The New York Fashion Week (NYFW) recently took over the city that never sleeps, turning iconic venues like the New York City Public Library into bustling runways for haute couture. From September 7 to 13, the fashion extravaganza was nothing short of spectacular. The runway saw a delightful blend of seasoned veterans like Ralph Lauren and Victoria’s Secret making triumphant returns, while fresh creative talent like Christian Siriano and Peter Do (of Helmut Lang) added a dash of innovation. Also, let’s not forget the Indian designers like Kanika Goyal, Archana Kochhar and Falguni Shane Peacock brought their innovation and craftsmanship to the international stage. Here are the highlights that left fashion enthusiasts buzzing:
Key highlights from the September edition of the 2023 New York Fashion Week
1. The OG Supermodels Made A Comeback: The ‘90s Revival
Some iconic ‘90s supermodels returned to the runway this season. Naomi Campbell flipped the table and turned designer for the debut of her Naomi Campbell x PrettyLittleThing collection, which she created with Victor Anate and Edwin Thompson. The iconic Christy Turlington closed Ralph Lauren’s show in a stunning one-shoulder gold ensemble. Before the official start of Fashion Week, J Crew celebrated its 40th anniversary with a star-studded event attended by Jodie Turner-Smith, Jasmine Tookes and Joan Small.
2. Victoria’s Secret Makes Headlines Again: The Tour ‘23
On September 6, luxury lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret made a headline-worthy return with “The Tour ‘23” show and a glamorous party attended by fashion icons like Priyanka Chopra, Gigi Hadid, Taylor Hill, Emily Ratajkowski and Naomi Campbell.
3. Vibrant Yet Quiet Luxury: A Tale of Two Styles
On day five, Indian-American designer Naeem Khan paid tribute to India with a Spring ‘24 collection that beautifully blended traditional craftsmanship with contemporary flair. In stark contrast, Brandon Maxwell’s collection embraced classic tones and experimental silhouettes.
On the other hand, label Concept Korea opted for minimalistic, utilitarian chic with neutral colours and everyday ensembles. Pamella Roland’s collection, inspired by Morocco, also dazzled with intricate embroidery, bright colours and couture-worthy silhouettes.
4. Floral Resurgence: Blooms That Break the Mould
The sixth day of New York Fashion Week ushered in a refreshing Bohemian chic vibe as label Indonesia Now took centre stage. Their collection featured flowing florals with a whimsical touch, setting the tone for an exciting day ahead. Designer Chuks Collins followed suit with bold semi-formal looks, while Frederick Anderson wowed with glamorous evening wear. Florals for spring may not be groundbreaking, but this year’s versions offered moments that were meant for the fashion archives.
Exaggerated blooms graced the collections of Flying Solo, Colin LoCascio and Ulla Johnson, sporting metallic finishes, sequins and ruffles that added a touch of glamour. Indian designer Bibhu Mohapatra made waves by infusing vibrant warm tones and chic designs into streetwear.
5. The PETA Disruption: A Fashion Show Interrupted
A fashion week can’t be complete without a surprise disruption. And the same occurred on the evening of September 7 during Coach’s Spring 2024 Ready To Wear fashion show at the New York City Public Library. PETA supporters protested against the use of animal leather in Coach products, taking to the runway with their bodies painted with the message “Coach Leather Kills.”
6. The Fashion Show At Anna Delvey’s House: Fashion Meets Controversy
Ex-convict Anna Delvey joined forces with PR titan Kelly Cutrone and the brand SHAO to host a rooftop fashion show in the building where she is placed under house arrest. The unconventional showcase on her East Village rooftop, attended by 50 people, marked a questionable albeit unique fashion moment.
7. Falguni Shane Peacock’s Dazzling Comeback: A Feathery Affair
Law Roach, the stylist extraordinaire to the likes of Zendaya, Priyanka Chopra and Tom Holland, took the creative reins for Falguni Shane Peacock’s first show at NYFW in a decade. It marked the grand return of the brand, spotlighting India’s ascent as a couture hotspot. Their collection seamlessly fused laid-back athleisure with the intricate craftsmanship of Indian couture, thus, aptly dubbed ‘New York It Girl-Meets-Mumbai.’
FSP excels at blending Indian aesthetics with a global flair. In this show, the label elevated their game by melding traditional adornments with contemporary sportswear, topped off with a baseball cap. Picture a sporty minidress bedecked with handcrafted metallic flowers woven into its mesh, or a sleek satin trench coat morphed into a jacket-skirt combo.
In its essence, the show was a splendid collision of cultures and styles, a testament to FSP’s uncanny ability to bridge tradition and modernity. The result? A fashion spectacle that was as dazzling as it was refreshing.
