Knights of High Fashion
For most students, September means back-to-school shopping and readapting to a life of less fun and more work. For a select few, however, there are eight days in September that are spent doing much more than purchasing new backpacks and textbooks. It is every fashion lover’s favorite time of year: New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
From Sept. 5-12, hundreds of designers — both established and emerging, as well as three fashion schools — showcased their spring 2014 collections at Lincoln Center. Betsey Johnson, Zac Posen and Marc Jacobs were a few of the many designers that graced the runway.
School of Arts and Sciences juniors Jarrell Chalmers and Lauren Lizette Mateo were just a few of the young rising fashionistas present at Fashion Week this past week.
Chalmers was able to meet one of his favorite designers, Rembrandt Duran of Adeen, and network with other designers about his very own hat line, Qilo.
“Fashion Week felt like a festival.” Chalmers said. “One would think it would be intimidating, but it wasn’t. Everyone was personable.”
Mateo was fortunate to meet her favorite designer, Diego Murillo, who she believes is one of the most genuine and talented designers at fashion week.
The collections this season varied from exquisite gowns to everyday wear. However, there has been a noticeable transition to a more consumer-focused design aesthetic than in previous years.
“This change of aesthetic — from art to atmosphere — is discouraging to me as a consumer.” Mateo said. “I think social media has helped this kind of selling approach, rather than the approach driven by artistic value, because it has made the brand a part of the consumers’ atmosphere.”
Alejandra Velez, a Rutgers Business School junior, was more receptive to the change.
“It makes sense to me that designers might deliberately focus on the consumer sometimes because it is a business, and I’m sure they’re looking to sell their pieces,” Velez said.
Designers like Oscar de la Renta played with colors, contrasting from checked wool skirts to sorbet pink tulles, while Thom Browne stuck with white fabric accompanied with strokes of lace and silk details.
More than 300 collections were shown during New York Fashion Week, where designers left lasting impressions and stirred buzz as they headed off to upcoming shows in London, Milan and Paris.
The Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week demonstrates how fashion truly has the ability to empower and affect those who in engage in it.
“That’s why I love fashion week.” Mateo said. “It gives meaning back to the word ‘fashion.’ It gives a platform to a lot of new designers and even provides some unexpected experience for a college student like me.”