New York Fashion Week: Paris Hilton and 9 other talking points

New York Fashion Week is drawing to a close.

The US event is the first of February’s four big international Fashion Weeks, which are also held in London, Paris and Milan.

It usually features a heady mix of supermodels, front rows peppered with celebrities and political controversy.

Before the style set descends on London, it’s time to look back at what we’ve learned from the US style capital.

1. It packed a political punch

Tom Ford showed his serious side, kicking off NYFW with a show that expressed his feelings about President Trump’s proposed border wall.

Ford’s diverse selection of models paraded down the catwalk to the strains of Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over, notable for the pointed lyrics: “They come, they come to build a wall between us. We know they won’t win.”

The show was held just a day after Trump’s State of The Union address.

If the nuance of the timing and the song’s lyrics managed to escape anyone, Ford confirmed to Vogue that the choice was no coincidence.

2. There were attempts to embrace technology

Designer Christian Siriano teamed up with software company SAP to unveil an app, that turned his catwalk into fashion’s answer to The X Factor.

Viewers in the audience and at home were given a chance to like or love various outfits as models walked down the runway.

The theme of Siriano’s show was futuristic glam, meaning the tech innovations suited the show nicely.

Elsewhere, label Rag & Bone continued their departure from traditional fashion shows by using artificial intelligence to help bring attention to their collection.

They described their show, called A Last Supper, as “an experiential event”.

It was in fact a dinner party where the guests – of course – were wearing new season Rag & Bone.

An artificial intelligence machine was also at the table, where it talked and learned through the night, before making an after-dinner speech.

3. A transgender designer made history

Pierre Davis became the first transgender designer to show at New York Fashion Week.

The LA-based designer’s label No Sesso, which means “no sex” in Italian, was founded in 2015. It creates creates gender-neutral, inclusive clothing for a range of body types.

The label said on Instagram that they were “humbled by the overwhelming love and response we’ve received”.

4. Paris Hilton had a fashion moment

DJ and former reality TV show star Paris Hilton is usually seen on the Fashion Week front rows, but on Tuesday she took to the catwalk.

Hilton wore a silver bodysuit, huge necklace and sparkly ankle boots for label The Blonds.

The 37-year-old, who’s the great-granddaughter of the founder of Hilton hotels, later confirmed on social media that she really is living her best life this NYFW.

5. Some of Fashion Week’s biggest hitters were missing

A few of the big name designers who usually show their collections in New York were absent this time, leaving room for young, innovative designers like Batsheva Hay and Telfar Clemens to step into the limelight.

Calvin Klein decided not to attend, after losing head designer Raf Simons in November.

Rodarte showed in the warmer climes of Los Angeles instead and Victoria Beckham is saving her show for London.

There was a notable absence in the front row too. For the first time in 25 years, Elle’s editor Nina Garcia had to miss NYFW.

She announced on social media that she’s recovering from a double mastectomy.

6. A Japanese costume designer stole the show

It’s not often that a designer’s first Fashion Week show gets as much hype as Tomo Koizumi’s did.

The Japanese designer, who has dressed Katy Perry and Asian popstar Miwa Yoshida, is known for his huge dresses.

He staged his first New York show at a Marc Jacobs shop with the help of fashion journalist Katie Grand, who found Koizumi on Instagram.

Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie and models Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski showcased the vibrant, multi-coloured designs, which looked like fluffy marshmallows.

7. It was a 90s staple and now satin is making a comeback

For those pining for the days when Kate Beckinsale and Alicia Silverstone were the only fashion icons that mattered, you’re in luck – because satin is fashionable again.

As seen in the shows of Prabal Gurang, Jonathan Simkhai, Brandon Maxwell and Dion Lee, the silky fabric was used in a number of eye-popping colours and designs.

It cropped up on the catwalks of New York in many different variations – as part of a luxe red velvet suit at Tom Ford or in the form of printed day dresses and skirts at Tory Burch.

So it might just be time to raid your loft for some fashion forward inspiration.

8. The high ponytail is dead… long live the low ponytail

Not only does Fashion Week dictate what you’re going to be wearing next season, it also shows you how you’ll be wearing your hair.

So next time you reach for a bobble to put your hair up, keep that ponytail low.

As seen at Ralph Lauren, Badgley Mischka and Cushnie, the ponytail got a make over, with a slick, shiny finish to boot.

The change from the high ponytail, as popularised by Ariana Grande and Kim Kardashian, was led by GHD and Tresemme hair stylist Justine Marjan.

So you can thank her for all the headaches you’ll no longer have to endure.

9. There were efforts to make the catwalk more inclusive

Luxury online retailer 11 Honore proved that plus sized fashion does have a place on the catwalk during their first New York Fashion Week show.

It featured models including transgender Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, and displayed designs from the biggest names in fashion.

More than 30 looks from designers such as Christopher Kane, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen and Roland Mouret were featured in UK sizes 14-24, making it possibly the most inclusive NYFW show yet.

Elsewhere, swimwear designer Chromat, founded by Becca McCharen Tran, used models of diverse sizes, genders and races to champion body diversity.

The models wore a range of bold and colourful designs, to try and show that everyone has a beach body.

10. Cosy, colourful coats ruled offstage

With so many fashionistas flocking to the shows, the street style on display at NYFW can often be just as influential as the outfits on the catwalks.

As the US event is usually held in sub-zero temperatures, it’s no surprise that warm winter coats were the prevailing trend for people going to the shows.

There was a common theme to the outerwear rocked by this year’s attendees though, with lots of people opting for bright coats in pinks and purples.


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