New York Fashion Week returns with a quandary: to dress comfortably or to show off?

New York Fashion Week: A Mix Between Comfort and Show-Off

New York Fashion Week returns after a year of absence– well, physically anyway. The re-emergence of in-person shows is exciting especially after a year of virtual shows. Seeing influencers, celebrities, and creatives congregating in New York City is one I never thought to be exciting but here we are again–living vicariously through them. 

While watching NYFW for me (or for my fellow onlookers) has not changed, seeing physical shows online still hits different. Whether it’s the fact that a little bit of normalcy is achieved or that there is a sense of excitement and inspiration that ensues to spectators like us. 

Trends obviously are dictated by big fashion houses. It’s either they predict new styles or reflect the current social environment; it almost always starts with them. This time, NYFW reflected our internalized dilemma of whether it’s best to stick with comfort dressing or progress to show off more? 

New York Fashion Week: A Mix Between Comfort and Show-Off

Photo Credit: Gabriela Hearst

Working from home, online schooling, and isolating during the lockdown prove to reflect current fashion trends. This season, comfort dressing is exhibited in plenty of creative ways. One of them is Gabriela Hearst’s spring RTW collection. It features a cozy, colourful knitted poncho which was created in collaboration with artisan weavers from Bolivia, Uruguay, and Navajo Nation. Rodarte, on the other hand, tones it down with a collection of breezy muted dresses. Models walked barefoot on a stone-paved runway dressed in silky dresses. A modern woman’s version of comfort. 

New York Fashion Week: A Mix Between Comfort and Show-Off

Photo Credit: Willy Chavarria

On the other side of the comfort dressing spectrum, Willy Chavarria’s menswear shows distinct wide-leg trousers. The wide pleated trousers are cinched in the waist and are styled with boxer shorts peaking through the waistband. The big, slouchy silhouettes shown throughout the collection emulate 90s old-school streetwear– probably intended to move men away from tight skinny trousers.

New York Fashion Week: A Mix Between Comfort and Show-Off

Photo Credit: Prabal Gurung

As much as we revel in comfortable clothes, NYFW wouldn’t be complete without excess and extravagance. Besides, the idea of dressing to impress is not at all gone in most of us. Perhaps, the notion of comfortability while still looking impressive can be combined. Jeremy Scott’s Moschino took this idea in a literal sense by making a collection inspired by nursery rhymes. It’s impressive, of course, because who else would dare to put an elephant trunk on a gown? His use of childish prints evokes comfort in our inner child– or at least that’s what I think he meant to do. The collection is adorable, fun, and polarizing which is frankly what I like to see when witnessing a new collection. It’s almost as if the fashion community is starved with something as crazy as this, and that alone is a comforting thought. 

On the contrary, Prabal Gurung challenges the idea of showing off while being comfortable by releasing a collection that explores the question, “who gets to be a girl?”. This was inspired by the trans rallies and nonbinary spaces he witnessed in the past year. This further proposes the idea of wearing what makes you comfortable, not only in a literal, physical sense but also in an emotional, identity-defining one. 

Published by HOLR Magazine