Walking on the wild side of NYFW SS17 with the new generation of fearless, original designers

Beyond Tommy’s Gigi fairground, Yeezy’s “multi racial” garden party and Marc Jacobs’ disco dreadlocks, New York Fashion Week is breaking away from its big name and big bucks reputation thanks to the young generation of upstart designers. This new school embrace diversity in all its forms and know how to present their ideas in memorable ways that don’t rely on super models or celebrity FROWs. Here are five names that caught Nataal’s eye for SS17.

 
 

Barragán
Victor Barragán and co-creator Ruben Gutierrez made their NYFW debut with a presentation reincarnating the Greek king Sisyphus and that pesky boulder he was doomed to roll up a hill only to watch it roll back down again for eternity. In the legend, it was his punishment for deceitfulness. In Barragán’s take, the line up of gender fluid models revelled in the task of navigating a paper mâché rock up a steep slope then letting it cascade wantonly toward the audience. And despite its relative lightness, this was no mean task to achieve while wearing frilly lurex tops, Perspex mules, chainmail vests, pleather sheaths, denim chaps and cargo pocket bras.

 
 

Maison The Faux
Entering Maison The Faux’s world of flesh for SS17 was bordering on frightening. Joris Suk and Tessa de Boer created a tableaux of boobs among which a revolving cast of fat lovers worshipped the Chubby Chaser queen. Their comment on the fashion industry’s “never ending desire for more, more, more”, looks pinched, squeezed and billowed into awkward proportions. Corsetry pulled at leather and denim pieces while dishevelled knitwear reached fetish status.

Andrea Jiapei Li
Parsons the New School of Design graduate and 2015 LVMH Prize finalist Andrea Jiapei Li can name Rei Kawakubo as a fan. For SS17 she presented her take on “modern romance” via sporty deconstructed silhouettes in soft shades of rose, turquoise, violet and white. Big zipped trousers, apron additions and rubber shoulder capes made for perfectly odd attire for the models who took it in turn to play a slow game of soft ball(oon).

 
 

Chromat
Architect graduate Becca McCharen-Tran was inspired by strong female athletes for her haute swim and active-wear show. Entitled Hyperwave, the sexy collection dove into the fast lane with an opening performance by visibly pregnant dancer Mela Murder whose movements had been scanned and 3D printed. She was followed by a cast of models of every shape, size, shade and inclination, each wearing septum jewellery and were not to be messed with as they owned the catwalk. Spandex and neoprene clung beautifully to bodies in the form of colour blocked swimsuits, bikinis and leggings, some with mesh dresses over the top, and lashings of PVC straps.

69
Los Angeles-based, anonymously-designed brand 69 caused all sorts of fun confusion at its SS17 event. No stage, no set, no catwalk – just a room full of guests having to figure out why there were a bunch of celebrity impersonators mingling with them. Step up look-a-bit-like Rihanna, Boy George, Cher, Howard Stern, Prince, Barbra Streisand and Andy Warhol wearing loose pale denim jeans, shirts and overalls that could all have come out of a 1980s JC Penny catalogue. There were also some fruity prints too but all everyone was bothered about was taking selfies with Snoop D-O-double-G.