- Kristopher Fraser |
New York - There was something missing in the air at Style Week this season. Looking at the schedule of shows, one had to ask, where were a lot of the legacy designers. Of course, you had the usual celebrated runway show by Ralph Lauren, but where were the other brands like Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenburg, and J. Mendel. This season at Style Week almost seemed rather like an emerging designers showcase, with a few splatters of already established names thrown in.
Keep in mind, there's always been plenty of emerging talent featured at Style Week. For designers who get to show at any of the major Style Weeks, this is often their introduction to the global fashion world, and there way of saying I've arrived.
However, the highly acclaimed, already established luxury and contemporary designers were always there to give you a good mix.
Many established designers didn't show at
That's not to say established brands were absent entirely. There were shows that were the talk of town, including Alexander Wang's, Proenza Schouler's, and Tommy Hilfiger's. However, notably different was the last day's lineup, which for more season's than anyone can remember has always consisted of Calvin Klein, J. Mendel, and Marc Jacobs.
Marc Jacobs was actually able to push up his show to 2 o'clock in the afternoon this year, because for once there was almost nothing affecting when he could close Style Week like he usually has. Ralph Lauren also moved his show to Wednesday night versus his usual Thursday morning.
This could have some positive side affects though. With the absence of legacy designers, more emerging designers have the chance to take the spotlight. Just look at the attention brought to Anniesa Hasibuan, the first hijab designer to show at NYFW.
On the other hand, this could be a remark on the current state of fashion. Designers are getting burned out with doing big runway shows, and constantly trying to one-up themselves.
Hilfiger managed to make headlines by hosting a see-now-buy-now show, as well as a carnival to sell the merchandise. But rather than opt for some new innovative idea, designers like Diane von Furstenburg and Calvin Klein opted to show appointments. Calvin Klein recently got a new creative director though, so there is the explanation for that since Raf Simons just started. However, Oscar de la Renta still showed their interim collection before their new creative directors take over go down the runway.
Calvin Klein is expected to make its runway return next season, but what about Diane von Furstenburg? There also wasn't a peep heard from J. Mendel. Will they be making their return to their usual Thursday spot on the fashion calendar?
If the trend of legacy brands pulling out of runway shows continue, Style Week could eventually become an emerging designers showcase. That might not be such a bad thing, but it might cause the event to lose prestige. Many editors, photographers, and buyers turnout for the designers who are red carpet favorites and household names.
The state of Style Week took a new turn this season, but perhaps next season the clock will be rewound to take us back to the days (really even just a season ago) when Style Week saw both legacy talent and newcomers put their skills on display. Until then, the future of Style Week appears to be up in the air.
photo via Catwalk Pictures