Prior to its opening yesterday, New York Fashion Week had already been much talked about in the press following the decision taken by many of the established homegrown brands, including Rodarte, Thom Browne, Proenza Schouler and Altuzarra, to decamp to Paris. However, despite the absence this Week of some of the country’s most celebrated talents, there are many up-and-coming designers on the schedule who are making their seasonal debuts, and other more familiar names staging welcome comebacks. Here are a few of our favorite names to know…
Born in the US but raised in Rome, Kim Shui graduated from Central Saint Martins in London with Distinction. She debuted at NYFW in February 2016 with her AW16 ready to wear collection, after being selected as one of the VFiles Runway winners, the latest in a series of accolades which include being named as one of ten designers nominated for the prestigious International Talent Support Competition and Samsung Galaxy Award in 2015, and winning the 2014 Media Award at the opening of Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week - International Young Fashion Designers Competition in Beijing.
Inspired by the color, shapes and textures in Kadinsky’s artwork, her inaugural collection aimed to subvert conventions, and using a clever combination of outmoded or overused materials, from lace to sequins and faux fur, the designer sought to blur the boundaries between the beautiful and the ugly.
Michael and Nicole Colovos, the duo behind the Colovos label, are no strangers to fashion – their CVs include stints as a Dior pattern-maker (Michael) and an editor at Elle and Harper’s Bazaar (Nicole) and together, they founded cult label Habitual before taking the creative helm at Helmut Lang. However, their eponymous label is just over a year old, and after presenting their first collection last February in a gallery in Tribeca, this month will see their runway debut as part of New York Fashion Week.
Describing their AW17 collection as effortless, thoughtful, modern and everyday, their minimalist-inspired clothes will appeal to those who favor chic yet fuss-free dressing with a functional edge. “For us it’s always a matter of the girl wearing the clothes, as opposed to the clothes wearing the girl,” Nicole explained in a recent interview with CR Fashion Book.
Founded in 2013, ‘as a reaction to the lack of diversity in the contemporary fashion scene’, Vaquera has recently started to make waves. The brand, a collective whose designers include Patric DiCaprio, David Moses, Bryn Taubensee and Claire Sully, is not for the faint-hearted, its creatives favoring literal interpretations of their inspirations, such as AW17’s white looks inspired by a classic chef’s hat, which then topped the final runway look.
Among these more challenging designs were a selection of more wearable pieces, which no doubt appealed to a wider audience. However, it’s this attention-grabbing foursome’s youthful and unexpected approach that sets them apart from their New York contemporaries.
While the name may not be new, this season marks a new direction for the New York-based brand, which is looking to introduce Helmut Lang to a whole new generation. Helmed by Dazed and Confused’s editor-in-chief Isabella Burley, who as “editor-in-residence” will oversee all creative aspects of the brand, collections will be designed by different collaborators, beginning with Shayne Oliver of Hood by Air. “The idea of appointing different designers to work on projects was borne of the notion of how Helmut as a legacy has influenced a new generation of designers,” Burley explained to British Vogue.
In addition to the collections unveiled on the catwalk, heritage pieces from the Helmut Lang archive will also be re-released. ‘Volume 1’, which will be made up of 15 gender-fluid pieces, will be released this month, with additional volumes updated every four months.