Lessons from New York Fashion Week, which wrapped Sept. 13: an awards season foreshadowing of a return to femininity, Hollywood’s next-gen stars and the continued relevance of Rihanna.
After his “The Future Is Female” T-shirt runway finale last season, designer Prabal Gurung invited Gloria Steinem to his spring show, where the feminist icon sat front row with Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff Huma Abedin, and posted “There is a first time for everything, even at 83! First #nyfw show” on Instagram.
“She’s been a longtime hero of mine,” says Gurung. “More than ever, we have a responsibility as a brand with a platform to create a conversation around these issues.” She also gave props to Gurung, who showed colorful sportswear on a diverse cast of models, calling him “a kind man doing great work in fashion and beyond.”
Also on the political front, celebrity-favorite handbag designer Brett Heyman riffed on fake news at her Edie Parker presentation at the Paley Center, complete with themed fake magazines headlined, “Pursey Grabs Back.”
When it came to the clothes on the runway, however, femininity often trumped feminism, as last season’s power suits were replaced by puff sleeves at Carolina Herrera (Sarah Paulson wore a silver spangled dress straight-off-the-runway at Sunday’s Emmys), bouquet-bedecked dresses at Jason Wu and sugary sweet gowns sliding off one shoulder at L.A. label Brock Collection, co-designed by couple Kris Brock and Laura Vassar, who offered nostalgia, childhood bedding and nightgowns as inspiration. Is the new femininity its own assertion of feminism or a rollback to the feminine mystique? You be the judge.
Hollywood, here are your faces of the near future: At age 16, Kaia Gerber, doppelganger daughter of Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, made her runway debut at Calvin Klein and walked for Alexander Wang, Fenty x Puma, Coach and Marc Jacobs. “She seemed really at ease — we’re proud of her,” says Crawford. The couple’s 18-year-old son Presley Gerber modeled for Zadig and Voltaire and Ralph Lauren.
Meanwhile, Snoop Dogg’s son Cordell Broadus, 20, and Poppa Snoop Vernell Varnado took the runway at Philipp Plein, along with Pamela Anderson’s son Brandon Lee, 21, and Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin’s daughter Amelia Hamlin, 16, opened and closed the Dennis Basso show.
In what may be the most spectacular runway bow ever, Rihanna took a well-deserved joy ride around her pink sand dune Fenty x Puma set, after motocross stunt drivers wowed the jaded fashion crowd with aerial flips, and models lapped around in nylon jumpsuits, neoprene creeper sneakers and the new Fenty swimwear.
It was a banner week for the pop star, who hit Times Square to introduce her first Fenty Beauty range in partnership with LVMH- owned Kendo Brands. Launched in 1,600 stores in 17 countries, it includes 40 diverse shades of foundation and is the latest in a series of Hollywood- fronted launches (e.g., Kylie Cosmetics, Kim Kardashian West Beauty) that has the legacy beauty industry quaking in its stilettoes.
The American original hijacked the fashion crowd in cushier style than Kanye’s infamous Roosevelt Island fiasco, taking them on a trip to his secret garage in Bedford, N.Y., to see his men’s and women’s fall 2017 see now, buy now collection among nearly $400 million worth of rare Ferraris, McLarens, Bugattis and more.
Lauren ferried guests the 40 miles in black SUVs with an RL-approved soundtrack of jazz standards to listen to. Arriving for cocktail hour, Jessica Chastain, Armie Hammer, Diane Keaton and Katie Holmes gazed at the buffed and polished four-wheeled models, before taking their seats to watch the two-legged ones in prince of wales check suits, color blocked anoraks and racy gowns, one in a black-and-yellow matching the McLaren.