Ah, and it's the time of year again. While the postman recovers from the back pain delivering all those September issues must have given him, the fashion world has gathered together for a month of extravaganza and creativity. So many wonderful fabrics making up even better shapes, exquisite tailoring and cheeky references - New York has been a feast. Our favourites below! Words by Hannah Stacpoole and Ella Hagi. Thom Browne
The collection was the result of Madhatter going even madder, leaving Wonderland for New York and taking a job at Thom Browne. It was full of charm, almost child like in its fantastical qualities. But, the fairy tale was less Disney and more original Grimm Brothers in its sinister feel. It was exciting. The eldest of Thom Browne’s six sisters, Beatrice, believed tailoring should set the tone for the rest of the week, and so on Mondays they wear menswear. And indeed - Browne’s first love played a role. It was just so endlessly clever. The restraint of tailoring played well with the excess of everything else. The flamboyant fascinators and dress shaped hats, the handbag-cum-flowerpots. The prints, the colours, the textures. Diane Keaton’s narrating was a bonus but the clothes carried the story. The sisters were indeed ruled by fashion but if that’s their world, I’m happy to join. Hood By Air
There seems to be a shared idea that New York Fashion Week is often quite bland but Hood By Air is never one to conform. With the key theme of what it means to be a man - his collection certainly defined the weird and wonderful. Featuring huge chokers and crutches, he emphasises self-expression in terms of challenging norms. With the name ‘Ego’, he writes ‘It’s about the fallen here - the astronaut, the lawyer - the things men don’t want to be anymore. It’s about decaying, falling apart, and eroding - but also about something creative happening in the midst of it.’ Interestingly enough, his collection is actually very wearable. Distressed and zippered denim labelled with ‘HBA’ are paired with reinterpretations of traditional shirting. Similarly we were lusting over his HBA embossed statement leather jackets. And it’s not just the clothes, it’s also the models used - with Oliver carefully picking people who refused to identify with one particular gender. What really stole the show for us? Performance artist Boy Child walking down accompanied with a choker and huge dog, pictured below. Opening Ceremony
Avoiding catwalks that bore the journalists and buyers to tears, fashion houses are really working to present their collections in unique ways. Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim collaborated with Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill to create the one-night-only, one-act play ‘100% Lost Cotton’ in order to display their collection. Shown at the Metropolitan Opera, it starred the likes of Elle Fanning, Dree Hemingway and Vogue’s Lisa Love. The collection takes from 90’s - nostalgically looking back to the innocent, hazy dreams of suburban life, it allows us to reminisce over the joy and freedom of our youth. Take for example the parallelograms on a romper, worn by Hemingway, which reflect the forward slashes used in early Internet coding. Simple black and white pieces are shown beside prints and bright red and orange statement pieces. It may not seem a clever way to display a collection but they incorporated it very well. It’s different and light hearted. Exactly what Lim wanted as he advises its watchers; ‘Have fun, and don’t take yourself too seriously’. Sass & Bide
Despite founding designers Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke departing from the Sass & Bide label and the new creative director debuting with AW15, the collection was on point. The design team has certainly kept things afloat and more. Heavy structured tailoring stands central in the collection, but bold and bright prints in black, white and emerald demand their share of attention too. Without question, the best part of this collection is the shapes. Jackets tied at the waist are paired with billowing flared trousers. Layers were in abundance and shapes were strong
. It may seem all a bit much, but these statement print pieces are perfectly teamed with plain tailored slim trousers and knitted tops. Japanese influence was evident throughout, without becoming overbearing. It was all very dramatic, but entirely wearable nonetheless. All is well in the world of Sass & Bide.
An honourable mention also goes to Chromat
where actual real life plus-sized models walked the runway. The reaction has been positive on the whole and just perhaps it's because they weren't token chubby chicks, there to tick off a list, but a part of the collection. Chromat told to accentuate the body, not hide it.