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Our top picks from NYFW 2019

Fashion Editor’s thoughts on the best of New York Fashion Week. 

It’s that time of year again when fashion takes over. Throughout September, designers will travel to New York, London, Milan and Paris to showcase their latest creations and this season, it’s all about change.

London is renowned for its emerging talents, Milan for its flamboyance, Paris for its refinement, and New York for its progressive social conscience. Leading the way in terms of powerful political statements, body positivity and diversity, we take a look at how NYFW 2019 is changing the game and paving the way for a more inclusive industry.

Gucci goes carbon neutral

With 70% of their factories already using only renewable energy, Gucci are well on their way to becoming the world’s leading environmentally friendly fashion house. Plus, in the wake of recent advancements to make the entire industry more sustainable, Gucci was one of the first major brands to sign the ‘fashion pact’ at this year’s G7 summit.

Promising to transform their methods of production and waste in favour of being eco-friendlier, Gucci is taking things a step further in their efforts to reduce the environmental impact that comes with running an international company.

‘Given the challenges we are up against and the reality of our global climate and biodiversity crises, to address the need for urgent solutions Gucci is setting an ambitious new precedent through our carbon neutral commitment,’ said CEO Marco Bizzarri.

This primarily involves offsetting all their annual greenhouse gas emissions and supporting forest conservation around the world. And while there’s still a long way to go, I think this is certainly a very good start.

‘We know it’s not perfect, but we cannot afford to be complacent. We cannot wait for technological innovation alone to improve the climate crisis,’ added Bizzarri and we stan.

Speaking of sustainability, what about Femail Forever, the brand devoted to repurposing fast fashion materials into unique textiles and garments?

As we already know, the fashion industry produces one garbage truck of waste every minute. That’s a lot of waste. But what if brands started using old materials instead of tossing them? Offering a new life for discarded clothing otherwise meant for a landfill, Femail Forever are doing just that.

The up-and-coming designers recently made their NYFW debut with vibrant, zero-waste, wearable pieces of art that are making a statement on the fashion industry itself.

‘I believe the garment industry would radically transform if designers had a stronger connection to the materials they were using. We need to embrace technology and find the tools to make clothing production more holistic,’ said founder Camilla Carper.

At its core, Femail Forever doesn’t focus on appealing to a mass market with trends and wearability but aims to highlight the industry’s eco-problem with statement garments that reimagine the fashion world as thoughtful and sustainable.

‘It’s pile of laundry you can step into and put on,’ says Carper. ‘But with a really important message behind it.’

Chromat celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a show dedicated to empowerment

To mark its tenth year in the fashion industry, Chromat graced the catwalk with an inclusive array of models of all genders, ages, races, abilities and sizes. Defying the odds with their body-positive range of swim and activewear, the label has helped to change the fashion conversation regarding what should be considered beautiful.

When casting for the show, designer Becca McCharen-Tran’s vision was built on the idea of inclusivity and breaking down the barriers of fashion.

‘It’s about moving forward,’ she told Vogue. ‘It’s something we’ve barely scratched the surface of, and I’d love to explore further.’

And she’s not the only one. On Saturday, nine-year-old double amputee Daisy-May Demetre made history by walking the runway dressed in a Lulu et Gigi knee-length dress that proudly showed off her prosthetic legs.

Amazing right? It honestly goes without saying that the industry has totally evolved.

Inclusivity has been at the forefront of this year’s NYFW and there’s no better example than Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty show which is being referred to by Fashionista as ‘everything Victoria’s Secret wishes it could be.’ I mean, are you really that surprised?

‘Inclusion has always been something that has subconsciously resonated with me in all my brands,’ she said in an interview. ‘The most important message is that this a line designed by a woman for women. It’s for women to feel their sexiest, their boldest, their most feminine, their most masculine, their ‘most’, period.’

Rihanna has taken everything VS is lacking at their annual fashion shows and successfully incorporated it into her own work. ‘Sorry, Angels, your time is up,’ to quote Elle magazine. Is there actually anything she can’t do?! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until I can watch the whole thing on Amazon Prime next week.

Oh, and you know what else I’m loving? That Euphoria is still dominating the beauty industry.

Remember when we talked about how it sparked a makeup movement? Well, not only is it promoting freedom of expression amongst its young viewers, the HBO series about Gen Z teens is also NYFW’s biggest beauty inspiration this year.

The experimental looks that act as creative and emotional outlets throughout the show have become the cultural point of reference for a huge amount of the MUAs at fashion week and it looks like basic beauty is a thing of the past.

Now, it’s all about intense graphic liner, ornate rhinestone designs, face decals and a whole-lotta-glitter. Think bold, brave self-expression but with cosmetics as the catalyst.

Fatima Thomas who worked backstage with MAC at Chromat said: ‘This is what I love about Gen Z and Millennials, is that bringing art into one’s own look is not, ooh, that’s wild. It’s fun, it’s creative and it’s accepted, it’s embraced. That show is gonna continue to have a strong influence.’ The tide is turning and it’s all thanks to the overall aesthetic of Euphoria (which I genuinely can’t get enough of, seriously, someone hide the glitter).

Last but not least, can we talk about Zendaya and how she’s totally been killing it throughout the entirety of NYFW?

Determined to make her first venture into fashion as inclusive and celebratory as possible, the Euphoria star has been giving us all a lesson in empowerment through both her own looks and her collab with Tommy Hilfiger.

Aside from the fact that she stunned on the runway in the same suit as Michael B Jordan and even he thinks she wore it better than him, Zendaya has – according to Hilfiger – ‘redefined power dressing at its core’ with THAW19.

Transporting attendees back to 1970s Harlem, the show was led by a plethora of models of different sizes, skin colour and ages. ‘We wanted to celebrate and champion female empowerment through fashion,’ said the designer, and that they did.

With a roster that included 67-year-old Harlem native Jovani Johnson, skin-positivity spokesperson Winnie Harlow, and South Sudanese-British model Alek Wek, the long overdue push for greater diversity in fashion took centre stage.

‘Fashion has allowed me to really find out who I am and be more courageous and more fearless,’ said Zendaya, touching upon a notion that has been prevalent throughout this year’s NYFW.

Finger’s crossed it stays this way and I’m really looking forward to the future of fashion which appears to be incredibly bright, a combination of diversity, inclusivity, and sustainability that should have been there from the beginning.

So, what do you think? Has this been the most inspiring NYFW ever and is it the start of something amazing? Let us know in the comments.