After weeks of planning, emailing, and Zooming, here’s what we at Vogue Runway know about the fall 2022 season in New York: It will be unlike any before. With smaller shows, tighter COVID precautions, and big names missing from the official calendar, New York Fashion Week feels on shaky footing. Or maybe not…
With top designers sitting this week out, the stretch of shows from 11 February to 16 February is largely populated by emerging talents with non-traditional takes on what a fashion show—and a fashion week—could look like. New York has always been more experimental than traditional Fashion Weeks in Milan and Paris, and this season has potential to see the pendulum swing even more in favour of younger designers and hybrid physical-digital events. Haloed by a week of talks and programming from IMG and an ever-growing digital community of fashion lovers, NYFW has potential to make news—and not just for what happens on the runway.
Here’s what to think about as we ramp up to the first major Fashion Week of the fall 2022 season.
What will we get from Shayne Oliver?
Almost two years after the news that Hood by Air would return, Shayne Oliver is ready to launch his first runway collection. First’s thing first: It’s not called Hood by Air anymore. Instead, Oliver will continue to produce his version of essentials at HBA and is rebranding his high fashion imprint as SHAYNEOLIVER. The clothes will get their debut at an event at The Shed on 11 February at 9 p.m.
The fashion-show-cum-performance is the centrepiece of Oliver’s three-night takeover of the space. On the 10th, he will spotlight influential figures in the HBA emerging artists think tank Anonymous Club, “as well as pay homage to central people from [his] past,” per the Shed’s site. On the 11th, the SHAYNEOLIVER runway show will be accompanied by new music from Wench, Oliver’s ongoing musical collaboration with the Venezuelan musician Arca. The evening of the 12th will feature “Club,” where Oliver will share sounds from his own musical project Leech.
And speaking of The Shed, is it all about events this season?
Oliver has typically taken a non-traditional approach to the runway, staging party-presentations throughout Hood by Air’s initial run. Ditto for Telfar Clemens, whose concerts at a helicopter pad on the East River and Irving Plaza fused fashion with other mediums. This season, Clemens is expected to stage another event-show similar to last season’s Telfar TV press conference, at 6 p.m. on 16 February. Others are transforming their runways into something more; Batsheva will host an intimate performance on 13 February. Collina Strada’s event on the 16th is expected to blur IRL and URL, while the evening of 10 February is packed down to the minute with parties at Saks (hosted by Julia Fox), Nordstrom (to toast new fashion director Rickie de Sole), Chloé, Gucci, and more. Maybe the show isn’t the thing?
Or is it all about meta?
The pandemic birthed many new ways of presenting fashion online, from Hanifa’s digitally rendered show to Carolina Sarrias’s virtual runway on Animal Crossing. As shows resume with in-person guests, will fashion’s digital-fixation continue? Young designer Maisie Wilen is taking a phygital approach to her fall 2022 collection, partnering with Yahoo on a virtual installation that will debut 12 February at 5 p.m. First of their kind holograms will wear Wilen’s latest collection, bringing the digital into a physical space in a new way—for fashion, at least.
Meanwhile, interest in NFTs is only rising. Alexandre Arnault, the CEO of Tiffany’s, recently debuted his own NFT avatar on Instagram while our colleagues at Vogue Business are tracking every NFT launch from Dolce & Gabbana to Givenchy and beyond. How long until NFT sneakers are the star of a NYFW show?
Who’s missing from the schedule—and who are the new names to know?
With gaps in the schedule left by the absence of Tom Ford (who is postponing due to Covid-related production issues), Thom Browne (who has realigned his show dates to coordinate with the Met Gala), Marc Jacobs, Rodarte, Pyer Moss, Christopher John Rogers—the list goes on—the time is nigh for New York’s new gen. Well-loved brands like Collina Strada and Puppets & Puppets are graduating to be mainstays of the week, with a new cast of emerging talents stepping up.
Saint Sintra, designed by Thom Browne alum Sintra Martins, is already drawing buzz for her show at 6 p.m. on the 12th, as are shows and appointments from Connor McKnight, Judy Turner, Colin LoCasio, and Gogo Graham. A more open schedule has also lured West Coast brand No Sesso back to New York; that show is on 5 p.m. on 16 February. Elena Velez, who launched her collection last season at NYFW, is back as well, with a presentation at 8.p.m. on 11 February.
How will a New York mainstay mark 10 years?
Speaking of the emerging-to-established pipeline, New York’s Eckhaus Latta is celebrating its 10th anniversary with its fall 2022 show. Founded by Rhode Island School of Design alums Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, the brand has risen through the ranks of American fashion with little industry fanfare but huge public support. Their EL jeans, lapped tees, and nubby sweaters have become essentials for downtown types. Where others have struggled to get through the emerging designer slump, Eckhaus and Latta have opened brick-and-mortar stores in New York and Los Angeles, built a thriving e-commerce business, and been the subject of an exhibition at The Whitney. With a recently launched shoe collection and an outerwear collaboration with Moose Knuckles, things are still on the come-up for Eckhaus Latta. The show is 9 p.m. on 12 February. One surprise? It’s not in Bushwick.
What is American fashion now?
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art cast a wide definition of American Fashion with its exhibition “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Part two, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” will be teased in a press event on 15 February. What to expect? The show itself will take place in the museum’s period rooms, merging fashion’s past and present in vignettes that reflect the shifts in American taste.
What Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute Andrew Bolton did so well with the first part of the exhibit—and presumably will continue this spring—includes all types of fashion brands and all kinds of designers. Runway mainstays like Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs feature in “A Lexicon of Fashion” alongside artist-designers like Eli Russell Linnetz and Miguel Adrover and designers with no NYFW presence at all like Tremaine Emory of Denim Tears and Heron Preston.
Maybe New York Fashion Week could learn something from Bolton’s expansive definitions of what constitutes American fashion. Aren’t we supposed to be calling this the American Collections Calendar, anyway? With Mike Amiri staging a show in Los Angeles on the eve of NYFW and the Detroit-based art collective Deviate posting up in a Broadway loft last week, fashion is coming from all corners of the United States. How can fashion week truly go national?
Rihanna set the street style bar in Harlem with her pregnancy shoot—how will we top that?
Even with smaller shows, fashion editors, stylists, photographers, models, and influencers will be running around New York all week in their best outfits. Will anyone be brave enough to wear extra long jeans—and a midriff-baring puffer in the cold à la Rihanna? Maybe Julia Fox will…the actress and New York native has made a crop top and low rise jeans—sans coat—her winter uniform for running around town with her new paramour Ye. Or maybe another celebrity style star will rise? Increased interest in what’s going on outside the shows—who is wearing what and with whom—has stolen a little shine from the front rows. These days you don’t need to be in the room to make an impact on style.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com.