New York Fashion Week ends today, drawing to a close one of the most confusing fashion seasons to date. Some designers were showing collections for the spring (per tradition). Some were showing collections for the fall, as in, right now. Some were showing smaller collections for the fall at consumer-facing shows while withholding their spring collections for an appointment-only audience of press and buyers. Others stepped out of the consumers’ eye all together and kept their entire collection behind closed doors, for the press and buyers.
Amid such changes, some season-defining moments stuck out in the sea of street style Instagram posts. To honor them, we’ve compiled a list of New York Fashion Week winners and losers. See you in the spring.
Best sign of the times
J. Mendel held his fashion show on Instagram Stories, proving that you can skip the runway entirely and find a space of your own on the photo-sharing app’s live story feature, which launched earlier this summer. Move over, Misha Nonoo: Hosting your runway show on Refinery 29’s Snapchat account has been bumped to second place.
See-now-buy-now. No one could think of a simpler term that captures the idea of showing clothes in season?
Best party you weren’t invited to
Harper’s Bazaar Icons party, held Friday night at the Plaza Hotel. Kanye West performed for fashion and entertainment’s finest, and social media exploded.
Best fashion show you couldn’t attend
Tom Ford’s seated dinner and fashion show, held at the Four Seasons. Ford returned to fashion week after taking the fall 2016 season off in February to reconfigure his collection as a see-now-buy-now showing. In attendance: 160 guests, including Zayn Malik, Julianne Moore, Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz.
Hardest act to follow
Tommy Hilfiger is going to have a hard time figuring out how to one-up his own showing, which was the biggest spectacle of the season. A Gigi Hadid collection, a carnival, a Taylor Swift front row appearance, and a Facebook Messenger “fashion bot”? Tommy left it all on the table.
Most mentions on social
Seriously, Tommy, how are you going to one-up this??
Most media love
Christian Siriano, for his diverse runway show. Siriano sent models of different body sizes, ethnicities and races down the runway in one of the most well-received fashion shows of the season.
Worst kept secret
Alexander Wang’s “surprise” capsule collection made with Adidas Originals. The designer, who earlier this year said that a see-now-buy-now approach wouldn’t work logistically for his brand, couldn’t resist selling the people something. After teasing the collection on Instagram, he announced the capsule collection at his SS17 show with a dramatic video screening.
“Americans have turned off of fashion,” Tom Ford, American fashion designer, told Hollywood Reporter. It should be noted that Ford, in addition to designing fashion, is also directing films. His movie “Nocturnal Animals” premiered on Sept. 2.
Show with the least payoff
Yeezy Season 4. Kanye West’s fashion show consisted of a controversial casting call that asked for only “multiracial” models, a last-minute trek for editors from Manhattan to Randall’s Island through midtown traffic, a three-hour start delay and models falling victim to heat exhaustion. And after all that, the fashion itself was just meh.
Platform du jour
Instagram Stories. Brands, designers, press and social media stars have stuffed Instagram’s new feature full of fashion week content. A brief survey taken outside of Moynihan Station on Sunday among designers, bloggers and freelance writers found that for those attending shows, Instagram has become a one-stop shop for both purposeful photography and quick-and-dirty video clips.
Platform that still hasn’t died
Snapchat. Instagram Stories may have taken over some of the runway-side attention, but Snapchat still hosted live stories, Discover Channels and sponsored geotags alongside fashion week.
The new fashion family
Remember when Kendall Jenner was unavoidable on every major runway? She’s still around, but the Hadids have officially become the most oversaturated fashion clan at New York Fashion Week. Look in one direction, there’s Gigi. Turn your head, there’s Bella.
Best feel-good move
J.Crew using its staff, friends and family as the models for its presentation. Shout out to the normals.
Most ubiquitous party guests
Any Real Housewife, spotted in any party’s photos you click through.
Best paid-to-wear product launch
Michael Kors Access, the brand’s first smartwatch. It launched right at the beginning of fashion week and was later seen on the wrist of Chiara Ferragni, the social media star known as The Blonde Salad.
Ralph Lauren, who, after not announcing a fashion week plan, finally declared on Wednesday that the brand would be joining in on the see-now-buy-now movement. Surprise!
The worst use of Snapchat
At Desigual, the models went down the runway sporting looks fashioned after Snapchat’s ubiquitous lenses, including the dog face and the flower crown. The looks would have been better suited at a Halloween party.
Most multitasking fashion media
All fashion editors are crazy busy during New York Fashion Week, but Vogue really went into overdrive this season. Beyond standard show coverage, the publication launched its Snapchat Discover channel, relaunched Vogue Runway and debuted the long-awaited new Style.com. For good measure: it tossed a fashion coloring book into the works, too.
Saltiest legal action
GiGi New York, which is threatening to sue Tommy Hilfiger for stepping on its toes with its Tommy x Gigi collection. The handbag brand claims that Tommy Hilfiger using Gigi Hadid’s first name on its items could result in brand confusion.
Most neglected platform
Tumblr. Remember Tumblr?
Most woke show
Opening Ceremony’s Pageant of the People. New York Fashion Week falls in the thick of election season, and Opening Ceremony designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon used their time in the spotlight to show clothes as well as urge attendees to get out and vote.
New York Fashion Week: Men’s. The menswear fashion week has struggled to attract New York’s top designers and gain much traction. Meanwhile, at NYFW, brands that the men’s counterpart was built to attract — Kith, Baja East and VFiles — were all aboard. A case for NYFW:M is now a lot harder to make.
Shareen Pathak contributed to this story.