New York Fashion Week: Fashion statements for the Instagram generation by Victoria Beckham

 

New York Fashion Week is often perceived as a triumph of salesmanship over showmanship. Artistic endeavours are all well and good, but it won’t pay those extortionately high Manhattan rents.

That’s not to say there aren’t flashy theatrics and inventive clothes here: for the former, see Alexander Wang’s autumn/winter 2014 show, held in Brooklyn on Saturday evening. A rotating platform and blasting hot-air vents transformed black thermo-chromatic clothes into brilliant colour for a memorable finale. Memorable, because it was instantly immortalised on Instagram.

Wang’s clothes do very well online, not just sales-wise, but in terms of creating an impact and a buzz. This outing was saturated with sickly colour, chartreuse, electric blue and aubergine as well as lots of black. They glowed phosphorescent in the light of several thousand iPhone cameras simultaneously snapping.

But they’re relatively easy to wear. This is a quality Wang brings to his offerings for the Parisian label Balenciaga, too. It’s one of the reasons the luxury conglomerate Kering employed the young talent: creating covetable, unchallenging product that chings at the tills.

Victoria Beckham is also a designer of the Instagram age, but in a different way. With David, Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper in the front row, the cameras tend to be diverted from the catwalk.

 

The clothes are quiet, reserved, luxurious. This time, coats and dresses were loosely looped with a thick gold chain, models strode out on flat crocodile winklepickers, and pleated dresses were folded around the body. There were distinct echoes of Phoebe Philo’s last outing for Céline: but fashion is full of Philo-philes.

Beckham’s fashion is ideally suited for New York. It’s polished, it’s expensive, it will break the bank but never break new ground. Beckham may not have been schooled in how to design clothing (she readily admits that), but she knows what well-heeled, well-off women will want to buy. She’s clever.

Joseph Altuzarra is clever too. But his clothes are more difficult. Altuzarra is a sexy, souped-up label, curvy seams carving out new erogenous zones around his models. This collection showed Altuzarra in a softer mood, opening with bathrobe-soft double face coats cocooning models in cobalt blue, khaki and fuchsia, with sensuality rather than sexuality evoked in apron-front dresses of heavily-textured embroidered cloth.

They looked a bit like Ikea rag rugs strapped against the models’ bodies. Difficult to pull off. But, unlike many others at New York Fashion Week, Altuzarra is worth the effort.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

    £13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

    £16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

    Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Support Engineer

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Support Engi...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence