New York Fashion Week has a way of giving you whiplash. One show it’s cool clothes for street style stars. The next show it’s polished clothes for real people.
Friday’s shows stayed more in the grown-up lane, which is right where Jason Wu parked his car. His collection was called “Strength and Seduction,” which is fashion speak for cashmere suits and layers of fur. This was Wu’s version of a power suit, and not that you wouldn’t already step aside if Karlie Kloss was marching your way, but seeing her in a loden skirt and black fur utility vest is especially intimidating (pictured, above).
On the seduction side were sexy pink-red apron dresses with the back left on display, and one see-through black dress that might have qualified as lingerie.
I also stopped by Gabriela Hearst’s townhouse in the West Village to see her new signature collection (pictured, above). Hearst is the designer of the boho-friendly Candela collection, so she set herself a high bar to create a luxury collection under her own name, including bags and shoes. And she cleared that hurdle with ease, particularly with her version of a system jacket—one coat featured a removable rabbit liner, another blazer had a zipped-in puffer jacket, and a great fuzzy red tweed coat had a detachable hood.
Adam Selman’s show did not look like it was going to be polished. The runway was strewn with litter, including cigarette butts and crushed beer cans, and maybe some Cheetos. The designer was inspired by the John Waters film Female Trouble, so the models came out with big bouffant hairdos with spit curls, walking like truant high-school students. But if you looked at the clothes on their own, they actually were rather classy—sweaters trimmed with dainty white bows, a chain-link print that was actually intertwined ribbons, and dresses trimmed with ric-rac, that old-fashioned wavy sort of ribbon. So it was polished, in Selman’s way.