NYFW FW20: All the best looks from Carolina Herrera, Palm Angels and Anna Sui runways
First impressions: Fringe, suede boots, ponchos... it was all things Americana as Palm Angels' Francesco Ragazzi looked to the West for inspiration. It's a shift from the usual stuff we've seen from the designer and film producer, and in this day and age where the Internet is quick to call 'cultural appropriation', he was brave to put out a collection that heavily incorporated the Navajo print. Where Ragazzi aced, however, was when the Southwest sartorial clues were more subtle and streetwear was mixed in with smart tailoring.
Favourite looks: Fringe was a dominant trend on the runway, from a baby blue blouse to a suede skirt and leather pants. A giant red overcoat, finished with metallic lining, and incorporating both fringed and plaid in it, was a standout piece, as was a men's two-piece outfit with a digitally-printed mountainside scene.
Favourite accessories: The hats — some a mix between a bowler and a cowboy style, another, a wide-brimmed one in black — made quite the impression. The styling of blinged-out necklaces with casual sweaters was on point, and perfectly encapsulated Ragazzi's street-luxe vibe.
First impressions: Big. Bold. Beautiful. This is Wes Gordon's second anniversary as creative director for Carolina Herrera, and he has remarkably successfully injected a sense of youthfulness into the house. He had looked to 17th-century Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbarán, who was known for his Baroque works, for inspiration, but placed a modern, romantic spin on his work by using a bright palette and plenty of volume for maximum impact. Backstage, Gordon mentioned that his guiding point this season was, 'the grand gesture', which succinctly sums up the 45-piece collection that walked the white carpet.
Favourite looks: It's honestly a tough call to choose the favourite looks from this collection, especially when so many of the pieces that passed before us had a beautiful drape or detailing that was worth noticing. That said, hard-to-ignore standout looks include the ones that displayed a beautiful use of lavish colours, over-the-top ruffled masterpieces and look-at-me gowns.
Favourite accessories: The models had their hair centre-parted and slicked back, with just a slick of lipstick adorning their otherwise bare-looking faces, so there was little to distract from the clothing, but we loved that the use of veils added a touch of elegance to the presentation. Also lovely were the dove-shaped earrings, one side worn longer than the other.
First impressions: As a rule of thumb, most runways have the brightest of lights — all the better for editors take in intricate details, and for influencers to snap the best pics for the 'gram. But when the lights came on at the Anna Sui fall/winter 2020 show, a group of models stood at the front of the runway, awash in ghoulish red. Sui was taken by the idea of an "optimistic vampire" and drew references from old horror films like Daughters of Darkness and Blood and Black Lace for the collection. From Victorian elements to dramatic numbers, this is perhaps one of the designer's darkest and most provocative shows yet.
Favourite looks: Though glam-horror was the order of the day, Sui's bohemian leanings still shone through in the printed fabrics, done in collaboration with Liberty. This season's silhouettes are surprisingly sexy and cinched in (a departure from her usual style), and also explored the new use of materials like full-on vinyl looks and sequins with shearling and faux fur.
Favourite accessories: We might be fans of stylish flats and sneakers, but when a quirky rendition of a chunky, sky-high boot presents itself before us, we're not ones to refuse. Even better, when said shoe(s) are done in collaboration with John Fluevog, a master in mixing cool with comfortable? We're sold.