8. Michael Kors and Altuzarra: A Stylish Combo
Michael Kors paid a heartfelt tribute to his late mother during his waterfront runway show. The show was given a touch of old Hollywood glamour with actor Blake Lively in attendance—wearing a dazzling gold jumpsuit and disco curls.
Altuzarra took a dark turn with their Spring 2024 collection, as the garments had a vibe of suspense and psychological intrigue. The brand’s signature tradition of gifting attendees a book was upheld, with Rosemary’s Baby serving as this season’s literary inspiration. In the collection, you could find crinkled satin, exposed seams, irregular polka dots, faded denim and dark, intricate prints.
9. Kanika Goyal’s Chic Presentation: A Masterclass in Elegance
On the third day of NYFW, Jason Wu showcased his Fall ‘23 collection, paying homage to timeless silhouettes, embellishments and classic tones. While Christian Siriano celebrated the brand’s 15th anniversary with bold cuts, exaggerated silhouettes and corset braids, Ulla Johnson stayed true to her vibrant prints.
Notably, Kanika Goyal Label, known as KGL, brought its Spring Summer 2024 Ready-to-Wear collection, ‘Aether Leak,’ to New York Fashion Week this season. This Delhi-based brand impressed audiences with an intriguing dance of opposites: light and shadow, mortals and gods, as revealed in their show notes. Models strutted down the runway donning an eclectic blend of neutral staples, silky abstract designs and eye-catching neon pieces.
The collection was a fusion of airy taffeta, cosy bonded knits and denim, all intertwined with sweeping curves and structured geometric motifs. The ‘80s influence made a bold comeback with oversized blazers, windbreakers and effortlessly cool bomber jackets. Denim, in its modern reinvention, also had a moment on the runway, giving the Canadian tuxedo a contemporary twist.
But that’s not all – iridescent, ethereal fabrics collided with sharp black garments, creating a captivating interplay of depth and light. Vibrant hues like bright pinks and chartreuse injected a necessary burst of colour. The collection was elegantly embellished with delicate lines, dots and stripes in shades of peach, sky blue and cocoa brown, delivering a visually enchanting delight.
10. Archana Kochhar’s Desi Debut: A Fusion of Heritage and Modernity
Indian fashion designer Archana Kochhar made a memorable debut at NYFW with her Fall 2023 Collection, which fused Indian heritage with the spirit of independent women. Her ‘Anant’ collection drew inspiration from Indian culture’s rich tapestry. For her collection created in collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra, Kochhar infused vibrant rani pink hues and contemporary silhouettes, spotlighting the handwoven Paithani Sari, a native to the state. Divided into three segments, the collection celebrated Maharashtra’s heritage, global resilience and diversity in all shades. Notably, Kochhar embraced sustainability by using ‘ahimsa silk,’ an eco-friendly fabric that doesn’t harm silkworms.
We caught up with Archana Kochhar and she explained the real inspiration for her NYFW 2023 collection was her mother’s collection of brocade saris. “Her wardrobe held a rich array of vibrant hues, including striking shades like blazing orange, regal rani pink, deep Indian blue and lush green. After her passing, I was driven by a deep desire to preserve these timeless saris for both my daughter and myself. (With this collection,) my goal was to pay homage to three generations: my mother, myself and my daughter. I sought to achieve this by infusing a touch of Indo-Western style into these designs, allowing them to stand out in today’s fashion landscape. In essence, my collection is a celebration of the past, present, and future, all intricately woven together to create an extraordinary fashion statement,” Kocchar explained.
The NYFW seemed like the perfect opportunity to showcase this special collection to not only the designer. She found the support needed in Maharashtra’s Culture Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. “We saw the potential to celebrate this heritage and creativity at NYFW, a platform that attracts the world’s attention,” she added.
Additionally, Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez presented their Spring/Summer 2024 collection also on September 9, with low-slung trousers, sheer layers, open-back knits, Grecian dresses, and skirts.
11. Corset Domination: A Resurgence in Vintage Appeal
Corsets are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, particularly among fashion-forward Gen-Z celebrities as well as A-listers like Alia Bhatt, Janhvi Kapoor, Gigi Hadid, Zendaya and Megan Fox, among countless others. Renowned designers such as Dion Lee, Palomo Spain and Collina Strada took to the NYFW ‘23 runway with their unique interpretations of corsets, highlighting visible boning and distinctively dipped waist structures. The allure of sheer fabrics also remained strong, as evidenced by Christian Siriano and Coach, who incorporated intricate lace and playful patterns into their designs.
In summary, the September edition of the 2023 New York Fashion Week was a showcase of creativity, innovation and diversity. From floral resurgences to vibrant luxury, the return of supermodels to ethical fashion statements, each moment on the runway was a testament to the ever-evolving world of fashion.