When thinking about a year in Fashion, it’s normal to immediately think of the glorious catwalks and “who whore what.” Yet, many more events happen throughout the year, and here are some of the most notable happenings this year “a la mode.”
“92Y by Fern Mallis”
The award-winning creator and organizer of Fashion Week in New York and cities across the globe, Fern Mallis has been an industry game-changer in the world of style and design for more than 35 years. For some years now, she has hosted a show at 92Y aptly named “Fashion Icons” with guests like Oscar De La Renta, Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, DVF, and recently this year, Prabal Gurung and Brandon Maxwell. The new crop of designers is in talks with an Icon.
“Alina Cho at the Met”
The series; “The Atelier with Alina Cho
Alina Cho hosts intimate conversations about art and Fashion. The Atelier has presented visionary thinkers Olivier Rousteing, Alexander Wang, Alber Elbaz, Diane von Furstenberg, Donatella Versace, Anna Wintour, Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler, Pierpaolo Piccioli, and Nicolas Ghesquière.
Something about the candidness of her interviews and her relationships with the designers makes these so appealing.
“The Return of New York Fashion Week”
After overcoming many obstacles, a two-year hiatus, and a “reset” button push, New York Fashion Week returned with in-person live shows in September 2021. But, it was more of a month than a week celebration of American Fashion. Exhibits, Parties, Fashion Shows, Collaborations, live discussions, and dinners, the list of events was almost endless.
The new Governor of New York was the most sought out selfie. Everyone wanted to see her at Prabal Gurung’s show. It’s such a treat to see a woman on the Governor’s chair. Prabal’s gratefulness and vision of being an Immigrant American and living the American dream are remarkable. It was a great pairing and minds alike.
“Best of NY Venues”
There was the Italian house of Moschino showing at Bryant Park. (where the tents used to be) Jeremy Scott and Moschino’s creative team, including Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeel, remains a force to be reckoned with.
Dundas World x Revolve, CR (Corine Roitfeld), FGI (Fashion Group International) “Night of Stars” Celebrated at Casa Cipriani; recently opened in the newly refurbished Battery Maritime Building in lower Manhattan. Fausto Puglisi was also awarded at FGI’s “night of stars.”
The 2.4 acre Little Island Park, which sits atop a series of columns shaped like tulips, opened in May within the larger Hudson River Park.
The boys at Proenza Schouler immediately snatched the new development for their venue. This is DVF’s husband, Barry Diller’s gift to Manhattan. One can say, “the best venue in town.” If you don’t count that Laquan Smith was showing at the newly renovated Empire State. Being the first time anyone showed at the iconic building. It doesn’t get more NY than that.
It’s been tough for many out there, yet Fashion has never been so relevant. The need to boost spirits thru clothes has never been more appropriate.
If anything, these years’ setbacks have shown that the show indeed doesn’t run itself. It’s the epidemy of the cliche phrase “It takes a village.” Think about the countless lives involved in putting this season worldwide. As times change, more recognition has been set to light on an essential part of an atelier; the seamstresses, cutters, and pattern makers that make it all happen.
This hiatus helped reinforce and appreciate American Fashion. With very few European press in attendance but no short of notice, it was more of a family affair. It’s seemed the message was clear. Let’s bring it home.
Over the years, significant events co-exist during Fashion Week, making it an extended celebration. This year was more of a month-long celebration with the Met Gala, Dior Exhibit, and others in the mix.
Dior at The Brooklyn Museum‘s exhibit opened with Dior’s New Look and its interpretations unveiled in New York, followed by the haute couture designs of his six successors_ Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and currently Maria Grazia Chiuri–shown alongside materials including accessories, archival materials, fabrics, perfumes, photographs, sketches, and works from our collections. And that dress in Richard’s Avedon picture of Dovima and the elephant is there on view. As Dior himself said. “Fashion above all is a question of line.” And lines are undoubtedly visible at the exhibit. The architecture created within the exhibition itself is an ode to Monsieur Dior.
The Costume Institute’s In America is a two-part exhibition from September 18, 2021, through September 5, 2022. Part One, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, celebrates The Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary and establishes a modern vocabulary of Fashion. Part Two, In America: An Anthology of Fashion—opening in the American Wing period rooms on May 5, 2022—will present sartorial narratives relating to those rooms’ complex and layered histories. Parts One and Two will close on September 5, 2022.
