Kanye, the Fat Jew, and Other Fashion Week Antiheroes
Models took tumbles, Kanye underwhelmed with beige-colored zombies, and everyone partied, partied, partied: Our look back at New York Fashion Week.
One down, three to go.
New York Fashion Week has come to an end. Buyers, editors, and well-dressed celebrities have packed their vintage Louis Vuittons and are en route to London for another week of designer shows and parties.
And as we anticipate what’s to come from London town’s finest—then Milan, then Paris—check out what you may have missed stateside over the past 10 days.
There’s a first time for everything…
Givenchy jumped the pond and forewent their traditional Parisian showcase for the first time ever.
The location: a pier on the Hudson River. The scene: a maze of dilapidated metal structures and a nod to religion and the legacy of the 9/11 attacks, which was also the day it was hosted.
The guests included everyone from Nicki Minaj and Courtney Love to Kim and Kanye and Julia Roberts, who looked chic AF in a tee shirt branded with Riccardo Tisci’s face (he’s the creative director).
The designs were exactly what you’d expect from Givenchy and Tisci. They were romantic and edgy, mixing silk, leather, and lace to the dozens of designs that he showed. Asymmetrical jackets were adorned with massive studs. Faces were bedazzled by Pat McGrath and reportedly took more than 12 hours each to make.
Models fell. Marina Abramovic co-directed the event. And more than 800 “non-fashion, non-celebrity” plebeians were invited inside.
Oh, and Kanye West decided that he felt really left out of the fashion world. So, he announced a surprise runway show for the following week. Needless to say, it pissed off a few designers.
Yeezy ‘Season 2’ looked really familiar…
Kanye West’s follow-up to his mediocre collaboration with Adidas earlier this year came as a surprise to everyone. Ditching the brand partnership, the collection quickly became the buzziest show of New York Fashion Week.
Lorde, Anna Wintour, Drake, André Leon Talley, Riccardo Tisci, and Tyga all made an appearance, as did the entire Kardashian clan: wife Kim, Kylie, Kendall, Khloe, Kourtney, and, of course, baby North.
The collection was full of monochrome looks—baggy pants, tops, and coats meticulously rolled and styled in light and dark tones. The attitude was militaristic and minimalist with a wayward nod to an apocalyptic future in space. Think Jedi chic, and strangely reminiscent of Yeezy Season 1.
Sadly, nothing was that shocking… at least not as shocking as Opening Ceremony.
These models had an epic fall…
Everything was going smoothly at Opening Ceremony’s runway show on September 13. The models were dressed in the label’s latest designs—long, flowing dresses with plunging necklines, cutout crop tops, oversized sweaters, and a few bold prints.
Then BAM! Everyone took a tumble.
A few front-row guests were quick to offer help, but then felt super awkward because the whole thing was staged. Designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon had cast the New York City Ballet to perform a dance number mid-show that was perfectly choreographed by the young and praised Justin Peck.
Everyone loved it and laughed off the shock, because sometimes you just can’t take fashion so seriously.
The Fat Jew got funny again…
After some much deserved criticism over stealing jokes, Insta-famous comedian The Fat Jew, whose real name is Josh Ostrovsky, took on the fashion world in his first ever “Dad Fashion Show” for MADE, a platform that celebrates emerging talent.
The models nailed almost every “dad” stereotype, ranging from grumpy to athletic to business savvy.
There was “PJ Dad,” who stumbled onto the runway in checkered pajamas and a sleep mask. He looked tired and grumpy and overall pissed off at the millennial-dominated audience.
“Barbeque Dad” sported a blue button-up, khaki shorts, tennis shoes, and a “The Grillfather” apron and tongs, arguably one of the many looks that came from the model’s own closets as Ostrovsky recruited “real dads” from Craiglists and elsewhere.
“Snow Shovel Dad,” “Hippie Dad,” and “Deadbeat Dad” rounded out the display of more than 20 stereotypes.
Dads weren’t the only ones celebrating…
The parties were epic.
Alexander Wang hired “the city’s best strippers” to entertain the hundreds of VIP guests who attended his after-party. Givenchy posted up underneath the Brooklyn Bridge and catered to almost every fashion VIP imaginable while serving food from trucks and bringing Hailee Steinfeld on stage to perform her latest singles.
Katie Perry looked like the personification of Mother Nature as she performed at the “Harper’s Bazaar Icons” celebration while model Lindsey Wixson smoked a joint with Stephanie Seymour’s son Peter Brandt II at Rihanna’s Puma party.
And Marc Jacobs enforced a strict dress code at the party he hosted for Chris von Wangenheim’s latest photo book, Gloss. Everyone was equally thrilled and terrified. It would have just been super embarrassing if more than one person showed up “riding in on a white horse,” like the invite suggested, along with dressing in “Grace Jones butch realness” and “bleached eyebrows.”
Coco Rocha, Solange Knowles, Maripol, and Amanda Lepore, “arguably the most well-known transgender woman in America next to Caitlyn Jenner,” were all in attendance and dressed in as much vintage glam as they could muster. The venue, The Tunnel, was tucked away on the West Side Highway and evoked vaguely familiar city grit that has long been missing from fashion and nightlife.
The vibe was totally Studio 54 meets the club kids of the 1980s, which made us wonder if those decades were making a major comeback this season.
Designers looked to the past, the future and everywhere in between….
Thom Browne gave his models gravity-defying hair for their first day of school, which also looked like the parallel universe where Donnie Darko’s horrific bunny-man still lives. At the Prabal Gurung’s show, 30 monks from Tibet and Nepal opened the show giving thankful chants to the fashion industries for their contributions after the earthquake in Nepal this year. His looks reflected their traditional garb featuring designs in bright reds, yellows, and oranges.
But most impressive of all was Hood by Air’s shocking look into the future, as described by New York Magazine’s Cathy Horne:
“He’s not interested in what was in fashion, or whether the department stores will like it, or if he’s building his accessory line,” Horne wrote of designer Shayne Oliver, celebrating Oliver’s “Fuck you. This is my world” attitude. “Many designers can make compelling fashion, but very few can create a distinct world, and even fewer have Oliver’s quality of contentiousness. It seems to goad him, and it produces, almost deliriously, things you don’t expect.”
Then they got political…
Pyer Moss’s designer Kerby Jean-Raymond made sure to make a bold statement not typical of Fashion Week’s typically light mood. Before the models took the runway, a video projected a black-and-white mash-up of some the year’s most dramatic footage on police brutality.
Jean-Raymond spliced self-filmed interviews with the victim’s families in between while his debut collection for the label hit the runway. White blazers and bomber jackets were paired with athletic shorts and track pants.
Lady Gaga cried front row…
Leave it to Lady Gaga to cause a scene. Except this time it was in praise of her stylist Brandon Maxwell, who launched his own collection this season. When the models took their final walk she was seen getting emotional on the front row.
Maxwell was partly responsible for Gaga’s infamous “meat dress” and that time she showed up to the Grammy’s in an egg, so many in attendance expected there to be the same grandeur and spectacle. Unfortunately, it was more Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett and less ‘Fame Monster.’
“Maxwell hewed to an almost strictly black-and-white palette (with a few pops of blush pink thrown in) and focused on impeccably constructed women’s basics—pantsuits, blazers, little black dresses. But he elevated these glamorous looks with twists of interesting detail,” Allison McNearney reported in The Daily Beast.
“There were structured bell sleeves, high neck collars, blazers with mini tails, playful asymmetry, and slits for days. The collection harkened back to the ’70s, but not in an overdone, costume-y way. Instead, Maxwell’s collection was full of day-to-night elegance, wearable in both office and a bar.”