The last six days saw New York Fashion Week (NYFW) come back in full force—and full of art. Among other things, Tommy Hilfiger created his own Andy Warhol-like Factory, Ulla Johnson sourced inspiration from the works of Louise Bourgeois and Lee Krasner, and Marni spotlighted an emerging Italian artist while making its NYFW debut under the Manhattan Bridge.
Here are our highlights from the spring-summer 2023 shows.
After a three-year hiatus, the American brand returned to NYFW with Tommy Factory, a “phygital” world inspired by Andy Warhol’s Factory, complete with a tinfoil-covered catwalk and Mylar balloons (both IRL and AR) modeled after the artist’s “Silver Clouds.” While it happened at Brooklyn’s Skyline Drive-In, the show was live-streamed on Roblox; created with British designer Richard Quinn and featuring a preppy new TH Monogram from the illustrator Fergus Purcell, its men’s, women’s, and gender-inclusive styles became available to purchase in real time. Warhol favorites Bob Colacello, the former Interview magazine editor, and the actress-model Donna Jordan walked the real-world runway alongside the likes of Julia Fox, Lila Moss, Precious Lee, and Hari Nef, while a metaverse show featured Superplastic avatars Janky, Guggimon, and Dayzee. Naturally, there was NFT swag.
For her spring-summer 2023 collection, the New York-based designer looked both to nature and to art—specifically, to the fabric works of Louise Bourgeois and to the Abstract Expressionist paintings of Lee Krasner. The result was a highly colorful and textural presentation—think shibori silk twill separates as well as hand-knit, appliqué-mesh, and floral-crochet dresses in shades of violet, rose, orange, cerulean, and pollen yellow—amid sculptural installations featuring giant lichens and flowers in bloom.
As harpist Mary Lattimore played in the community garden of El Jardín del Paraíso, designers Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta paid tribute to the artist Matthew Underwood, a friend of Latta’s who passed away in 2019. “He was a printmaker, someone who I had a creative dialogue with; printing on the textiles was like part of an experiment,” the designer told Vogue Runway. Underwood’s landscapes and still lifes adorned a range of colorful and metallic knit tops and dresses, appearing at once figurative and abstract.
For its New York debut—not to mention its first-ever show outside of Milan—the Italian fashion house set up a cobblestone runway under the Manhattan Bridge. Creative director Francesco Risso sourced inspiration from the young, Milan and London-based artist Flaminia Veronesi, whose fantastical watercolors and sculptural works were translated into silk dresses, crop tops, and short shorts in semi-transparent knits and jerseys, as well as oversize denim trousers featuring color-saturated, circular prints. Risso also played the cello with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, which performed an original composition by Dev Hynes to accompany the presentation (along with the sounds of subway trains overhead).
At the National Arts Club, the artist-turned-designer Carly Mark combined a few seemingly disparate inspirations that speak (with a surreal sense of humor) to her life in New York: Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, the city’s nightlife, and French artist Gustave Doré’s haunting, 19th-century illustrations for Dante’s Inferno. The resulting mix included lamé evening dresses in a flame-like ombré, stretch-lace and power-mesh lingerie, tropical wool suiting, sequins, and handbags featuring resin chocolate-chip cookies, bananas, telephones, and demons.
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