We all know the norm for NYFW-- streetwear-influenced collections. Shows are usually too-cool-for-school, while audiences of fashion's elite are larger than life. This year, however, things were different. The audience was actually lifeless, stone-faced, and mundane. Most refreshed their social media timelines like clockwork every 15 blinks of the eye. On their phones: Instagram open in one tab, Donald Trump's Twitter page in the other.
Is it just me, or was no one that focused on the fashion?
I mean, how many of your post-fashion show conversations consisted of recent political news and a series of eye rolls? How many times did you raise your phone to take a photo of a fabulous outfit, only to find your lock screen displaying another presidential executive order?
Let's be real. We are all exhausted. This fashion week crept up on us just as we were trying to figure out how to stay woke without losing our minds. Spoiler alert-- we haven't figured it out yet. Quite frankly, we are sick of the fuss and just needed a moment. Designers had a different idea in mind.
Down the runway strutted elaborate collections inspired by the past, in all of their maximalist goodness. Escapism is no new trend during times of political hardship, but I must say, less of it would've been nice. How annoying was it to see bubble-gum & sunshine waltzing down the runways, as if the world is peachy-keen right now? And who could still support brands who didn't use their enormous platform to take a stance on important issues of today? Designers, enough of the hoopla-- the world is up in flames right now. Can we act like it?
As Veronique Hyland put it: "Confronted with yet another glittering bubble dress or opulent fur, I often felt like I was in 1987, and sometimes I would mentally teleport three decades back only to find myself jarringly in the present. It was like a very advanced form of jet lag... At the high-fashion level, style is not just about escapism or comfort — it should, like any other art form, react to what’s actually going on."
This is exactly why Marc Jacob's NYFW presentation was one of my favorites. The utilitarian-influenced collection gave me the feeling that we are (impeccably dressed) fighters- ready for serious business. And we are! Not to mention, what soundtrack gave the show an atmosphere I appreciated more than I thought I would? Silence. That's right-- absolute silence. In the midst of NYC, it was like a breath of fresh air. Watching this, my headache depreciated and I was able to just focus on the clothes (what I'd been trying to do all week). Get your runway therapy below:
Don't you think Mr. President should try some silence every once in a while? Seems like it'd be twice as rejuvenating for us.