Last Looks: DKNY, Proenza Schouler, Bibhu Mohapatra, Naeem Khan and Michael Kors
An ode to grunge seems to be resonating through the halls, or tents, of New York Fashion Week. Yet, in not-quite-equal measure, an intoxicating backlash of femininity is vying for attention—glamour, it seems, refuses to take a backseat. Thus, Wednesday’s lineup skipped around from gender defying to overtly sexual to all-out decorative feats.
Under the direction of newly minted creative leads Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, the hotly anticipated DKNY show had something to prove. Sticking to what they know best (menswear), the Public School duo teased out the tension between hard and soft. Although they may have veered from the label’s unfussy DNA, they struck gold with deconstructed power suits reinvented as dresses and skirts. Sheer-to-silk fabrications with more fluid drape worked in softer elements. Palette anchored the elemental aesthetic. Save for two cobalt looks, every piece stuck to a black-white dichotomy.
Shop: current season DKNY
Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of Proenza Schouler channeled their predilections for texture and craftsmanship into a passionate collection of black, white and red. An intricate eyelet dress came just short of falling off the model’s shoulders, or so it seemed. Pompoms, ribbons, ruffles and bare shoulders emerged again and again without feeling overdone. Peeling panels countered the lean structure of languid vests, while slinky knit dresses wrapped openwork peekaboos around figures not shy of flaunting.
Shop: current season Proenza Schouler
Bibhu Mohapatra turned to the impactful, albeit short, life of journalist and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach to inject his spring offerings with a resilient joie de vivre. Rather than cater to the ’30s icon’s penchant for wearing men’s clothes, however, Mohapatra took a less direct approach, utilizing Bauhaus elements to keep his collection feminine. Through it all, the collection maintained something of an emotional strength—thoughtful, wistful and optimistic.
Shop: current season Bibhu Mohapatra
Unshakable fans of Naeem Khan‘s red carpet–worthy masterpieces weren’t disappointed. This season’s lineup traveled to the Mediterranean decked in rich embroideries, beading, sequins and raffia galore. And so much color. From brilliant sunset hues of yellow, orange and pink to garden-picked azure, rose and celadon, the runway was full to bursting. We’re betting the more extravagant looks—sheer, rainbow-stripe jumpsuit to ballgown and everything in-between—will soon make the rounds spotted on this-or-that celebrity.
Shop: current season Naeem Khan
Michael Kors‘s spring looks oscillated between strong and sensual counterpoints, offering an elevated earthiness with a his/her duality. Structure was offset by unrestrained romance—tailored shirts and jackets paired with skirts voluminous and slit sky-high. Elsewhere, leather belts—either wide and slung low or high and strappy—broke up languid lines, drapey silhouettes and sheer fabrics. Even tiered midi dresses and skirts felt softly regimented. Through it all, Kors’s “desert flower” appliques blossomed in abundance.
Shop: current season Michael Kors
— Katie Joy Blanksma