“September is the January of fashion,” said the eminently quotable Candy Pratts Price, a former Vogue editor in The September Issue. And it’s true. September not only represents the beginning of a new year of fashion with the launch of next spring’s collections, but it’s also the industry’s back-to-school moment.
Many years ago, Helmut Lang opted to show in New York City ahead of the European shows, spearheading the shift that saw NYFW become the first city on the fashion week circuit. This season, 18 years after he walked away from fashion, Lang’s—former—eponymous label is back making news at NYFW, with Peter Do in the driver’s seat, kicking off the official schedule. This is also a season of the anniversaries, with Coach’s Stuart Vevers, Rio Uribe’s Gypsy Sport, and Christian Siriano all celebrating milestones at their respective posts and labels.
Like most Septembers, this fashion week is especially party-heavy. There’s an endless lineup of cocktails, dinners, and pop-ups at which to reconnect with colleagues and friends. The events on our radar include a J.Crew concert featuring The Strokes, an SSENSE party with Jean Paul Gaultier and KNWLS, and a Linda Evangelista book-signing for her tome with Steven Meisel.
Speaking of books—for those who would much rather stay in and read than spend time at bars and fashion parties waiting for a tequila soda, this fall offers a lineup of literary fashion to peruse. Thom Browne and Collina Strada are both releasing monographs, and Carolina Herrera’s Wes Gordon is unveiling a special project he worked on over the pandemic. Read through for more on the week’s new names, the restaurants and hangouts to scout, and other fun things to look forward to at New York Fashion Week.
Is IRL shopping back?
Remember the good ol’ days of shopping IRL? When downtowners popped into Opening Ceremony to try on the latest arrivals—or to spot a celebrity or two—and when the in-the-know fashionphiles would rush over to Totokaelo for a designer drop? ESSX, a new retail operation on Essex Street in the Lower East Side is looking to bring them back. The multi-designer concept store opened in July, and its 7,000 square feet of floor space features the likes of Mowalola, Ottolinger, Edward Cummings, 4SDesigns, and Wales Bonner, in addition to a pop-up exhibition space. Fashion’s cool kids have been hanging out there all summer; this NYFW is your opportunity to join them.—José Criales-Unzueta
Peter does Helmut
Peter Do has been busy. His Banana Republic collaboration is hitting stores in October, and on Monday, we learned that he’ll be showing his eponymous collection in Paris. But what’s occupying most of his time these days is his upcoming debut at Helmut Lang. The show is scheduled for 2 p.m. on September 8, officially kicking off New York Fashion Week. Do has name-checked Lang as an inspiration for his own label—we’ll be on the lookout for what he’s got in store as he gives the dormant label some a round of CPR.—JCU
Victoria’s New Secret
Priming for a comeback, Victoria’s Secret is relaunching its annual Fashion Show under a new moniker. The World Tour will premiere on Amazon Prime on September 26 and feature none other than Doja Cat. To tease the show, the company is hosting a party ahead of NYFW that will shed some light on how it’s been reshaping its image since the original show was canceled in 2019 amidst allegations of harassment and bullying. Raul Martinez, EVP, head creative director of Victoria’s Secret, calls The World Tour “a celebratory moment representing the ultimate expression of our brand transformation.” On September 6, expect a sneak peek look at the new film and a surprise musical performance. Whether or not it’s Doja Cat, we’ll just have to wait and see.—JCU
Please welcome to the stage: Grace Ling, Advisry, and more
The official CFDA calendar this year is noticeably slimmer compared to last September. But even despite a reduced lineup, some promising newcomers managed to land slots: Advisry, Sho Konishi, Chan Chit Lo, and Grace Ling are part of New York’s next class of designers. “It’s a huge honour to have the backing of CFDA,” said Ling of having her debut show on the calendar, “it means that you’re officially part of the global fashion conversion and have the responsibility to shape the culture of today.” Off-schedule there are new names too. We have our eye on Jane Wade, whose fresh vision of workwear proposes a new—and undoubtedly cool—office uniform.—JCU
And welcome back…
This New York Fashion Week, there’s as many returning names as there are new ones. Ralph Lauren is coming back to the fold for the first time since before the pandemic, as are Jonathan Cohen, Rio Uribe’s Gypsy Sport, and Phillip Lim. Lim is feeling particularly hopeful about this comeback: “We live everyday in her unfiltered reality, audaciously seeking the possibilities of our wildest dreams and perennially fueled by the type of hope that only NYC can spring,” he said about his upcoming show.—JCU
And don’t forget the CFDA/Vogue fashion fund designers
For those curious about the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Class of 2023, you’re in luck! With the exception of 4S Designs’s Angelo Urrutia, who showed at Paris menswear in June, most of the finalists are on the schedule this season. This will be the first New York Fashion Week appearance for Kozaburu’s Kozaburu Akasaka, and Sami Miró of Sami Miró Vintage. “Finding myself on the NYFW calendar for the very first time is an absolute honour, a dream woven into reality,” Miró said about this career milestone. “As I step into the spotlight, I am both humbled and electrified, ready to share my vision on Zero Waste through the language of fashion.” They will join Who Decides War, Kim Shui, Zankov, Colin Locascio, Diotima, Melitta Baumeister, and Tanner Fletcher for a week of shows and presentations.—Laia Garcia-Furtado
All the anniversaries
Was there ever a more fertile year for New York City fashion than 2013? A slew of labels and designers are celebrating their 10th anniversaries this year, and they’re all commemorating the milestone this season. At Coach, Stuart Vevers will be marking his decade at the brand with a show and dinner at the New York City Public Library. Rio Uribe’s Gypsy Sport is turning 10 too, and he’s returning to the city for the first time since spring 2020 for a celebration. If you’re trying to remember what you were doing in 2013, perhaps the words “Mansur Gavriel” will trigger a memory. Floriana Gavriel and Rachel Mansur, the makers of the era’s streamlined and colorful bucket bags, are holding a block party on the Lower East Side, complete with a “culinary experience by LEV.” Also having a special birthday is Christian Siriano, whose namesake label turns 15 this year. To mark the occasion he’ll host a show at the Pierre Hotel, complete with a special live performance.—LGF
