Fashion Week (or month) is one of the most anticipated fashion events of the year. It’s a time where designers, make up artists, hairstylists, and stylists can emerge and establish a name for themselves. With that being said, powerful, iconic women have made themselves known during this year’s fashion week. From Rihanna to Zendaya to Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte to other incredible women, here are some of the women who have taken New York Fashion Week by storm.
The Tommy Hilfiger X Zendaya collection took the audience back to the Apollo age where everything was filled with jazz, hip-hop, and more, the Apollo also holds a special significance for the African American community. Although a time where segregation was major and whites-only places were everywhere during its early years, it proved to be a time of black artistry. It’s something that inspired Zendaya in the first place. Zendaya has been a constant advocate for black womanhood and wanted to continue to tie it to the collection.
With that being said, Zendaya created more than just a fashion show. She channeled the upbeat livelihood of the era with classic music and models dancing as they strutted down the runway, she ultimately created a joyous celebration. It’s because of her thoughtful insight and channeling what she’s most passionate about that Zendaya has forever left her mark on New York Fashion Week.
One word, Rihanna. With her Fenty beauty brand as well as lingerie line, Ri Ri is no stranger to the fashion and makeup scene. With her diverse and unique designs, she has inspired others to be more inclusive with their make up and clothes. She continues to pave the way for women of color designers and has been a voice for those who struggle to be heard.
This was seen during her Savage X Fenty show (watch it on Amazon Prime Video Sept 30), where she included popular models such as the Hadid sisters, as well as Normani, Paloma Elsesser, and Laverne Cox. With performances by Big Sean, Halsey, DJ Khaled, A$AP Ferg, Migos, and more, Rhianna’s show proved to be more than just fashion. Bold statement lingerie was seen throughout, from neon colors worn by Cara Delelvingne, to wild patterns such as Polka dots worn by singer Normani. Ri Ri created a show unlike no other that showcased creativity, inclusivity and female empowerment. Rihanna really can do everything.
Considered to be the “American Hermés,” Gabriela Hearst’s approach to design has been ongoing. Her New York show was filled with intricate hand-stitched, sheer outfits and chunky belts. Colors ranged from bright to neutral and were mixtures of pantsuits, dress and pant combos as well as long dresses.
Powered by eco-friendly ways, Hearst’s show was carbon neutral meaning she cut down the use of power usage and waste (the model’s hair was done without the use of electricity). She then enlisted EcoAct, an advisory group who assists in meeting the demands of climate change. It’s with this idea that Hearst hopes to inspire other designers to become eco-friendly and establish a new industry norm.
Combining both boho and beachy, Rosie Assoulin wanted her line to be easy for customers to get dressed. It’s because of this idea she combined simple dresses with shorts or pants creating a unique look. Not to mention playinh with crazy colors such as yellows, oranges, turquoises all inspired by various fruits and vegetables she ate over the summer.
Assoulin combined simplistic looks with plaid patterns, massive accessories, and basic shoes. The show itself was held in Bocce Union Square where vegetables were displayed on tables and guests took home jars of DIY pickled veggies. Rosie Assoulin took a simple trend and put her spin on it while combining her passions.
Designer Catherine Holstein took “basic items” such as jeans, shirts, and knits and created a line unlike no other. From deconstructed suits to a pearl head-piece Holstein created her own “basic” outfit looks and it didn’t end there. Other pieces included scandalous droopy-blouses, Western-style jackets, victorian puffy sleeves and handkerchief dresses that nearly touch the ground.
Needless to say, Holstein’s collection challenged the classic American style. With Khaite, Holstein wants every kind of woman to feel moved by the collection, not just the typical minimalist types. Primarily inspired by her childhood in Woodstock, Vermont, Holstein played with patterns of plaids and florals all found throughout her grandmother’s late ‘60s house. The pearl headpieces were inspired by playing dress-up and wearing her grandmother’s necklaces in her hair. It’s because of her personal touches that three years into her career, celebrities such as Katie Holmes are ready to rep her brand.
Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte
As the saying goes, “fashion is art,” and Kate and Laura Mulleavy took this to a whole new level. Unlike a typical designer, the Mulleavy’s released the Rodarte collection on the eve of New York Fashion Week rather than walking the runway. For their Spring 2020 campaign, they gathered their various celebrity friends such as Kirsten Dunst, Lili Reinhart, Gabrielle Union, Haim, and more for a photoshoot in a fantasy-like rococo ensemble.
With the idea of creating a fantasy garden, the background consisted of black-and-white floors, hydrangeas everywhere, roman-like statues and of course artistic clothing. Combining old Hollywood with current high society, the designs combine delicacy and airiness. They are full of mixed floral patterns, polka-dots, pearls, poofs, and bows emitting high-class vibes. The Mulleavys have easily combined art and fashion through their brilliant designs shaking the fashion industry as we know it.
While the women of New York fashion week brought their own unique designs, it’s evident what they all have in common. They prove that women can be creative, passionate and be diverse, as well as give hope to those who want to one day be like them. These women are forever changing the fashion world as we know it.
Also published on Medium.