Thursday, Sept. 7 kicked off the start of New York Fashion Week, a biannual event where designers debut their collection for buyers and the press. New York fashion week is the first of the “Big Four”: London, Milan, and Paris host the remaining major fashion weeks.
Cushnie et Ochs
Cushnie et Ochs is an American fashion brand founded in 2008 by Parsons grads Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs. The brand prides itself on being a “By women, for women” and is famous for pieces with minimalistic sophistication with a seductive element.
Fashion has a problem with trying too hard, attempting to push the envelope at the cost of ultimately creating something creatively contrived and wholly un-clever. Cushnie et Ochs’s spring summer collection provided necessary relief from the over-designed collections that are all too frequent on the runways. The collection succeeded on simple silhouettes coupled with strong patterns.
Perhaps most famously known as Lady Gaga’s stylist, Brandon Maxwell launched his luxury women’s ready-to-wear label in 2015. Maxwell’s transition from stylist to a designer has been well received by the fashion community; in the short period of time since his label launched, his designs have quickly become a favorite among icons such as Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and more.
Still a relatively juvenile designer, Brandon Maxwell is steadily establishing himself as one of New York’s coolest by consistently offering up well designed collections. This runway show, only his fifth ever, was no exception. His women marched down the platform ready to seize and conquer, be it a boardroom or gala. His frequent use of angora knits was an untraditional textile choice for a spring summer collection, but the unorthodox fabric did not detract from the collection. The collection focused on vibrant, monochromatic, occasionally neon looks. Despite the harsh color scheme, his looks maintained an air of professionalism, well-matched with his intentions to “give something that our customer could wear to work, or to her friend’s house on the weekend.”
Christian Siriano is measurably the most successful Fashion Runway alum. In addition to owning an eponymous line, he sits on the Council of Fashion Designers of America, arguably the most prestigious fashion organization in the world. He has recently garnered applause for his more inclusive style of dressing.
Christian Siriano made a name for himself last year when he volunteered to dress Leslie Jones, of SNL fame, when no other designer would. This collection paid homage to that incident in two parts. First he invited Jones, who, according to Vogue, showed “raucous enthusiasm for each piece.” Second, he cast an array of body types in his show — something that should be neither shocking or rare, but unfortunately is. He didn’t draw much attention to this fact, however, and instead let the focus remain where it should be: on his clothes. His collection carried the energy of the room well, his designs all had an energy and a spark to them. Sometimes the liveliness derived from his electric choice of color and pattern and other times from sculptural elements. If you want to leave a party with a guarantee of not being forgotten, he’s a designer to turn to.