Tim Gunn recently wrote an Op Ed piece in The Washington Post expressing his dismay about the dearth of plus size models and appealing plus size fashions. And while that is certainly true, it was nice to see that NYFW showed a bit more diversity this season.
Different races, genders, ages, and sizes were represented on the runways, along with a new crop of diverse designers including Ashley Graham, Vicky Zhang, Serena Williams and Lisa N. Hoang; and models ranging from wheelchair-bound star Jillian Mercado to timeless beauty Pat Cleveland – who strutted her stuff at Son Yung Wan.
There were a myriad of uniquely different shows this season, and here are my top 5:
Anniesa Hasibuan – One of the most surprising and extremely beautiful collections of the season featured models from varying nationalities and races, bedecked in hijabs made of the most decadent silk jacquard and worn with embellished gowns in a range of pastel colors layered with even more silk. Anniessa, the first Indonesian to show at NYFW, received a standing ovation from a very appreciative and very diverse crowd.
Here’s a pic from Anniesa’s show:
Malan Breton® – was born in Taiwan and has always brought a level of diversity to his shows, frequently sending men down the runway in dresses and heels, and showing gorgeous silks and fabrics from the Taiwanese region and beyond. This season, his Sanxiantai collection ranged from flowing fall florals, to rodeo-themed gear, to black & shiny. But, as always, his models were of varying sizes and types – including none other than Real Housewives star Nene Leakes, who closed the show.
One of Malan Breton’s NYFW looks here:
Xuly.Bet – Lamine Badian Kouyate, the designer behind the fashion line Xuly.Bet, is one of the first Africans to ever show at New York Fashion Week, and though he took a hiatus from the New York scene for several seasons, he’s back with his SS17 ready-to-wear – a stunning array of African inspired garb intertwined with flirty dresses in colors like foam green and hot pink. Haute!
See Xuly.Bet designs here:
Brandon Maxwell – broke all the rules sending mostly models of color down his runway, unveiling a collection of olive green and pale pink ready-to-wear at The Russian Tea Room. The hot new designer has dressed Michelle Obama, and also styles Lady Gaga – who sat front row at the show.
Check out Mr. Maxwell’s designs here:
MAISON the FAUX Chubby Chaser – And to Mr. Gunn’s point there is an obvious void in plus size models and fashions, but MADE New York Fashion Week held an in-your-face conceptual show titled MAISON the FAUX Chubby Chaser, complete with a plus size model in the middle of the runway and models dressed in “carefully proportioned excess of fabric, breast augmentation dresses and cinched waists to exaggerate the overabundance of bare skin”.
Heres a pic from MAISON the FAUX Chubby Chaser:
So long NYFW, looking forward to a future filled with even more varied New York style and flair that reflects our population. Diversity is beautiful and fashionable.