DAY SIX: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 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
Trenchcoats are like jeans in that they can be endlessly reimagined while maintaining the integrity of the original item. For next fall, New York designers did anything but classic trenches, using the time-honored silhouette as a canvas for fabric-piecing, dye techniques, crafty weavings or artful prints. Hanako Maeda of Adeam was in a back-to-school mood, reflected in a fabric-blocked trench that was inspired by memories of her after-school strolls in Central Park. Jason Wu’s version is emblazoned with a giant abstract flower motif that is part bohemian tie-dye, part fifties-couture warp-print. Gabriela Hearst continued her exploration of craft this season; her trench’s storm flaps were made from artisanal woven leather panels. Johnson Hartig of Libertine went romantic with a screen-print rose motif, and Joseph Altuzarra enriched his coat with nubby tweed and shearling collar.
For many, the last couple of years, traumatic as they were, had a silver lining; the lockdown-era allowed for some breathing room, some time for reevaluation and reinvention. Perhaps that sentiment inspired all the silvery metallics in collections this season. Bibhu Mohapatra talked about theatricality, and his gleaming asymmetric pleated skirt is just dramatic enough to wear for either day or evening. Michael Kors did one of his chic little trench coats in a platinum-finish. Laquan Smith covered a sleek jumpsuit in silver pavé sequins while Altuzarra used giant paillettes to create a kind of soft corset effect for a sweater set. Maisie Wilen used sequins as well, but in a totally fresh way; her matte silver sequin-covered skirt seems both antique and futuristic, both every-day and otherworldly.
Animal prints are perennial and adaptable, able to be Audrey Hepburn chic one moment and Curt Cobain grunge the next. For next fall, the wild things lean more to the chic side, with tasteful interpretations of leopards, cheetahs, tigers and zebras, whether in “real” or fantasy colorations. Proenza Schouler brought edge to a red-ground leopard motif by adding pop-art-like trompe l’oeil “creases” in bright white. Michael Kors used the pattern for a micro-mini suit and Libertine layered silky leopard separates with an extravagantly chained and beaded blazer. Anna Sui used animal markings for a faux fur coat ensemble with matching bag, and disco-ready zebra-patterned bell-bottom set with matching opera-length gloves, a key accessory.
Lace is no longer just for wedding dresses and lingerie. All kinds of lace, from delicate Chantilly to heavy guipure, were used this season, giving a filigree look to casual pieces as well as cocktail looks. Erin Beatty of Rentrayage uses all deadstock or recycled fabrics as part of her line’s sustainable ethic, including deadstock lace for a layered slip dress layered over jeans. Stuart Vevers of Coach offered babydoll doll party dresses in a range of colored laces, all hitting at mid-thigh. Bibhu Mohapatra used a weighty velvet lace for a crop sweatshirt top with matching full midi, the rich fabric contrasting with the casual shapes. Helmut Lang went with ultra-fragile netting for a tailored shirt, while Alice & Olivia brought newness to corset bodice by lining it in neon chartreuse. Frederick Anderson used his artisanal lace for an easy ruffled shift that got extra oomph from vivid ultramarine blue.
Terry Singh, a bespoke designer, took a departure from made-to-measure this season and presented his first ready-to-wear collection, entitled The.New.Suit. “Historically leaders and warriors have adorned themselves in skirts. I was awakened by the masculine, yet adorned image of the Indian Dohdi,” explained the designer in a press release. Singh also referenced “a spiritual journey to India”. The suits and tailored separates were cut from sumptuous Italian fabrics that included a tie-silk foulard, a luscious black-and-white jacquard, a grayscale geometric, and a whimsical illustrative motif. Slightly shrunken jacket silhouettes captured the gender-fluid values of the moment. The beautifully tailored pieces appeal to any gender expression.