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Image courtesy: Chloe Gosselin

New York Fashion Week SS17: When designers got real

The saying “find your tribe” rang more true now than ever this NYFW.

Before this season, there was so much talk of people who were either confused or scared about what would come out of the shows this time around, but I’m still sitting here trying to figure out why.

In my view of everything going on — ‘see-now-buy-now’ shows, Alexander Wang and Adidas collaborations and models falling at Yeezy Season 4 — these were probably the best things to happen to New York Fashion Week in all its 73 years of existence.

What actually happened this season was that designers got real. This season they finally started speaking to their audiences in the way that meant something to them and still made an impact on the wider fashion public.

Here is a snapshot of some of our favorite shows this season.

 

CHLOE GOSSELIN

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Images courtesy: Chloe Gosselin

The path to Chloe Gosselin’s SS17 presentation was a long one.  This season Gosselin left Lori Bookstein Gallery, her chic, relatively quiet space for a livelier environment at Milk Studios.

She was part of this season’s MADE Fashion Week showcase, and she’s also a top 10 finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.

On my way to the eighth floor of Milk for Gosselin’s presentation I was greeted by unenthused dancing bikini-clad models at the Morgan Lane presentation, a fun band at Krewe du Optic and a wild scene of Neiman Marcus’ fashion director, Ken Downing, styling models on-site . amongst a crowd at the Newbark presentation.

When I finally found the presentation, I saw that Gosselin played up her signatures — the Datura, Larkspur and Enchysia and reenergized them with vibrant emerald, ruby, tourmaline jewel tones in denim and studded-suede.

Gosselin explored the 60s and 70s and drew inspiration from Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell.

A new style this season was the Wisteria, that featured multi-strap constructions, which made for negative space that created geometric patterns across the top of the foot. Other new styles featured delicate floral appliques, color-blocking, block-heels and fringe.

And somehow, with all the pressure of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund on her shoulders, Gosselin did not disappoint.

 

KREWE 

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Images courtesy: KREWE

Stirling Barrett is on to something with his eyewear brand Krewe du Optic. The other top 10 CFDA/Vogue Fashion finalist is making waves on the celebrity front with stars like Beyoncé, Gigi Hadid and Selena Gomez, who are all clamoring for a pair of sunglasses from the Louisiana-based line.

Barret’s SS17 collection was fun, light and inspired by the past 20 years of New Orleans city life with its people and its music.

There was even a live band playing tunes to liven up the atmosphere. It will be interesting to see how he fares amongst the other nine contenders of the Fashion Fund and to see how far he takes the brand commercially.

 


 JOHN PAUL ATAKER

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Images courtesy: John Paul Ataker

The first thing that caught my attention at the John Paul Ataker SS17 runway show wasn’t the clothes, but rather a very exciting person sitting in the front row.

And who was this exciting person you, ask?

None other than the great, Véronique Tristram, OG street style star, and fashion director of Glamour Germany, who also happens to have an insane amount of taste, was siting patiently waiting for the show.

I wondered why such a fashion great wasn’t off watching some more widely known designer’s show, then the lights went dim and out came looks of pure, unadulterated fashion.

This season’s collection took us back to the designer’s family’s ancient Assyrian culture, inspiring classically modern prints and sculpted shapes that created an elegantly tailored silhouette aimed at enhancing the feminine form.

Numan Ataker, the brand’s creative director, took reference from the abundant lush, floral gardens of Babylon.

The designs began with yarns sourced from wood fibers such as viscose and acetate and ended with deliberate detailing and sculpted forms in both feminine and masculine shapes with casually elegant blouses and trousers and structured, tailored gowns.

“Fabric gives voice to my needs, like a painting through which I can express myself,” Numan said in his show notes. “I can merge together different colors, quality of threads, and techniques to reach the pattern I want. This is a process that demands time and passion.”

And boy was there passion.

Asymmetrical lines, suit dressing, a monochromatic palette, contrasting piping and ruffle details, feminine silhouettes, cut-outs and floral appliques, flowed and glowed down the runway.

This was my first time experiencing Ataker’s work and I’m quite curious to see what he’ll come up with next season.

By Ashley Paintsil

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