Home Arts & Leisure New York Fashion Week: Michael Kors, Cowan, Carolina Herrera celebrate the return...

New York Fashion Week: Michael Kors, Cowan, Carolina Herrera celebrate the return of the live runway

NEW YORK — Designer Michael Kors took over New York City’s landmark Tavern on the Green in Central Park on Friday, his first live runway show since the pandemic began.

Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) protocols restricted his guest list, Mr. Kors said it gave those in attendance an intimate experience. “To be able to put on a live show to me is thrilling. I love people to be able to experience live fashion,” said Mr. Kors.

The brand required all guests to be double vaccinated, while staff, crews and press were given on-site testing before being admitted into the venue. “Lots and lots of checking boxes and being so unbelievably strict with the protocols,” he said.

This season Mr. Kors decided to look at romance through a streamlined and urban lens. The New York native said his inspiration was not just romantic love, but love of friends, family, city, seeing people and more.

He said he created a collection that will help celebrate those moments that we’ve all been craving.

Models including Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner paraded through an outdoor garden, while Broadway star Ariana DeBose performed live.

Mr. Kors said the collection was filled with charm.

“Lots of black and white in the collection,” the designer explained. “A lot of gingham, which just puts a smile on my face, I’m not a picnic kind of guy, but I can have the fantasy. A lot of white embroidery, a lot of white laces and eyelet and things like that.”

Sparkly and shiny fabrics were on full display as designer Christian Cowan presented his Spring/Summer 2022 collection, inspired by the return to New York nightlife after more than a year of stay-at-home restrictions.

Models for Cowan’s collection struck bold, dramatic poses on the runway and interacted with guests at Friday night’s show during New York Fashion Week.

“I think what the pandemic did is it kind of dismantled the structure we normally operate within of the cycles of fashion weeks and all this stuff, and it just allowed us to see that we can do stuff that’s more direct to our customer,” said British-born Mr. Cowan.

“And while we give kind of walk-throughs of the collection to editors, I wanted to give that to everyone at home, and so this was kind of our way of doing that.”

Mr. Cowan says he partnered with Yahoo to incorporate QR code technology into this year’s show.

“I thought it would be a fun nod to the fact that we’ve been spending the past year-and-a-half doing digital things,” said Mr. Cowan.

“So, I incorporated QR codes in some prints and so on and it just kind of brings it to life. I don’t want to ruin it, but basically you can scan garments and things happen.”

Fashion floated high above New York City on Thursday night as designer LaQuan Smith presented his collection on the observation deck of the Empire State Building as part of the New York Fashion Week show.

With a lit up Big Apple around them, models presented sparkly bodysuits, mini dresses as well as frocks and trousers with cutouts. Printed strapless tops were matched with mini skirts and there were lace dresses for the evening.

“… (It) is just really a preview of the transition from comfort zone to glam zone,” Mr. Smith told Reuters. “I’ve taken into the consideration that we are getting back out there again. And so, there’s sort of a spectrum.”

Mr. Smith said he used plenty of suede, printed leathers, terry cloth and Chantilly lace for the line, opting for a color palette of white, camel, black, burgundy and blue.

After two seasons of digital events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Fashion Week has seen a return to in-person shows. Mr. Smith’s was the first to be staged inside the Empire State Building, which marks its 90th anniversary this year.

At Carolina Herrera, creative director Wes Gordon presented voluminous gowns and satin dresses, sparkly checked outfits and jackets and tops with elaborate sleeves.

He paired bralettes with trousers while dresses bore floral and letter prints, sparkling embroidery or came strapless or layered. Colors were mainly black and white, pink, peach and red.

The fashion house, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, held its show in a gallery in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where Ms. Herrera first launched her brand.

“This season obviously because of COVID, we did a much more intimate presentation,” Mr. Gordon said.

“That allowed us to choose a venue that was different from the normal ones we’ve used in the past. We’re in a historic townhouse that’s now an art gallery. And for me, it was really an opportunity to acknowledge where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going.”

Fashion designers Badgley Mischka and Tadashi Shoji presented vibrant colorful outfits on the first day of New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, offering plenty of eye-catching hues and florals for women’s spring wardrobes.

While the event is seeing a return to physical shows this season, both brands opted for pre-recorded digital video releases to present their spring-summer 2022 womenswear lines.

Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka chose lime, orange, lemon and blue as well as softer neutrals for their collection, inspired by Bette Davis in Now, Voyager as well as Italy.

Against a recording of lapping waves in the background, models wore designs in an array of prints — floral, butterfly and salamander.

There were sparkly trouser suits and sleek evening gowns, some belted at the waist, others adorned with sparkly embellishments including butterflies on the shoulders of one dress. Frocks were pleated, tasseled, sequined, off-the-shoulder or strapless.

“It’s about color and print … James and I sketched these really pretty butterfly prints and we have a crocodile print. We have a salamander print. We have a turtle print,” Mr. Badgley told Reuters.

“Her coming of that cocoon, out of being so sheltered and so sequestered for her entire life and all of a sudden blossoming on this cruise,” Mr. Mischka added of the line’s main theme.

Mr. Shoji looked back to the Roaring Twenties for his collection, presenting modern takes on the decade’s styles with an array of colorful dresses adorned with intricate shoulder cut-outs, lace trimmings and sequined fringes.

Frocks were floaty, cinched at the waist or embroidered and came in dusty or bold pink, greens and blues. Mr. Shoji also presented a wedding dress made up of a lace top and tulle skirt.

“(The) desire for the joyful life, normal life … Let’s do roaring ’20s — this is the theme,” Mr. Shoji told Reuters.

Designer Christian Siriano kicked things off early with a catwalk show on Tuesday night in front of an audience including actress Katie Holmes and rapper Lil’ Kim. Mr. Siriano presented 59 looks including colorful asymmetric suits, oversized coats, voluminous gowns and dresses with cutouts.

“A lot of looks, because we haven’t done this in a while,” Mr. Siriano told Reuters. “I felt like if people are going to come out for a show, they need to see a show.”

New York Fashion Week runs until Sept. 12. — Reuters