Stylebook at NYFW: What to do with New York Fashion Week?
February 19, 2016 12:00 AM
The entrance to Skylight at Moynihan Station in midtown, one of New York Fashion Week: The Shows' main venues for runway shows and presentations.
Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press
Models wear designs by Diane von Furstenberg while guests snap cell phone photos on Feb. 14, 2016 during New York Fashion Week. Instead of a large-scale runway show, Diane von Furstenberg invited guests to her New York City headquarters to preview her Fall/Winter 2016 collection.
By Sara Bauknecht / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
NEW YORK — If New York Fashion Week had a relationship status on Facebook, it would probably say, “It’s complicated.”
Again this season, media members, retail buyers and guests seemed restless with this biannual event previewing fashion trends for upcoming seasons. This show, which debuted looks for fall/winter 2016, ended Thursday after eight days of shows across New York City.
There’s no love lost between Fashion Week regulars and its venues. “I miss when the shows were at Lincoln Center” was overheard often in between shows.
This was the second season in which most events were split between Skylight Clarkson Sq in SoHo and Skylight at Moynihan Station in midtown. Previously, the shows were headquartered in temporary tents in Lincoln Center’s 2.4-acre Damrosch Park. Then park advocates sued, arguing private events should not be allowed there.
There’s nothing particularly special about the two Skylight venues. They’re just cavernous industrial spaces with some bottled water, restrooms and spots to grab a seat in between shows. The distance between them makes it hard to attend back-to-back runway shows in different parts of the city.
There were also friendly debates among participants about New York Fashion Week’s formula — see now, purchase months later — and whether it still works in today’s see-click-buy culture.
“None of this means anything if people aren’t buying it,” one magazine writer said to several people corralled nearby.
A few designers this season did display pieces that were available immediately or soon after the show, a trend that will likely grow.
“The influence of technology is the core of the change,” Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, told The Daily this week. “Where’s our Amazon Prime or Netflix moment?”
Designers were experimenting with fresh ways to target consumers and fashion influencers. The Tommy Hilfiger show introduced an “Instapit,” a special space set aside for Instagram photographers and Wes Gordon was among the latest designers to debut collections in a series of Instagram posts. Meanwhile, Snapchat has swiftly become fashion’s favorite app for documenting it all.
Designers also continued to explore what a fashion show looks like. Diane von Furstenberg and others made a break from large-scale runway shows, instead choosing more intimate showroom presentations. Nanette Lepore showed off her Fall 2016 collection during afternoon tea at the Baccarat Hotel. And then there was Kanye West, whose fashion show drew thousands of people in Madison Square Garden.
Oh, New York Fashion Week. We can’t live with you, we can’t live without you.
Sara Bauknecht: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter and Instagram @SaraB_PG. For more Fashion Week updates, visit the Post-Gazette’s fashion blog Stylebook at www.post-gazette.com/stylebook.
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