New York Fashion Week officially begins on Thursday morning, followed by fashion weeks in London, Milan, and Paris, and InStyle will be bringing you all the news, trends, and talking points you’ll need to know to sound as well versed about the runways as Marco Rubio is about, well, whatever.
So what can we look forward to this season?
For starters, this may be the last set of Fashion Weeks, at least as we know them. In an extraordinarily fast-moving development, quite a few of our favorite designers are throwing up their arms with the current runway system, which is overcrowded and dysfunctional in too many ways to recount here.
The upshot is that Burberry, Tom Ford, Rebecca Minkoff, and Thakoon are just a few big names who have announced changes afoot either this season or next that will mean what you see on their runways (if they’re still runways) will actually be the clothes you can buy at that moment, not six months from now after the clothes have been produced for stores. For example, Ford’s sitting this season out, and plans to show his fall collection – egads! – this fall. Minkoff will be showing spring, again, this week. It’s going to be confusing, for sure, but it seems inevitable that many more designers will follow.
For now, let’s focus on the news everyone is talking about.
In New York, that would be Kanye. Or would it be Rihanna? Fashion shows from both this season? What did we do to deserve such a treat? If only Beyoncé would bring back House of Deréon. Of course, Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 collection, which has been reported to include more accessible pricing for his haute-street sweatshirts and pantyhose-colored body stockings, is the hottest ticket of the week. And also of course, West will suffer the slings-and-arrows of unbelieving critics who saw Season 2 as simply a retread of Season 1, but his continued ascendancy in fashion very much parallels what is happening in the presidential campaign, with Donald J. Trump and Bernie Sanders winning the New Hampshire primary this week in a clear rejection of the political establishment.
West, in fact, has so successfully tapped into that change-craving populist vein that he intends to fill a venue as vast as Madison Square Garden with a 90-minute show also billed as a listening party of his mysteriously named new album, T.L.O.P. He has also invited listeners to guess for what that stands with a pair of Yeezys and a ticket to the show as the prize, so consider this my entry: For The Love Of Pancakes. I'm right, aren't I? Size 8 1/2, please.
So how will Friday night’s runway premiere of Fenty X Puma by Rihanna, Puma’s women’s creative director, compare? Well, it certainly will give an excuse to party.
Meanwhile, Monse remains the buzziest label of the week, and fashion fans will be flocking to see how the sophomore effort of designers Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim holds up. Their debut in September, all playing on the concept of a dress shirt with slightly surreal results, has been a standout on red carpets, worn by Selena Gomez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga, and Jaime King. Another newcomer we’ll be checking out is Sies Marjan, a new label designed by Phillip Lim and Dries Van Noten alum Sander Lak, nor would we dare miss Ralph Rucci’s return to the runways, with his new label called RR331.
And don’t worry. We’re not rejecting the establishment here, not after Marc Jacobs’s phenomenal spring collection at the Ziegfeld last season. How will he top that? And I haven’t made up my mind yet where to sit at Tommy Hilfiger’s show, which will include a designated pit for taking Instagram photos. While he’s been teased for the move, I think it’s pretty smart, since most of my shots from the sidelines are so blurry.
There’s much more to look forward to in Europe as well, like the one-time move of the Alexander McQueen show to London, which is something of a homecoming for the label; whatever the red-hot Gucci designer Alessandro Michele has in store to start off Milan, and the debut of Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia in his new role at Balenciaga in Paris. It’s a lot to take in, so follow us here for all the action as we find out the trends for fall, or in some cases, spring.