NYFW - Up and Coming Designers To Watch
Sometimes we wish there was a bell to start the beginning of fashion season – you know like the NY Stock Exchange bell Carrie rings in Sex And The City, or maybe the bell of Notre Dame in Paris, complete with Quasimodo in this season’s favourite prints. But there isn’t and, despite this sad fact, the whirlwind of the official Fashion Month has now kicked off with the start of New York fashion week last Friday. And while the big, established names are splashed all over the papers, here are a few of the other shows that you may not (yet) have heard of – but we think you should.
Debuting just a year ago for SS16, Amanda Phelan has wasted no time in building a reputation for immensely impressive, technical knits and entire collections of showstopping looks. The SS17 line seemed to come down firmly on the side of either optically stimulating knitwear or avant-garde accessorised tailoring, with shoulders and oversized, often-laced eyelets playing a key role. Comparisons could be made with David Koma, maybe even Hervé Léger once or twice but purely in terms of breaking talent that is distinctive, creative and technical Phelan might be in a category on its own.
Hailed by many as ‘the new cult label,’ there was no doubt that Monse’s SS17 show had profile – even Iris Apfel was in the front row. While the deconstructed suiting (pinstriped) and shirting (white) were cool but relatively unremarkable, the sequined looks blasted the collection to another planet as far as we were concerned. From the shimmering orange neck-to-ankle creation, to the splashes of sparkle that were oh so artfully placed, these dazzling designs gave us butterflies. We also loved the continuity of stripes, from the original suiting to the fusion of sequins and stripes that closed the show. More please.
Michelle Helene SS17
Bespoke design that balances “raw self-expression and sophistication thoughtfully crafted with rare and time-forgotten techniques” gave Michelle Helene entry into our lust list this season. Seventies vibes were strong for SS17, from the deep blue denims, to the wildly patterned jumpsuit and the Lurex socks and metallic sandals combination. We felt like the collection could have done with more, but the details (fringed shoulders, banana prints) made us want to chalk this label up for repeated attention. One to watch.
Michelle Helene SS17
Images from WWD
Lyz Olko SS17
Lyz Olko launched her eponymous line about this time last year but her fashion pedigree goes back much further. A streetwear specialist, she designs the kind of looks that will do much more to recreate feelings of youthful abandon than any volume of botox. We love the label ethos too, which is focused on sustainable design, using recyclable materials and a production process that’s truly New York based. This SS17 painted leather jacket (shot by Nylon) is wise beyond its years.
Another collection that opened with a deconstruction of the white shirt and traditional tailoring silhouettes (trend anyone?), Tome SS17 also gave us a contemporary take on ethnic details and some seriously out there chequerboard prints. Silkily flowing dresses and skirts were ultra feminine without that exploitatively sexual aesthetic that fabrics which look like they’re made for disrobing can sometimes create. Bold and colourful, the line was a real adventure in womenswear. As a side note, we loved the range of models on the runway (someone tell Victoria Beckham that Permanently Starved isn't the only aesthetic that works).
Showing as part of Made New York SS17, Area conceived a collection wired with futuristic retro described as a “paleo-futuristic interpretation of a 70’s Motown throwback.” Confused? Well you should be – and yet if you view the entire collection it makes sense because all the elements of Neanderthal cyber textures are there. This was one of the collections that gave us a real feeling, as if it was birthing something a bit new and brave. Or maybe it was just the massive shoe bows that we coveted without shame, despite the fact that they’d probably trip you on a flat surface.
Area images from Trend Council
All other images Vogue unless otherwise indicated.