The Best Moments from New York Fashion Week, Day 2

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Photo credit: ANGELA WEISS - Getty Images

Photo credit: ANGELA WEISS – Getty Images

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Once upon a Fashion Week—let’s call it 2010—there were so many things to want that you just couldn’t get: A Phoebe Philo Céline bag. A pair of Frame denim jeans. A compliment whispered by a Gossip Girl. An explanation of that random new app called Instagram. Speed to 2022, and most everything, from a celebrity shoutout to a “sold out” status bag, can be double-clicked into existence—past and future trends included.

“I’ve only been buying vintage clothes for the past three years,” said a Gen Z Cool Girl™ this morning. (She asked to remain anonymous, because her fast fashion ad campaigns depend, quite literally, on encouraging her followers to shop.) “I wish I could say I only buy resale for the environment. Really I’m just bored. There’s nothing new out there.”

Then the lights dimmed, and suddenly—to quote Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast—there might be something there that wasn’t there before. Namely, some actual newness on the runways that can transfer its magic into the world of real people, instead of just lingering as a magazine tear-out on a vision board. Here’s where we found it.

Saint Sintra

Photo credit: Saint Sintra

Photo credit: Saint Sintra

What happens when newness comes with a past life? Total jaw-drops courtesy of Sintra Martins. The Brooklyn-based designer turns her hauls of used-textiles into brand new pieces that combine girl-meets-whirl whimsy with the knife-edge tailoring Martins learned from her previous Thom Browne internship. Equal parts The Great and ‘90s teen queens, this collection hit a double chord for new style romantics and old-school perfectionists alike.

Kim Shui

Photo credit: Getty Images

Photo credit: Getty Images

Thanks to her work with Azealia Banks and Kylie Jenner, Kim Shui is known as the seamstress for sex bombs. The thing is, this New York designer was educated in Milan—something she made loud and clear in her latest collection. Pastel tweed minis and faux fur trim may have harkened back to Jawbreaker and Clueless, but beneath the TikTok party vibes, there was leatherwork and bodices more suitable for Prada ads and Barneys splurges. (RIP.) Check out Maggie Rizer in Tom Ford for Gucci (1999) next to Shui’s latest runway look and you’ll get the idea of where she might go. (Memo to Kim: YES! GO THERE!)

Maisie Wilen

Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

While “The Metaverse” keeps trying to be A Thing™, Maisie Wilen has found a way to do her thing in two places at once—online and IRL, that is. The emerging designer and CFDA nominee paired with Yahoo’s Ryot Labs on massive holograms—some human, some elfin—that modeled Wilen’s cling-wrap dresses and gossamer trench coats. The setup was dense with QR codes and shopping extensions (this was a Yahoo production, after all) but the real “whoa” came from Wilen’s canny handiwork of blending rave-ready unitards with carved cut-out denim and debutante dress seemingly made from sheets of discarded plastic. The Metaverse could never.

Christian Siriano

Photo credit: ANGELA WEISS - Getty Images

Photo credit: ANGELA WEISS – Getty Images

When it comes to fabrics, Christian Siriano is kind of like Hermione Granger when she levitates a feather—such a wiz that he’ll show off his tailoring skills with every flourish he can do. (So… um… all of them.) This time around, Siriano’s newness was in some pieces’ restraint. Denim was cinched; cutouts were shaped like daggers; the relaxed cobalt suiting got big cheers from Drew Barrymore in the front row because she’ll probably wear it. That meant the grand finale—a face off between Coco Rocha and Karen Elson in massive evening gowns—had more time to crescendo... and front row fans like Ted Lasso‘s Hannah Waddingham and Susan Sarandon had more time to cheer from the sidelines. (Which they did. Loudly.) Dibs on that denim, though; seriously.

PatBo

Photo credit: BFA

Photo credit: BFA

There’s a certain kind of creative discourse that dismisses “pretty” things as innately unworthy, but I’m going to call bullshit and use Patricia Bonaldi as proof. The Brazilian designer trains and employs hundreds of her hometown’s residents, combining traditional South American macrame and needlework with newer materials like denim, neoprene, and even recycled netting. The results land in bombshell territory—cutout dresses and super-sheer tops included—but with new forays into embroidered denim separates and quilted velvet jackets, this isn’t “just” a resort wear line; it’s a growing point of view with female fans ready to pay for it… and pose in it for TikTok, too.

LoveShackFancy

Photo credit: BFA

Photo credit: BFA

It’s been a big year for Rebecca Hessel Cohen, the founder of the label that asks, “What if Marie Antoinette got out of France, moved to the beach and just, like, chilled?” Cohen’s answer is frilly floral miniskirts and oversized pastel cardigans that have become a multi-million dollar empire, scored a Target collection, and spawned their own home line. (Every “love shack” needs a pink $200 duvet cover, bien sur.) To celebrate her success, Cohen threw a 40th birthday party at the Plaza Hotel that doubled as a campaign—and enlisted party princess like Lily Chee (in a see-now-buy-now moment) and Aube Joliecoeur. Again, it’s easy to say “so what?” because there’s no disruption in a frilly party dress, but guess what? This is a woman who’s ethically making clothes that other women want, and unfortunately, even in 2020, that’s still news. Also, it’s okay—even cool!—to embrace the radical softness of girly clothes. Promise.

Paloma Elsesser

Photo credit: John Lamparski - Getty Images

Photo credit: John Lamparski – Getty Images

Here she is walking the runway at Eckhaus Latta… or is she storming the “Avengers” Compound because it’s clear from her steely gaze and her perfect lipstick that she can lead the pack and save the world? (Come on, Marvel, Paloma is your girl!)

And wait, about Katie Holmes…

Photo credit: Michael Stewart - Getty Images

Photo credit: Michael Stewart – Getty Images

Here’s our New York Fashion Week totem with Alice + Olivia’s Stacey Bendet. 1) Dibs on the smiley skirt, Stacey. 2) It’s interesting to see this all-white suit on Holmes, as it was a similar staple on Victoria Beckham for years. Holmes had a small clothing line with Jeanne Yang from 2009 to 2014, but there’s been renewed interest in her style thanks to that viral Khaite moment of 2019, which reportedly became one of the most-searched outfits of pre-pandemic life. Surely investors are seeing the power of a new Katie Holmes brand. Will the beloved New Yorker go for it? Just asking.

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