Much has been written about New York Fashion Week. That it’s not impactful enough, that it doesn’t bring enough novelty, that it has been left behind by its European counterparts. But the decrease in power players and top-billing names on the NYFW calendar since the pandemic has made way for an energizing cast of newcomers with fresh points of view and an appetite for redefining our wardrobes and what fashion—and Fashion Week—looks like.
Grace Ling and Jane Wade debuted runway shows this season, each bringing a unique perspective on women’s ready-to-wear with their collections. Wade thrives in reconfiguring the casual and mundane, transforming everyday wear—oxford shirts, gabardine trench coats, twill workwear—into considered but distinctly contemporary items. Ling brings a demure and moody sophistication to the New York fashion landscape; her clothes are alluring in their severity and welcoming in their mystique.
Marcelo Gaia staged his second runway show for Mirror Palais, this time with a tinge of Old Hollywood glamour. In a New York season grounded in the grungy sex appeal of the mid-’90s, Gaia continued to make Mirror Palais stand out for its particular commitment to traditional femininity. Blazing their own trail as well were Sam Finger, Zoe Gustavia Anna Whalen, and Bad Binch Tong Tong’s Terrence Zhou, who all staged their sophomore presentations. Finger’s gritty take on upcycled fashion feels just right for today, as do Whalen’s and Zhou’s reinterpretations of the fashion show. Their happenings imagined the runway as emotive performances. Ditto Wenjue Lu, the multidisciplinary studio cofounded by Wnejue Lu and Chufeng Fang, which debuted this season with an off-calendar presentation in Brooklyn. These fresh names usher in both novelty and a change of perspective. Scroll through to discover what they were up to this NYFW.
Grace Ling Likes a Little Deviance