Today marks the end of the biannual sartorial extravaganza that is New York Fashion Week. With more than a hundred shows behind us, and almost as many trends to prepare for come spring, it’s no wonder designer inspirations are limitless, spanning a broad spectrum of personalities (fictional and real), places, pop culture moments, time periods, and more, with stakes higher every season creatively speaking.
With that in mind, we bid New York adieu (London Fashion Week, here we come) and take a look at what Big Apple’s best drew from for their new collections. From iconic muses to far-flung locales and mystical elements, click through the slideshow to see what inspired NYFW designers this season.
“It’s about the women in my life and this season. I think it’s really about the quintessential, modern, New York woman and mainly the women that I’m surrounded by. When I define the women that I gravitate toward, and the ones that I seem to be surrounded by, they are all extremely hardworking, determined, fierce, but at the same time, they are extremely feminine. So, I think that translated into the clothes where they all have strong details, but at the same time, there’s a sense of ease to it as well.”
“Inspiration was drawn directly from the Watts Towers in Los Angeles, California, a dream-like complex of structural steel sculptures encrusted with a sparkling mosaic and composed of what had once been refuse. Built entirely by hand over the course of 34 years, and adorned with elements such as broken glass, mirrors, pottery, and collected materials by local immigrants, it continues to stay strong as a community monument, representing art, history, and cultures uniting together.”
“My Spring 2017 collection is perfect for a getaway on the Isle of Capri. Vintage photos from the late '60s and '70s—particularly Settimio Garritano's photos of Jackie Onassis' vacations in Capri from 1969 to 1973—inspired a cool, modern seaside collection fit for a world-traveled woman. The turquoise waters and citrus orange-stripe umbrella-lined beaches of the Tyrrhenian Sea inspired a bright and bold color palate.”
“Alice + Olivia’s Spring Summer 2017 is set in the romantic mystic gardens of Bomarzo in Rome, where the power of interpretation wanders free. Inspired by 18th century tarot cards and the elements of the sun, moon, earth, air and fire, the collection represents the power of positivity and the ability to connect with ones higher self; to venture into a divine yet mysterious rainbow filled fairytale.”
“Inspired by the idea of Peggy Guggenheim's 1940s art exhibition '31 Women,' the Jenny Packham SS17 RTW Collection is dedicated to the individual style and sensibility of 31 muses, past and present.”
NB: The muses included Anjelica Huston, Brigitte Bardot, Carey Mulligan, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Courtney Love, Elizabeth Taylor, Florence Welch, Frida Kahlo, Iman, Lauren Bacall, Paloma Picasso, and Stevie Nicks among others.
“From the break of dawn, Marchesa 2017 draws inspiration and beauty from sunrise to twilight. From the moment the sun appears over the horizon to meet the iridescent morning dew to the deepest part of night, the day’s passage embodies Marchesa’s signature aesthetic.”
“[The collection is inspired by] celebration, energy and movement. A new sense of freedom. A spirited woman can’t stop twisting. She plays dress up, finding herself in a dreamscape of raw emotion and color. Ruffled up, naïve yet flirty, tasseled and fringed. Energized by her texture, life comes from her clothing.”
“'All things change,' Buddha proclaimed at the end of his earthly journey. An array of wild animals surrounded him, from sinuous snakes to fearsome tigers. You recall the story of Noah's Ark, this time as seen through the eyes of artist Wu Junyong's fantastical retelling 'The Flying Ark.' Spring 2017 is an ecstatic vision of rebirth. Animal prints in electric hues make a sensuous armor. The heavens descend and adorn the body. In this life, the tangible and ethereal become one.”
“We look to the classic codes of our 30 year arsenal—nautical, sport, rock-and-roll, Americana—and give everything a modern day swagger. We’ve played with proportions and fabrics, making signature details pop. It’s nautical meets street. Inspired by Gigi Hadid and designed to be worn as you like it.”
“This season I wanted to channel the rebellious and youthful spirit of David Lynch’s 1990 [film] Wild at Heart. I was inspired by the carefree and fun-loving attitude of Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage’s characters Lula and Sailor, and exploring a modern take on romance and kitsch.”
"This season, The Blonds collection will prove to be a true clash of the titans, revisiting themes of their past collections while also incorporating their newest inspiration, a riff on the heavy metal '80s vs. hip-hop, in a world where Mad Max meets the muses of Xanadu."
