1. A girl-coded dress lights up Zac Posen’s collection:
Zac Posen showcased a dazzling, one-of-a-kind dress on the runway this week. Embedded with over 500 LED lights programmed to display different designs, the dress was coded by a team of remarkable teenage girls through a partnership with Made With Code. Posen said he “wanted his design to act as a showcase for the ‘magical possibility of young women’s creativity.” Who said coding couldn’t be couture?
2. Models with (and without) prosthetic limbs own the catwalk during FTL Moda’s inclusive show:
FTL MODA’s runway show this week stunned us with its bold splashes of color, and its inclusion of an all-star cast of models, some of whom have disabilities. Among them was Rebekah Marine, who sports a bionic arm, and up-and-coming model Shaholly Ayers. Ayers was the first amputee to walk a New York Fashion Week show without a prosthesis. FTL Moda’s show was in partnership with Global Disability Inclusion, LLC, and together they’re aiming to increase the visibility of models with disabilities in the fashion industry.
3. Plus size models are embraced like never before:
Props to designer Chromat for including not one, but two curvy models in their line-up this week. In an interview with Fashionista earlier this year, Chromat’s designer Becca McCharen said, “I’m so against all white, straight, skinny girl runways. That just doesn’t reflect my reality and who I am and who the Chromat woman is.” The two models featured in the show, Sabina Karlsson and Denise Bidot, have both become advocates for more diversity in the fashion industry. Also making waves across social media this week has been Lane Bryant’s #PlusisEqual campaign, encouraging women of all sizes to embrace and celebrate their bodies. As Bidot’s mantra goes, “there’s no wrong way to be a woman.”
4. Madeline Stuart rocks the catwalk:
Australian model Madeline Stuart made headlines when her activewear and swimwear photos were discovered in May on Facebook, and quickly went viral. This week, she rocked the FTL Moda and Hendrik Vermeulen runways, as one of the first models with Down Syndrome to book a New York Fashion Week show. And Stuart isn’t stopping there. She’s got big plans this year, as the face of two new campaigns for EverMaya and activewear brand Manifesta.
5. Pyer Moss pays tribute to women victims of police brutality:
Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond made a bold political statement about police brutality during his runway show this week. A 15 minute film that aired before the show included sobering visuals and audio interviews with relatives of Eric Garner and Sean Bell, along with details about other lesser-known incidents. The designer’s clothing followed, with pieces inspired by the “Black Lives Matter” movement, including a pair of paint-spattered boots that listed female victims of police brutality. Jean-Raymond has been subjected to New York’s “Stop and Frisk” policy himself, and emphasizes the importance of actively criticizing police practices.
6. Design duo Namilia makes a playful statement about male power:
It’s not just the models and designers themselves who have left us speechless this week. One collection of garments, by design duo Namilia, made a politically charged yet playful statement about male power. In their collection titled “My Pussy, My Choice,” Namilia showcased a number of garments emblazoned with cartoon-y, latex penises. “It’s like playing the penis game,” designers Emilia Pfohl and Nan Li have said of their use of the phallic symbol. “The more often and louder you say it, the more harmless it becomes.” The collection also pays homage to a number of female musicians, among them Lana Del Rey and Miley Cyrus, who the designers believe are redefining “sexy” on their own terms.
7. NYFW’s largest queer fashion show with special guest, genderfluid model Elliot Sailors:
The week will be capped off by VERGE, the largest of NYFW’s queer events and fashion shows, at the Brooklyn Museum. The show will spotlight eight designers embracing gender nonconformity, race, and culture. What’s more, it’s free and open to the public. Expect to be stunned by trans-identified models, with special guest gender-fluid model Elliot Sailors. Sailors, who started her career in womenswear and transitioned to menswear to expand her career options, has made big leaps to defy gender stereotypes within the fashion industry.