5 Designers at NYFW Who Took Bold Risks That Really Paid Off

The fashion industry is often the subject of criticism for reasons that have since become cliches. Some of the most common criticisms revolve around the serious and structured nature of high fashion. Whereas resting bitch face has become a modeling mainstay in the industry, designers are making less and less serious clothes for serious women. Five designers at NYFW debuted collections for FW17 that stood out to me for the bold risks they took.

self-portrait
All rights reserved by Self-Portrait

The designer at the helm of Self-Portrait this season described this collection as flowering out of his own experiments with his personal look. Although this may explain why this looks so much like a streetwear collection, it does not explain why he took the bold risks he took. Some of the looks are trendy to the core; for reference, check out the choker, corset, and lampshade on Look 1. However, some of the looks are aesthetically unique. One of my favourite looks is the crushed velvet dress in a neutral tone on a girl with a nearly identical hair colour. The attention to tone and detail is what makes this collection great.
This season saw more streetwear collections than ever before. The fashion industry is changing; and perhaps it’s changing with the winds of Instagram-savvy street-style starlets. At Maryam Nassir Zadeh, streetwear staples were also juxtaposed with bold runway risks.

maryam-nassir-zadeh
All rights reserved by Maryam Nassir Zadeh

The great thing about street style is there are so many ways to do it right. This Maryam Nassir Zadeh collection for FW17 is both minimal and optimized for Instagram models with shoppable closets. The bold risks I love here are twofold: bodysuits and nipple freedom. Bodysuits are becoming a more common sight across social media platforms (especially red one-pieces for summer), and over 3 million posts on Instagram have been captioned with #freethenipple. Both of these trends gained more traction on the runway this season than ever before. Maryam Nassir Zadeh knows that to keep her runway collections fresh, she has to keep her ear to the ground.

zoe-jordan
All rights reserved by Zoe Jordan

Zoe Jordan took on a more avante-garde take on streetwear vibes. The boldest risk here is opting for a lookbook instead of a runway presentation; more designers than ever before are doing this now in order to save on costs and exercise more control over how the clothes are captured by photographers and portrayed to prospective buyers.

For Fall and Winter 2017, Zoe Jordan is wrapping us up in feminine fuzzy coats and topping it off with fur hats; not to mention the zebra-tie-dye sweatpants. These bold statements are feminine grunge; it’s about making a statement while staying comfortable.

ph5
All rights reserved by PH5

PH5 also opted for a lookbook instead of a runway presentation for their modern art-inspired knitwear collection. But this time, they didn’t just stop at knitwear; latex leggings, fusion lace, and a rainbow jumpsuit also make appearances throughout the lookbook. If that doesn’t scream bold risks, I don’t know what does.

anna-sui2
All rights reserved by Anna Sui

Anna Sui took a lot of bold risks, but also made a lot of safe calls. Not only do the Hadid sisters make appearances throughout this show, but Kendall Jenner, Taylor Hill, and probably other Instagram starlets and Victoria’s Secret Angels I didn’t recognize also sashayed down this runway. The casting may have been about safe calls, but the beauty and the fashion were anything but.

anna-sui3
All rights reserved by Anna Sui

It’s vintage, it’s avante-garde, it’s street style, all rolled into one. It didn’t take long before the bold patterns, rich textures, and Victoriana collars had me forgiving Sui for her star-studded cast.

anna-sui1
All rights reserved by Anna Sui

These five designers made the boldest statements at NYFW. The fashion industry isn’t always forgiving to those who dare greatly, but and Self-Portrait, Zadeh, Jordan, Ph5, and Sui made that leap and made it work.

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