New York Fashion Week: Bold & Beautiful
By Gretta Monahan
The drab, slushy sidewalks are the perfect counterpoint to what’s happening on the runways of Fashion Week here. It’s not just that the energy and celeb wattage is dialed up to a superheated 10, it also seems like designers have pure celebration, unquestionably opulent moments, and very openly political and rebelliously spirited messages weaving through their collections.
Let’s start with Victoria Beckham: She went all in for defining international but still specifically Brit chic, with nonchalant, oversized sweaters and men’s-style shirts, plus blazers, tucked into skirts. Beckham has somehow become a master of the unexpected outfit that’s actually very pulled together.
And how about that Jenny Packham? She could (almost) rival Adele’s Grammy ode to George Michael on the topic of what it means to be British these days, given how well she leveled up with punk one minute, tartan plaid the next and then proper pearls after that. Her leather biker jackets with embroidered, full-length gowns? Pure poetry.
Then there was the sought-after Prabal Gurung, who made one bold poetic statement after another in his show, to huge applause from not just the fashion press, but the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Huma Abedin and Diane Kruger, all of whom graced his front row. Gurung marched out a breathtaking onslaught of beautiful intarsia fur sweaters, long, slim velvet dresses (in sizes from zero to 16) and silken frocks trimmed in delicate buttons, but also interspersed those luxurious and fanciful looks with models wearing simple T-shirts with slogans such as “I am an immigrant” and “Nevertheless, she persisted.” For his own final stage bow? Gurung came out wearing another T-shirt of his own design that said simply: “This is what a feminist looks like.” And it brought the crowd to its feet.