“On a recent trip to South America Ulla became enamored with the style and spirit of the pampas. An ethos of movement inspired by windblown grasses, horseback riding, and the typical dress of female dancers in local fiestas translates into ruffled necklines, full tulle skirts, and layers of gossamer georgette. The prairie story extends Northwards as well and encompasses touches of the American west and turn of the century pioneer Americana. The colors of the sunset prevail as pale yellow, lavender, and shots of bright pink and coral darken to midnight blue. Painterly gestures continue the story of movement as watercolor and block printed florals dance across the collection.”
“Impressed by the ochre and white hues of the modernist Villa Malaparte in Capri, Felipe Oliveira Baptista dreamed up a tennis match on its rooftop. Chiseled by swimming and sunbathing sessions, sexy and tanned bodies hammer balls back and forth, against a backdrop of pine forests, creeks, and rocky inlets. The bathrobes and wrapped towels Brigitte Bardot dons in Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt, which was partly shot at the Villa Malaparte, inspired a wide range of hooded or shawl-collared bathrobes, along with terrycloth bustier dresses that are belted high on the waist with matching improvised strings, the better to highlight the effortless silhouette.”
"For Spring 2017, my inspiration was American Folk Art. There is always an underlying spirit of pop-culture Americana behind everything I do - and for this season I particularly wanted to revisit my roots and celebrate that. I had seen a splendid exhibition of sculptor Elie Nadelman's charming collection of folk-art at the New York Historical Society. And at the American Folk Art Museum, there was a marvelous exhibit of mysterious Freemason and Odd Fellows regalia. Both exhibits included wonderful hand-carved wooden objects which were of particular interest to me. I had watched a Jean Harlow film festival recently on television, which led me to imagine the finale of my show as a tribute to her."
"Spring is dedicated to my mentor, Halston, whom I've worked for in the '70s. The collection is vibrant in color, inspired by my deep love for cooking. To me, taste has color. Born through my passion and love, this show is an homage to the effortlessly confident woman."
"This fall, I was inspired by traveling artists and bohemians, who collect bits of culture along the way. Studded leather and suede, floral embroidery, tassels, and effortless silhouettes reflect the liberating energy of travel. The luxurious freedom of being on the road is captured in suede and a rainbow of autumnal shades. It’s the mix of wildness and warmth—that thrill of passing through undiscovered places."
"Alexander Wang’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection is a continued expression on iconic codes of American sportswear. Wang creates an undone surf aesthetic while asserting individuality, blending nostalgic virtue, and subverting sensuality. Wang’s beach babes embrace the insouciant and unapologetically carefree, tomboy sensibility. Their all-American sensibility is skewed by subcultural iconography interpreted through Wang’s lens."
“The design duo of Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta presented their Spring/Summer 2017 collection, a collection based in the importance of ritual and community, in Hester Street Park near their Lower East Side studio. Featuring fresh takes on everyday staples, this collection is pared down compared to past seasons, incorporating oversized denim jackets, boxy trousers, and slouchy knits.”
“For Spring/Summer 2017 A Détacher dives deeper into conversation around 'Self Management.' A Détacher, designer, Mona Kowalska drew inspiration from the idea self evaluation and expression. The collection presented a strong range of well-tailored looks with a play on proportions as well as striking silhouettes and brilliant layering skirts over tonal leggings that all speak to empowerment and self-love!”
“For Spring 2017 I envisioned a collection with the craftsmanship I am known for but made in technical fabrics to give it an airy, feminine, transparent, and modern feel.”
“Banana Republic women’s and men’s Spring 2017 collection was inspired by the design team’s trip to India.”
“Can order come out of chaos? The Tibi Spring 2017 collection grapples with these opposing forces in an effort to tackle the complexity of modern life and make it more livable, more beautiful for the modern woman.”
“Set amidst a backdrop of Lela’s passion for food and entertaining, Spring 2017 evokes a lifestyle that seamlessly takes you from day to dinner. Feminine, vibrantly hued, and cheerful, the collection pays tribute to the brand’s heritage and charming spirit. Blending artisanal elements and luxurious fabrics, there is a reminiscent feeling throughout.”
“It began with the mission to make desirable clothes that are effortless, but imaginative. It’s about fluidity, movement, sensuality and spontaneity. That’s why we shot everything in motion. It’s in keeping with Diane’s values of how a woman should feel in her clothes.”
“Rosie’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection celebrates summers in small beach towns and incorporates nostalgic elements from her travels including dresses and pants that mimic classic beach chairs, large tropical prints, and dramatic gowns which embody the silhouette of an umbrella.”
"Inspiration came from artist Aaronel deRoy Gruber’s plexiglass work from the late '60s and '70s as well as a 1940s graphic from a 'pornographic movie and listening to Donna Summer’s 'Summer Fever' on repeat."
Need more be said?