New York Fashion Week SS20: Seven top moments, from Rihanna to Tom Ford
And not forgetting Janelle Monáe or Tess Holliday’s appearance for Chromat
Savage x Fenty: Rihanna takes centre stage. Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime Video
With more than 150 events crammed into its tight schedule, New York Fashion Week, which ends today, might have risked merging into a blur. But, thanks to the creativity of Tom Ford, Rihanna and others, there have been plenty of memorable moments. Here’s what we’ve learnt about from NYFW spring-summer 2020.
The star took an unusual approach to her second Savage x Fenty lingerie show at New York Fashion Week, keeping her collection under wraps by asking guests to leave their phones at the door. Why? Amazon is streaming the show on Friday, September 20th, then selling the collection online. The decision to broadcast the event contrasts with the cancellation of the annual Victoria’s Secret lingerie show, amid a declining audience and criticism of its old-fashioned view of beauty. From the few photographs available so far, Rihanna has continued her body-positivity message and nonprescriptive representation of sexiness, using models of all shapes and sizes.
Smiles aren’t the norm on New York Fashion Week catwalks, but this season has brought not only beaming models but twirling, toe-tapping ones too. When Tommy Hilfiger launched his second edit with the Euphoria actor Zendaya, models danced around the 1970s-block-party set in a series of smartly tailored tuxes, floaty bohemian dresses and midis. At Deveaux, the clothes might have been pared-back and softly spoken, but a marching band and other live music brought the noise complete with a cast of smiling, dancing models.
3. RALPH LAUREN
Ralph Lauren continued the fun factor with a show by the singer Janelle Monáe, who performed at Ralph’s Club, a ballroom that was transformed into a nightclub for his fashion show. Bella and Gigi Hadid shimmied down the runway in sharp tuxedos and red-carpet gowns.
4. UNDERGROUND WITH TOM FORD
Tom Ford actually got the fashion set to use the subway – but not as you know it. Eschewing his usual location of Park Avenue, the designer staged his spring 2020 show in an abandoned subway station, with the platform doubling as a runway. Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber showcased Ford’s high-octane, sex-appeal-laden clothing, including tops that resembled breastplates, electric-hued ballgown skirts, and silk-jersey gowns.
5. PRABAL GURUNG
“Who gets to be American?” was the question that Prabal Gurung – whose previous shows have featured T-shirts emblazoned with “This is what a feminist looks like” and “We will not be silenced” – asked via sashes that his diverse cast of 60 models of all ages, races and sizes wore at the end of his New York show.
6. TESS HOLLIDAY
The streetwear brand Chromat also used an inclusive array of genders, sizes and backgrounds to model its brightly tinged swimwear, vibrant looks and co-ordinated eye make-up. They included Tess Holliday – a first time for the body-positive activist. Reworking the Sample Size T-shirts that it showcased at its spring 2019 show, Chromat turned them into a white bustier-style dress with the phrase emblazoned all over it.
7. REBECCA MINKOFF
Continuing fashion’s move towards inclusive catwalks, Rebecca Minkoff showed that she wants all women to wear her bold-print dresses and neutral tailoring with her announcement that she is extending her size range to run from XXS to 3XX. That means she’s leaving no woman behind, including the breastfeeding mother – in this case Mara Martin, who modelled a functional wrap dress while breastfeeding her daughter (with a colour-co-ordinated breast pump and handbag beside her). Sharing a behind-the-scenes photograph on Instagram, Martin wrote: “To be part of a show that represented women of different sizes and ethnicities, while celebrating the working woman was such an honor. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, and then adding on trying to work as a model among other things I’m trying to do, doesn’t make it any easier. Being able to represent ALL working moms out there made this show so special for us.”