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The 10 highlights of New York Fashion Week

"Make America Great Again" someone would say

The 10 highlights of New York Fashion Week Make America Great Again someone would say

After years of underwhelming schedules and collections that were no match for their European alter egos, New York Fashion Week finally exceeded expectations: 'Make America Great Again' would say a man with a blond toupee and an orange face and, at least as far as fashion is concerned, they succeeded. From brands like Marni and Fendi, historically located in Milan, which set out to conquer the continent, to the new voices representing an ever-evolving fashion system, passing through exceptional events such as a church defilé and the return in style of old glories of the past that we thought lost forever (yes, I'm talking about Linda Evangelista), the Big Apple is indeed great again. But before FOMO catches you in the act, here are ten moments that helped make NYFW the real event of the season.

Marni at sunset 

In a grim tunnel just below the Manhattan Bridge, to the notes of Dev Hynes performed by the Brooklyn String Orchestra (which included Risso himself on cello) and a packed front row that included Madonna, Kendall Jenner and Doja Cat, Marni succeeded where nature itself would fail: setting the sun in the middle of the night. "The sunset is not a phenomenon of the sun - taking place on the horizon - but a phenomenon of the body - setting the sky on fire" says Risso. Clothes in hallucinogenic and luminous colours, DIY mohair, daring cut-outs and psychedelic prints, in a palette that faithfully reproduces all the shades that light takes on as day falls, are combined with a skilful play on layering. Transparencies, velvet and satin are added, while the knitwear that has made Risso's Marni mainstream in the world takes on a more edgy declination, with rips, sharp hems and degradé combinations. 

The Mirror Palais Churchcore 

Among the emerging talents that animated the crowded New York scene, Mirror Palais distinguished itself by choosing a 'heavenly' location as the setting for its fashion show. Set in the Church of the Ascension and under the banner of contrasts (concealment and revelation, sacred and profane), for the brand's SS23 the models made their way down the aisle in wrap-around dresses, sheer fabrics, corsets, miniskirts, hair gathered in a headdress reminiscent of nuns' bonnets. Marcelo Gaia intentionally explores the religious references of the Old World, probably in a legacy of his childhood in Brazil, in a decidedly lewd key. A reflection that ends with a transparent wedding dress complete with silk veil and visible thong, worn by the ethereal Wolfie Cindy.

Peter Do's pirates

If we had to sum up Peter Do's SS23 in one word, the choice would probably fall on 'deconstruction': cut-out blazers to reverse shirts, passing by coats with contrasting stitching, poncho jumpers that fall loosely over the shoulders, transparent vests, skirts and sashes, monumental bags, delicate tie-dye, silky textures, baggy trousers and platform boots. The final look is the outfit of a modern day eastern indie privateer, also worn by k-pop idol Jeno and influencer Brenda Hashtag, a rare exception from Peter Do's disdain for celebrity.

Knitwear by Collina Strada and Vitelli

In a former cemetery in Brooklyn, an Edenic location now used as a monarch butterfly reserve, Collina Strada presented GOT MILKWEED?, a riot of vivid colours, bare skin, maximalist combinations and tops that by a miracle of gravity seemed to cling to the models' nipples as if they were coat hangers. Two things distinguish the brand founded by Hillary Taymoure and made famous under the creative direction of Charlie Engman: the choice of a truly inclusive cast and the focus on sustainability throughout the production process. To fulfil the latter purpose, the brand has turned to an Italian excellence, the knitwear brand Vitelli, which has in fact designed for Collina Strada Lace and Warp, two '100% regenerated' fabrics that have taken the form of lace and macramé and that will also make their debut in Milan in Vitelli's SS 23 collection, scheduled for 23 September. Not to mention the jelly shoes made from sugar cane plastic by the brand Melissa, the sustainable boots Virón, the upcycling of denim by Levi's.

25 years of Baguette 

To celebrate the quarter of a century of one of the most iconic it-bags of all time, Kim Jones and her team decided to showcase the most diverse versions of the Baguette at the Hammerstein Ballroom location: mini-sizes, necklaces, key rings, shoulder bags and belts. The brand's most representative item is the undisputed star of the SS23 resort fashion show, revisited with the collaboration of Tiffany & Co, Marc Jacobs, Porter, Sarah Jessica Parker (remember the famous robbery scene in which Carrie Bradshaw tried to convince a mugger that her bag was, in fact, a baguette?). In front of a packed front row, including celebrities of the calibre of Jocelyn Wildenstein and Kim Kardashian, the catwalk finale paid tribute to another milestone in fashion history: Linda Evangelista, after a 15-year absence from the catwalks and the recent revelations about how cosmetic surgery had disfigured her face, appeared wrapped in a huge cloud of turquoise chiffon and thunderous applause.

