New York Fashion Week Day 4: Empowerment, Trump jibes & Lady Macbeth
Feb. 13, 2017
Victoria Beckham sought to empower women. Public School tore into the Donald Trump presidency. Altuzarra delved into Shakespearean tragedy: political climes loomed large over New York fashion week Sunday. Subtle digs or angry opposition to the Donald Trump presidency have colored much of the first four days of the bi-annual style bonanza, mirroring the deep malaise in liberal America over changing times. Here are the catwalk highlights of the day:
Beckham sought to overcome her husband's simmering email scandal by unveiling another beautifully tailored collection of clothes, her football legend husband and their children sitting in the front row.
It was David Beckham's most high-profile public appearance since the scandal broke, arriving with children Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper after sending his wife a bouquet of flowers and a good luck card.
The leak of expletive-laden emails in which he apparently raged about not receiving a knighthood have battered his squeaky-clean image in Britain and had threatened to overshadow his wife's fashion show.
But fashion editors, buyers and fans braved heavy rain in New York on Sunday morning for one thing only: a fall/winter 2017 collection that sought to keep Beckham's loyal, international clientele happy.
There was a London feel with sharply tailored and oversized masculine outerwear, gentleman's club colors of oxblood, navy and black and more feminine rose-beige, powder blue and lipstick red.
It was a strong look made sexy and feminine with chiffon and georgette skirts, leather gloves worn to the elbow, and wedge and heeled boots. "Never has there been a time where it is more important to empower women," Beckham told reporters.
"There is so much going on at the moment in the world and I think that we have to be optimistic. We have to be positive," she said.
Hip New York label Public School offered a political commentary as multi-layered as the clothes on the catwalk with their first return after a year off concentrating on their now terminated stint at DKNY.
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne sent red "Make New York America" hats down the runway, promoting the values of America's immigrant-centric cultural capital, and ripping off Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign hats and the president's rallying cry.
The numbers "44 1/2" were printed on the side, hard not to interpret as another dig at a 45th president who lost the popular vote. They dubbed their show "You're Welcome" -- in contrast to the protectionist, tough on immigration stance of the new administration and printed the picture of basketball legend Michael Jordan onto sportswear garments with the caption "We Need Leaders."
The designers told Women's Wear Daily that the theme was "borders" -- given Trump's planned US-Mexico border wall and what Chow called "this rise of isolationism and nationalism and xenophobia."
"We've created some jacquards that kind of feel like a blown-out map. Or a kind of camo," Osborne told Women's Wear Daily. "So, are you blending in? Are you standing out? What is it really? You don't know exactly what it is."
Altuzarra unveiled a powerful fall/winter collection inspired by Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare's most iconic power-hungry female character, and north European Renaissance painting. It was all Tudor-style head bands, opulent A-line coats that parted in the middle to reveal full skirts and statement earrings.
Designer Joseph Altuzarra said it was a dialogue about identity, a conversation about the past versus the present, and creating a tension. "A lot of my reading of Macbeth was really thinking about power and ambition," he explained.
"I was also looking to a lot of Renaissance painting which obviously has an interesting relationship with power and money with patronage." Like Beckham, he said he wanted his customer to feel "protected" in offering something that felt restrained and yet "quite dressed up."
The French-born, New York-based designer also auctioned off two tickets to the show to raise money for Planned Parenthood, the US women's health care provider that Republican lawmakers want to defund. (AFP)
Photo Credits: Victoria Beckham AW17, Catwalkpictures
Public School: Slaven Vlasic / Getty images North America / AFP