Fashion Week: Hilfiger’s island lagoon, monks at Gurung
New York – The Associated Press is all over New York Fashion Week, from the runways to celebrities as eight days of spring previews entered their fifth day Monday:
Tommy Hilfiger: wet, wild
Models splashed in a lagoon surrounded by a sandy boardwalk to end Tommy Hilfiger’s ode to easy island life.
Looking to add some youthful oomph to the heritage brand, Hilfiger built a wooden boardwalk ringed by sand, hung a hammock and constructed a tiki bar in front of a faux sunset. He sent his models out in multicolored hats and billowy dresses adorned with flora and fauna inspired by textile artist Josef Frank.
The idea was to vibe off the Caribbean’s Mustique, a playground for rock stars and royalty. And to pay attention to young customers.
A limited-edition silk bomber jacket embroidered with a lion on the back could be bought instantaneously.
“We basically went back to our roots and made that relevant for today. We decided to really look at our DNA and celebrate who we are as a brand,” Hilfiger said in a backstage interview before the show. “When we started doing that our business just took off again. We elevated everything: the quality, the fit, and we really focused on listening to the customer.”
With new designers sprouting and social media offering a quicker road to success, Hilfiger said his focus is clear.
“Fun, youthful, unique and memorable. It keeps us really on our toes. We should never become complacent, never sit back and relax. We have to keep thinking of the next, the newest, the next, the newest,” he said.
Among the top models on hand in bikinis to help that happen was Gigi Hadid as Victoria Secret’s Behati Prinsloo romped on the front row before showtime in one of the company’s new bomber jackets. Joe Jonas was there, along with Princess Beatrice of York.
On the runway, Hilfiger reinvented the traditional cricket sweater in crochet and polos in netted mesh. T-shirt dresses were done in multicolored leather and traditional Oxford shirts were treated to some patchwork trim.
And for the feet? Comfy, colored mules all around.
Monks, prayer at Prabal
It was an incongruous sight, even for New York Fashion Week, but a very moving one. With a who’s who of A-list Hollywood actresses in the front row, Prabal Gurung opened his runway show with 30 Buddhist monks who had traveled to New York to chant a prayer of gratitude for the world’s help during the devastating earthquake that killed thousands in Gurung’s native Nepal in April.
“When the earthquake happened, the first people that came to our rescue in Nepal was the fashion industry here, and I wanted to show some kind of gratitude to them,” Gurung said after Sunday evening’s show. “I go and visit the monastery (in Nepal) all the time, and I had this idea, and they wanted to do it.”
The entire runway show was dedicated to Nepal, with garments in shades of lemon, saffron, peach, tea rose and other variations of orange and yellow. There was barely a dark color in the mix. Especially effective were lovely white dresses embroidered in orange and yellow, and filmy chiffon evening gowns that floated down the runway. There was also some fringe and sparkle in the mix.
Gurung had a lot of celebrity support: His front row included actresses Jennifer Hudson, Hailee Steinfeld, Laverne Cox, from “Orange is the New Black,” Kylie Jenner, and Solange Knowles.
Cox was wearing a bright blue Gurung creation. “I’ve just started working with Prabal,” she said. “It’s pretty cool. All of a sudden I am here, wearing his stuff at his show.”
Gurung said he hoped the world would learn a little bit about Nepal.
“All I wanted to do is show a little of where I’m from,” he said, “and show it to the rest if the world. I hope they’ll be enticed to go visit, because that’s what Nepal needs right now.”
Opening ceremony ‘celebrating mistakes’
It’s every designer and model’s worst nightmare: To trip while walking the runway during fashion week.
That’s exactly what happened, over and over, on Sunday evening at Opening Ceremony’s show. The audience gasped as the first model took a tumble, but by the time the third “model” fell, most realized the stumbles were actually calculated.
You see, some of the models were not models at all, but rather New York City Ballet dancers.
“This was to challenge the idea of the runway show and runway stride of models. It’s an idea of not always trying to catch up and not being afraid to make mistakes,” designer Humberto Leon said. “They always got back into their place. It’s an idea of making it about how these girls do it. … It’s celebrating mistakes in life.”
The collaboration is fitting considering the label is designing costumes for the ballet. Resident choreographer Justin Peck even choreographed the dance for their runway show.
So, was Leon concerned the theatrics would make the audience, which included Kylie Jenner and boyfriend Tyga, Laverne Cox from “Orange is the New Black,” and Jessica Alba, focus on just the dancing and not the clothes?
Not a chance. “The audience was a part of this,” Leon said. “We wanted the participation of the audience. You didn’t know if they were falling. This is a cross conversation of life. We got to share this special thing I’ve been working on this audience.”
The celebs come out at Polo Ralph Lauren
Selena Gomez and Ciara took in the air from the rooftop of the McKittrick Hotel for Polo’s eclectic spring presentation that offers pops of bright color and dark-wash denim.
Models stood in clusters, some beside planted foliage sipping water, as the crowd moved around them. The singers were joined by up-and-comer Tinashe, who professed her love for denim.
“I definitely like a boyfriend jean, just relaxed, kind of fun. That’s when I feel super-confident, natural,” she said.
The brand’s new dark-wash jeans were joined at the presentation by bright green skinny pants, purple blazers and pink collar shirts. Others wore reds and the guys showed off classic looks in blue and tan blazers, and a bright pink pullover sweater.
Still others were dressed in bold floral garden party dresses, with the same print carried over to a skinny pant for women. There were also dainty blue-and-white stripe button-down dresses paired with green and orange jackets.
Ralph Lauren said in a statement this Polo woman has a “sophisticated attitude, is well-bred, with a downtown edge.”
The season is “not just one look, but an eclectic mix” for spring, he added.
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