The King of New York. Marc Jacobs SS20

Traditionally, Marc Jacobs’ collection was the grand finale of New York Fashion Week. In a completely empty space, with different vintage chairs (painted white) standing in the middle as the guest seatings, a flock of paradise creatures emerged out of one side of the Park Avenue Armory, went across the audience, and disappeared. And then they came back, one by one, dancing and twirling according to Stephen Galloway’s choreography. A maxi velvet dress in orange, emberoidered with hippy florals; granny-ish knits with cats and kitschy landscapes; floor-sweeping gowns made for spectacular, late night dancing; patchworked denim flares; knitted mini-dresses that make you think of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate wardrobe; old school rockstar wife look as seen on Bella Hadid; another gorgeous ball dress and Savile Row-esque pantsuit… Describing each look in the collection is a non-sense, because they should all be seen. This was one of Jacobs’ most optimistic collections ever, full of dreams and emotions, love and happiness. For spring-summer 2020, the 60s, 70s and 80s were mixed and fused with Marc’s most beloved personalities and their bodies of work: think Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfelfd, Shelley Duvall, Anita Pallenberg and Marina Schiano. But simultaneously, it all feels… Marc. One more thing that should be praised in this line-up: it’s a mindful balance of wearable pieces that will actually sell in stores, and delightful fantasy. This is what the designer struggled with for the last few years. And he finally overcame it. Marc continues to be the ultimate king of NYFW. Dream a little dream of me

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The Law of Batsheva. Batsheva SS20

Within just a couple of seasons, a Batsheva dress became a classic in New York. No wonder why: her signature prairie dresses, often made out of vintage textiles, are comfortable, flattering and the wearer never really has to think how to wear it: they work with everything. Batshave Hay‘s spring-summer 2020 show at the New York Law School (fun fact: before starting her label at home, Batsheva was a lawyer) was an actual lecture. Jamieson Webster (a psychoanalyst), Chiara Bottici (a philosopher) and Melissa Ragona (an art historian and theorist), three academics in three diverse fields, engaged critically with Batsheva’s newest collection, while models walked through a lecture hall. Writer and podcaster Aminatou Sow introduced and moderated the panel. “They make me feel like a pioneer woman who can’t be fucked with,” Sow said of Batsheva’s garments. The lecture was called “Neck, Wrist, and Ankle: Recurrence in Batsheva’s Clothing” and each speaker presented her essay accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation of pertinent details and helpful quotes. Hay’s panel of critics laid out lots of excellent points, including a description of her clothing as “defense of the tender areas of the body”. Fashion being intellectual is a rare, but great sight. Especially, when the clothes keep up with the theory. The prairie dress was present in the line-up for a few times, in tiny florals, polka-dots and print patchwork, but there were also some new additions: blazers with big, Victorian shoulders (speaking of the Victorian topic, the ‘Victorian Secret’ pun on the finale dress was brilliant, by the way), a ruffled day dress in a red zebra pattern and gorgeous shoes made in collaboration with Brother Vellies.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Old Classics. Proenza Schouler SS20

While a less sophisticated collection from Eckhaus Latta feels right once in a while, Proenza Schouler’s new season offering again misses something that used to make the label so in-demand. Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough are very good at tailoring, and even better at cutting a fluid-y, silk dress (the printed one worn by Adut Akech is the biggest highlight of the collection). But in the sea of great blazers and dresses we’ve seen last season and again this season in New York, this doesn’t make Proenza stand out. It seems to me that the Proenza Schouler identity is gradually getting blurrier and less distinctive. Not that the spring-summer 2020 collection is bad: it has lots of classics, like an over-sized coat or an XXL shoulder bag. However, those clothes don’t spark any feelings in me. Where’s the bolder, art-ier Proenza Schouler? Hope it will come back soon.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Simpler. Eckhaus Latta SS20

Eckhaus Latta, the brand that pioneered showing in Brooklyn, made non-models castings a norm and intrigued with its rawness and quirkiness, presented one of its simplest and probably most commerce-wise collections to date. Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta’s long-time friends, like Camille de Terre, Hari Nef and Paloma Elsesser, walked in loosely-fitted pantsuits, lightweight knits and sequinned tank-tops and dresses in electrifying blue and orange. Each look is made to be worn (with or without the stomper clogs). It seems that the designers are aware that this wasn’t their most spotlight-stealing line-up, but then, they don’t really care for mainstream attention. Eckhaus Latta customers, at different ages and sizes, will be happy wearing one of those hand-knitted, soft, body-clinging dresses next spring.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.