There we were having an afternoon bite at Fred's, Barney's cafe located at the top floor of their Chelsea location, when a heated conversation brewed over beer and coffee got a little frothy. Of course I was the one having the caffeine.
Words like "urban" and "culture" were the culprits to blame in this exchange. I said, "I wore Doc Martens over tightly cuffed jeans", he said, "I wore baggy jeans with loosely tied Timberland boots." These were our uniforms in the 90s, which we called streetwear, but we both agreed it wasn't for everyone. Now I am not going to beat a dead horse and write about what countless articles have already surmised about streetwear. I simply want to share what I believe streetwear was to me and what it means to me today. It goes back to what started our rouse in the first place.
The Berlin based duo of Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl (Nan + Emilia = Namilia) went right to work with their FW17 presentation which seemed to produce its models from a motorcycle repair shop located backstage.
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money, it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort." Francesca Liberatores’ FW17 show not only embodied this sentiment but gained its inspiration from its author. FDR was a public figure best known for taking our country through one of the most tumultuous times in its history. However, Liberatore's inspiration didn't draw from the feeling of fear and uncertainty of the time, but concentrated on the power that words and actions have on society. They can either lift you up or tear you down; pull you together or divide you.
One of the biggest trends during NYFW was slogan clothing. From Francesca Liberatore to Public School messages of love, hope, unity, and of course politics made their way onto the runways. The Row's collection included the word “hope” embroidered delicately in small scripted letters on the cuffs of shirts. Other shows like Prabal Gurung had messages of empowerment where Bella Hadid strutted down the runway in a “The Future Is Female” t-shirt. On a more politically charged note the brand lrs featured models in underwear baring the slogan “No Ban, No Wall” under open coats and thigh-high boots. In these cases what you wore literally said something about you.
They say there is his side, her side and the truth. However, after seeing Louis Verdad’s first runway show at Pier 59 Studios in Chelsea, I have to say, VERDAD’s side is the truth! VERDAD, a veteran in the industry has been designing for high profile clients for over 15 years and is now focusing his attention on a young millennial brand. Subtle youthful tailoring coupled with an LA street vibe made way for a relevant, wearable and sleek runway. The tightly braided ponytails down to the flowy dresses covered in bombers and long coats gave a feeling of urban sophistication.
Many people think that leaves change color when in fact they loose it. The lack of chlorophyll kills off the green making room for brown, red, and orange hues. Lying hidden beneath the surface these colors emerge to take center stage during Autumn. Such was the case at Katie Gallagher's presentation, whose Hallows Eve themed collection featured bone colored walls and a spotlight resembling the sun shining down on the long stemmed beauties rooted in place on a bark colored floor. Fall had fallen on this dark collection which seemed to have killed a part of itself revealing its true colors.
Walking into Bartolami Gallery for the PH5 FW17 presentation felt like I was stepping onto the clouds. I was immediately greeted by a completely white room housing two ginormous white balloons like eyes wide open who gave you a stare like, wait ‘til you get inside. As I entered the next room I realized I was now officially in the sky. Giant white balloons filled the room like a grouping of clouds serving as a backdrop to the evenly distributed pedestals used to elevate the beautiful knitted pieces of fun!