The Fashion Show With Burgers and Tacos: Reviews of Rag & Bone, Noon By Noor, and Thakoon at New York Fashion Week
Rag & Bone celebrated its 15th birthday with fast food and an open bar, and Noon by Noor and Thakoon kept the party going at their shows.
Rag & Bone
The NYC born and based company, Rag & Bone, was celebrating its 15th anniversary this fashion week. Instead of a conventional show, the brand’s designer and now sole chief officer, Marcus Wainwright, opted for a less formal and more celebratory event by hosting an exhibition style presentation of the fall and winter collection, along with a party replete with burgers, a taco cart, photo station and an open bar.
The exhibition had a meta-performance art appeal. The enormous ground floor gallery space at 60 Tenth Avenue was filled with large format vintage polaroid film portraits of the models wearing the new collection. The models themselves, who were also guests at the event, wore the outfits in their portraits and broke up their time mingling through the crowd to briefly stand next to or near by their photo and live action recreate their photo poses.
The crowd, including the models, had a downtown, NYC underground vibe that matched perfectly with the brand’s longstanding street style aesthetic.
Tali Lennox, the daughter of Annie, was wearing a red tweed jacket with a red plaid skirt and unassumingly stood near her photo.
Lil Buck, a movement artist from L.A. by way of Memphis, briefly hung out near his photo and generously recreated a very difficult pose. There were photos of underground icons like Honor Titus of the Brooklyn punk band Cerebral Ballzy, and more traditional celebrities like Winona Ryder and Kate Moss. The designer, his wife and kids were also there, taking photos near their photos.
The exhibition— with wall didactics and museum style labels—teemed with photo collage walls, there was a stacked T.V. video installation, and portraits filled almost all of the walled and unwalled space.
Although the images that filled the room were thoroughly modern, the media they were presented on was purposefully dated. A mash-up that was very much the product of the current Instagram age while also having a lingering eye on the past. The clothes took a backseat to the models, and to the environment at large, which in itself was an art installation-brand-homage to both the past and present New York scene.
One of Rag and Bone’s first models, Yuri Pleskun, born in the Ukraine and raised in Co-op City in the Bronx said this of the exhibit and the brand: “New York is one of the most genuine cities in the world. Rag and Bone shows this in their pulse, the quality of the city.”
Noon By Noor
At the Noon By Noor show at Skylight Clarkson Sq, ladies in dainty ankle boots, stiletto heels, and a couple pairs of bare legs, filled the room and crowded the standing room only areas for a glimpse of the latest by the Bahrain based design duo Noor Rashid Al Khalifa and Haya Mohammed Al Khalifa. Among the attendees were style icon Alexa Chung, former Miss USA Olivia Culpo and the Misshapes Leigh Lezark, as well as internet fashion blogger sensation Brooke Hil.
While waiting for the show to start the music of The XX was piped throughout the room and in spite of both the cold outside and all the cliques of cold-hearted fashion people, the room was warm with smiling faces and genuinely friendly people. The crowd was refreshingly diverse, and full of the on-trend styles of fashion’s latest revival: the early 1990s.
The first model walked out wearing a suite ensemble that included a double breasted jacket and loose fitting pant. She was followed by looks filled with tan corduroy, velvet, peplum blouses, oversized fur coats and wide high water or loose straight leg pants. An ombre monochromatic floral print was used throughout many of the ensembles and a play with shapes and layering pervaded throughout most all the looks.
Skirts were either high waisted and full, or pencil shaped and long, but the execution of looks felt more stylistically aligned with the grunge fashions 1990s than of the New Look of 1950s.
There was a playfulness with the silhouettes of many of the dresses, which had layers of asymmetrical peplums and angled hemlines. The collection was both artistically impressive and extremely accessible, a sort of sophisticated reimagining 90s fashion, which at once managed to look both polished and utterly effortless.
Three weeks after the inauguration of a president who built his campaign on looking backwards into the mythical past, Thakoon Panichgul, the immigrant fashion designer who dressed our former first lady Michelle Obama at her husband’s 2nd inauguration, held a fashion show that looked upwards and in some sense forward.
The square industrial room at Cedar Lake— on the far west side of 26th street— was almost unrecognizable in this show’s incarnation as a circular room, which was created by a rounded panorama of screens projecting images of pink clouds. Overhead, the ceiling was mirrored, creating the illusion of being completely surrounded by clouds and sky, while the speakers played ethereal music that recalled the part of a movie score right before the ending monologue of a protagonist where he or she realizes why life is beautiful.
It was a beautiful set, and one that was in stark contrast to both the literal climate and the political climate of the day.
The “see now buy now” collection was available online for immediate purchase, making Thakoon one of the many companies who made the switch away from the fashion cycle’s mainstream of presenting clothing the season before it would hit stores.
The presentation itself was quick, lasting just under 3 minutes. Models walked along the circular walls of the screens forcing the audience to use the mirrored ceiling to get a glimpse of the latest by the designer.
The clothing itself held true to its aesthetic and once again showed that Thakoon is the master of somehow combining patterns, shapes and layers all while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic.
The seemingly straightforward clean looks worn by the models all had some sort of secret little eccentricity added to it, subtly hidden but nonetheless there. A camel-colored bias cut skirt had red floral gussets, the standard trench coat had hidden pops of a patterned textile and was worn as both a coat and tied around the waist, a standard shirtwaist blouse had a lace appliqué collar and chunky open toed heels added a dash of whimsy to the styling.
After the show, the audience lingered, drinking the rosé champagne served incognito in cans, and slowly crossed the rose petal covered floor back outside into real life.