DAY SEVEN: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 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

BLOCK CHAIN

Color blocking is elevated from its activewear connotations this season, with looks that take their cue from modernist abstract paintings, NFT artwork or Nepalese dip-dyes. Marrisa Wilson interpreted her digital aesthetic with a bisected blue sheath punctuated by shocking pink panels along the inner arms and a small round cutout at the decolletage. Prabal Gurung was torn between his love of New York and his longing for Kathmandu, which found expression in a lush, pieced fur over an artisan-dyed rib-knit dress. Gurung’s color-blocked minidress was given more dimension with a delicate sprinkling of dyed-to-match feathers. Tory Burch ended her show with a group of slinky jersey dresses that were emblazoned with curvilinear shapes; each artful color combo was more exciting than the last.

PUFF PIECE

Puffa coats are pandemic-era must-haves, perfect for all the outdoor socializing and sidewalk cocktails. Dion Lee’s version was a dramatic white topper that conjured visions of Norma Kamali’s iconic sleeping bag coat; a front-zip-off panel added a convertible element, key for Lee this season. Patricia Bonaldi of Brazilian-based PatBo did an appealing knee-length parka, dressed up with silvery embroidery and silk tassels. Flying Solo’s floor-length maxi-puffer went other-worldly in ombréd lilac. FromWhere offered her hip-skimming version in a neat logo-print. Hanako Maeda of Adeam was another designer who played with modular pieces. She presented a flat-quilted modular creation with snap-off elements that could convert to vest, jacket, skirt, suit or coat.

WHIMSICAL NOTION

The last two years have spurred a new creativity in dressing. People shopped in their closets, put freeform outfits together just for fun, and, while working from home, dressed more for personal expression and less for corporate conformity. Many designers captured the moment with a whimsical approach. Claudia Li cut fanciful separates and voluminous sets from spring-like florals. Flying Solo showed a spotted duster coat over a silky kimono for a look that could work for any season and any time of day. Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada is forerunner of this everything-goes-with-anything philosophy; this season she presented her covetable separates in tactile fabrics like crushed velvets and shredded chiffons. Designers Zoe Champion and Wei Lin of PH5 gave their signature sculpted knits a fantasy feeling with pastel ombré effects and engineered ruffles.

SECOND SKIN

Another lockdown-era favorite is the bodysuit, evolving this season from yoga-ready loungewear to a party-ready statement piece, perfect to wear under the season’s extravagant puffer-coats. PatBo showed a gilded onesie that was jazzed up with a draped halter neck and the season’s all important cutouts. Canadian-born, Chinese-German designer Lisa Von Tang embellished a nude-toned catsuit with a swirling embroidered flame, a tribute to her Chinese heritage. Bronx Banco showed many club-ready catsuits; a glittery purple got interest from a single strong shoulder and a fringed-trimmed sash at the waist. Maisie Wilen, who showed her creations on 7-foot tall holographic models, presented digitally printed second-skin jerseys that could be worn on their own or as a base layer under separates or dresses. Laquan Smith, known for his provocative aesthetic, paired a coppery high-cut bodysuit with matching hipslung leggings; the combo created a cutout effect that exposed the hip bones.

BRILLIANT EVENING

Cocktail and Red Carpet go brilliant for next fall, all in joyful colors and exuberant shapes. Whether for short festive frocks or all-out gowns, the look for evening is full of optimism and true glamour, conjuring up the painterly visions of fashion illustrators like Rene Gruau or Antonio. Wes Gordon of Carolina Herrera used deep flounces, strong silhouettes and vivid color-blocking for buoyant dresses and gala-ready gowns. Jason Wu explicitly mentioned those fashion drawings of the 50s as a source of inspiration; his deconstructed bows and uneven hemlines showed an easy, modern take on that couture-smitten era. Bibhu Mohapatra used a vivid tangerine, while Christian Cowan showed an icy lilac minidress that featured a floor-sweeping train. Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim at Oscar de Renta offered intensely visual looks that captured the house’s ultra-femme heritage in a new, youth-inflected way. Prabal Gurung contemporized a silky 1930s-style dress with acid color and strategic cutouts. Badgley Mischka, masters of evening wear, spun a purple gown into a forward-thinking look with a sculpted panel that morphed into a modernist bow at the hip.

IMAGES: IMAXTREE

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