Fashion is always changing, and that's certainly true as New York Fashion Week kicks off. The event has a new, more streamlined name (no clunky title sponsor this time around) and two new venues — one near Madison Square Garden and one further downtown near the Meatpacking District.
Organizers got kicked out of Lincoln Center, the scene of fashion week since 2010, because neighbors didn't like the noise and fashion riffraff hanging out in the theater plaza. But they are touting the move as an opportunity to get back to their fashion roots in a less commercialized atmosphere.
No matter the venues, one thing remains the same: Designers continue to come up with inspiration and ideas for the fashions you'll be wearing next spring.
As we kick off our exclusive coverage, we asked a host of established and up-and-coming designers to provide a sneak peek. The results are both interesting and intriguing, ranging from exotic Morocco to the beauty found in car rims — and an appearance by tennis great Serena Williams.
Designer: Marchesa co-founders Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig
Inspiration: “Aviary garden.”
Designer: Monique Lhuillier
Inspiration: “I was inspired by contemporary artists Ellsworth Kelly and Jackson Pollock. Their art is dynamic, with the use of bold colors, and has a sense of freedom. I translated their use of vibrant colors with sculptural shapes and embellished beadwork.”
Designer: Lela Rose
Inspiration: Sam Falls and tonal variations of color.
Designer: Serena Williams
Inspiration: “Throughout my life, I’ve always believed in pushing boundaries ... whether it’s in tennis, business, or fashion. By offering my Signature Statement collection exclusively through an innovative retailer like HSN, I’m able to communicate directly with my fans.
"This year my runway show will be broadcast live, and you can shop the collection immediately afterward. That is exciting to me and not common in fashion today.”
Designer: J. Mendel's Gilles Mendel
Inspiration: “For spring 2016, I was inspired by a recent trip to Tokyo and traditional Japanese kimono prints and folding techniques. I was interested in the play between structure and volume, between discipline and femininity.”
Designer: Angel Sanchez
Inspiration: "A sunny and cheerful spring."
Designer: Suno designers Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis
Inspiration: "This season started at the American Folk Art Museum – a tiny little space on the Upper West Side – featuring an exhibition titled 'When the Curtain Never Comes Down: Performance Art and the Alter Ego.' The exhibit focused on a range of artists, generally unknown, who were compelled, most often through trauma and madness, to create art.
"What most fascinated us was the sense of order their art clearly brought to their lives – the organizing of random shapes, the collections of objects (like bottles or sandals or miniature glass vases), the deeply intricate embroideries.
"From these we set out to develop our own language of geometric shapes, orders, and textures. Squares layered upon squares, upon fabric with square cutouts. Flowers quilted with stripes bordered with miniature geometric prints. While rich in color and saturation, the colors mix together in unusual ways – evocative, but not bright or jarring.
"Overall, the collection is distinctly feminine and eccentric, like the artists who inspired it, celebrating the creative needs and expressions of the woman who wears it."
Designer: Pamella Roland
Inspiration: The colors, shapes, and composition of minimalist master Frank Stella.
Designer: Michelle Smith, founder of Milly
Inspiration: "The Milly woman is in the throes of a modern summer romance. Clean, minimal, sexy silhouettes set off an intense, vibrant color palette inspired by the sun and the sea."
Designer: Christian Siriano
Inspiration: "The imperial cities of Morocco were an initial source of inspiration for my spring/summer 2016 collection. I was drawn to the culture and lifestyle, particularly the annual traditional Feast of the Throne celebration in Marrakesh, for which notables dress head-to-toe in beautifully draped white linens.
"Nature and architecture of the region were also sources of inspiration for this collection: crisp, clean sand tones are represented in cream and khaki separates for day, with blush and sunset tones for evening. The colors found in Moroccan wedding blankets were stimulating and inspiring as well.
"Decorative wrought iron, wood work, and sculpted stone are interpreted through texture and embroidery. Delicate lattice details echo the light and shadow of local architecture. It is a strikingly romantic and feminine collection."
Designer: Paul Andrew
Inspiration: "Each season I take a city as inspiration and this season it's Hong Kong. I visited at the beginning of the year and was immediately struck by all the physical beauty, but also the incredibly rich culture. There is so much to inspire there!"
