“During this important anniversary date and especially as it occurs during NYFW, FGI honors all of those lost on September 11, 2001.” –Maryanne Grisz, President/CEO Fashion Group International


On September 11, New York Fashion Week’s collections shine a light on American diversity, creativity, inclusiveness and most of all, the hope and positivity that comes from freedom of expression.


Art flourishes in America, whether seen on street art murals in Miami’s Wynwood, Bushwick’s open studios or the clean white gallery walls of Manhattan and LA. Art increasingly infuses fashion collections as well; designers drew from multiple movements this season. Libertine used Lichtenstein-like Pop Art dots and etched eye motifs that conjure Fornasetti plates or Man Ray’s Surrealism. Coach’s trompe l’oeil collars and pockets and Moschino’s animal prints offer cartoon-y charm. Mushrooms emerge as a key motif this season; in addition to Monse, designers as disparate as Brandon Maxwell, Rodarte, and Nicole Miller offered trippy prints that seem to draw inspiration from Peter Max and the Yellow Submarine era.


Metallic goes modern for next spring. Mirror-finish silver is key, but lilac and soft greens expand the palette. A liquid mercury effect is achieved with glossy lamé at Yeohlee and Rodarte, both offering a cool, contemporary interpretation of the shimmery material. Alexandra O’Neill, who named her label Makarian after a particularly sparkling galaxy, used shimmery beads, while Badgley Mischka’s sensuous pant set glimmers with pavé sequins. Brandon Maxwell, influenced by pandemic-era ease, loosened up his eveningwear approach for a laidback satin shirt over a sweeping pleated maxi skirt, for a look that is both relaxed and spectacular.


Michael Kors is synonymous with American Fashion; his aesthetic somehow captures the elegant sex-appeal of Grace Kelly, lightened with a chic dash of gamine Audrey Hepburn. For spring he expressed la vie en rose mood with shades of petal pink, cut into a crisp gingham suit-plus-bra, a crop top with matching skirt, and fluffy sweaters over lace skirts. A gorgeous shade of pink renews a trenchcoat ensemble. The other side of Kors’ coin this season was a black-and-white palette, informing items like midi circle skirts, slim capris and knitted sweater sets. The overall effect was a modern take on fifties chic, a signature reference for this true-to-himself designer.


Designer Wes Gordon did justice to the fortieth anniversary of Mrs. Herrera’s iconic label. The Venezuelan-born Herrera, who dressed first ladies from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama, paved the way for current LatinX designers like Fernando Garcia of Monse and Oscar de la Renta, Gabriela Hearst, Narciso Rodriguez, Maria Cornejo and so many more who have become part of the fabric of New York’s fashion community. For this landmark collection, Gordon made creative use graphic black-and-white, distilling the label’s entrance-making silhouettes into a timeless version of modern glamour.