Fashion week fight: NY vs LDN

Chloe Buchan discusses her personal takeaways from fashion week, both London and New York

Chloe Buchan
26th February 2020

The Fall/Winter shows of New York and London Fashion Week have both been vibrant and enticing in their own ways. With New York Fashion week featuring tributes to the city itself as well as sweeping new trends, London Fashion Week has exhibited a surprising new model, subverting the usual rigid body dimensions of runway models. 

New York Fashion Week provided some beautiful new trends which would be very much wearable come Autumn and Winter. Flowing shapes were central to many of the shows, with capes taking centre stage. Proenza Schouler’s collection was one of my personal favourites, with asymmetrical capes draped over the models in muted colours, making this a very sleek and wearable collection. Michael Kors also paraded capes within the collection, with a focus upon classic buckle fastenings, rendering this a very sophisticated look with an outdoorsy, countryside focus. As high street trends have recently been leaning towards looser flowing shapes, the cape trend could very well be one which flourishes come Autumn/Winter 2020. 

New York Fashion Week also boasted a huge variety of colours, particularly neons and jewel tones, such as orange, red, fuschia pink and lime green. New and upcoming designer Christopher John Roger’s collection particularly stood out to me. Its evening wear featured a huge array of vibrant colours, as well as delightful fabric textures that set off the colours and succeeded in creating a truly eye-catching collection. Not only this, but the use of ruffles, high necks and puffed sleeves meant this collection oozed femininity, whilst simultaneously refusing to adhere to the expectation that dresses shouldn’t contain a bit of everything. Understated doesn’t seem to be a word in Christopher John Rogers vocabulary, and this is what makes his collection so breath-taking. Ruffles and puff sleeves seemed to be the popular theme throughout New York Fashion Week, with Ulla Johnson presenting a collection filled with ruffles, taffeta and balloon sleeves in rich jewel tones, as well as Oscar De La Renta, who also incorporated a bold red lip.

Image: @marcjacobs on Instagram

The final show of the Autumn/Winter New York Fashion Week 2020 was Marc Jacobs, who presented his show in an unusual way; guests sat on small wooden table whilst models walked around them like pedestrians rather than walking the catwalk as in traditional fashion shows. This was something of a tribute to the city of New York, thus rounding off the show in the most appropriate way.

New York trumped London Fashion Week

In my opinion, New York trumped London Fashion Week, however, London still presented some magnificent collections, with a few similarities to those exhibited in New York. Ruffles and puffed sleeves seem to be a huge upcoming trend, with Preen presenting some beautiful party pieces with crisp tailoring and evening wear that is both classic and slightly unconventional. 

The most significant thing to me about London Fashion Week was the rule-breaking that occurred, thus suggesting a possible rebirth of fashion, a thrilling concept. Actress Lena Dunham modelled for 16Arlington, a surprising modelling debut that many may not have expected. This sparks a suggestion that the body standard for models may be gradually being subverted in favour of bodies that more accurately reflect the shape and size of women as a whole. In general, 16Arlington is really pushing for body positivity and inclusivity, incorporating larger sizes into their collections and stocking up to a size 16 in their ready-to-wear collection. 

Image: @lenadunham on Instagram

Finally, Matty Bovan’s collection stood out to me as one which displayed creativity and individuality, as well as being fun and fresh. Models wore large hairpieces, with some exhibiting sheer curtains suspended above their heads. The unusual silhouettes and use of contrasting fabrics made this a collection that would be very hard to forget.

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