Designer: BCBG Max Azria
Inspiration: Sun, sea, and the rugged landscapes of Southern California inspire color, while global craft influences technique and texture.
Designer: Nicole Miller
Inspiration: "My spring collection is a study in contrasts all inspired by New York City. The beauty of the flowers and trees in juxtaposition with the concrete and grit gave a lot of visual appeal.
"It has a softness with a hard edge. I combined a lot of elements, from the street art to the actual infrastructure, to create this collection."
Designer: Yigal Azrouel
Inspiration: Light and Shadows, Kenzo Tange, Illusive.
Designer: Rachel Zoe
Inspiration: "Spring 2016 is romantic in a modern way with moments of 1970s safari.”
Designer: Wes Gordon
Inspiration: Modern romanticism. Bold yellows, slate blues, whites, and reds. Movement, energy, and Victorian detailing. Texture. Demure strength. Ironic combinations of floral lace and plaid cottons. Pleating and delicate fabric manipulations. Connections between material and form. A depth of secrets beneath a vibrant surface.
Designer: Tadashi Shoji
Inspiration: "Blossoming memories."
Designer: Cesar Galindo
Inspiration: "Hippie chic. A Janis Joplin glam moment all wrapped up in sophistication."
Designer: Elie Tahari
Inspiration: “A futuristic desert nomad.”
Designer: Dennis Basso
Inspiration: “South of the border.”
Description: "This season's collection is filled with handmade details and wild prints, reminiscent of Barcelona's graffiti artists and the modernist motifs that adorn the city's classic buildings."
Designer: Nicholas K
Inspiration: "Free fall."
Designer: Son Jung Wan
Inspiration: "This season I was inspired by Korea's Jeju Island, an Aquarian beauty."
Designer: Sylvie Millstein of Hellessy
Inspiration: "Rooftop sunset."
Designer: Noor Al Khalifa and Haya Al Khalifa of Noor By Noor
Inspiration: "Spring 2016 is effortless and sporty with relaxed silhouettes, oversized proportions, and modern fabrics. Iconic styles are reworked using soft pastels, vivid pops of color, graphic prints, and unique textures.
Overall, the collection is light and fresh, with an effortless, youthful spirit."
Designer: Whitney Pozgay of WHIT
Inspiration: "Hot air balloon safari."
Designer: Ji Oh
Description: "This season, I was inspired by the city, streetwear, and the bold and rebellious attitude of city girls. My curiosity was triggered by the confidence to wear nontraditional silhouettes that are out of proportion, off-balanced, or oversized.
"This collection plays with the idea of exaggeration. It’s playful, boxy, and oversized, but also sexy in a not-so-obvious way."
Designer: Rebecca Taylor
Inspiration: The spring 2016 collection was inspired by London’s informal association of artists and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury set. The members of Bloomsbury group called into question the traditions of their day and were among the best known examples of early bohemia fashion that reflected their lifestyle.
Tapestry garden print and patched dresses with quilted bodices in elongated shapes give the collection an eclectic feel. Crochet lace in mosaic patterns are mixed with frayed chambray and floral prints. Citrus brights are juxtaposed with pastels and grounded with navy and ivory. Grommet details fused with lace patterns add to the overall collection balancing fragility with strength.
Designer: Taoray Wang
Inspiration: "For spring 2016 I was inspired by the epic film Out of Africa."
Designer: Chris Gelinas of CG
Inspiration: “Escaping the noise and the silence of intimacy."
Designer: Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk of Area
Inspiration: "The deliberate style choices and energy of shiny, glossy makeup and polished car rims.”
As a closing note, Joie gives us a look ahead to Paris, where the label will be showing its spring 2016 collection.
Designer: Rachel Wilder, vice president of design for Joie
Inspiration: “A seductive world of '70s icons inhabited by the likes of Charlotte Rampling. An English rose with a rock-and-roll spirit, the spring 2016 collection weaves a web of modern romance, bohemian dreams, and British eccentricity.
"Inspired by the quintessential English garden, roses, peonies, and petunias layer together to create this lush canvas. All-over lace, new eyelets, and soft ruffles add romantic detail juxtaposed with leather, chambray, and denim.
"This season captures a moment of youthful rebellion and the ethereal magic of a time where love was in the air and the music was everything.”