Show hopping during New York Fashion Week isn’t getting any easier.
In June, the CFDA revealed plans for yet another change to the event’s landscape: Come 2018, shows will no longer be held at Soho’s Skylight Clarkson Square, NYFW’s primary show location since 2015. For spring 2018, designers are straying even further than usual. Eckhaus Latta is reportedly showing in Bushwick, Tory Burch and Dennis Basso are hosting shows in the Upper East Side, and Ralph Lauren is setting up shop in his garage in Bedford. (Not to mention those who have fled the event altogether in favor of Paris Fashion Week.)
With New York Fashion Week starting to resemble a free-for-all, we asked eight designers to weigh in on the importance of location when it comes to a runway show.
Designer Tanya Taylor:
A lot of thought goes into picking a space that works with and adds to our collection. The venue is really our canvas, where we can share inspiration and bring each collection to life.
The MoMa, which is also my favorite place in New York, is my favorite show space. We showed our brand’s spring collection there in 2013. It’s one of my favorite memories of being in this industry. I hustled and called all their corporate sponsors to give us the opportunity to show in the museum, which had not been done before, and JPMorgan stepped in and gave us the chance to take over the whole museum. Backstage was near old Picassos, and the show was in the Agnes Gund Lobby.
This season, we’re showing in Spring Studios, as it embodies the light, effortless feel of the spring 2018 collection. I love showing spring collections in a natural, light-filled room. We are personalizing the space with 3D artwork that is inspired by the Keukenhof gardens in Amsterdam.
Christian Siriano Fall 2017 runway show (Image via aol.com)
Designer Christian Siriano:
The venue sets the mood. Some seasons we are feeling dark, some glamorous. When I showed at the Plaza [in February 2017], it was all about glamour and a grand feeling; it went with the collection.
ArtBeam was good to me [in September 2016], I loved Lincoln Center for so many reasons. I do miss the old Bryant Park tents — they were the most iconic, I think. (This season, Siriano is showing at Pier 59.)
Michelle Smith, designer of Milly:
Choosing the venue where I show my collections for the first time is such an integral part of my whole creative vision. The full experience for our guests needs to be impactful, and we want the space to tell a story that’s cohesive with my design inspiration. The venue really ties that all together.
I can’t pinpoint one favorite venue, because they’ve all been so special during different points in my journey as a designer — but I do love showing in open, industrial spaces where I have a blank canvas to build my vision.
We’re incredibly excited to be taking the collection off the runway for spring 2018, for the first time since 2004. We’ll be showing in a presentation format at 158 Mercer Street, at our new Milly pop-up space.
Vivienne Tam Fall 2017 runway show (Image via wwd.com)
Designer Vivienne Tam:
The venue is very important to me. Its interior space, layout, atmosphere and location — all this has an impact on the mood of the audience and even the mood of the collection in terms of its presentation.
Bryant Park was my favorite venue. It was centrally located, and it was in a park setting. It even had plants indoors.
I will be at [Skylight] Clarkson Square again this season. I’m a big supporter of NYFW and IMG, and I’ve been with them for many years. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2018.
Designer Gabriela Hearst:
This is our second show, and [we chose] a different location from last season: the Four Seasons Hotel. It’s is an iconic New York building and an architectural jewel. We chose the location months ago, knowing how important it is to show in its Pool Room that hasn’t been opened to the public yet.
Usually, my favorite venues are those that include food.
Designer Dennis Basso:
This year, we decided to leave the industrial look for something rich and elegant, but also modern: The Plaza. There is something about showing in a grand hotel that adds to the atmosphere and complements the collection.
My all-time favorite venue was Bryant Park. There was an unbelievable cohesiveness to have all the designers there, and a feeling of unity and family.
For many years, at the beginning of my career, we showed in all the major hotels. Then we moved to the tent venues and tried a few different spaces and looks. I think there is a trend, as more designers are starting to show in hotels, museums and galleries. Having shown at The Plaza almost 35 years ago, it’s very exciting to be coming back to where I started.
Cho Cho Cheng, designer of Chocheng:
The venue is very important. A well-curated space can convey the theme and mood of your collection better than any written statement. My ideal venue would be somewhere beautiful, accessible and affordable.
My favorite show space is the New York Public Library. It’s a historical landmark and it represents a personal milestone — I did my first runway show there [in 2008].
This season, we are doing a runway show [at Skylight Clarkson Square]. It’s always easier to use an official NYFW venue because they come with an experienced and accommodating production team.
Designer Timo Weiland:
Where you show is always important, because the venue truly becomes the foundation to communicate your inspiration as a designer.
One of my favorite venues was with Samsung 837 [for spring 2017]. It presents a perfect combination of design and function that very closely mirrors the Timo Weiland point of view.
This year, we’re showing our Momentum collection [a collaboration with Crowne Plaza] at the Kia STYLE360 Pavilion at Metropolitan West. Because it’s in the center of New York, it embodies a certain practicality between style and access that illustrates our approach to this collection. It enables us to convey the “runway-to–real way” perspective that represents how most people [dress] today.
Tanya Taylor image via TheFashionSpot.com