NYFW FW20: Bite-sized reviews of the Sandy Liang, Tory Burch and Sies Marjan runway shows
First impressions: The Sandy Liang girl is growing up, and she's graduating soon — which is why the fall/winter 2020 runway show was held at Liang's old alma mater, Stuyvesant High School. The designer has been known to look back on her childhood for inspiration (her spring/summer 2015 show was held at Les Mainstay Congee Village, her parent's Chinese restaurant) and this collection sees her moving away from Polly Pocket and Spongebob Squarepants to a more sophisticated collection for post-adolescent life.
Favourite looks: The looks may have grown up a little compared to past seasons, but what Liang has excelled in has always been to add a hint of cheekiness to her designs. Take for example, the large anime-like eye prints emblazoned across her pieces, which she says were inspired by a Sailor Moon item her grandfather bought her as a child, or the frothy pink ensembles that were styled with her popular fleece jackets or paired with cowboy boots.
Favourite accessories: Liang has collaborated with Vans on a new collection, and the designer took the chance to debut them at her fall/winter 2020 show. What started out as chats over DM, has evolved into a '90s inspired unisex line that combines mixed colours, materials and prints like leopard, tartan and butterflies.
First impressions: As guests streamed into Sotheby's for the Tory Burch fall/winter 2020 show, the first thing we were greeted by was a bubblegum pink sculpture by Francesca DiMattio. The artist's works, which challenge the ideas of power and femininity, would be seen through the runway, as models weaved in and out of different gallery rooms exhibiting the pieces. The collection itself was signature Tory Burch: bright happy colours, beautiful prints, and finished off with super chic knee-high boots.
Favourite looks: The collaboration between Burch and DiMattio extended beyond the runway set. The American artist was also responsible for creating some of the floral prints used in the collection. This season also saw masculine and feminine elements mixed masterfully: delicate fabrics interspersed by sharp suiting, gorgeously cut coats, and strong shoulders with light dresses.
Favourite accessories: It's always a pleasure to discover collections where designers have chosen to feature comfortable footwear (hello, sneakers, boots and flats) over sky-high heels. This season, we've already seen the knee-high boot countless times down the runway, but the floral-print renditions from Tory Burch still feel fresh and very relevant for the modern woman.
First impressions: With Midtown Manhattan as the backdrop, 37 models took to the runway to showcase a collection that drew from Dutch architecture, as well as an upcoming exhibition later this month at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum by urbanist Rem Koolhass, themed "Countryside, the Future", of which Sies Marjan is a sponsor. This is perhaps designer Sander Lak's most technical collection yet, and the year-long process has given birth to beautiful fabrics done in collaborations with artisans from England, Ireland to the Netherlands.
Favourite looks: The clothing, each inspired by different countryside landscapes, all tell a story of their own. Take, for example, the pressed leaf pattern that was specially dyed using fresh foliage — a technique that's both native to New York City's plant district, as well as in Ithaca. Sustainable versions of silks and wools were also done in partnership with Dutch textile artist Claudy Jongstra. Bright orange knits, foldover pants and skirts, as well as gleaming gold separates came together to form an elegant version of 'farm wear'.
Favourite accessories: Clogs are making a comeback. 'Ugly' shoes have been in the spotlight for awhile, but you just know a trend is about to take off when a designer takes a previously clunky and fussy style, and makes it lust-worthy. Similarly, the oversized bags, worn crossbody and almost looking like an extension of a skirt, were effortlessly cool.