new york fashion week

New York Fashion Week 2018: fashion activism, breast cancer survivors and robots

It's official, New York Fashion Week is going nowhere

There was much murmuring that New York Fashion Week being over, thanks to many designers having already left the Big Apple to show in other cities (Tommy Hilfiger, Rodarte, Proenza Schouler), and others presenting their final collections there this season (Alexander Wang, Victoria Beckham).

But there was no denying that for SS18, it was as loud, proud and covered in glitter as ever. Scroll down for the highlights

A tale of swan songs

It was the last NYFW show for Alexander Wang, Victoria Beckham and Carolina Herrera, but they weren’t going to leave without a big bang.

Alexander is breaking away from the traditional fashion calendar to present his shows in June and December, to combine his pre and main season collections together. For his last show, he went all The Matrix on us, dressing models in long black overcoats, power shoulders and sunglasses.

VB meanwhile is moving her show to London (v. exciting for us), and for her tenth and final year in New York, she celebrated the female silhouette without compromising on the loose tailoring she’s come to be known for. The result? Felt coats and suits with oversized belt, and for the first time ever, leopard print. A hint to her Spice Girls comeback perhaps?

new york fashion week

Left to Right: Alexander Wang, Victoria Beckham, Carolina Herrera

As for Carolina Herrera, she just announced she was stepping down as head designer of her fashion house after 37 years, with Wes Gordon stepping in as creative director. As far as last shows go, Herrera took her final bow in style with dresses as dramatic as ever, including multicoloured tulle ballgown and bright red off-the-shoulder numbers.

Spaceships and robots

Perhaps trying to make a point about New York Fashion Week embracing changes, certain designers looked to the future for their collections. There was Alexander Wang and his Neo-style dominatrix coats, Christian Cowan and his neon trench coats, Jeremy Scott and his Judy Jetson skirts.

new york fashion week

L-R: Christian Cowan, Jeremy Scott, Philip Plein

And then there was Philip Plein. Irina Shayk arrived, or more accurately landed, on the catwalk in a spaceship, before heading down the runway accompanied by a giant robot, Transformers style.

Stop trying to fit in, when you were born to stand out ! I did it the #PLEINway

A post shared by Philipp Plein (@philippplein78) on

Fashion activism

Last year fashion rebelled against Trump, and this year, in the wake of the #MeToo movement and the 100th Anniversary of the female vote, it supported the Time’s Up movement. The new Prabal Gurung collection was inspired by female-dominated societies, and for the finale (watched by the #MeToo founder Tarana Burke), models of all ethnicities walked hand in hand, holding a white flower – while Tom Ford sent a model down the runway carrying a Pussy Power bag, and Zadig & Voltaire stamped pictures of the Women’s March on their t-shirts. There was also a Time’s Up show, where models shared their experiences of sexual harassment.

new york fashion week

L-R: Prabal Gurung, Tom Ford, Zadig & Voltaire

Hope on the catwalk

Sunday saw the Cancerland show, where breast cancer survivors of all ages and sizes walk down the runway in lingerie designed by Ana Ono for women who’ve had reconstructive breast and mastectomy surgery. Their bodies were also illustrated with powerful messages like ‘I am whole’ and ‘I am beauty’.

new york fashion week

Orange is the new black

You know what? Grey and black is just not going to cut it for AW18 (although checks are still big news, phew). While last season red and purple were winning, this year marks the arrival of orange. The new Tom Ford, Tibi, R13 and even Oscar de la Renta collections all showcased the bright colour, so watch this space…

new york fashion week

Over to you London Fashion Week…

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