breakthrough season for transgender models?
Photographed by Ben Grieme
Transgender visibility was already gaining momentum when Caitlyn Jenner emerged on the cover of Vanity Fair, like Botticelli’s Venus on a seashell. “Call me Caitlyn,” though, definitely marked a tipping point—one ramified by this summer’s advances for transgender models. Andreja Pejic became the first trans woman to front a beauty campaign (for Make Up For Ever); Hari Nef (above) was the first to sign to IMG; and a new agency, Apple Model Management, launched to exclusively represent transgender models. Clearly, there’s increasing demand—but does that demand translate to the runway?
Casting director Jennifer Venditti is not sure. Venditti has worked on shows such as Calvin Klein Collection and Rodarte, and she cast transgender models who appeared in last year’s landmark Barneys New York campaign shot by Bruce Weber. Her take is that show casting has a very particular logic—it’s about finding the girls, cisgender or trans, who wear the clothes best and who serve the designer’s story. “If trans models show up to castings and they fit the brief, then, yeah, they’ll get cast. I can’t think of anyone in the industry who’d have a problem using a transgender girl in a show,” she says. “But I don’t think we’re going to see a whole bunch of designers doing transgender casting just to get on board with the movement.” Venditti did make one exception: The “Cait Effect” (if you will) might tempt one designer to make a statement by casting all transgender models, or by putting a critical mass of them into his or her mix. “In that case,” she says, “then the girls are helping tell the story. Which is what the models are there to do.”
6. Is Caitlyn Jenner this season’s biggest show “get”? And, more important, who will get her?
Photo: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images
Look. No offense to all other celebs, but this season, there’s one—just one—big fashion show “get.” Caitlyn Jenner. Anything short of Angelina Jolie Pitt and Jennifer Aniston showing up together at Michael Kors and mending fences in full view of the front row will not stand up to the wattage of a Caitlyn Jenner appearance. And maybe not even that.
She’s got to come to Fashion Week. She just has to. One of the instantly iconic Jenner looks in her Vanity Fair spread came from Zac Posen, a fellow denizen of the reality televerse, so perhaps fortune will smile on fashionizers with an invite to Zac. Caitlyn has seized the mantle of advocate for transgender rights—she could get down with the kids who are already living in a trans world and attend Hood By Air. The most intriguing possibility is that Jenner will take a seat at Givenchy’s New York show: In some ways, that would be an obvious pick, given Kim and Kanye’s close relationship with Riccardo Tisci. In another way, Jenner’s decision to eschew Givenchy and take her fame elsewhere would be a clear signal that she’s ready to dispense with Kardashian-ness and make her own way. Finally: a fashion reality show worth watching.
7. Who will be this season’s stunt-casting standout?
Photo: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigitalimages.com
Derek Zoolander and Hansel’s cameos at Valentino last March launched a thousand Instagrams. And right after that, designers around the world started messaging their publicists, “How can we top that?” Herewith, our suggestions: Tilda Swinton. We’d take her on the Haider Ackermann or Lanvin catwalk, but we’d die a thousand deaths if she showed up at the J.Crew presentation dressed as Jenna Lyons. We’d like to see Taraji P. Henson, in character as Empire’s Cookie, on the catwalk at Balmain. Who else? Joan Didion’s Céline ad triggered a proper craze—how about casting some other writers, to keep us fashion folk on our mental toes? Zadie Smith? Renata Adler? Perhaps current lit-girl Nell Zink? More realistically, though, we’d like to see casting directors tapping the current yen for all things mid-nineties and bring back some of the era’s iconic faces: Shalom and Amber. Trish Goff. Bridget Hall. Maybe Cindy Crawford could take a turn down the runway, alongside her daughter, Kaia Gerber. Ack! Game over. Now we feel old.
8. What can we expect from an almost-post-Balenciaga Alexander Wang?
Photo: Monica Feudi / Feudiguaineri.com
Alexander Wang has another collection to produce at Balenciaga, but back home in New York the pressure is on. The industry will be expecting an influx of fresh energy and new ideas from Wang as he returns full focus to his namesake brand. The designer is certainly wiser for his three years in a high-fashion atelier, and it will be interesting to see how he applies those lessons. On the other hand, these next few seasons seem the proper occasion for Wang to get back to his roots and reconnect with the raffish, downtown attitude that inspired his brand in the first place. A restatement of the Wang core values would be welcome. This season, though, at least one thing is sure: When Wang throws his traditional big September bash, he’ll finally be able to kick back.
