After copious amounts of feathers, low v-necks, striped dresses and tall boots, New York Fashion Week (NYFW) concluded on Sunday. I spent the weekend examining runway shows and reading between the lines of Vogue articles trying to decipher what the future of fashion holds for us. My conclusion: Fashion is getting reborn. 

Designers finally listened to consumers for the first time in a while and gave them what they wanted — sustainable materials, inclusive models and exquisite craftsmanship. Runway shows celebrated not only the people in the industry and their designs, but also New York City itself. 

NYFW is one of the most important events of a fashion designer’s career. It consists of multiple days of runway shows where each designer shows off their next season’s collection. Runway shows are always a season before the current season, so this September showcases the summer collections for 2022, and next year in the summer it’ll be the winter collections. Buyers and retailers come to these shows to buy designs and sign designers to work for their companies. NYFW is usually an extravagant and fun-filled event; however, that wasn’t the case last year. 

When the coronavirus pandemic struck the world, fashion was at the back of everyone’s minds. NYFW was held virtually, and people were purchasing toilet paper more than couture. New York, the city that never sleeps, was deep in a REM slumber. 

Fast forward to this year, and New York City is slowly reopening one event at a time. The Spring/Summer 2022 season of NYFW was one such event. From Wednesday, Sept. 8 to Sunday, Sept.12, the majority of designers did in-person shows, and celebrities were out and about in extravagant outfits taking street-style pictures and sitting in the front rows at shows; of course, vaccination cards were a mandatory accessory. 

Here is my NYFW report about the best things I saw, the worst things I saw and what trends we should all be buying for the summer. 

The Best 

The venues that designers decided to show at were very appropriate for celebrating the reopening of New York City.

LaQuan Smith, a designer notorious for dressing celebrities, held his show on the rooftop of the Empire State Building. It’s the first time the building has ever been shut down for an event, and it was the very first fashion show held at this New York landmark. While many models seemed to have trouble walking on the cobblestone path runway, the outfits were still stunning. 

Smith’s collection gave us swooping necklines that showed off just enough cleavage to make the garment powerful as well as blue and white leather moto pants that I wanted to purchase right away. Two poodles also walked the runway, one with a model dressed in a white mummy-esque dress and the other with a model wearing a sparkly silver head scarf. There also was a large black floppy hat worn by the final model that I’m surprised didn’t fly away. 

Another amazing show was Prabal Gurung’s collection. His show was held at Battery Park with the Statue of Liberty in the background. In the front row was the first female governor of New York, Kathy Hochul. Gurung wanted his collection to question “who gets to be a girl,” and putting Hochul in the front row helped further establish his theme of questioning societal gender norms and unnerving patriarchy. He wanted his collection to prove that anyone can dress the way they want. His collection consisted of pant suits with added frill, corsets for men and floral patterns on both men and women’s clothing. 

The Dundas x Revolve runway show was held on the rooftop of the Casa Cipriani hotel with the New York City skyline in the background. I knew I would like this show when the first model walked out dressed in a black flowing shawl with black knee high scrunch boots. You could tell she felt like a bada**, and I wanted to buy her entire outfit so that I could feel the same exact way.  

As a whole, I loved the different genders, body sizes and skin tones of the models that walked this season. Everyone was included in NYFW, which doesn’t always happen.

Finally, I have to put a kudos out to the model Winnie Harlow, who was in almost every runway show I watched. She must’ve been tired after this weekend. 

The Worst 

I honestly loved every part of this season’s fashion shows, so it was very difficult for me to come up with the worst of NYFW. However, that was until I saw the Moschino show. 

First, the show was outdoors, and it started to drizzle. The front row guests looked very uncomfortable under their black umbrellas and see-through tops. 

Then, the whole collection was a little too childish for my taste. It was supposed to be campy and cutsie with dresses made from stuffed animals and shorts that looked like diapers, but it just seemed embarrassing. Gigi Hadid, the final model, even took a pretend swig from a fake baby bottle. 

The only thing I did appreciate were the purses that looked like miniature Moschino jackets. Besides the bags, I wasn’t tempted to buy anything from the collection. It definitely could’ve been better. 

What we need to wear next summer

A couple things you’ll want to go buy from the store to wear next summer, according to NYFW, are dresses with bubble hems, tops with fluttery short sleeves, anything covered in feathers and sheer printed mock neck tops or dresses. You’ll also want to purchase anything neon — especially a neon pant suit — and a trench coat you can belt by wrapping a sweater around your waist or that you can wear as a dress. 

NYFW felt like a warm hug after a long vacation in Antarctica. Designers gave us collections that had important messages, such as Gurung’s gender equality line. Runway shows were well thought out and featured new locations. The virtual fashion shows of last year aren't the same as in-person runway shows. Fashion is back and better than ever. I’m proud to be a fashionista.