Another New York Fashion Week has come and gone and while this season was relatively quiet, there were still a few standout moments to highlight. Many brands are trying to navigate the changing landscape of traditional runway shows, but in the midst of the unknown, there were several new runway debuts worth noting, along with a few gimmicks that we unabashedly enjoyed anyway (hello Barry Manilow singing “Copacabana” on the runway). From the inspiring to the unexpectedly fun, these were the best moments from the New York Fashion Week Fall 2019 runways.
Nobody knew what to expect from the debut of Japanese costume designer Tomo Koizumi, but what resulted was one of those unexpectedly magical moments that takes the whole room’s breath away. After being discovered by Katie Grand on Instagram last month, the designer was immediately invited to present a collection at Marc Jacobs‘ Madison Avenue store. A star-studded cast of models including Rowan Blanchard, Gwendoline Christie, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Joan Smalls, and more cascaded from a staircase in a series of colorful and whimsical puff gowns. Fashion loves a fairytale story and Koizumi’s—both colorful and unexpected—was just that.
It was a season of model legends making comebacks on the runway. Patti Hansen, who served as the inspiration behind Michael Kors‘ ’70s collection, closed the show in a metallic suit, marking her first runway appearance since the ’90s. Seventies supermodel legend Pat Cleveland led the finale walk at Hellessy in a red hooded gown and sequin pants. And Christie Brinkley closed Elie Tahari‘s 40th anniversary show after high-fiving with her daughter, Sailor Brinkley Cook, on the runway.
Two years since taking the creative reins at Oscar de la Renta, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia delivered their best collection for the fashion house yet. There was strong suiting followed by a series of stunning, red carpet-worthy gowns ranging from feathers to a full ball gown worn by Bella Hadid in the finale. It was an elegant mix of daywear and eveningwear that felt fresh, but still worthy of the late De la Renta’s approval.
Despite the eternal buzz around legacy fashion houses, a growing list of emerging designers proved they’re the ones to watch during NYFW. Instagram-favorite Batsheva made its debut with a performance art presentation, while newbie Khaite staged a stunning first runway collection atop a pile of leaves. Though not their first shows, rising brands Marina Moscone and Area were worth noting too. Moscone presented her collection against a backdrop of books at The Strand, while Area once again delivered a series of ultra fun accessories and ready-to-wear.
From left: Khaite, Marina Moscone, Area, and Batsheva
Giving us the most precious moment of the week, Lela Rose hosted a dog show and a fashion show all in one. The designer presented her Fall 2019 collection with the “Roseminster Dog Show,” which cast both canines and models on the runway. The main takeaway: cocktail dresses and suits look infinitely better when worn next to a lineup of English sheep dogs, poodles, and golden retrievers.
It wouldn’t be NYFW without a surprise runway performance and this season we got not one, but two. The first came in the form of Lil’ Kim closing out The Blonds runway. The rapper performed her classic “The Jump Off” while dancing down the runway in a sparkling gold bodysuit.
Neutrals and bright colors had the ultimate showdown in this season’s collections. Predominantly beige and butter hues shaped collections at The Row, Gabriela Hearst, and Boss, proving you can never go wrong with a classic color palette. But more designers than ever filled the runways with color, color, and more color. Bright pinks, purples, oranges, and blues took over at brands like Carolina Herrera, Sies Marjan, and Rosie Assoulin. But which palette will be the winner come Fall 2019?
From top left: The Row, Boss, Gabriela Hearst; Carolina Herrera, Rosie Assoulin, Sies Marjan
As per usual, Marc Jacobs delivered a theatrical grand finale to the week. This season, the designer tapped Christy Turlington Burns to close his show. The iconic supermodel’s appearance marked her grand return to the runway for the first time in over two decades—with her last walk taking place back in the ’90s. It was an epic, and stunning, return and according to Christy’s Instagram, perhaps her last show ever.
This article first appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.