Inside New York Fashion Week’s Sexy Night Out With Chromat, Kim Shui, Dennis Basso, and The Blonds
At New York Fashion Week, there was fur and extravagance at Dennis Basso, fluid takes on beauty and gender at Chromat, while Kim Shui and The Blonds showed the best of maximalism.
Dennis Basso showed a massive collection of 61 looks at Spring Studios, with a wide range of textile and sewing techniques: everything from fur to lace to tweed and beaded embroidery, quilting, prints, and leather. It was a sort of fashion bacchanal, with a seemingly never-ending parade of intoxicating garments coming down the runway.
Old-school Hollywood glamour abounded, with form-hugging, bias-cut gowns, recalling the silver-screen sirens of the '30s. A neoclassical themed print graced a ruffle-laden dress and a '50s New Look-style gown.
The designer is known for his cavalier use fur in broad color pallets, and Basso designed effortlessly delicate furs, gently combined with soft flowing silks, an emerald green fur jacket worn with a dazzling sequined gown, and many other looks both daring and casual.
Designer Becca McCharen-Tran’s dedication to inclusivity and using her fashion label to support and further that goal has always been at the heart of Chromat. This Fashion Week was no different. Never one to conform, the Chromat presentation took place at Rise by WeWork, the co-working company’s signature gym in the financial district.
Inspired by the idea of reimagining the Olympics “as a gender-inclusive space where athletes can compete as they are,” and opening a dialogue about the Olympics’ “narrow definition of gender,” the show was a celebration of the wide spectrum of gender and bodies.
While the show itself was a workout, the workout was not just for show. The models demonstrated stamina and strength while engaged in intense weight training and aerobic workouts, all while modeling the label’s new collection of athletic wear. In the weight room—on an astroturfed floor—models demonstrated how strength and stamina can come in many forms.
The collection was a rainbow of neon-hued leotards, crop tops, and biker shorts that embraced the curves of all the different body shapes without judgment. A celebratory feel was in the air as the instructor led them through a dance-y routine that focused on body positivity.
As one of Forbes’ 30-under-30, designer Kim Shui did not disappoint her many fans at her show. Her “Ming Dynasty meets Eurotrash” aesthetic was in full force with her signature use of luxurious textiles in bright colors to create a racy collection that celebrated the female form in all its incarnations.
Shui enjoys creating body-hugging and skin-baring designs, and the new collection stayed on brand with a dazzling array of color and texture all fused together to create masterfully overstated ensembles.
The designer had multiple clever takes on women’s suiting, mixing seemingly clashing textiles, and reimagining the blazer as a long-sleeve, halter-style top. While this season’s collection contained more cloth than her past ones, no Kim Shui show would be complete without the requisite thigh-grazing skirts and skin-tight tops.
A traditional chrysanthemum motif was printed into a '70s-style textile that graced multiple looks. Slinky shirts and dresses were combined with headscarves tied under the chin to create an eclectic, maximalist east-meets-west look.
Rod Stewart was onto something when he sang “all the blondes have more fun,” which was certainly the case at The Blonds show for NYFW on Sunday night. Opening with a giant cross projected on the backdrop of the runway, the designer duo Phillipe and David Blond said that this season, “The Blonds explore fashion as a sort of religion.”
Always up to upend conventions, the designers seemed to delight in using the motifs and glitter of religion to glam up their collection. The Blonds wrote that the show was “inspired by iconic frescos,” and icons and symbols ran playfully heavy throughout the collection.
There was gold lace, a metal-studded catsuit worn with a matching studded protective mask for full effect, and an effervescent parade of tiny bedazzled dresses, some adorned with giant feathered wings. A male model wore a feathered biker jacket with gold lamé Brazilian-cut undies.