9. Is Gucci going to own front row style this season?
Photographed by Kevin Tachman
In a word: Yes. When Alessandro Michele sent his debut Gucci women’s collection down the runway in February, he wasn’t just proposing a look, he was instituting a mood. Dreamy. Sensuous. Magpie to the max. And not a little intellectual: Note the specs, please, on the models. The ideal street style look come September will be Gucci’s take on vintage women’s liberal arts college chic—and with that in mind, it seems apropos to note that this look comes with footnotes. Women who really want to own the Gucci attitude should accessorize with the right set of books to read in the front row: Michele referenced Giorgio Agamben in his Fall 2015 show notes. We suggest Hélène Cixous’s The Laugh of the Medusa for a critical theory fix; the poetry of Sylvia Plath, in order to get into the headspace of one of Smith College’s most famous grads; and an advance—if you can get your hands on one—of Mindy Kaling’s new book, Why Not Me? Don’t forget your glasses.
10. Can there ever be another Fiorucci?
Fiorucci, which opened on East 59th Street in 1976, was no mere store: It was known as the daytime Studio 54, a place so cool that Marc Jacobs skipped summer camp to hang out there. Cher was a regular. So was pre-fame Madonna—her pal Maripol was one of its art directors. Interview magazine had its launch party at Fiorucci. Keith Haring painted a wall or two. Founder Elio Fiorucci made the first pairs of stretch denim jeans for the store, to retail alongside such other then-notorious wares as gold cowboy boots and thongs. Fiorucci died in July, at the age of 80, and his passing raises the question: Could there ever be another Fiorucci?
Probably not. Even the city’s closest cousin to Fiorucci, Opening Ceremony, doesn’t operate as a clubhouse. Blame mobile phone technology for that, perhaps—it’s easy, today, to get a bead on what your pals are up to. And blame, as well, the fact that the retail scene in New York City is better overall than it was in the Fiorucci heyday: There are lots of great places to shop. Then, of course, there’s the Web. It’s not merely that more and more people are doing more and more of their shopping online, it’s that everyone is hanging out online, too. If there is a next Fiorucci, it will probably be an app. If that possibility strikes you as bleak, take comfort in this thought: Forty or so years from now, strangers to our own time will look back on it with rose-tinted glasses, too.
11. Also, what’s the deal with New York City nightlife?
Bianca Jagger riding a white horse at Studio 54 in 1977
Photographed by Chris von Wangenheim / Courtesy of Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.
Speaking of Studio 54 . . . If Fiorucci was one totem of bygone New York City fab, the actual nighttime Studio 54 was famously another. There have been a million obits written for Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager’s bacchanalian hot spot, and at least as many think pieces about why the city hasn’t produced any other place like it or, to cite a hangout of more recent vintage, like the louche, late-aughts-era Beatrice Inn. New York nightlife isn’t dead, of course—Ladyfag’s Friday night party is a pretty epic scene—but it’s a fact that no bar, boîte, or club that’s opened in the past few years has gained any foothold in the public imagination. What’s the deal? Cool folk of all varieties, what are you doing between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m.? Shopping for hookups on Raya? Touching up selfies? Smoking weed and catching up on episodes of BoJack Horseman? For God’s sake: Are you asleep?
At any rate, the imminently vital question is where New York Fashion Week-ers are meant to congregate this season. For a minute there, it seemed as though new joint Mr. Fong’s was the place to beat. Then its cover was blown—by The New York Times, no less—in a matter of weeks. Sigh. At least there’s one reason to stay up late this season: The fete at the former Tunnel space that Marc Jacobs is throwing to celebrate a new book about disco-era photographer Chris von Wangenheim. The dress code, according to the invite, is strictly “to kill.” “Sequins, Gold Lamé Turbans, Patty Hearst Symbionese Liberation Army Gear, Rogue, Rollerina Chic . . . Platinum Records as Head Gear . . . Eyes of Laura Mars Chic. No Flat Shoes. No Matte Surfaces. No Natural Looks.” Yes! Let’s party, kids.
12. Who is going to rock the Dolce & Gabbana headphones?
Courtesy of Dolce and Gabbana
Someone is going to be sporting the Dolce & Gabbana embellished headphones this season. Maybe even a few people. But the real question is: What should one listen to when wearing red napa leather headphones embellished with Swarovski crystals? Suggestions in the comments, please.
Source Vogue Online Blog