Art school mentality injects energy into NYFW
âIt’s really just an excuse to get all your friends together,â said a young set designer sitting next to me at the Puppets and Puppets show. He was commenting on the kind of shows for Spring / Summer 2022 that are an antidote to old guard Tony as usual from NYFW. For those creators who make a community triumph rather than woo a celebrity, fun and chaos replace the elitism and the bitch of yesteryear. The atmosphere is a mix of pop-up, block party, impromptu concert. In art school, the limited budget for supplies and materials can’t stop creativity, but the woes of our debt to Mother Nature, these discoveries of sustainability, are of great concern to these designers.
The Puppets and Puppets show took place at the Ukrainian National Home in Manhattan’s East Village, and lines of young preening attendees, all with their phones turned off, coiled around the corner, infuriating the owner. from the Veselka restaurant during peak brunch time.
“How has the pandemic affected us mentally – are we still haunted by it? Read the exhibition notes for the collection which, although inspired by the Roaring Twenties, retained the art-world sensibility of co-founder Carly Mark whose low-rise silhouettes were not associated with handbags with beaded fringes but gold Christmas bags. Chinese saucers were glued to the mannequins’ buttocks and an oversized emmental was adorned with heads. The feeling was a melancholy celebration. âWe vacillate between haunting and hope. “
Head of State streetwear label founded by Nigerian Taofeek Abijako welcomed dancer Abu Bakar to the runway for the brand’s women’s clothing launch titled Homecoming. The creator describes his brand as a “representation of today’s postcolonial youth” with all proceeds going to underserved communities.
Welcome to the New Guard of NYFW
This sense of engagement mixed with do-it-yourself glamor and an elevation of banality are hallmarks of the art school. They were there from the day NYFW opened when Saint Sinter created a playground of stacked furnished neon cubes and hung clouds of moss above an astroturf track lined with lawn chairs and of chintzy canapes. It echoed the dysfunctional apartment life that has united New Yorkers for the past eighteen months. The guests had their seat and vaccination record checked at this most common location: the newsstand opposite.
The bra-free conditions of the locking plaster also advanced the Free Nipple movement. Optical illusion breasts adorned knits at Puppets while nude dresses were a star at Private Policy and Saint Sinter. But it wasn’t the gathered tulle columns on the floor worn by Kim Kardashian, BeyoncÃ© or Megan Fox. Short and bouncy, these runway dresses were like curtains of recycled pearls that danced to the sound of maracas.
Greenery emerged from the white pots at Private Policy, reminiscent of how we became plant parents during the lockdown while the lush bouquets that splashed Jason Wu’s runway were integral to the process of creating his collection. The flowers were wrapped in fabric to leave an imprint. Although Wu’s formal outfits do not naturally match the style of the other collections mentioned, he brings the flowers to Pratt to offer a workshop for students on natural dyeing, so perhaps an honorary member of the team at the he art school is in order.
Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.