A trip to New York City during Fashion Week was exactly what the doctor ordered. I love San Francisco with all my heart and soul, but it lacks creative fashion. As a woman who likes wearing bold and daring pieces, I tend to feel depleted or out of place from time to time walking around San Francisco. Everyone wears casual attire, and every so often I’ll spot a well dressed man, but with the tech boom in Silicon Valley, I generally see guys wearing jeans, a t shirt and SANDALS! Yes, sandals. That screams, “I’m lazy and lack a sense of style”. Sometimes I will see a cute girl wearing ankle booties and a fun sweater, but that is one girl out of a hundred on a block. While in New York City, I was overwhelmed with the fashion. It slapped me across the face, reminding me that confidence is your best accessory. WOW, did I need that wake up call.
Fashion has not only been a way to express myself, but it was something I was so passionate about. It is my hope to influence people to be daring with their style as well. Fashion doesn’t mean you need to spend your entire pay check on a blouse and eat ramen until your next pay check. It can be done with vintage or inexpensive attire. While at NYFW, I saw girls wearing crazy outfits and I could recognize pieces being vintage or even from shops like Topshop, Forever 21, or ASOS. I only recognized the pieces because I had them in my online shopping cart, but realistically no one would have known that the corset belt someone was wearing was only $20! These girls had so much confidence, they made their outfits look like they just walked off the runway themselves. So let’s just say that I felt at home in New York City.
Back when I was living in Paris for the second time, I attended my first Fashion Week shows and was addicted instantly. After my first show, I made friends with people who had extra tickets and explored the city of fashion with them. We went to all the best shows and parties, and needless to say I never wanted to leave Paris. I felt exactly the same excitement in New York as I did when I was back in Paris. I could breathe and felt like myself for the first time in who knows how long.
My first show I attended was Runa Ray. Before the show began there was an announcement describing the theme to Runa Ray’s designs and the process of how each garment was made. The theme was titled “Imagination”. The final quote of the announcement read, "Let us imagine to live in a world where the enchanted forest of life culminates and the memory of the foliage lives on forever.” What I loved most was the fact these each outfit were not only hand sown, BUT it was made from all organic material. All the color dye was organic, plant based material hand pressed onto the fabrics, giving it a more earthy tone as well as the fabrics that were used. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Runa Ray is an Indian woman and you can see that the inspiration from her designs are semi routed from her heritage. I could see that some of the pieces were draped as one would wear a traditional saree. Most of the woman garments had flowers showcased somehow on each piece, giving me a flower child feel. The 70s was an era of strikes and activists reacting to a violent war and reacting in hopes of world peace. I saw this theme throughout her entire show. Not only with the floral designs, but with what the males we wearing as well. One male model was wearing an unzipped hoodie where the front had a gun that had been fired, but instead of a bullet, it was a steam to a rose. Her final garment was a gown. Generally designers end their show with a gown. The original design was intended to be bridal, but now interpreted in different ways. Runa Ray had a white dress, with red roses on the shoulders that were literally bleeding to the bottom of the gown, spilling into the words that read, “Imagination is the Only Weapon Against Reality”. Truly poetic words, speaking about the hate and aggression the our great nation holds today.
Son Jung Wan
The second show I attended was remarkable! Son Jung Wan, you stole my heart and inspired me to wear more floral. I hardly wear floral and glittered sequence, but I wanted literally every garment that walked the runway at her SS 2018 collection. From the bold designs with shiny metallic colors, to silver fringed heels, I wanted it all. Of course there were some pieces where I thought to myself, “What the F*&% is that?!”, as a young girl gracefully walked down the runway. Every designer has that one statement outfit where you question, “What were they thinking??”. I had a few moments where I thought the designs were a bit far fetched, but generally I could see myself wearing a majority of these designs. Thats another thing with runway, at my first show ever I kept thinking, “who would ever wear that?!”, but it took my a while to realize not all of the pieces walking down the runway are meant to be worn. This is art. This is a performance piece. This is something that was deigned to strike you. Runa Ray has designs that were wearable, but mostly it was meant to be a statement in my opinion. Son Jung Wan, her designs I could realistically see someone wearing if they had the confidence to match it. Brava Son Jung Wan, you have a new fan!
My final show wasn’t much of a show at all, it was a performance. This is where models literally stand around a room for hours wearing the clothes, while people come and interact with them. I loved the ones I went to in Paris because the locations were beautiful by themselves, yet when styled with props it was like walking onto a movie set. The JOOBI performance I went to was horrible. I’m not ashamed to admit it, but it was literally the weirdest shit I’ve ever seen. Sure avant grade is weird, but it still possesses beauty. This was a hot mess of mesh and horrible woven material. It looked like the designer had the equivalent of writers block, and rushed to produce something that looked like tulle hot glued together and said, “Looks good enough.” A cat could throw up a hair ball prettier than these designs. Maybe someone could wear one of the all black garments and be a witch for Halloween. I do not mean to be a total bitch, but I was shocked. Art is meant to shock you, but there was nothing exciting nor unique about these designs. There was no wow factor or any part of the garment where I thought, “Interesting…”. No, nothing. Even the models looks bored out of their minds. One of my girlfriends was part of the performance so I came to support her and she mentioned they were told to look dead. WOW, they looked dead alright. The room was just a white room with nothing special to it, I was bored and felt no creativity from this performance so I left shortly after I arrived. Apparently, the inspiration behind these designs was entitled, “The Progress of Recovery”, was rooted from her depression. I’m sorry JOOBI, but better luck next year…
Here are some of my favorite looks I came across during NYFW 2017...