Total Elevation. Marc Jacobs SS22

New York Fashion Week may officially be over, but that didn’t stop one of it most beloved showmen from unveiling a surprise new collection on Instagram. What’s New York’s fashion scene without Marc Jacobs? The 10 look line-up (which will be available exclusively at Bergdorfs), is essentially a glamorous reworking of Marc’s remarkable autumn-winter 2021, with their grand silhouettes slashed into new skin-baring forms, cargo pants transformed into sweeping statement skirts, and brilliant paillette embellishments wrapped into something stunningly new. The collection came up quite spontaneously. As Jacobs avoided the phygital fashion and virtual shows which largely defined this industry through 2020 and 2021, he instead waited until he had the potential of a live runway to create a collection for. “We were like, ‘we’re not showing until we can do a show the way we show,’” Marc told I-D. “But then, this time, me and Joseph [Carter, from his design team] and Alastair (McKimm, Marc’s collaborator) decided that we were going to make some clothes. And we were going to photograph them.” In result, this new collection appears exceptionally impactful, something of a deeply desirable dystopian fantasy. “We played with the clothes that we made before in order to make other, new clothes,” he explained. So paillette pieces were slashed and wrapped into new apparitions, while a denim jacket draped on the body to become a fabulous sculpted stole. Couture-level deconstruction, something the designer is obsessed with lately. “There was this word that kept going around early on in the process: elevate,” Marc laughed. “‘It has to be elevated, it has to be elevated.’ I looked it up in the dictionary – and to elevate has two definitions. Firstly: to raise or lift something up to a higher position, and secondly: to raise to a more important or impressive level.” He managed to tap into both meanings with this mind-blowing offering, as we can see.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Sensual Versatility. No Sesso AW22

Using traditional American materials, from brown houndstooth wool to red nylon, No Sesso‘s designers Pia Davis and Autumn Randolph wrote their own lexicon of fashion classics steeped in their experiences as Black women. Dresses dripped off the body, some in filmy olive chiffon, others in crisp cotton shirting, cradling the bust and revealing slivers of torso, thigh, and breasts. A one-shoulder silhouette with cargo pockets appeared in several different fabrications, hammering home the piece’s versatility. The real stars of the lineup were the upcycled pieces and the pair’s new Levi’s collaboration. The former, made using vintage varsity jackets, ties, puffer jackets, and other unloved fashion items, took the brand’s familiar practice and pushed it to new heights. A dress collaged together from pieces of old knitwear was trimmed in crystal beading, almost ethereal in its execution, while a short zip-front dress was boldly sexy. The denim pieces made with Levi’s toed the line of appropriateness, using corsets, lacing, and zippers to transform a cool, oversize jacket into a sexy little dress. That play of sexual and sensual with something more appropriate is the territory where No Sesso thrives. It’s also the place where Davis and Randolph are able to combine their skills as artists and as pragmatists. This No Sesso collection included more utilitarian, essential pieces than ever before without losing the pair’s deconstructivist touch.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The Collinas. Collina Strada AW22

New York Fashion Week would make no sense without the energy of the city’s new-gen designers who fully embrace inclusivity, community and sustainability. This season, Collina Strada‘s Hillary Taymour showcased her exuberant and lively autumn-winter 2022 collection with a digital presentation, inviting the fashion set to experience its version of The Hills, entitled The Collinas. In the spoof, actor Tommy Dorfman makes her fashion week debut playing a twenty-something moving to New York City for a fashion internship at Collina Strada. Dorfman’s star turn was complemented by a large supporting cast: Rowan Blanchard, Marni’s Francesco Risso, Chloe Wise, Lynette Nylander, Jazzelle Zanaughtti, Ruby Aldridge, and Vogue’s Liana Satenstein – all friends of the brand. While the main character is rather clueless on how to actually do her job properly, she’s lovable with great taste – an aspect her peers can’t get enough of. The campy reality-TV pastiche wasn’t only entertaining and hilarious; it was a great background for Strada’s fabulous pleats, crushed velvet and metallic fabrics. Flashy colours and graphics inspired by 1970s psychedelic rock were mixed with genderless prom dresses and cargo pants made from upcycled materials. This season, Taymour evidentely entered her 2000s phase, and it’s working. Some ideas from spring 2022 carry over, like the Angel-printed tee and meshy layering pieces that have long been a staple. There is a low vibrating cake theme as well – Zanaughtti poses in a pageant ribbon top holding a pink cake; a pair of jeans were dyed using melted sprinkles. Chiffon is shredded to evoke feathers and studio detritus is cut into fringe. The eclecticism of Taymour’s earliest collections persists, and here we are with dozens of wearable and wantable garments that reflect the brand’s spirit.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Elevated. Peter Do AW22

I was a bit more selfish this season,” Peter Do declared backstage of his autumn-winter 2022 show. “I wanted to do fashion that feels the most me, the most personal. I really like the suit. I like that it takes time to make, that you don’t need to buy many, and that when you find a good one, it becomes your safe space. I want to be that for women.” Some might call Do’s approach counterintuitive. After all, we’ve spent the last two years getting very comfortable out of suits. But a glance back at the pre-fall collections and a look around at the early New York shows says something different. The suit is back. Do’s exacting nature came across in his palette, which he restricted to just four colors – black, white, camel, and gray. His cuts were more expressive. Many of the day suits were color-blocked in spirals, so they looked different front to back. For evening he showed a trio of monochrome three-piecers that combined trousers, waistcoats elongated to the ankles, and double-face coats worn shrugged off the shoulders to expose bare arms and back. Jackets scaled way, way up into one-size-fits-all coats made a big statement, a requirement for outerwear purchases. We’re likely to see those on the street this time next year. Breaking up the tailoring were long pleated skirts of the sort that we’ve seen elsewhere this week and a pair of minimal, slightly A-line long dresses. With every season, Do is gaining the recognition of New York’s finest go-to labels.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Earthy. Gabriela Hearst AW22

The runways have become a platform for the questioning of gender that has long occupied LGBTQIA+ communities. This has happened at the fringes for decades, but with a new wave of trans and androgynous models recasting our notions of beauty, the project is going more mainstream. Gabriela Hearst credits her teenage daughters for advancing her own thinking; their conceptions of gender are at odds with the more static understanding that her generation grew up with. “Kids want to be free,” she said at a preview. “For them, gender is an imposition.” As a designer, she makes few distinctions between her women’s and men’s collections. On the autumn-winter 2022 runway, colors, materials, and silhouettes were shared across them. If you are familiar with Hearst’s work, then you know how truly important sustainability is for her – at her brand, there’s no place for greenwashing. This season, the collection’s aesthetic is close to nature as well. The luscious citrine and watermelon colors of her Manos del Uruguay–knitted chunky cashmere sweaters were achieved via botanical dyes. The print on the cashmere-silk knit poncho that was a focal point of the collection was taken from the artist Ana Martinez Orizondo’s painting of a tree. And the crochet motif on a sleeveless dress and a long-sleeve top and midiskirt was inspired by a peacock’s tail feathers. Safe to say Hearst is the earthiest luxury designer around. But she can do worldly too. Amber Valletta closed the show in a double-breasted suit made from sportswear wool whose sharpness belied its comfort factor. Trenches were finished with storm flaps made from panels of woven leather and silk crepe de chine that Hearst likened to armor. She was equally proud to point out that the elaborate pleating on the bodice and sleeves of a flower-print dress was done in New York’s garment district.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.