New York Fashion Notes & Opinions

Collina Strada Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Dolly Faibyshev for The New York Times

An article in the Thursday Styles section of The New York Times was titled “The Joke’s on Fashion Week with this Show,” written by John Ovid. I would rephrase it: “With some of these Fashion Week shows, The joke’s on us.” Take, for example, the Tommy Hilfiger See Now, Buy Now Fall 2022 show held at the Brooklyn Skyline Drive-In Theater. So much hype and hoopla but with its logos and tired, oversized streetwise offerings, it was a yawn and not particularly inspiring.

Front Row at Tommy Hilfiger
Photo: Getty Images

Hilfiger used Andy Warhol’s Factory as a jumping-off point for the collection called TommyNOw. He covered the catwalk in silver foil, and there was a silver-covered courtyard where artists silk-screened posters of Mr. Hilfiger’s face behind a camera, like one of Warhol’s self-portraits. Hilfiger congregated in a front row that included members of the Kardashian Klan, Kate Moss, Shawn Mendes, and John Legend. But in the end, it was really “Much Ado About Nothing.” In the pouring rain, no less.

Prabal Gurung Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Filippo Fior Gorunway.com

Prabal Gurung says his spring 2023 collection was a “celebration of the colorful,” but for lack of a better phrase, “a hot mess” this season. It was so over-the-top and costumey that it looked like a fashion parody. By the way, Prabal is the recipient of this year’s Humanitarian Award, to be given at Fashion Group International’s 38th annual Night of Stars on October 13th. Michael Kors is this year’s Superstar.

Marni Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Hunter Abrams

This year’s Night of Stars theme is “Artists and Icons.” Perhaps there was no more colorful, beautifully artistic, and perfectly eclectic collection than Marni, designed by Francesco Risso, which made its NYC debut this season. It is a true meeting of art and fashion.

Tom Ford Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Dan Lecca

As for Tom Ford, the show that closed the fashion week echoed the words of tennis great John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious!” Do you know Tom’s bestselling fragrance, “Fucking Fabulous”? Sorry, Tom, this show was anything but!

If I had to guess what Tom would propose for the season, I would not have predicted the gaudy, tacky, tawdry lineup unveiled on Wednesday evening. A barrage of cheek-baring hot pants and fringed shirts, naval-baring metallic tracksuits, sequined heart and star embroideries, rendered in cheap-looking metallics with cheap charmeuse linings. Just what the world needs more of now. NOT!

Tom Ford Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Filippo Fior Gorunway.com

It wasn’t all colorful. There was a section in black leather mixed with see thru lacey bras and thongs; very Fredericks of Hollywood. Tom likes the idea so much that he proposes it for the guys in the form of a black leather jacket worn over nothing more than a pair of lacey boxers layered over a jock strap. It’s all the more horrible considering how expensive Tom’s clothes are. Not that I would like it anymore at H&M prices, mind you.

Michael Kors Collection Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Hunter Abrams

What was Tom thinking? It was a very obvious, raunchy, hit-you-over-the-head approach to sexy and a far cry from the more subtle and elegant way Michael Kors approached the idea. The collection was very Michael, and it was also very Halston, made all the more evident given fashion’s recent fixation on the designer and the iconic label’s upcoming relaunch that will unveil in early 2023 under the design tutelage of creative director Ken Downing.

Michael Kors Collection Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Filippo Fior for Runway.com

It wasn’t only the minimally luxurious sportswear, sleek halter gowns, and color palette based on black, white, camel, and red that brought to mind the big ‘H.’ (Glad to see so much red on the runways this season!) Michael’s sculptural gold belt buckles, wide cuffs, and abstract gold metal charms suspended from black cords conjure up Elsa Peretti’s iconic creations for Tiffany & Co.

The roomy and slouchy leather bags in black and red leather recall the iconic Bobby Breslau iterations that Halston favored. These are great, by the way; so much chicer than any bag with a big logo stamped on it.

Fendi Bag Lady
Cartoon newyorker.com

Speaking of logo IT bags, the Fendi baguette was feted at an ambitious runway show during NYFW. It reminded me of one of my favorite fashion cartoons, which appeared in The New Yorker years ago.

Another week’s highlight was Peter Do, who has always sought to create a modern uniform and “a new kind of glamour.” This season, Do, a Phoebe Philo protégé, continued to prove why he has quickly amassed a cult following. I was so impressed with Peter’s Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear Collection that I wrote about him in “NYFW’s Shiny New Objects.” One person who was similarly impressed from the beginning is American couturier Ralph Rucci.

Peter Do Spring 2023
Photo by Andrea Adriana for Gorunway.com

Ralph attended Peter’s spring 2023 show on Tuesday afternoon as a testament to Peter’s obvious talents. It is the first fashion show since Miuccia Prada showed in New York in 1993 that Ralph has gone to besides his own.

“Now I’m excited to say that Peter Do is for everyone because we don’t just dress women or men – we dress people.”

Peter Do

For the collection labeled “TIME,” Do chose to showcase menswear. “In pursuit of completing the Peter Do universe, people have always told us, ‘it’s about time that you launched men’s,’ although men have been wearing Peter Do for some time now.

Peter Do Spring 2023
Photo by Andrea Adriana for Gorunway.com

After the show, I spoke with Ralph. I wanted to get his feedback and find out what stood out for him. Ralph cited the series where Peter took a photograph from the skyline of his Brooklyn atelier and had it screened on 52 x 52-inch panels and then tacked them onto the shoulders behind a sheath dress. “It had such a modern flow,” observed Ralph, who has applied a similar element to his designs.

Peter Do Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Andrea Adriani Gorunway.com

While Rucci observes that there was a feeling of Helmut Lang throughout the collection, this was “Helmut with a twist,” he noted. Ralph appreciated some of the oval-shaped cut-out backs tied at the waist so that you could see the shirts underneath.

Ralph didn’t love the idea of the big wide pants with side slits for men, but as he noted, they can be ordered without, and of course, women can wear them this way. Then there’s that white cotton shirt with long ties that you knot in the back. “I don’t know how I will look in it, but I will try one.”

Ralph marvels at how Peter can take a pair of plain white poplin pants and does spiraling and bisecting seams, another Rucci design signature. Ralph instructed Peter not to listen to anyone. “You have it. Just do what you think” — was his advice to the young star.

By the way, it was just announced that Peter Do is one of the nominees for the 2022 CFDA American Womenswear Designer of the Year, along with Catherine Holstein for KHAITE, Christopher John Rogers, Gabriela Hearst, and LaQuan Smith. This may be Peter’s “TIME’ to nab the coveted award. For the record, I also thought KHAITE and Gabriela Hearst had good showings this past week.

Puppets and Puppets Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear
Photo by Daniele Oberrauch for Gorunway.com

There’s no question that some of the week’s highlights are courtesy names like Eckhaus Latta, Collina Strada, and Puppets and Puppets. Designed by Carly Mack, Puppets and Puppets is up for American Emerging Designer of the Year. While fashion insiders are familiar with these designers, they are relatively under the radar in the general public, but they won’t be for long. Tennis has its “Changing of the Guard,” and so does fashion.

Carolina Herrera Fall 2022 Ready-to-Wear
Photo Alessandro Lucioni for Gorunway

Finally, who needs the Oscars, the Golden Globes, and the Grammys when we have NYFW? Dressing up for shows has taken on an absurd life of its own, with women appearing in full-on evening wear early in the morning. For example, at the 10 am Carolina Herrera show, where guests sat on narrow gilded chairs, one woman had the crazy idea to wear this red tulle dress from fall 2022. The top alone needed three chairs.

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Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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