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New York Spring/Summer 2018 RTW Collections

In the Pink
- Marilyn Kirschner

Photo: Tom Ford Spring/Summer 2018 Collection

All Photos: Vogue.com

One of the most glaring aspects of NYFW is how the balance of power has shifted from a few established instantly recognized household names, to those only well known to a nucleus of fashion insiders. Many of the promisingly talented young names on the calendar this season were so under the radar, I was barely familiar with them.

Yes, we had Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, and Tom Ford (this season). But let’s face it; even if designers like Thom Browne, Proenza Schouler, Joseph Altuzarra, Rodarte had not decamped to Paris, we would still not be on par with Milan or Paris with must see directional shows, some with legendary labels (Miuccia Prada, Comme des Garcons, Balenciaga, Celine, YSL, Chanel, Dior) that literally set the tone for the season.

The two most anticipated, talked about, buzziest shows this season (after Calvin Klein) were Ralph Lauren’s fall 2017 presentation at his Bedford Garage (personal, unique and absolutely fabulous on every level), and Shayne Oliver’s re vision of Helmut Lang. With its overtly fetishist overtones, it had mixed results, and mixed reviews (some loved it, some were not so sure, but it got everyone talking).

Among the recurring themes that have played out: streetwear, athletic wear, survival gear (clothes that would get you through anything; including a hurricane), long duster coats, shirt dressing, deconstructed menswear, slouchy pants, western shirts, fringe, transparency, the return of the 50’s mid-calf full skirt, white, black and white, pastels, psychedelia, the elevation of nylon and industrial fabrics, relaxed menswear, laid back evening glamour, denim, re worked jean jackets, high cut maillots, off the shoulder, stripes of all kinds including rainbow stripes, art inspired splatter paint prints, mixed menswear patterns, dots, florals. And color!

Is it really surprising that as a backlash or anecdote to the anxiety ridden, turbulent times we live in (particularly for Americans here in the U.S.) designers showing in New York for spring 2018 have been intent on infusing their collections with a note of upbeat optimism, regardless of how obvious and clichéd that seems? There is no other color, or group of colors, more iconic, upbeat, feel good, or mood elevating than pink. And nothing is as universally flattering for that matter.

This was exemplified by Ralph Rucci, 2, who wore a tuxedo jacket crafted of cotton-linen in the most wonderfully flattering shade of salmon pink to the FIT Couture Council Artistry in Fashion award luncheon honoring Thom Browne last Wednesday.

I have been thinking about pink ever since summer began (let’s give a shout out to rose wine!) But it’s been hard not to notice how ubiquitous the hue (which Diana Vreeland referred to as “the navy blue of India”) has become. Actually, I should say hues, because there are at least "50 shades of pink" (sorry), from the palest of the pale, to the most vivid fuchsia and magenta, and I’ve been seeing them all this past week.

On Wednesday evening, Tom Ford officially opened NYFW with a powerful show that made a case for a revival of the sexy glam of the 90’s. It was also a wholehearted endorsement of pink, from the most subtle, barely there, whisper soft flesh tone shades to the most in your face and shocking. 3,

Pinks have subsequently turned up at many other shows and presentations including Rag & Bone, Prabal Gurung, Sies Marjan, Brandon Maxwell, Zac Posen, Sachin & Babi, Jason Wu, Victoria Beckham, Matthew Adams Dolan, Derek Lam 10 Crosby, Milly, Opening Ceremony, Pamella Roland, and Marc Jacobs. 4,

The sand is even pink in Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma universe 5,

And pink has hardly been used gratuitously; the pink ensembles were often the standout pieces in the collection and sometimes opened the show 6,The styles shown have run the full gamut from day (streetwear, sportswear, athletic wear) to evening, and everything in between.

