Tailoring, minimalism, and luxe fabrication were the mainstays of New York Fashion Week this season where designers opted to let texture and cut take center stage. Moving away from highly conceptual runway presentations, this season was all about the clothes. Sumptuous fabrics and clean lines dominated whilst even maximalist designers like Marc Jacobs reveled in the sublimity of simplicity. Here are a few standout collections.
Laquan Smiths’s Fall 2020 collection was a quintessential output for the designer. By and large Smith’s pre-disposition to body-baring, asymmetrical garments that are at once skimpy, sleek and sophisticated is one that runs through every one of their collections. Rendered mostly in monochromatic puffer-like materials and faux leathers, the collection emphasized nipped waists, exaggerated shoulders, and barren midriffs.
Brandon Maxwell’s Fall 2020 offering found the designer settling comfortably into daywear for women and his newly-expanded, menswear line. As always, the emphasis was on fabrication—there were suedes, corduroys, cashmeres and of course Maxwell’s trademark satins. As a designer finding his own unique voice, Maxwell’s silhouettes and penchant for pleating have made his nightwear immediately recognizable. That was all there this season—but with a touch of what’s in store for the brand as it expands.
Christopher John Rogers
For the designer’s first post-CFDA award offering, Christopher John Rogers went for maximalism, incorporating some of his signatures silhouettes and red-carpet staples with new luxe fabrication. 41 looks in total, the outing was the designer’s first fully-fledged collection, and was an opportunity to “really think about what we’re making, whereas in the past there’s been concessions on fit or fabric or even having time to truly research and figure out exactly what I wanted to do,”
Rag and Bone
This season Marcus Wainwright’s Rag and Bone outing was refreshingly all about the clothes.“I just think we’ve moved past the point where we have to say, ‘Okay, this season we’re thinking about, I don’t know, gamekeepers or something,’” he noted. “It’s just, like, let’s make some cool clothes, and let’s put on a good show.” Opting for a juxtaposition between sophistication and irreverence the Rag and Bone woman of the 20’s looks to be as authentically multi-dimensional as any.
Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim’s Monse Fall 2020 collection loosely based on the concept of “happy punk.” Riffing on the motif of deconstruction, models stomped out in clunky boots donning safety-pinned suits, tartan skirts, fishnet tights, and plaid. For a collection that was based on the irreverence of punk style, the tailoring, however, at times was razor-sharp. Women’s suiting accentuated by tightly structured shoulders and wide lapels fell away at the bottom, providing the sense of duality between refinement and rebelliousness that permeated the collection.
Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk’s Fall 2020 collection for Area was an exploration of boundary-free globalism. Running a gamut of inspirations and referent’s the collection coalesced Japanese tropical postcards they found in France, the pleating and draping of Madame Grès, leather costumes by Eiko Ishioka for Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, interior design by the New York-based duo Myreality, and Romeo Gigli’s heart motifs. Filtering these aesthetics and references through the technological ingenuity of contemporary technological developments in textiles.
Prabal Gurung Gurung called his Fall 2020 collection a celebration of the city, “its eclectic misfits and impossible dreamers,” and was decidedly the designers most glamorous outing in a while. Tailored suiting has been the trend of Fall 2020, and Gurung was equally enamored by the concept this season. Incorporating straightforward, clean, vaguely ’70s lines his suiting morphed into knit dressing, floral prints on silk jacquard, patchwork plaids and feathered detailing. Proposing clean sophistication and sumptuous texture; it felt like the designer was wholly in his element this season.
The Row’s Fall 2020 collection happened to be the 10th anniversary of their first New York Fashion Week show, and the show in true Olsen form was as understated and luxe as ever. In an era where tailoring has become the trend of the moment, the show felt very much business as usual for the brand. Suiting and outerwear were rendered in refined and relaxed silhouettes and materials, where the cut felt precise but not overly structured. The Olsen’s love luxe minimalism and they’ve managed to all but master that niche in their short 10-year tenure.
Marc Jacob’s FW20 collection was a decidedly pared-back affair for the designer. Inspired by ’60s silhouettes and the irreverence and minimalism of the 90s this season saw Jacob’s penchant for reimaging come full circle after the maximalism and 80’s influence of his shows since FW18.
Cody is the managing editor and senior contributor at Glossi Mag.
He is a photography aficionado, masters candidate, fashion enthusiast, avid Ariana Grande fan and lover of all things aesthetically pleasing.