New York Fashion Week, after leaving the centralized hubs of Lincoln Center and Bryant Park before it, has found itself geographically scattered around Manhattan. Designers and fashion houses are quick to find runway alternatives in downtown event spaces like Milk Studios or Skylight Clarkson. Finding a unique venue has become a secondary challenge, and sometimes event production appears as little more than a means to an end.
Self-Portrait, in presenting their Fall Winter 2016 collection, clearly chose a different way.
Located in a sprawling, classic Downtown loft – more the early working kind that was likely a sewing factory in a previous incarnation – the Soho space became as integral to the presentation as the models and production itself.
A vast hall, open to an Old New York skylight, framed in steel and exposed to “un-gentrified” 19th century brick, had the scale and drama of a full catwalk. And Self Portrait’s collection filled the open space with a minimalism that’d be possibly overlooked in one of the more common super-studios.
An up-lit stage and a couple dozen Phillip Starck Ghost Chairs helped stage the collection with grace.
The clothing presented was futuristic but precious. Instead of the bland uniform aesthetic that talk of futurism usually evokes, it was more about color way and form.
The color palette, though inherently reserved due to the nature of the collection, felt unexpectedly harmonious and light. Silvers, blacks and blues let way to elaborate yet refined ornamentation. And the obvious and meticulous, hand worked details left a lasting impression.
Oversized neck pieces, shimmering but downbeat metallic textures, and sleek tubular silhouettes were all styled expertly. Floral prints, with careful cutouts and bold outlines, felt more like modern illustration.
And the space, far from an afterthought, only further emboldened the presentation.
What makes clothing “modern” to you? Is it the colors, the shapes, the textures? Let us know in the comments.