By: Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore
To say that New York Fashion Week (NYFW) was HOT- would be an understatement. With temps reaching “center-of-the-earth” record breaking highs, attendees were ready to buy the cool looks right off the runways. Once again, various designers offered a runway to retail format this season—Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Siriano, Thakoon, Rebecca Minkoff, and Ralph Lauren among them, wherein the looks in the shows were available for purchase immediately, rather than six months from now. Some of the trends that dominated NYFW were off-the-shoulder and one shoulder styles, statement jackets, hoodies, bra tops, and athleisure, which was especially prevalent at DKNY, Lacoste, and Alexander Wang.
Common across the runways were florals, stripes, flowy/ethereal looks, pastels and bold colors; ruffles, and models with bare faces. Designers had guests traipsing across town, bringing the whimsy courtesy of unique venues and presentations. Tommy Hilfiger threw a carnival at the South Street Seaport, to launch his collaboration with model, Gigi Hadid, who opened the show. The carnival included rides, fair food and lots of VIPs who couldn’t get enough of the relaxed and fun atmosphere, despite the sweltering heat. Taylor Swift sat in the front row, singing along to ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris’ blockbuster, (which she wrote), “This is What You Came For.” Alexander Wang’s show and afterparty were at Pier 94, with a sweaty/campy vibe- complete with a McDonald’s McRig and 7-11 pop up, serving Slurpees to guests including Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes Leon. Rebecca Minkoff’s show in front of her Soho boutique had models strutting down the runway down the actual street, followed by a shopping event at her store, where guests could immediately purchase the runway looks. Donna Karan’s show was at the Highline and Club Monaco presented in the middle of Grand Central Station.
Fortunately, Lexus, Official Automotive Partner of NYFW: The Shows and MADE New York presenting sponsor, provided luxury transportation to editors and VIPs in their gorgeous and comfortable, luxury vehicles, 21 of which were custom- wrapped in prints by MADE designers Adam Selman, The Blonds, Brock Collection and 69, (previewing the runway prints), as part of its #HowFashionTravels campaign. Designers and their guests also took respite in the Lexus luxury lounge, which returned for the 8th season, providing refreshments and a chance to rub elbows with celebrities. September 2016 marked Lexus’ third consecutive season as the Official Automotive Partner of NYFW: The Shows and the 11th consecutive season with MADE New York. Lexus aims to “ensure that designers and their guests arrive in style while traversing the official New York Fashion Week venues at Skylight Moynihan Station, Skylight Clarkson Square and Milk Studios.” Below are just a few of the top shows and events of NYFW.
Rebecca Minkoff showed her FW16 Collection at the first ever outdoor seated fashion show on the streets of Soho, (on Greene Street between Prince and Spring), in front of her New York flagship store, with a star studded front row and a live musical performance by Beau. Minkoff drew inspiration from her “love affair with New York City, her consumer, technology, and bringing awareness to a cause.” Minkoff’s #RunwayToRetail show featured folk rock girl duo, Beau, who gave a live performance as models walked down the cobblestone street that served as a runway at noon on September 10th. “After the success of last season’s See Buy Wear show, we decided to continue evolving the ways we can give our customer access to our product with immediacy. We elevated the experience for her and literally took our show to the streets with Runway to Retail,” said Rebecca Minkoff. Along with models, powerful influencers such as Arielle Charnas of Something Navy, Chriselle Lim of The Chriselle Factor, Gala Gonzalez of Amlul, Shea Marie of Peace Love Shea and Caroline Vreeland walked the runway. After the show, the store’s doors were opened, and guests and consumers were given the chance to shop the collection and meet Minkoff and the influencers. In order to bring awareness to an important cause, Minkoff partnered with Ann Lewis, the celebrated street artist gilf!, to paint inspirational words on the back of her signature leather jacket for the finale walk. This and other gilf! customized pieces were auctioned off with proceeds going to NOT ON OUR WATCH, a charity that has accomplished admirable humanitarian work. Notable guests included: Victoria Justice, Camila Alves, Coco Rocha, Olivia Palermo, Aimee Song, Eva Chen and Louise Roe among others.
Christian Siriano showcased his collection at the trendy Artbeam Studios. When asked about his inspiration, the Project Runway winner expressed, “My Spring 2017 collection is perfect for a getaway on the Isle of Capri. Vintage photos from the late 60s and 70s — particularly Settimio Garritano’s photos of Jackie Onassis’ vacations in Capri from 1969 to 1973 -inspired a cool, modern seaside collection fit for a world-traveled woman. Garritano captured Onassis’ effortless chic and elegant silhouettes. The turquoise waters and citrus orange-striped umbrella-lined beaches of the Tyrrhenian Sea inspired a bright and bold color palate. In the collection are soft cotton stripes, woven raffia, textured lace, and sheer organza overlays: casual elegance for day and evening.” Of note and perfectly complementing the colorful looks on the runway, were multiple, striped, brightly hued beach umbrellas, which hung upside down above the runway.
Four looks inspired by the various prints, textiles, and colors of Siriano’s Spring/Summer 17 collection were available immediately after the show, exclusively on Amazon.com. In addition to the see now, buy now runway collection, select shoe styles from Siriano’s signature fragrance, “Silhouette,” are also currently available for purchase. Several celebrities joined Siriano at his show, including actresses, Pamela Anderson, Neve Campbell, Jaimie Alexander, Christina Hendricks, Isabelle Furman, Ashley Graham; models, Leigh Lezark and Coco Rocha; television personality, Kelly Osbourne and writer, Janet Mock.