But because pink is such an identifiably feminine color, you sort of expect to see cocktail frocks and formal evening gowns in the color 7,

So, throwing it off and using it in less predictable ways (making it tougher, gutsier, sportier, more streetwise, more masculine), as seen this season, is far more interesting 8,

There have been pink buttons downs, perfectly tailored pink blazers, natty pink pantsuits, pink bombers, pink knitwear. 9,There was even a pair of slouchy, wide legged cotton poplin cargo pants in pink

In some instances, designers added a punch of color by simply but efficiently using the hue as an accent; mainly through the use of pink footwear, as at Rag & Bone 10,

At Calvin Klein, Raf Simons not only accessorized with pink shoes and sandals, but with long pink gloves and a pink bag 11,

I could say that pink is the new black but nothing replaces black, and besides, pink pairs effectively well with noir. But that’s really not the way it’s been shown this season; it’s been layered tonally, shown with other pastels, or paired with white to keep it light 12,

I could also say that pink is the new red, which has been THE color these past few seasons. But red is still going strong and actually, pink, shown in combination with red, has been the surprise hit of the season. 13,

There were no pink clothes at Alexander Wang (the color palette was primarily black, white, silver, tan). But one model, Stella Lucia, did have dyed pink hair.

Pink was also noticeably absent from Ralph Lauren’s fall 2017 show 14, held on Tuesday evening at his Bedford Garage (he doesn’t have one pink car lol). But there’s no question the legendary designer, who will turn 78 in October and will be celebrating his 50th anniversary in business this year, is ‘in the pink’.

How many other designers (especially on this side of the Atlantic) could entice the likes of Anna Wintour, Stefano Tonchi, Vanessa Friedman, Linda Fargo, Ken Downing, Diane Keaton, Jessica Chastain, Katie Holmes, to make an hour or more trip each way, to see a fashion how, dinner or no dinner (lobster salad and burgers from his signature restaurant of course)? As I predicted months ago, the collection he showed, for men and women (which was not only inspired by his treasure trove of cars; they served as a backdrop), was a sleek study in black and white (including mixed menswear fabrics), with flashes of red, bright blue, and chrome yellow, accented with gleaming silver hardware. Like the cars, it was vintage Ralph all the way: classic and classy.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal was told that nobody has won a Grand Slam tennis tournament wearing pink, so for his match on Sunday at the U.S. Open, he merely accented his black Nike top and shorts with flashes of hot pink (via the iconic Nike Swoosh) and his pink customized pink sneakers. But when he won, he wasted no time changing into his hot pink Nike warm up jacket

When Sloane Stevens won her U.S. Open championship on Saturday (her first Grand Slam), she was a vision in pink in her pinky peach tennis dress with vivid pink straps that matched her visor, pale pink wristband. There’s no doubt she is the future of tennis and for her, the future definitely looks ‘rosy’. And from the look of things on the NYFW runways for spring 2018, it’s a rosy outlook for all of us.

Past articles:


Fall/Winter 2017 Report
Spring/Summer 2017 Report

Fall/Winter2016 Report
Spring/Summer 2016 Report
Fall/Winter 2015 Report
Spring/Summer2015 Report
Fall/Winter 2014 Report
Spring/Summer2014 Report
Fall/Winter2013 Report
Spring/Summer2013 Report
Fall/Winter2012 Report
Spring/Summer2012 Report
Fall/Winter 2011 Report
Spring/Summer 2011 Report
Fall/Winter 2010 Report
Spring/Summer 2010 Report
Fall/Winter 2009 Report
Spring/Summer 2009 Report
Fall/Winter 2008 Report
Spring/Summer 2008 Report
Fall/Winter 2007 Report
Spring/Summer 2007 Report
Fall/Winter 2006 Report
Spring/Summer 2006 Report
Bernadine Morris "Ten Best Looks" of the Spring 2006 Season
Fall/Winter 2005 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Fall 2005 Season
Sprijng/Summer 2005 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Spring 2005 Season

Fall/Winter 2004 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Fall 2004 Season
Spring/Summer 2004 Report
Bernadine Morris's "10 Best Looks" of the Spring 2004 Season
Fall/Winter 2003 Report

Spring/Summer 2003 Report