New York fashion week runway show

New York Fashion Week Recap

January 10, 2024
5 min read

New York Fashion Week is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the fashion calendar, and Autumn 2023’s NYFW did not disappoint. Join Mintel as we recap some of the highlights, and consider how the most prominent moments of New York Fashion Week are mirroring market trends, and what we might expect to see next.

Peter Do’s Helmut Lang Opener

Right from his time at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Peter Do has been making waves in the fashion industry. Thanks to his innovative designs, he became creative director of the established brand Helmut Lang earlier this year, and during the 2023 New York Fashion Week made his Helmut Lang debut.

With poetry decoration courtesy of Ocean Vuong, which harked back to Helmut Lang’s heritage, the show was set up for success. Do’s prior celebrity and his clearly well-researched details promised something special. However, the show felt so focused on Helmut Lang that Peter Do did not shine through. Though it was well-curated, the show perhaps came across as derivative of earlier Lang shows.

How might this reflect how people are consuming fashion? We know from Mintel’s recent Fashion & Sustainability UK Report that more than half of us consider sustainability to be an important factor when buying clothing, so designers harking back to the roots of the label may enable people to dive into their own archives to style old pieces rather than buying new items.

Ralph Lauren’s NYFW Comeback

Hailed as a triumphant return by notable fashion news outlets, Ralph Lauren made their New York Fashion Week comeback after four years away from the event. The Brooklyn venue took inspiration from Lauren’s Colorado Ranch to place attendees firmly within the aesthetic world of Ralph Lauren, with details adding elements of New York to the experience. Combining classic Americana with New York glamour was the epitome of Ralph Lauren’s success at his New York Fashion Week homecoming.

The basis of the show’s designs were Ralph Lauren staples, with added punch. Relaxed denim and classic tailoring are featured on the runway, with added floral decorations, metallic glitz, and deeply rich colour palettes. This well-loved designer showcased his classic fashion style, made modern for 2024.

Collina Strada’s Happy Faces

Following her animalistic showcase in February, attendees arriving at Collina Strada’s Spring/Summer 2024 NYFW Show were expecting the unexpected. The show delivered on this promise, as models walked the runway with alarmingly wide smiles. Creative Director Hillary Taymour’s vision for this show was to highlight oxymorons in beauty – strength in softness, power in pretty, grit in the girly. 

The overtly feminine designs showcased range from corsets and shoulder pads to lacy frills and a pastel colour scheme. It was rooted in classical femininity, with designs offering radical twists on ladylike fashion. Punky spikes and tethers add jagged edges to the soft femininity, whilst the models’ eerie grins added a note of discomfort to what may otherwise be a sickly sweet collection.

Strada’s twists on femininity play with gender-based fashion reflect a growing interest in gender-neutral fashion, as highlighted in Mintel’s Inclusivity & Diversity in Fashion Report, in which we revealed that gender-neutral options are key to almost 1 in 10 shoppers.

Christian Siriano’s Famous Faces

What do Avril Lavigne, Laverne Cox, Sia, and Janet Jackson have in common? They were all present at Christian Siriano’s Spring/Summer 2024 show at New York Fashion Week! Long time admirer of Siriano’s designs, Janet Jackson was escorted to her seat moments before the show began. At the same time, other celebrity attendees marvelled at the latest pieces and Sia took the stage at the close of the show.

The show itself was a mixture of over-the-top audacity and classically chic fashion. From elegant suits in rich colour palettes to overflowing silhouettes and embellished sheer gowns, the collection oozed modern class. The Spring/Summer 2024 collection harks back to old Hollywood glamour, adding a twist of modern styling.

Considering that a quarter of us follow designer fashion brands on social media, and a further third of us follow influencers who promote fashion brands, we are globally interested in staying in touch with innovative fashion trends. The presence of celebrities at high-profile fashion events, and the inclusion of some in the shows themselves, draws in a crucial audience. 

What We Think

New York Fashion Week 2023 was a mixed bag – as it always is! From Ralph Lauren’s triumphant return to the runway to Peter Do’s underwhelming Helmut Lang debut, this fashion week has shown us how variation on a theme must be handled with care. Some are able to innovate on their design roots to create something modern yet familiar, while others may lose their vision and create something neither exciting nor reliable.

Christian Siriano’s chic collection, and the star-studded audience in attendance, highlight that the designer still carries a certain cache. We may expect to see Siriano Spring/Summer 2024 worn on red carpets in the coming months. Collina Strada’s bizarre presentation style makes her show a true experience – something that must be seen to be believed, while the fashion designs are intriguing and bold.

These notable collections and showcases at New York Fashion Week reflect our fashion desires. The Helmut Lang show enables us to thrive in our ambition to stay fashionable in sustainable, economically challenging times; whether Do intended it or not. Siriano reflects the social media lens through which many of us engage with fashion, and Strada draws on gender inclusivity.

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