New York Fashion Week FW24 unfolded as a dazzling display of creativity, with three standout talents in the spotlight: Piotrek Panszczyk of Area, Ludovic de St Sernin and Khaite. Against the vibrant backdrop of the Big Apple, these visionary designers presented their distinct perspectives and artistic interpretations. From Panszczyk’s avant-garde experimentation to de St Sernin’s homage to Robert Mapplethorpe, to Khaite’s alluring expressionism, each designer brought a unique flair to the catwalks of the bustling metropolis.
AREA: FROM AMAZON TO SURREALISM
Area, a New York-based couture brand, unveiled its SS24 and Couture collection with a surprising twist – a collaboration with Luxury Stores at Amazon, the principal sponsor of its runway show. Set against the backdrop of the Hudson River, Area’s fashion presentation dazzled with its couture experimentation, featuring avant-garde fabrics and daring silhouettes.
Founder and creative director Piotrek Panszczyk showcased a highly identifiable signature style, focusing this season on a central leitmotif – the eye. From cartoonish imagery to surrealistic assemblages, the eye motif adorned tentacle-like tops, kicky bras, and seaweed-style cocktails, all in a striking black-and-white palette.
In addition to the dramatic pieces, the collection also featured slimline columns, natty T-shirts, and taut micro boleros, offering a balanced blend of drama and wearability. Collaborating with Italian shoe master Giuseppe Zanotti, Area elevated its ensembles with Carnaby Street-style platforms adorned with cartoon petals, adding a whimsical touch to the couture creations.
With the collection set to be available online through Amazon, Area is poised to transition from a cult favorite to a global brand, thanks to its innovative partnership.
LUDOVIC DE SAINT SERNIN: MAPPLETHORPE MODE
Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s collection paid homage to the iconic art and photography of Robert Mapplethorpe, a revolutionary figure in the art world known for his boundary-pushing exploration of beauty and sexuality.
Partnering with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Ludovic incorporated images of Mapplethorpe’s flowers and fauna onto ethereal organza tops and provocative semi-transparent cocktails. The collection exuded sensuality and allure, with models adorned in sheer tops paired with pencil pants and skirts, exuding an electrifying sexiness reminiscent of Mapplethorpe’s iconic photographs.
Venturing into the darker realms of desire, Ludovic closed the show with black leather bondage looks for men, a nod to Mapplethorpe’s exploration of the gay BDSM scene. The collection received accolades from industry luminaries, including Marc Jacobs and Jenna Lyons, cementing Ludovic’s status as a trailblazer in the world of fashion.
KHAITE: ENTHRALLING EXPRESSIONISM
Khaite SS24 Collection transported audiences into a realm of enchanting expressionism, with Catherine Holstein’s designs evoking a sense of emotional depth and raw beauty. Against a backdrop reminiscent of a G. W. Pabst film, models strutted down the runway in austere leather coats and sculpted dresses, each piece meticulously crafted to evoke a sense of raw emotion.
Drawing inspiration from the tumultuous events unfolding around the world, Catherine infused her collection with a sense of urgency and introspection, embracing the ethos of expressionism to convey a range of emotions. From silk gazar tops with unexpected pleats to oversized coats and cocoon-like garments, each piece exuded strength and authority.
With each designer bringing their unique perspective to the runway, New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2024 proved to be a celebration of creativity and individuality, setting the stage for a season filled with innovation and inspiration.