Part 2 of 2: Coverage of New York Fashion Week

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Sarah G. Schmidt's home

Last week I outlined what I would be watching for at this September’s Ready-to-Wear New York Fashion Week (NYFW). I must say, after reviewing over 100 presentations to date* I am underwhelmed. In the pursuit of newness, I admittedly may misinterpret solid showings for, “been there, done that” lacklustre. 

As for noteworthy trends or standout items I will say that I gravitated towards pants and long shorts. There were some spectacular cuts that I am very much looking forward to perusing in early 2015. While cruising my usual online outlets, I had heard mumblings of the flat versus heeled shoe debate. I saw as many highs as low heels so I won’t declare a clear winner one way or the other but I do see that people are playing with it. If the heel queen, Victoria Beckham, herself presented flat slip-ons, it’s something to explore.


Disappointed but optimistic for the future is how I would describe my reaction thus far. Yes many collections include men and women from a variety of backgrounds. My issue is that who is walking is nowhere near proportionate or reflective of the larger population. I would go so far as to say for most brands showing this past week they did the bare minimum effort. I argue it has to be better. This should be a priority. 

This matters to me because consumers matter to me. I thinking to myself, “Hello brands, we are opening our wallets for you. Can you hear us?” If brands continue to refuse to show a reflective variety of backgrounds, identities, sizes and shapes I argue that they are choosing to continue to keep certain people out. I challenge brands to consider the following: if consumers can’t see themselves in your fashion, why should they buy it?

Set Design

I admit I am a sucker for wanting a good visual show. Having said that, I understand that many venues have quick turnarounds between shows. This would limit what designer "A" can do with his/her time in advance of designer "B’s" showing. I also kept in mind that start up designers have limited budgets for set design. But the household names didn’t have these limitations. 

Tommy Hilfiger, for example, transported his attendees to a flower trimmed winding road of a nostalgic, swinging universe. It set the tone for his fresher than recent years showings. It was fun if nothing else.

Nicole Miller complemented her patterned collection with a mod meets psychedelic black and white catwalk. This enhanced her presentation.

Thom Browne’s presentation strode through the grass runway. He managed to balance his expressive set, colour and fabric choice with restrained cuts and clean lines throughout his collection.


My hat comes off to Opening Ceremony and it’s collaboration with Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill. Instead of a traditional catwalk, the brand opted to present the audience with 100% Lost Cotton - a one act play at the Metropolitan Opera House. Models and actors alike were clad in the designs and delighted the audience with a satirical, somewhat insider look of the process of developing a collection.

Street Style

Due to the hot heat this past week we got to visually enjoy the last of summer style in New York. This seemed especially cruel to me considering Calgary’s current blustery weather. Many showed off their duds, and skin, seemingly soaking in the last days of the season’s sunshine.

Others came and went from presentation to presentation donning bold graphics, prints, stripes and logos. See the Beckerman Twins for an example. Others chose a more minimalist approach with simple, chic separates. Then there was the regular assortment of off duty models looking effortless  as ever in denim and tees.

Regardless of the fashion worn I sensed a relaxed feeling or ease in both the streets and the catwalks. The end of summer can do that to a person.

Final Takeaways

In no particular order, my trend declarations are the following:

  • Exposed midriffs are done. Especially the bra and skirt with a jacket over top is so very over. If I see more than a sliver of torso skin in 2015 I will treat it as old news.
  • Structured knee to ankle length trousers, as described above, are on my wish list. Love this vibe.
  • Black and white colour palette is I.T.
  • Prints to snap up include large scale flowers, gingham, vertical stripes and dots.
  • Proportions were played with a lot. Please know that just because there is more fabric to a garment it does not necessarily make the body underneath it look bigger. Enjoy the extra room (and comfort) in a structured or sculptural cut.

I’ll leave you with a tip on accessory styling: to look up to date, carry your bag in your hand. From what I have seen, I suggest it’s all about holding it in your hand with a straight arm near your hip. I encourage you to scale down and save those shoulders for another season. 

If you want to view the presentations for yourself and have great coverage.


*Note: Presentations reviewed up to 9pm ET Tuesday September 9, 2014.