Despite tough economic times, New York Fashion Week — the start of a month of spring-summer 2013 shows — began on a confident note on Thursday, with collections from BCBG Max Azria and Nicholas K.
With consumers’ morale at a relative low, Max and Lubov Azria at BCBG Max Azria offered up a decidedly sexy, feminine collection for next summer — nothing too provocative, with lots of lace and transparent garments. There was a nearly all black-and-white look from the designer couple, with a few flashes of coral. Most dresses were sleeveless, but hemlines were demure — most past the knee and several to the floor.
But the lace detailing and sheer fabrics offered hints of the sexy BCBG Max Azria woman beneath. Christopher Kunz and his sister Nicholas, who design the Nicholas K line, offered comfortable looks for men and women for next summer in muted tones of brown, beige and khaki at their show in Lincoln Center. “Everyone is going back to organic kind of lifestyle,” said Nicholas, adding that the siblings had taken inspiration from the 1970s film, Soylent Green to create an apocalyptic nomad look.
In order to reach a wider audience than the select style editors and industry buyers invited to view the runway shows, fashion week organisers broadcast both shows live on a giant screen in Times Square.
Shows later in the day from Richard Chai and Japan’s Tadashi Shoji — who made headlines for dressing Oscar winner Octavia Spencer earlier this year — were also to be shown on the big screen. Veterans on the schedule include Helmut Lang on Friday; Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta on Monday and Tuesday, and Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein when fashion week winds up next Thursday.
New York is followed by similar events in London on September 14 to 18, Milan on September 19 to 25 and Paris on September 27 to October 3.
But for Scott Stoddart, dean of the School of Liberal Arts at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York still reigns supreme. “When I look at the shows from Paris and Milan, I don’t see fashion that women can wear — I see fashion that is inspiring or creative but it is not stuff that I want,” Stoddart said.
“We buy fashion not just to sit around but to wear it. American designers really have this balance.”