The trio you don't expect: Andy Warhol, Richard Quinn and Tommy Hilfiger 

Among Tommy Hilfiger's greatest inspirations is Andy Warhol, whom he met in New York in the colourful factory scene in the 1980s. So it is no coincidence that the designer decided to celebrate the king of pop art for a grand return to his hometown after a few seasons around the world. Under the rain, beatnik-style woolen turtlenecks, short shorts, duffle bags, heavy cardigans, baby dolls paired with boots and lots of monograms paraded, as well as the fleeting appearance of a blond model with a bowl cut not unlike Andy Warhol's trademark. Giving a fetish twist to a riot of patterns and fantasies was British designer Richard Quinn, chosen by Tommy himself to bring his own stylistic DNA to the brand's SS23.

The Black Punk of No Sesso

Pierre Davis, the designer behind the agender brand launched in 2015, is officially the trans woman to have walked the official New York Fashion Week calendar. No Sesso challenges the conventions of the luxury fashion industry with a collection of bold, DIY and deconstructed silhouettes through garments that convey an idea of fashion in which lines of gender distinction are lost and brings attention back to underrepresented communities by "making nonconformity as beautiful and inclusive as possible". They call it 'Black Punk', an aesthetic dominated by dark undertones, skimpy clothes, excessive make-up, fake nails, spiky hair and a passion for lingerie, such as thongs over shorts and a pearl cascading bralette fluttering around the nipples. 

Elena Velez's feminism 

IN GLASS, the latest collection presented by designer Elena Velez in an abandoned factory in Chelsea, is an ode to women and their bodies. Against a post-Roe backdrop, the collection represents a "jarring manifestation of female hysteria: women on the verge of a nervous breakdown, united by fear and pain. The frequent dehumanisation of the female figure is not a deterrent for her, but rather the propellant to gather strength and seek solace in femininity." A vision that is expressed in a grim, grunge atmosphere, drastically cut bodices, raw hemlines, bondage-style tops, a sleeveless column dress made of cotton gauze and covered in shiny, black latex, and a sticky, flowing white dress.

Dion Lee's clubbing chic

In a skyscraper directly overlooking the New Yorker Hotel, Dion Lee's SS23 worked on the idea of uniform by dirtying it up with a distinctly sexy vibe taken from none other than the New York clubbing scene: cut outs, micro-miniskirts, ruched mini-dresses, knee-high boots and even a black neoprene wetsuit juxtaposed with lighter-coloured garments to subvert the boundaries between day and night. Dion Lee is a designer who moulds silhouettes to the limits of anatomical precision, perfectly dosing layering, cut-outs and nudity. His idea of a uniform, while bordering on the aesthetic imagery of porn chic, has succeeded in creating formal wear that is cheeky yet adaptable to different contexts. His seductive structuralism found in the experimentalism of materials and the manipulation of forms a further narrative element: padded fabrics fished out of the Motomami aesthetic and more industrial fabrics were juxtaposed with the motif of monstera leaves that climbed onto dresses, tops, boots and even bags.

Vogue World 2022

To celebrate its 130th anniversary, Vogue organized a parade through the streets of New York that awakened a general enthusiasm around American fashion. It all started with a revival of Vogue's editorial archive: a newsstand displaying Vogue editions from around the world welcomed guests and celebrities. A group of athletes then led the way to the fashion show with Serena Williams in a floor-length silver Balenciaga dress. Models, dancers and celebrities such as Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Linda Evangelista, Erykah Badu and Alton Mason walked the runway in iconic pieces by other designers - including Gucci, Christopher John Rogers and Maison Margiela. The general enthusiasm then found an added vibe in choral performances - cheerleaders, a band and a group of Indian dancers - that gave rise to a series of visually stunning performances. Glamour, present in all its forms and always rooted in the aesthetic and narrative imagery of Vogue, served as a backdrop to the aim of creating a general conversation about the world of fashion.