NYFW Day One: Highlights From A Socially Distant Fashion Week

BY Lauren Sanchez / Sep 15 2020 / 07:52 AM

Masks are trending, along with the enthusiasm for a bright future on the first day of fashion week

NYFW Day One: Highlights From A Socially Distant Fashion Week

It’s that time of year again, the leaves are just beginning to fall, the air is crisp -- New York Fashion Week has returned, but not without some noteworthy changes.

Filing into Spring Studios, elbow-to-elbow with the rest of the fashion set, is now a thing of the past. Designers have opted for a more socially distant approach. Show seats were either spaced accordingly or digital lookbooks, zoom calls and videos were utilised in keeping with normal pandemic procedure. But the question still lingers... is this the right time to have a fashion show when so many other important issues are weighing heavily on our minds?

However trivial you may consider all this hoopla to be, one thing is for certain: fashion gives us fantasy, dreams, hope -- themes many of the below designers sought after with their collections. Many looks were toned down; frills and exaggerated silhouettes were few and far between. Formal pajama sets are making a comeback (not surprisingly considering the surge in #WFH social posts) as are vintage pieces from a lifetime ago. 

Here’s a look at some of our favorites along with our wish for your troubles to melt like lemon drops as you click though -- if only for a little while.

Jason Wu’s Love Letter To Tulum


Opening this year’s Spring/Summer 2021 run of shows was none other than Jason Wu whose dreamy, contemporary collection focused on escaping away to Tulum: a destination which holds some special memories for the designer. Framed by lush palms, the looks skipped along in jewel blues, sunset oranges and vivid corals one could almost hear the ocean as actress Indya Moore and models Grace Elizabeth and Indira Scott walked by.

Not a Ball Gown in Sight for Marchesa

Evening wear connoisseur, Georgina Chapman opted for a more relaxed tone for her collection this season rather than the ornate splendor we’re used to. Still, there were flowers doused in sequins and careful beading which brought the grandeur of what the Marchesa brand is known for. Much like a sunset, the looks mirrored the dusky hues, starting with subtle oranges and bright pinks and then surrendering into dusk grey laces and midnight splendor.

Snow Xue Gao Introduces Tailored Masculinity To Feminine Florals

A collision of sorts, Goa triumphantly brings to life the age old idiom--opposites attract. The strictness of her tailored suits for which she’s known for beautifully flow into serene slip dresses, creating hybrid looks that just make sense. Unexpectedly, cozy pajamas pepper the collection which would not only elevate your zoom call, but be the center of attention. A kaleidoscope of styles, the striking collection is bound to steal the topic of conversation.

Rodarte’s Candied Dreamland Comes To Life

Kate and Laura Mulleavy are pros at illusion, bestowing a fantasy collection of a girl marooned in a faraway meadow. In keeping company with many designers shown today, the sisters have kept their looks practical, doing away with heavy gowns. Vintage silhouettes bring to order saccharine patterns, oodles of roses, and yards of fluffy tulle. The flowery crowns on top the models' heads begs to question where she comes from. Was she a runaway bride? A long lost Princess Lolly from Candy Land? Or just a girl looking to take a walk for some air? We may never know but already Rodarte has got us dreaming away.

Wolk Morias Takes Us for a Ride

Brian Wolk and Claude Morais tell an old fashioned story with new (sustainable) fashions in a socially distanced film named, Driven. Shot over a period of 26 days, the designers behind the tailor-centric brand captured their looks with a mini road trip--driving from house to house, shooting their collection in brief. LA models, actors and friends wear what appear to be subtle 1940s business attire. The longer you look at the nostalgic pieces, the more you start to see the steady details peaking through. The shimmering fabrics paired with chunky pearls and smart ties echo of a bygone era of Hollywood glamour.

ADEAM's Summertime Saddness

Hanako Maeda takes us back in time to her pre-Covid summers in Japan. Her lookbook and brand video was shot on the sprawling grounds of Meiji Kinenkan, a 19th century reception hall used to greet guests from abroad. Her feather light looks offer a tranquil vibe along with delicate details you’re sure to miss if you don’t pay attention. When her travels back to New York was stalled by the pandemic, Maeda was gifted with newfound time to explore her city of Tokyo under the changed lens of the pandemic. Her collection echoes a relaxed version of fond summer memories from days passed.

Zero + Maria Cornejo Makes Masks Look Good

Brooklyn designer, Maria Cornejo serves practicality in the form of a pandemic safe rooftop photoshoot. Many of her striking looks are paired with matching masks, an ever so slight reminder of 2020’s most important accessory. There’s a neon pink jumpsuit for those looking to stand out of the crowd and casual loose fitting looks for those also opting to stick out by her unique cuts and orb shapes. Comfort is the word for Cornejo’s Spring collection, one she has no trouble mastering time and time again.

Libertine Raises The Dead

Entitled “Ghosts from our Pasts,” Libertine’s lookbook is riddled with resurrected looks. Anchored in the brand’s dogma, “where old school classics meet new school know-how,” Designer Johnson Hartig goes toile-crazy. Antique fabrics in modern form grace our screens. A haunting representation of how what’s old can be made new again.

Imitation of Christ Kickflips her Fashions Into (Positive) Action

Queen of upcycling, Tara Subkoff relaunched her IOC brand inspired by her neighborhood skateparks. Duo shows in both Los Angeles and New York featured acapella singers and effortlessly cool skater girls donning masks in keeping with social distancing norms. Who would have thought skateboarding in a brocade cocktail dress could look so glamorous? A short film of her Spring 2021 collection shows off the full force of her reconstructed looks. The RealReal will offer Subkoff’s collection on their website. Proceeds will benefit Greta Thunberg’s Non-profit Fridays for Future.

Lead image courtesy of Instagram/marchesafashion