NEW YORK The trend of showing at large, off-site venues, as seen with the February shows, continued this month for the September iteration of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. And while last season’s lack of heat was replaced by this season’s lack of air-conditioning, designers at the biannual outing— which wrapped September 13—went for an overall aesthetic that was much simpler.
From Lacoste's white-on-white backdrop at the Lincoln Center tents to Jason Wu, who replaced last season’s smoke-filled show bathed in red light with a giant mirrored backdrop and a runway painted white at St. John's Center Studios, the sets, both realized by Bureau Betak, were reflective of the pared-down look designers are showing for spring. The benchmark belonged to Marc Jacobs, who, according to longtime show collaborator Stefan Beckman, wanted to break the graphic lines of the clothes with his mirrored set. “It was all about these hard, simple clothes paired with the luxurious materials of the set,” said Beckman, who used leather, burgundy lacquer, and rich wood in the setting at the 69th Regiment Armory. “The angled triangular runway was hard, geometric, and worked well with the finale of girls as they all rushed on at once. Marc wanted a fast-paced show with lots of girls on the runway.”
However, Fashion Week wasn’t all simple and stark. Y-3 celebrated its 10th anniversary with a show whose alternating colorful set blended a futuristic take on its classic, sports-style wares. Color also reigned supreme at Gant by Michael Bastian, thanks to the Galapagos-inspired scene at Industria Superstudio that came complete with palm leaves, netting, mesh, and drinks and music to match the motif. Last but not least, at Diane von Furstenberg, the designer took her fascination with all things tech-savvy to a new level. As three-dimensional reflective lips hung from the ceiling and served as the backdrop of her show, the designer sent models down the runway wearing the latest technological headpiece, Google Glasses.