As New York Fashion Week’s womenswear shows draw to a close, Drapers brings you the highlights from the spring 18 collections.
The return of Helmut Lang
More than 12 years since the label’s departure from the New York Fashion Week schedule, Helmut Lang made a dramatic comeback this season. Now with Dazed and Confused editor-in-chief Isabella Burley as its first editor in residence and Hood by Air designer Shayne Oliver as its first guest designer, the new-look Lang staged a catwalk brimming with super-sexy insouciance. High-gloss vinyl, leather and bra tops comprising little more than a few fetishistic harness-like straps made for a brooding, sensual, street-style collection.
Marc Jacobs does 1970s decadence
Bringing NYFW to a close in typically grand style and celebrating its 25th anniversary, this season Marc Jacobs presented a joyous vision of exotic retro opulence. Oversized florals, acid brights and 1970s silhouettes made for a playful collection, the highlights of which were the draped sequin gowns and beaded tank tops.
Sies Marjan’s colourful cool
Known for its use of colour, Sies Marjan’s spring 18 catwalk was more muted than previous seasons. Pastels and bright earthy tones gave a warmth to the collection. A sage satin pyjama set, and a fluid tangerine top paired with a draped blush skirt were high points.
Coach’s revamped Americana
Vintage Americana was, once again, given a modern twist at Coach. Western jackets, silk bombers and saloon slip dresses were all given a glittering makeover, adding a sense of luxury to classic items. A collaboration with New York artist Keith Haring produced jumpers and T-shirts featuring his artwork. While these are sure to be a hit with buyers, there was a sense the collection could have made better, or more integrated use of Haring’s quirky designs.
Raf Simons’ Calvin Klein horror story
Hitchcock era-horror was the inspiration for Raf Simons sophomore collection for Calvin Klein. Colour blocking played an important role once again, this season shot through with Andy Warhol prints and graphics that underlined his horror inspiration – splatter patterns, knife prints and lashings of blood red. Simons made notable use of a mottled leather look in the form of a brassy dirndl skirt and tank top pairing. However, it is Simons’ western shirts and graphic T-shirts that look set to win over consumer wallets.
Alexander Wang’s street style
Wang staged three shows this season, which brought his street style quite literally to the streets. The models emerged from a party bus and walked the streets of New York in front of public audiences – a clever response to the demand for fashion weeks to become more consumer facing. The collection was typical of the energetic, cool, party girl aesthetic for which Wang is known. Mini-dresses, distressed denim, lace and glitter paired with Wang’s collaboration with Adidas, made for an urban, grunge glam. Amid the more evening-orientated pieces, the deconstructed shirting and denim were a sophisticated twist.
Mansur Gavriel’s ready-to-wear debut
Cult favourite accessory brand Mansur Gavriel made its ready-to-wear debut this season with a feminine, quirky collection brimming with wearable and desirable items sure to please existing buyers of the brand’s accessories. Launched as a “see now, buy now” range, coats were key, and came in an array of simple, bold colours – the pastel-toned ovoid options in lemon yellow and cornflower blue stood out, as did an abstract floral pyjama set in a rust colour and delicate, modern shape.
Matthew Adams Dolan makes an impact
Matthew Adams Dolan made his New York debut last season, and his spring 18 catwalk caused a stir among the fashion crowd. Like Raf Simons at Calvin Klein, Dolan was inspired by the horror movie genre – this time American Psycho – and this came through in the artfully deconstructed and distorted workwear aesthetic in his signature denim. Proportions were either oversized or super-small, and extreme-length sleeves were paired with pinstriped mini-skirts and oversized 1980s suiting.
Disco drama from Diane von Furstenberg
One year on from his debut for the Diane von Furstenberg, Jonathan Saunders appears to go from strength to strength. For spring 18 the focus was modernised 1970s glamour in looks that were bold, fluid, jewel toned and elegantly luxurious – encapsulating a sense of sunset glam. While the fringed satin dresses made an impact on the runway, the more commercial pieces – a series of flowing printed maxi-skirts, A-line minis and shirting – look set to please buyers.