Fashion Week landed in New York City once again with six days of Fall-Winter 2023 shows from brands including Rodarte, Thom Browne, Coach, Prabal Gurung and Eckhaus Latta.
Last season marked the return of nearly all in-person shows, and A-List celebrities descended on the city for a packed schedule of slick high-production shows all around Manhattan and Brooklyn. This week, the trend toward iconic backdrops and grand architecture continued, with shows taking place at the historic main branch of the New York Public Library, classic hotspot the Rainbow Room, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
While many collections emphasized everyday wearability, with designers including Gabriela Hearst, LaQuan Smith and Sandy Liang showing clothes that could go from runway to closet, others such as Rodarte and Thom Browne instead put forward more whimsical ideas.
On Friday, the mood was high fantasy as Rodarte kicked off the official schedule inside the neoclassical Williamsburgh Savings Bank, transforming the landmarked Brooklyn institution into a glittering banquet populated by gothic fairies. Rodarte’s romantic collections have a loyal celebrity following, and guests included actors Brie Larson, Jemima Kirke, and Natasha Lyonne.
Browne, meanwhile, turned one blacked-out room of art center The Shed into a stage for a half-hour conceptual retelling of the beloved novella “The Little Prince,” complete with a prop plane, hanging planets and several tons of sand to create a celestial desert scene.
“I’m getting older and I have to challenge myself to create something that’s more and more interesting each season,” Browne told CNN after the show. “I always start with a simple story and then work into it as much as I want to or as little as I want to.”
Setting the stage
Many designers played with themes of transformation this season, from Collina Strada’s playful presentation of models-turned-animals to Dion Lee’s edgy club-kid looks that played on the idea of clothes as shedding snake skin (the latter attended by the internet’s favorite “It” girls Julia Fox and Ice Spice). Area’s high-octane runway turned bananas, watermelons and grapes into vibrant sculptural ensembles, with bright purples and pinks shifting to black to signal decay. Models walked to the uneasy sound of buzzing flies and thumping techno.
At the New York Public Library, designer Prabal Gurung sought to create a starlit escape in the heart of the building, inspired by meditation and his Nepalese heritage. Models in asymmetrical draping and a variety of outwear walked on a mirrored floor beneath projections of a night sky, while guests including Kimora Lee Simmons and Nicky Hilton looked on.
“I wanted people to forget for 10 minutes that they are in New York — to feel like they are on a spiritual journey with me to Nepal,” he told CNN ahead of the show.
Celebrity runway moments began with Lindsay Lohan’s siblings Ali and Cody, who walked Christian Siriano’s early Thursday show (with Lohan present in the front row), as well as a surprise appearance from “White Lotus” actor Jon Gries on the Eckhaus Latta runway on Saturday night. Emily Ratajkowski closed Simkhai’s presentation of power-dressing ensembles as well as Tory Burch’s slouchy take on prep, and original supermodel Beverly Johnson returned to runway to close out Dennis Basso’s show in a gold-caped gown. The Blonds closed out the week on Wednesday night with a catwalk cameo from “Pose” star Dominique Jackson.
Beatrice Grannò Simona Tabasco— perhaps better known as Mia and Lucia from “White Lotus” — attended Michael Kors where Kate Hudson was also spotted.
Browne’s highly anticipated first NYFW show as the new CFDA chairman brought out the most stars during an otherwise fairly low-key season. Famous front row guests included Lil Nas X, Whoopi Goldberg, Erykah Badu, Penn Badgely, Queen Latifah, David Harbour, and Teyana Taylor.
Lil Nas X, Fox and Taylor made the rounds to a handful of shows, while other celebrities spotted out and about included the always-masked South African singer Orville Peck and Japanese Breakfast frontwoman Michelle Zauner, the latter who showed up to Rodarte and cool-girl staple Sandy Liang.
“I’m so flattered that people get it,” Liang said of cultivating a loyal following, which includes Bella Hadid and Phoebe Bridgers. Liang’s latest collection imagined the dress as a “modern, everyday uniform,” mixing feminine silhouettes — with signatures bows, rosettes and ballet pointe flats — with utilitarian additions.
Scroll down for all the moments that caught our eye.
Top image: Backstage at Thom Browne