Approximately 100 men’s and women’s ensembles by various designers from the 1940s to the present are featured. Enclosed in scrimmed cases that represent three-dimensional “patches” of a quilt, the garments are organized into 12 sections that explore defining emotional qualities of American Fashion. The sections are: “Nostalgia,” “Belonging,” “Delight,” “Joy,” “Wonder,” “Affinity,” “Confidence,” “Strength,” “Desire,” “Assurance,” “Comfort,” and “Consciousness.” The individual garments reflect various expressions of these sentiments, conveyed in word-bubble headpieces. For example, in the “Belonging” section, which includes four “flag sweaters,” Ralph Lauren’s version is represented by the word idealism, Tremaine Emory’s affirmation, and Tommy Hilfiger’s solidarity, and Willy Chavarria’s by isolation. A plaid silk taffeta ball gown by Christopher John Rogers—measuring nine feet in diameter—opens the section “Exuberance,” which also includes a mermaid dress by Claude Kameni that represents the word vitality. In the area “Consciousness,” which closes the exhibition, an upcycled 1920s beaded dress by Tara Subkoff for Imitation of Christ represents the word salvation, and a panniered dress made of deadstock fabric by Hillary Taymour for Collina Strada represents the word gratitude.
“The birth of the #SLAYSHIANS”
A movement and digital platform and merch store were partially founded by Fashion’s darling Laura Kim of Oscar De La Renta and Monse. It suggests bringing light and preventing Asian Crime and bullying and providing a sort of support club, ” The house of Slay.” Although most of the members are involved in Fashion one way or another. In their own words, the club is for “Anyone that wants to join.”
Carolina Herrera celebrated the house’s 40th anniversary. What a legend!. Wes Gordon, the current creative director of Herrera, was also honored by receiving the Artistry of Fashion award from FIT’s The Couture Council. An almost yearly luncheon started with Ralph Rucci as a recipient in 2006. Founded by Yaz Hernandez and others is currently co-chaired by Jullie Mccklowe. From the new “Mccklowe”; American Single Malt Whisky. Tata.
Olivier Rousteing celebrated 10 years at the helm of Balmain.
Monique Lhullier also celebrated a 25th-year milestone. The brand came to light for its beautiful Bridal wear and subsequently RTW and homeware. Happy Anniversary Monique Lhullier and Madame Herrera.
Lorraine Schwartz was busy. The Visionary Jeweler to the Stars leads several initiatives to help educate in Art Jewelry. Most notable have been Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter x Lorraine Schwartz GIA Scholarship. She is also poised to receive the 2022 GEM Award for Jewelry Style.
Babies, babies, babies…supermodels like Gigi Hadid, @emrata, and Karly Kloss, gave birth to their bundles of joy. The boys did too; Derek Blasberg (Youtube/Fashion) and Nick Brown. Brown is a co-Managing Partner of Imaginary Ventures.
Peter Dundas and Evangelo Bousis of the house of Dundas. Wes Gordon and glass artist Paul Arnhold.
Ken Downing x Hearts Media will be launching The Tower — an e-commerce marketplace made up of four individual stores with one cart, one platform.
Balenciaga staged a trunk show to showcase the house’s latest couture collection in Hong Kong. Yes, Balenciaga, the master, returned to couture this year via Demna Gvasalia, its current creative director, during Paris Couture Week.
Brandon Maxwell announced his upcoming role as Walmart Fashion Director. His vision is to bring Fashion to all by curating Walmart’s vision of Fashion.
“The Ones We Lost”
As the year comes to a close, the world Moores the loss of two of the most loved and distinguished designers. Alber Elbaz passed away from Covid-complications earlier in the year. Lavin’s wonderful and talented former creative director was just about to launch his new label, Factory Z.
In his memory, several high-caliber designers like Valentino and Versace created unique pieces for what would have been his last show.
In the end, Virgin Abloh did it his way. After losing a battle with cancer, the Louis Vuitton Men’s creative director and founder of his own label OFF-WHITE has now been laid to rest. Not before finishing most of his projects and making sure he was remembered as he would have liked. Virgil Abloh’s endless talent can be seen in paintings, fashion design, music, and above all, a family man. #Virgilwashere” His passing brought the Fashion Elite to Miami Beach during Art Basel to celebrate what would have been his last show for LV menswear.
With all the changes Tom Ford endured due to his partner’s loss. He showed his newest collection and stirred the ship of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) as its new President. The man is a true professional.
“One for the Books Books”
Fern Mallis’s “Fashion Icons” and Christian Siriano’s coffee table book were the best books launched this year. Siriano has also recently ventured into interior designing.
Fashion, as it is, is a multibillion-dollar industry, reaching most corners of society and creating a domino effect providing resources, employment, and education with many extensions such as arts, Culture, and Beauty. This was a year of resilience. It was a year of unity, and although it was challenging, it was truly worthy of notes.