NYFW Preview

New York Fashion Week 

The Fall 2013 shows begin in New York on Thursday. From Alexander Wang's season of multitasking to Prabal Gurung's Target launch, see our list of the most anticipated events of the week. By Misty White Sidell. 

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Here comes fashion week! The fall/winter 2013 shows will descend upon New York starting this Thursday, and there’s lots of excitement in store. From designer comebacks to fashion hackathons, to a run-down of the week’s coolest party, see the highlights.

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All Eyes on Wang

Alexander Wang was officially named as Nicolas Ghesquière’s replacement at Balenciaga in late November, making this his first season as an intercontinental designer. Now that he is tasked with overseeing three labels (Alexander Wang, T by Alexander Wang, and Balenciaga) it will be interesting to watch how the 29-year-old designer’s namesake label takes shape at his February 9 show. Will all of those transatlantic flights bring a bit of the French touch to Wang’s notoriously New York–inspired aesthetic? (Wang's first collection for Balenciaga debuts in Paris on February 28.)

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Galliano’s Poised for a Comeback

John Galliano’s well on his way to a big-time comeback. This week a French judge agreed to hear Galliano’s claims against his dismissal from Christian Dior, and this weekend he’ll make his return to the runway at Oscar de la Renta’s fall show. Dior’s former creative director has been apprenticing at de la Renta’s studio for the past three weeks to help the label with its new collection. Following suit with fashion tradition, Galliano will likely appear at the brand’s show. But things might get interesting if de la Renta invites him to share his final bow. Regardless, we’re hoping to see some of the designer’s signature fantasy creations present themselves on de la Renta’s runway—because two years without them is far too long.

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Thom Browne Hones in on Womenswear

Thom Browne has been appreciated by fashion insiders for years—but now, following his design for Michelle Obama on Inauguration Day, it’s likely that the American designer will find himself with an even larger fan base. Which is probably why Browne, who’s long shown his womenswear collection with a presentation format, has made the switch over to a full-blown runway show, bowing on Monday. The question remains: will he stay true to his brand signatures (which include elaborate, avant-garde showpieces) or head down the commercial route in the hopes of wooing a bigger audience?

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A$AP Rocky to Rule the Scene

Each season, it seems like a new music act is ordained as the fashion industry’s favorite—making them a must-have at any big event. Last season it was Azealia Banks, and this time around it’s rapper A$AP Rocky, co-star of Lana del Ray’s “National Anthem” music video and the man behind the new fashion-themed song “Fashion Killa.” Some are even heralding him as a potential fill-in for Kanye West, as the front-row fixture readies for fatherhood. It’s expected that Rocky will appear at some of the week’s hottest shows (our bets are on Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler) and will take the stage at some of the week’s buzzier events.

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Deborah Needleman’s T Debut

When Sally Singer was ousted from the helm of T: The New York Times Style Magazine this past fall, media blogs were rife with rumors of her replacement. The overall consensus was that WSJ. magazine editor Deborah Needleman would slide into the role, and a few weeks later she did exactly that. The Times will celebrate Needleman’s first issue on the 7th (meanwhile the Wall Street Journal will present Kristina O’Neill's debut for WSJ on the same night). T won’t debut to the public until February 17, but in the meantime its creative director, Patrick Li, has offered this clue about the first issue: “Think Azzedine Alaïa … It’s super-restrained, but there’s something very directional about it, in a very subtle way, I guess.”

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Fashion Hackathons Descend

Hackathons are typically exclusive to Silicon Valley—but not if fashion has something to say about it. This New York Fashion Week will host two dueling fashion hackathons, one hosted by industry veteran Stephanie Winston Wolkoff and her partner Liz Bacelar of Decoded Fashion, and the other by Hearst publications. Earlier this month Decoded invited more than 400 developers to create the best fashion app possible. They’ve since narrowed the competition to just three finalists, who will present their ideas at Lincoln Center on February 14. Hearst’s rival overnight venture is formatted as a 24-hour heat where participants will create apps that “inventively connect readers and editors in real-time."

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Is Cathy Horyn Up for Battle Royale #2?

Last fashion season was one of embattlement for New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn. No less than a handful of open letters from multiple designers and one popstar (Lady Gaga) were addressed in her name and distributed on the Internet; many of them sharing discontent for her negative take on some of the season’s shows. The haughty fuss was nothing new to Horyn, who’s previously been banned from shows including Carolina Herrera and Giorgio Armani for her brash criticism of their collections. But the recent blowback was unprecedented, even for Horyn. Anyone other journalist probably would have softened their tone following such exhaustive retaliation, but judging from Horyn’s couture critiques, the girl ain’t backing down.

Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage

Chloë Sevigny’s Runway Return

Chloë Sevigny is as cool as the “cool girls” come. Year after year, the indie star rocks unflattering denim, paired with equally unflattering haircuts and still lands herself on multiple best-dressed lists. Quite frankly, it’s enigma that Opening Ceremony dreams are made of. And that’s probably why the retail mecca for high-priced hipsters worldwide has invited Sevigny back to design a new collaborative collection for their store racks. Taking an artsy, offbeat approach, the sleeper-hit ingénue will present her new designs with a presentation at St. Mark’s Church in the East Village on Saturday afternoon.

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Prabal Gurung’s Target Celebration

Target knows how to throw a party. The high street retailer has already honed the art of the megabash by fêting its collaborations with designers like Missoni and Jason Wu. But Wednesday night’s party might be the biggest of all. Prabal Gurung’s Target collection, arriving in stores on February 10, will receive a massive send-off in an abandoned pier off of Manhattan’s West Side Highway. The space has previously hosted collaborative events like Versace’s H&M collection bash that boasted a mini-store and performances by Prince and Nicki Minaj. That was impressive. But unlike Gurung’s party, the Versace event was not home to a temporary carnival—that’s right, there’ll be a one-night-only indoor carnival. Revelers will toast the first night of the week in festive fashion, anchored by a surprise performance from a top-40 hit.

via Band of Outsiders Official Instagram.

Band of Outsiders Scavenger Hunt

Band of Outsiders is revisiting its affinity with the alternative fashion shows this week by sending models on a 12-hour-long, citywide scavenger hunt on February 7. The fashion label will show their fall men’s collection on two models that will embark on the hunt at 7:30 am, when they’ll trade in their mobile devices for a fresh pair of underwear. They’ll travel around in the search of various clues and challenges, changing every few hours in a transparent vehicle that will ferry the brand’s fall collection and a mobile photo studio around the city. You can track the game’s progression all day long on Band of Outsider’s Instagram account (@thisisbandofoutsiders), Twitter feed, Tumblr, and simulcast site.