Binzario Couture debuted its Spring/Summer 2017 collection, “Daydream” at the Affinia Hotel Manhattan’s Fitzgerald Ballroom, drawing a crowd nearly three times larger than expected. The room was filled with fashion enthusiasts, celebrity stylists, and celebrities, including: D. Smith and Mimi Faust – cast of Love and Hip-hop, Darnell Thibodeaux and Ashley Roberts, of WAGs Miami, Natalie Eva Marie, WWA Wrestler, Bianca Espada, of E!’s Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, and Marissa Jade, of Mob Wives.
Yabin and Nazario’s collection focused on the “Modern Woman, staying true to the essential feminine touch, which is the cornerstone of Binzario couture designs.
Of note were the extraordinary detail and beauty of each of the 20 pieces, which included light pastels, luscious embroidery and a mix of delicate and structured dressing. The wispy transparent fabrics, layered with a sea of pearls and stones were stunning. The brand introduced a number of rompers, jumpsuits and transparent dusters – all made with a high level of couture details.
Official partner of the Miami Open for the past two seasons, and outfitter to the tournament staff, Lacoste presented a collection during NYFW that embraces comfort, elegance and sensuality. Designer Felipe Oliveira was inspired by a dream of a chic tennis match on a rooftop in Capri; showcasing a wide range of hooded or shawl-collared bathrobes, along with terrycloth bustier dresses that are belted high on the waist highlighting the effortless silhouette. A faux-denim jacket, as well as reversible terry Bermuda shorts, platform sneakers, sporty track suits, and long tank dresses were just a few of the looks. Lacoste’s animal mascot appeared on a new generation of tropical prints, giving the athleisure line a sophisticated feel. Lacoste ’s Spring-Summer 2017 collection “lays the foundations of a new state of mind, one that centers on the notion of natural seduction.”
The Social Scene
The Tao Group’s latest restaurant outpost, Avra Madison, (14 East 60th Street), opened with the fanfare and celebrity presence we’ve come to expect from the “kings of restaurants/nightlife,” Tao partners, Noah Tepperberg, Marc Packer, Richard Wolf, and Jason Strauss. Actresses Katie Holmes, Elena Kampouris; TV personality/fashion designer Jill Martin; Tiffany Trump, TV personalities Richie and Kathy Wakile and Jonathan Cheban; TONY Award nominee Constantine Maroulis; Olympic track and field athlete, Tori Bowie, and Celebrity chefs: Eric Ripert, Todd English and Josh Capon gathered to celebrate the debut of the upscale Greek eatery. Guests enjoyed copious amounts of lobster, oysters, shrimp and all sorts of Greek specialties and delicacies, along with free flowing top-shelf cocktails, Champagne and wines. The party went on until late in the evening, with music by DJ Cassidy, who kept the dance floor packed. The bi-level 207-seat restaurant, which once housed the storied Copacabana and appeared in such films such as Tootsie, Goodfellas, Carlito’s Way is yet another jewel in the crown of the Tao Group, serving traditional Greek cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood and outstanding service.
A fashionable crowd gathered downtown at the trendy Café Henrie to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Tome, hosted by comedienne Sandra Bernhard. Guests indulged in an evening of flamboyant fashion and lavish amounts of Moët & Chandon Champagne.
CFDA Fashion Fund winners Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo welcomed friends and fashionables to dance the night away to beats by Kitty Cash and special guest DJ Lady Miss Kier (Dee-Lite). Additional notables in attendance included: Marisa Tomei, Lauren Hutton, Jessica Lowndes, and TK & Cipriana Quann (Urban Bush Babes). Moët & Chandon also debuted the newly-redesigned Moët Minis, which have quickly become one of the season’s chicest accessories. Guests enjoyed their Moët bubbly from golden flute-toppers.
Bill’s Townhouse, once known as the Bill’s Gay 90s, has reopened its doors with a speakeasy feel. The neighborhood gem is housed inside a 19th century landmark that has been around since the prohibition era; the townhouse evokes a “lived-in” feel complete with vintage art-lined walls and a piano bar. The restaurant offers an old-world elegance without felling stuffy and boasts one of the most eclectic menus we’ve tried. The extensive menu truly has something for everyone: from the classic New York strip steak to a variety of Bill’s house made buttered noodles (we recommend the lobster or the beef) to the most flavorful gazpacho with crab meat. Along with the extensive bar menu and private dining room, Bill’s Townhouse is the go-to venue for business lunches, romantic dinners, a wild happy hour and family gatherings. For more information, visit: http://www.billstownhouse.com/
Benoit New York
Alain Ducasse’s upscale Midtown French Bistro is a true delight. Just down the street from Fifth Avenue, modeled after the French original, Benoit channels the classic feel of a Parisian parlor right in Midtown New York. With exquisite French fare, diners can expect excellent service with flair. To start, the fabulous hors d’oeuvres are served in choices of three or five per plate, to get the party started. We enjoyed the roasted and smoked eggplant, sea bass, and the Chicken Ballotine. For our second course our server recommended the classic French onion soup- the ultimate comfort food, as well as the crispy lump crab corn volute. The traditional French onion soup was one of the best, and can serve as a meal on its own. The crispy lump crab corn volute stole the show with the creamiest corn chowder and most delicious corn/crab fritters, beautifully served in a plate decorated with edible flowers. For our entrees we had the mouthwatering 16-ounce sirloin with a béarnaise sauce and seared Maine sea scallops with a cauliflower mash. Needless to say, not a morsel was spared. The pièce de résistance was dessert: profiteroles with a chocolate ganache- to die for! In all, the reimagined Benoit is an exemplary French restaurant in the heart of Manhattan. Another success story for Alain Ducasse. For more information, visit: http://www.benoitny.com.