NY Fashion Week Spring 2018 Houston
New York Fashion Week

Designers abandon the runway for a new kind of New York Fashion Week show

Designers abandon the runway for a new kind of NY Fashion Week show

Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 21
Jenny Packham embellished evening gown with sheer skirt. Photo courtesy of Jenny Packham
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 9
Jenny Packham V-neck evening gown with embellished bodice and tulle skirt. Photo courtesy of Jenny Packham
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 18
Jenny Packham Asian garden themed evening gown. Photo courtesy of Jenny Packham
Carmen Marc Valvo spring 2018
Models at the Carmen Marc Valvo showroom. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Carmen Marc Valvo at spring 2018 presentation
Carmen Marc Valvo talks to reporters at his showroom. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Carmen Marc Valvo spring 2018
Carmen Marc Valvo dotted cocktail dress. Photo courtesy of Carmen Marc Valvo
Carmen Marc Valvo spring 2018
Carmen Marc Valvo gown with embroiderd leaf detail. Photo courtesy of Carmen Marc Valvo
Carmen Marc Valvo floral print spring 2018
Carmen Marc Valvo floral wrap dress. Photo courtesy of Carmen Marc Valvo
Carmen Marc Valvo spring 2018
Carmen Marc Valvo tiered gown with embellished bodice. Photo courtesy of Carmen Marc Valvo
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 17
Jenny Packham blue sequined gown. Photo courtesy of Jenny Packham
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 3
Jenny Packham star embeliished mini-dress. Photo courtesy of Jenny Packham
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 4
Jenny Packham jumpsuit with paillette detail. Photo courtesy of Jenny Packham
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 12
Jenny Packham star embellished wide-legged trousers and long-sleeve top. Photo courtesy of Jenny Packham
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 22
Jenny Packham gathered multi-tone blue gown. Photo courtesy of Jenny Packham
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 21
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 9
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 18
Carmen Marc Valvo spring 2018
Carmen Marc Valvo at spring 2018 presentation
Carmen Marc Valvo spring 2018
Carmen Marc Valvo spring 2018
Carmen Marc Valvo floral print spring 2018
Carmen Marc Valvo spring 2018
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 17
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 3
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 4
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 12
Jenny Packham spring 2018 look 22

British designer Jenny Packham regular shows her new collections at New York Fashion Week. But this season she took a break from the runway, instead choosing to meet privately with select members of the fashion press during a photo shoot where her models could twirl and swirl in an environment that showed off the spring/summer 2018 collection in an up-close and personal way. “Today, I can tell you, is the happiest I’ve been in a long time," she told Vogue magazine.

It's become a fashion week trend, as such designers as Elizabeth Kennedy and Carmen Marc Valvo also hosted intimate soirees in their showrooms instead of full-scale runway shows.

"Everyone is over fashion shows. Unless you're on the first and second row, you don't see anything. Hair and makeup maybe," Valvo said. "It's boring. I think it's terrible. We have to change the way people think, the way people buy, the way people experience a collection."

Instead of a runway show, Valvo threw a big cocktail party in his Garment District showroom, showcasing models in several vignettes around the modern space, with a video playing behind them, "so you can see the movement of the clothing, which for me is so important," he said.

"I feel like it's a Holly Golightly party at my house. It's fun. It's different. And it's beautiful."

Valvo's collection has a tropic theme, with graphic prints of flowers and leaves on bathing suits, cover-ups, wide-legged trousers, and wrap dresses — a breezy style that's perfect for the beach or pool in Houston. For evening, his look is more sophisticated, with tulle gowns embroidered with sequins and beading on the bodice.

Packham, who has gained a lot of attention as the Duchess of Cambridge's go-to designer for special events, looked to Asian gardens for her 25-piece collection. The theme seemed translated literally at times in a burgundy gown emblazoned with images of embroidered cranes, bonsai trees, and pagodas, while other gowns mimicked the wave-like woodblock prints of the the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai and the dripping water paintings by Korean minimalist artist Lee Ufan.

Heavily embellished ultra-short cocktail dresses and jumpsuits seemed more suited for partying the night away, although they, too, reflected Packham's newfound interest in Asian culture. An All-American red-and-blue sequin pattern on a long-sleeved minidress and bell-bottom pants outfit was, in fact, inspired by an antique kimono pattern.

In Houston, the Jenny Packham, Carmen Marc Valvo, and Elizabeth Kennedy collections are available at Elizabeth Anthony.

ADVERTISEMENT
Learn More