A Recap of New York Fashion Week Spring 2018

After a week of some of the biggest brands, designers, and celebrities all showing out for New York Fashion Week Spring 2018, it's now time to take a look back at some highlights. During a time when many people are questioning the importance of New York Fashion Week in comparison to its European counterparts, designers delivered some signature moments to lighten the discrediting of the festivities, even if only briefly. Brands like Helmut Lang, Opening Ceremony, Kith, Fenty Puma by Rihanna, and Alexander Wang all brought their own signature aesthetic to their respective shows. Here is a recap of some of the most entertaining shows from New York Fashion Week.

Some of the biggest celebrity cameos of the week came at Ronnie Fieg's Kith Sport show. The designer's second fashion show took place on Thursday night at the Classic Car Club Manhattan, where he showed off upcoming collections with brands like Moncler, Adidas Soccer, Champion, Iceberg, and Nike. Virgil Abloh, Scott Disick, and Carmelo Anthony were among the crowd, but two of the most memorable guests appeared on the runway. First, NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen walked down the catwalk sporting pieces from Fieg's upcoming Nike collaboration. If that wasn't enough, Fieg decided to close out the show by putting a spotlight (literally) onto arguably the best basketball player in the world, LeBron James, who lip-synched the lyrics to Kanye West and Jay Z's “H.A.M.” 

Kith Spring/Summer 2018 Fashion Show
Kith's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Randy Brooke/WireImage)

This past Saturday night, Alexander Wang took to Brooklyn to celebrate #WangFest. The mobile show included the likes of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner stepping out of an Alexander Wang tour bus before strutting down the Brooklyn streets. Their looks, complete with party style hats that read “WangFest,” further alluded to the show's party atmosphere. Notable attendants included Kim Kardashian West and Kris Jenner, amongst others. Of course, the after party that Wang has become known for did not disappoint either. Cardi B and Ja Rule hit the stage to perform, and Dunkin Donuts, Dominos, and Budweiser took care of the food and drinks for the affair. 

Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2018 Fashion Show
Alexander Wang's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Gotham/GC Images)

Sunday night brought about even more festivities with Rihanna showing off her motocross and surf-inspired Spring 2018 Fenty line at the Park Avenue Armory. This was Rihanna's return to New York after her last two collections were debuted in Paris. Staying true to the theme, dirt bike riders tricked off of ramps over pink sand mountains to start the show. RiRi also took her bow on the back of a motorbike. The show boasted a star-studded front row that included Cardi B, Offset, Big Sean, and Jhené Aiko, to name a few.

Fenty Puma by Rihanna's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show
Fenty Puma by Rihanna's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Randy Brooke/WireImage)

Opening Ceremony decided to show off its Spring 2018 collection a little differently as well. Humberto Leon and Carol Lim debuted their collection using a dance performance titled “Changers,” which was written and directed by Spike Jonze. The collection itself featured plays on the collegiate wardrobe like varsity jackets, club T-shirts, sweatpants, and flannel shirts.

On Monday, Shane Oliver debuted his first collection for Helmut Lang at Pearl River Mart. The collection heavily referenced Lang's archive with a lot of pieces featuring fetish design, and leather accents as an added twist from Oliver. The former Hood By Air designer also included memorable head-turners—like an oversized bra that converts into a bag—in his collection. The ready-to-wear featured a line of Helmut Lang tour merch that featured red and white “HELMUT” branding throughout. ASAP Ferg, Ian Connor, Lil Yachty, Jerry Lorenzo, and more were among those who sat front row. 

Helmut Lang Spring/Summer 2018 Fashion Show
Helmut Lang's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Catwalking)

 

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Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma Spring 2018 Fashion Show Was the Thrilling Moment NYFW Needed

Last night, Rihanna brought her Fenty Puma by Rihanna Spring 2018 collection back to New York (she showed her last two collections in Paris). The grand fashion show took place at the Park Avenue Armory, a historic building that fills an entire city block on Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood. Rihanna, who also launched her Fenty Beauty line last week, and her team completely transformed the venue. There were pink sand dunes. There were also two ramps at the center of the sandy set. The show opened with a trio of motocross stuntmen, who did backflips over the mountains of pink sand below. This was no ordinary runway show.

The collection itself was inspired by a cross between motocross and surf. Models like Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls, and Slick Woods sauntered in pieces inspired by a cross between motocross and surf. There were tracksuits with neon bungee cords, loose trousers, lace-up bathing suits, driving pants rendered with checkered flag graphics and sporty decals, oversized sweatshirts, and basketball and booty shorts in neon colors. Rihanna and her team also designed footwear and accessories, including a Creeper shoe made with neoprene materials, translucent stacked soles, and bungee cord laces, as well as thong-heeled sandals, ankle strap heels, new Fenty slides, chokers, a metallic puffy bag, visors, baseball caps, a giant fanny pack, and more. “It was a challenge to bring them together but it ended up being the perfect combination,” Rihanna said about the collection’s inspiration in a press release.

Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE

But perhaps the most impressive thing about last night’s show was Rihanna’s ability to make the presentation unique and entertaining. Since debuting her first Fenty Puma by Rihanna collection in New York last year, the singer has experimented with different ways of presenting her line. For Spring 2017, she hosted guests at the majestic Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris and sent models down the catwalk in designs inspired by what Marie Antoinette would’ve worn to the gym. For the school-inspired Fall 2017 collection, invites were mocked up as detention cards and the venue, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, looked like something out of the Harry Potter series, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and rows of long study tables with green reading lamps in front of every seat, which later served as the models’ catwalks.

Last night’s show accomplished much of the same things: Impressive venue, daring designs, Rihanna’s DNA all over the presentation, and a star-studded front row (Cardi B, Offset, Big Sean, Jhene Aiko, Ty Dolla Sign, Fabolous, Whoopi Goldberg, and more were all there last night). What made her Spring 2018 runway show different was the element of a performance. The motocross stuntmen replaced any real “performance” by Rihanna herself or a rapper/singer, but that was more than enough. It was thrilling, without it being over-the-top and unnecessary.

Cardi B and Offset at Fenty Spring 2018 show
Image via Getty/Paul Morigi

As The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman pointed out, several different brands have left New York Fashion Week for Paris. In July, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler jumped ship. Thom Browne, Joseph Altuzarra, and Lacoste have also followed suit. Even men’s brands like John Elliott canceled its annual NYFW show for an appointment-only presentation in The City of Light this past January. And the brands that did show up mainly stuck to the traditional, tired fashion show format. At a time when labels are opting out of NYFW, Rihanna brought excitement back to New York.

Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE
Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE
Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE
Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE
Joan Smalls at Fenty Spring 2018 runway show
Image via Getty/Victor VIRGILE
Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Randy Brooke
Fenty Spring 2018 Runway Show
Image via Getty/Paul Morigi

 

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