New York Women’s Fashion Week Round Up F/W 2020

No wonder people question the relevance of New York fashion week, when CFDA chairman Tom Ford shows in Los Angeles and Ralph Lauren foregoes his show. Here, we focus on three designers who represent the current, creative temperature.

Dion Lee

We have gone to three Dion Lee shows now and it can easily be said that this is a designer who gets better with every season. His approach of intellectual sexiness stands out. New York has been at the forefront of fusing jewelry with garments with shows like Area and Dion Lee while Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta is onto the same thing. In fact, Lee executes it best. This Australian-born designer has been part of the NYFW show circuit for some years but flying under the radar. Now Lee came up with a custom chain link he developed in his studio to hike up skirts and connect lace tops from wrist to wrist. His stretch jersey dresses and corsets in off-white with revealing cutouts have become his signature look. And then Lee has a knack for cutting low riding trousers with fishnet and hook-and-eye closures. It’s a subversively sexy look, which is confidant and zero cheap or tacky, the biggest achievement when making these clothes.

Fishnets, cutouts and chains: with Dion Lee the looks were sexy but not cheap at all.

Coach

In absence of Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, Coach along with Michael Kors has become the biggest show on the schedule. Just like Dolce & Gabbana do with Sicily, Stuart Vevers very cleverly riffs on all things New York City rock culture to produce his highly commercial but cool collections for the star brand in the Tapestry group.

Vevers big idea was to layer coats over coats or jackets with a broad shoulder and a more tapered waist to achieve his downtown look.  When shows like Telfar and Eckhaus Latta give us the feeling that they are sending second hand clothes down the runway, Coach’s grungy cardigan and shirt combos looked brand new. Vevers also channeled Jean-Michel Basquiat with his prints working closely with the family and even sending Basquiat niece Jessica Kelly down the loft like catwalk.

Coach was all about layering: Coats and jackets, cardigans and shirts.

Khaite

Catherine Holstein has taken on the mantle of the female designer who creates for fellow brainy women. Her brand Khaite has exploded onto the scene with the creation of the cashmere bra and upgrading other American staples like the jeans, in short this is the design template of Khaite. Holstein moved to New York’s meat market from California at the beginning of the millennium and her show was a tribute to the New York night back then. Still dangerous and dark and not the commercial billboard lit up tourist trap of now. So her line up featured animal prints, metallics, up-to-there hemlines and evening dresses with cut outs that formed a heart shape in back.

With animal prints and metallics Khaite created a tribute to the dark and dangerous New York nights.

But why on Earth should Bella Hadid open this show just like Gigi was wrong at The Row as opening model. Why do these cool brands think they have to follow the boring standard template of casting? At night Khaite hosted a dinner with online boutique Mytheresa from Munich at the Monkey Bar to underline that she has commercial acumen and draw with celebrities and influencers. Maybe her third show has become a bit more overtly Instagram friendly considering her new fans?

With Bella Hadid as show opener and an exclusive dinner, Khaite made her third show more Instagram friendly. Right: Catherine Holstein and Mytheresa CEO Michael Kliger.