The dawn of the 10 p.m. show
Is the late-night show the new after-party? If you thought the calendar couldn’t stretch any further and make our days any longer, well, think again. Dion Lee will be presenting his spring 2024 collection at 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 9. Here’s to hoping there’s an after-party immediately following—for those who won’t be rushing home to write their reviews—and that there’s an open bar at the show. Mike Amiri was serving summertime spritzes in Paris at his spring show, so never say never! Either way, Lee’s clothes are meant to be worn under the flashing nights of a rave, so at least it’s a fitting time slot.—JCU
“Bus, Club, Another Club, No Sleep”—here are NYFW’s (hopefully) best parties
Nothing sums up NYFW better than Lady Gaga’s famous quote. Show after show, review after review, party after party—there’s always somewhere to go next, something to do in between, and work to catch up on later. In case you’re looking for more plans: It’ll be a busy weekend between Highsnobiety’s celebration of True Religion’s 21st birthday on September 9 and SSENSE’s soirée in partnership with Jean Paul Gaultier and KNWLS on September 10. The London-based brand Poster Girl will be hosting a NYFW kick-off party on September 7, hosted by City Girls’s JT, and, the evening before that, Mary J. Blige will touch down for a celebration of MCM’s “past and present.” Christopher John Rogers is not on the schedule this season, but he will be throwing a party with Farrow and Ball in honor of their paint collaboration, and J.Crew is putting on a concert for its 40th anniversary featuring none other than The Strokes. Linda Evangelista is double-booked at NYFW, signing copies of her book with Steven Meisel at Bookmarc on September 7, and co-hosting Phaidon’s 100th anniversary party with Thom Browne—who has his own monograph out with the publisher this October—on September 6. But just like last year, the party of the season will be Vogue World, this time happening in London on September 14.—JCU
From downtown to up, the top restaurants to check out During NYFW
Because showgoers can’t live on Kind Bars and Juice Press smoothies alone, we’ve put together a few of our favourite places for a full meal. The top spot on our list is Raf’s, that is, if you can secure a reservation. If you are one of the lucky few who got off the eternally long waitlist on Resy, try the fluke crudo and rigatoni, although you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Jennifer and Nicole Vitagliano use the freshest local produce for all of their delicious entrees and drinks. Next on our list is Casino, a place you’ve probably seen all over Instagram. With an endless list of drink options, flavorful seafood dishes like the pasta with clams, and a dimly-lit interior, you can’t go wrong at this buzzy LES spot. For those who don’t have time for a sit-down, Casino’s Dimes Square sister restaurant Casetta is a sandwich spot by-day, making it easy to grab some food and quickly head out. Over in Nolita is Lovely Day, which has been a hotspot since the early 2000s and is still a go-to for fashion people like Vogue’s street style photographer Phil Oh and Paloma Elsesser. It’s the best place for no-fuss Thai food. Another must-try is the vegetarian newcomer Superiority Burger. The East Village joint is so hip it got a GQ Hype cover in April. Finally, with Ralph Lauren back on the calendar, a trip to the Polo Bar is in order. You can’t go wrong with the classic Polo Burger and you may even get a rare Ralph sighting amidst all the other celebrities.—Irene Kim
Their job is coffee table book
Fashion folks love a coffee table book; they’re chock-full of images that serve as inspiration, and they look great next to an artful ceramic. This fall, look out for two new tomes celebrating designer anniversaries—yes, there’s more of them! Thom Browne will commemorate two decades in business with the appropriately titled Thom Browne., featuring an introduction by Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu curator in charge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute (and Browne’s partner), and specially commissioned photographs. Collina Strada’s Hillary Taymous is celebrating her decade in New York with the (also appropriately) titled I Care A Lotta, I Wear Collina Strada, which she put together with her frequent collaborator, the photographer Charlie Engman. And Carolina Herrera creative director Wes Gordon will be releasing a special project he launched during the pandemic with the photographer Elizaveta Porodina. Colormania showcases Gordon’s penchant for colour and Porodina’s singular point of view. There’s no anniversary peg for this last one; sometimes you want to put a little beauty out into the world without needing a reason why!—LGF
Come rain or shine
New York has never seen clouds like those that will gather at Susan Alexandra’s bijou shop in the LES on September 7. That’s when the New York designer known for working magic with beads will host a pop-up for visiting Dane Emilie Helmstedt. The two teamed up on pieces like a cloud bra and bag that were shown on the runway in Copenhagen a few weeks ago, and which will be part of an impromptu fashion “demonstration” on the sidewalk outside of the shop. “Me and Susan fell in love with each other instantly,” says Helmstedt. “We really love each other’s universes; we are both surrounding ourselves with colours and and fairytales. We decided to do a collaboration first for Copenhagen Fashion Week, now the pieces will be available for purchase in New York during our pop-up together and we will also sell our fall 2023 collection in store the whole week.”—Laird Borrelli-Persson
Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is Warner Bros.’s highest grossing movie of all time, and it turned pink into the colour of the summer. But as usual, fashion got there first: Christopher John Rogers and Sies Marjan’s Sander Lak made the bright hue an essential part of their repertoires, and Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli launched a PP Pink collection for fall 2022. What happens next? Do designers believe that pink will stay in people’s hearts until next spring? We’ll be on pink patrol this season to find out.—JCU
This story was originally published on Vogue.com.