NYFW is very concerned with space this season. The shows are already notable as much for their choice of architecture as much for the clothes – Raisavanessa utilized post-modern metal and glass while Jason Wu opened his own ‘General Store’ in Noho. Both shows sans guests, of course. This emptiness only advocates a sense of iconography – models walking uncluttered catwalks (or in Wu’s case a showroom laid out like a vegetable market) have the effect of placing more emphasis on the clothes and of taking us back to a time when buildings in New York could be traversed – door to escalator – without having to turn to avoid someone coming the other way.
This works especially well at NYFW because the city matches – better than any of the other major fashion week – its locations with its ideals. New York creates clothes for women who choose to work (why else would you be in Manhattan?) and Manhattan is physically, geographically right for fashion shows. Why use a purpose built gallery space or disused church when you can wheel the clothes hangers out and use your own studio or (during Covid) politely ask the cleaners and security to vacate and use an old bank.
There’s a lot going on with designs too, of course. At RVNG the whole idea of bohemianism plays up the idea of having lots of time and money without needing to do anything. You could quite easily imagine these gorgeous creations being worn to a party in a time since-past or equally to the owner’s spare room. Of course people are still working, just not in their workplaces just yet and seeing beautiful people strut their stuff around Manhattan is something to behold.