Downton Abbey goes to the disco. That was the extremely pleasurable distillation of Mark Badgley and James Mischka’s influences for their Fall Winter show, which was inspired by the hit TV show’s costume and set designs, with streaks of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album throughout.
The result, as ever, was beautiful: silver and flowers, glitter and feathers, luxurious lounge pants, and stunningly cut evening gowns with metallic finishes. There were brown trenches with soft grey collars, pleated dresses with geometric design; sleeves, puffing out grandly; blazers with crisp, high-collared shirts, fitted-then-flaring Cinderella frocks, and the kind of dramatic, shimmering evening-wear that would look mighty fine alongside Dame Maggie Smith saying something mean at dinner.
Badgley Mischka is the best way to begin a New York Fashion Week morning, because it is the equivalent of fashion Mimosa; bubbly, fun, the right kinds of glamorous, luxe, and also welcoming. And it was fun to see where Lady Mary would have ended up, blissed out dancing to “Here Comes The Sun.” Tim Teeman
Rag & Bone
This season, Rag & Bone dares to answer the question: “How will hot people dress during the apocalypse?” The label by Marcus Wainwright sent a cast of cyberpunk-looking models, many with shocks of green, pink, or blue hair, down the runway in its typical tailored-with-a-twist style. Y2K staples like ruching, cargo, and knitwear were aplenty, and the collection could double as costumes for a film about sexy hackers. Nothing you haven’t seen before, perhaps, but enough to satisfy anyone looking to emulate the 90s nostalgia. Also: trucker hats are back! Alaina Demopoulos
Less than a week after dressing Demi Lovato in a crisp white pantsuit for the Super Bowl, Sergio Hudson took his first stab at fashion week. The end result was as sharp as the extra high stilettos his models gamely wore on the runway; the designer’s expert tailoring and richly colored menswear proved why the likes of Michelle Obama and Beyoncé are fans.
The collection, Hudson wrote on Instagram, was inspired by “childhood icons” like Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, and Tina Turner. His lineup of models channeled their inner divas well, walking slowly, dripping in furs, with enough exposed flesh to keep a double sided tape factory in business all year. Most of all, the dramatic, Dynasty-esque dressing proved a much bemoaned fashion week can still be genuine fun. AD
The soundtrack to the Private Policy show—by Laurent Vacher/Maison Labtonic—made its intention very clear: a mash-up of voices intoned the voices of those who narrate the advertisements for various prescription medication: the endless possible second conditions; mentions of illness and depression.
If you were still scratching your head, Private Policy designers Haoran Li and Siying Qu left a large piece of paper on each seat, laying out the brand’s intention “to uncover the dark side of the American pharmaceutical industry.” The show was called “Get Well Soon,” and the sentiment was aimed at the pharma-industry itself, which was sick and needs to be cured, according to Private Policy—from high pricing, to spending more on marketing than research, and collusion with insurance companies.
The clothes themselves looked utilitarian—plays on overalls and medical attire, with sudden mocking, satiric flourishes, like pink latex gloves worn on the hand, and then, inflated, on the side of outfits in a mad, frou-frou cluster like feathers. The audience smiled at the clothes, but Private Policy wasn’t joking around. TT
Remember when Meghan Markle accidentally left a tag on the cherry lace dress she wore to Australia? That came courtesy of Self-Portrait, Han Chong’s popular womenswear line, known for its romantic silhouettes and girlish appliqués like bows and polka dots. Those usual suspects are back in his fall collection, which toughened up feminine staples by adding lots of vinyl, cinched weights, and skin cutouts. Think what you’d wear to a leather bar in Greenwich, Connecticut. The only distressing detail: Self-Portrait continued the flattering-for-no one trend of dresses over pants. AD
This NYFW season seems especially plagued with questions about the institution’s relevance, whether it’s Tom Ford decamping to Los Angeles for his show or Calvin Klein cancelling his all together. From the looks of her defiant fall collection, Claudia Li could care less. The designer, who made her debut in 2018, manifested a kind of fantasy dressing that’s also extremely wearable. Chunky kits and sweaters were paired with lightweight leather pants and skirts. Oversized coats came finished with pussybow necklines. The end result walked a fine line of looking polished without being prissy, and edgy without trying too hard. AD