Donald J Pliner, Jean-Michel Cazabat and Concept Korea all provided a new, fresh take on this season’s FW 17/18 clothing and accessories. Our New York editor Briana Seftel went to each of the presentations to get inside the designers’ minds. Here’s her New York Fashion Week diary.
Wednesday February 8: Donald J Pliner
I took the elevator to the 45th floor of the Empire State Building to see the Donald J Pliner fall collection. Soaring high above Manhattan, Pliner’s office and showroom was filled with one stunning pair of shoes after another. With the help of a new women’s designer, the nearly 30-year-old footwear brand looks to reach a younger demographic without compromising on comfort or quality.
The fall collection marks the debut for Silvano Banfi, formerly of the Banfi Zambrelli Design Studio. He told FashInvest he had always wanted to design shoes because his father was a shoemaker in Italy. For this collection, he was inspired by Italian architect Brunelleschi and a photo of Christy Turlington in a 60s ensemble. Both of those influences could be seen in his shoes, like in a pair of leather and suede booties with a structural heel and metal clasp.
On the men’s side, designer Sisco Sintes, who has been with the brand since 2015, was influenced by the look of a military officer. Clean and sophisticated., Sintes played with fun and unexpected materials and colors in his collection, like the grommet loafer nicknamed “the Jagger.”
Thursday February 9: Jean-Michel Cazabat
It may have been a blizzard outside, but inside the Jean-Michel Cazabat showroom it could have been Cannes. The French designer known for his sexy, feminine shoes was on hand to walk guests through his exciting fall collection, from thigh high boots in deep green velvet to glittery sandals that changed from silver to gold as you turned them. “Even if it’s bling bling, I want [the shoes] to be in good taste,” said the designer. “I don’t want my customer to look like a fashion victim.”
The gregarious Cazabat told FashInvest he was inspired by two muses, Bridget Bardot and Barbarella, as well as the late designer André Courrèges. There was a palpable 70s influence in the collection like a pair of platform heels that gave off major Studio 54 vibes. It’s no surprise that Cazabat is a favorite among the well heeled – he counts Sarah Jessica Parker as a major fan.
“I love women! You have to make them happy,” said Cazabat with a wink.
Friday February 10: Concept Korea
Model Shaun Ross and Ty Hunter — aka Beyonce’s stylist — were just a few of the all-star attendees at Concept Korea, which brought together three emerging Korean designers for its annual presentation at NYFW. Greedilous, Kimmy J and Yohanix were the chosen three to present their collections at Friday’s show at the Skylight Clarkson Square.
Greedilous was first to present, whose collection could best be described as a mash up of Chanel and Sherlock Holmes. Designer Younhee Park’s aesthetic combines feminine and masculine designs that manage to be both classic and modern. My favorite look was a long pink and white-checkered coat that would be perfect for this bracingly cold New York winter.
Next to show was Kimmy J. Giving new meaning to dumpster chic, Heejin Kim’s collection titled “Dumpster Disposal Squad” was in direct reference to the trash collectors who go door to door everyday. Kim said she was also influenced by 90s grunge and the loose clothes of that era. The palette of the collection was neon, black and lavender, with the designer’s lavender hair matching the clothes on the runway.
Closing Concept Korea was Yohanix. Yohanix designer Yohan Kim has quite an impressive resume and has worked at none other than Balmain Paris. His fall collection showed his impressive skill with fabric and was a mix between military and romantic florals.
At the finale, models from all three shows gave a final walk to a cheering audience, showing just how diverse and cool Korean fashion is.