DAY FIVE: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2022
“On behalf of Fashion Group International, I am delighted to announce FGI COMMUNIQUÉ will return for this upcoming season! Since 1936, FGI has been an essential resource for industry information at the zeitgeist of innovation.” — Maryanne Grisz, President & CEO, Fashion Group International
Svitlana Bevza’s pieces are not only pure in line and shape, but they are also pure in the materials she uses. Bevza called this collection “Love Letters”; those missives were literally seen in envelope-shaped clutch bags and sealing wax buttons, as well as interpreted metaphorically throughout. “The FW 22/23 collection is enveloped in a spirit of futuristic nostalgia. We feel nostalgic for lyric intimacy and Parthenia nature…” read the press release. That yearning was felt in the minimalist interpretations of Grecian goddess dresses, along with perfectly-cut menswear-influenced pieces like slouchy trousers and tailored ankle-length coats. Bevza’s fabrics were particularly compelling: recycled bamboo, post-consumer plastics sourced in her native Ukraine, viscose fabric waste. This collection is a brilliant example of how fashion can be beautiful, meaningful and sustainable.
Handcrafted techniques and earthy-friendly methods are both driving forces for fashion right now. Those two imperatives come together stylishly in Joseph Altuzarra’s collection, with artisanal dyes bringing visual allure to dresses and cashmere sweaters that were cropped and left ragged at the hem. Altuzarra mentions “wanderlust” as a personal influence, as does Ulla Johnson. For Johnson’s FW22 collection, that spirit found expression in earth tones and metallic golds, inspired by Colombian textile artist, Olga de Amaral. The result was a gorgeous selection of items like a duster coat over marled knits, a suede and crochet patchwork set, and a printed and sequined pinafore dress over a puff-shoulder peasant blouse, adding a bit of folkloric charm.
Shearling is having a moment. Whether the real thing or a fabulous fake, the furry-backed material adds coziness and luxe dimension to all sorts of outerwear pieces. Chelsea Hansford of Simon Miller did more than one version of a shearling coat, including a golden yellow lapel style and another with long white fur that conjures up visions of the iconic Penny Lane character in the film, Almost Famous. Dion Lee used shearling for everything from a bustier top to a comfy zip-up parka. Stuart Vevers of Coach was another designer who used the material extensively, including a stunning rendition covered in graffiti graphics by the art duo Mint+Serf. Altuzarra used shearling sparingly for a snuggly collar on a sleek leather trench.
Glossy materials bring a punkish edge to any garment, whether it’s a romantic dress or a tailored suit. Christian Siriano used deep midnight blue patent for his asymmetric sheath dress, elegantly worn by supermodel and singer, Karen Elson. Tiffany Brown, an Atlanta native who debuted last season, used a slick stretch material for second-skin leggings, topped with a chic kimono jacket. Taiwanese-born Malan Breton offered a gleaming zip-up jacket in lacquer red. Sally Lapointe, known for her sensuous monochromatic ensembles, expanded her repertoire of fluid silks to include a semi-gloss vegan leather for a simple yet striking shirt-and-pants set. Batsheva simplified some of her prim styles this season; high-shine black modernized one of her signature Victorian-flavored frocks.
Purple is one of those “love it or hate it” colors. For next fall, New York designers seem to love it, using the hue in all its spiritual, floral and royal variations. Derek Lam used a saturated shade for his border-printed boho dress. Guyanese-American designer Marrisa Wilson used a lovely lilac for an easy zip-jacket skirt suit. Carolina Herrera brought out the color’s regal qualities with a ladylike coat outlined with resplendent jewels. Private Policy designers Siying Qu and Haoran Li used pale purple to soften their utilitarian designs, like a comfy sweater dress that gained interest from ribbed arm-warmers and a matching harness belt. Simon Miller offered a simple sheath dress, surprisingly cut from a plush fleece and presented in a delicate shade of hyacinth.