NYFW SS18 - Emerging Designer Debrief
The bar for SS18 has been set high over the last few days at New York Fashion week, with statement shirting from Kim Shui, Namilia’s barely-there gowns and the event’s first official plus size show from Torrid. However, among the trends, acts of sisterly love and front row faces, there were eight brands who, in our opinion, well and truly stole the show. We’ve produced a post-show debrief on each one, so you can catch up just before London’s turn in the fashion spotlight.
Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper’s designs have channeled a sense of urbanised cool since the brand started in 2011, with the pair drawing inspiration from skate culture and New York’s infectious energy. The SS18 collection continued the brand’s trademark nonchalant spirit and effortless aesthetic through clean lines and streetwear influences. Menswear hoodies and lab-coat style jackets were emblazoned with graffiti markings and sporadic geometric prints. And the women’s pieces ranged from macs and jumpsuits spattered with bubble prints to patchwork trousers and shirts with a uniform feel. One of our favourite looks was a matching leather jacket and trousers, both in sky blue, fusing slick tailoring with a bold colour attitude.
Laurence and Chico
The Laurence and Chico show was positively hair-raising, and that’s not just because the models were sporting towering wigs in shades of orange and pink, complete with giant bows. The Parsons graduates revealed their debut collection two years ago and, since then, they’ve expanded into accessories, building on the brand’s characterful style. Each collection is inspired by Laurence Li’s illustrations, which depict the pair’s everyday life in humorous drawings where the two designers feature as human figures and their family and friends are reimagined as animals and plants. This unique creativity and sense of fun reached new heights (literally) at NYFW this season, as elaborate ruffles were mixed with bold prints in dresses and jumpsuits. Distressed denim jackets and jeans were fused together with fishnet and intricate lace for looks that captivated and cast statement silhouettes. It was one of the most visually spectacular shows of the week – see the lime green net dress and mustard print trouser suit (below) for details.
Creatures of the Wind
Shane Gabier and Christopher Peter’s label Creatures of the Wind engaged with plenty of tonal looks for SS18 and explored vibrant outerwear. Inspired by music and ideas of identity, the two designers’ aesthetic has previously won them the Fashion Group International’s Rising Stars award and they’ve been runners up in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. SS18 took everything to a new level - a sleek and demure aesthetic that nevertheless retained the label’s aesthetic vibrancy and youthful elements. Leather pencil skirts were paired with sleeveless knits for ideal office looks, and vintage style t-shirts were perfect partners to midi check skirts. One of the standout looks in the collection was a colour slashed coat with leather panelling, featuring matching bum bag (obvs).
For designers Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl clothing isn’t just an aesthetic tool but also a platform for them to express their beliefs. The brand’s designs are created for women who want to move away from mainstream perceptions of femininity and make a statement through what they wear. If you aren’t familiar with the brand the SS18 collection provides a good demonstration of its rebellious style - shredded high-rise leotards with contrasting period sleeves and necklines together made quite the impact. Mini dresses got the same treatment; futuristic panelling and zip detailing were blended with sleeves that wouldn’t look out of place in a Renaissance drama. Silky jackets with Japanese prints may not seem too outrageous, but when paired with a giant octopus accessory, there’s a clear desire to rewrite the fashion rulebook.
Born in the US, but having lived for periods in the UK, Italy and France, Kim Shui draws on her multi-cultural background in creating her designs, using multiple techniques and a wild range of prints. Sheers, rips and bare skin took centre stage in her SS18 collection, as lace and velour clashed with shirting and prints. Some of the looks barely made it past the barriers of bad taste thanks to slashes and cut outs - but for lovers of fashion irony the collection was a goldmine. Change and chance were at the heart of the collection - these are outfits you wouldn't wear the same way twice.
Order and chaos is an antithesis find harmony in Lujin Zhang’s collections, whose deconstructed nature, mix of colours and floaty appeal are influenced by the mountains and prairie of Zhang’s homeland in Inner Mongolia. The SS18 collection featured blissful neutral pastels and subtle metallics in a colour palette expertly selected. Sophisticated ruffled shirts with large collars offered a more conservative angle while skin-bearing silver crop tops cut a daring dash. The balance of classic and cutting edge, madness and calm was perfectly illustrated by the pale pink midi dresses, which featured delicate floral embellishments and netted capes contrasted with sharp cutout shoulder detailing.
The Mimi Prober show started with the models emerging from a flowery archway, setting the scene for an utterly ethereal SS18 collection. Lace gowns with floral appliqués and corsets were sheer brilliance (pun intended) - inspired eveningwear with a twist. The collection showcased Mimi Prober’s no waste policy, as the brand uses botanical dying techniques, and every item is handmade to create beading and embroidery unique to each particular piece. The level of detail we loved - truly stunning - and the dyes delivered a stonewashed effect to jackets and dresses that was perfect for vintage kicks. Denim jackets and jeans with lace patchworks brought a harder edge to an otherwise flowy, feminine aesthetic.
Last but not least; New York Fashion Week’s first ever plus size show generated a lot of media attention and high expectations - body-positive brand Torrid did more than deliver. Bohemian white lace gowns and sweeping kimonos were balanced by leather look corsets and studded jackets with bird and text appliqués on the back. The collection ticked off nearly every trend from the last few years, as distressed denim and velvet military jackets were also included, but it was definitely florals that dominated overall. The print appeared in off-the-shoulder tops and maxi dresses for a relaxed summery feel. In fact, the only downside to the collection was that it was the only one of its kind on the runway, but we’re hopeful that next season that may not be the case. Every body is beautiful after all.
By Elizabeth Kennedy
Torrid -Erin Glora Ryan/The Daily Beast
Creatures of the wind
Laurence and chico