Inner strength is often a metaphor for depicting style and fashion.
Vivienne Hu chose to give her styles at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) SS17 a tribute to the strength of New Yorkers following the 9/11 attacks. The message was to convey that women stand together as strong and independent. However, what the collection more aptly represented was the diversity of New York, given that it included a melting pot of different styles and cuts.
This was one show which did not follow a certain theme or trend, but was more a collection of stylish and interestingly cut styles that the modern woman could pull off with ease. It reflected Vivienne Hu’s diverse life experiences of having worked in invest banking, and quotably felt her transition to fashion was one that involved “European classic elegance, New York urban glamor and Asian exoticism.”
In that respect, there were several standouts. The floral and lace mesh loose fit jackets, tight fitting jumpsuits and mesh paneled pants were easy to envision being sold out in retail. White oversized sleeps and bodices supplemented the slimming outfits well.
The floral print theme was laced with a window-pane check overlay, and used in a crop-top with high waisted skirts, matching skirts, backless dresses, and often paired with Gladiator shoes. The art of using the same printed fabrics in different styles repeated itself for the duration of the show, showcasing versatility and retail minded sharpness for the spring season.
With a former love for the orange hue, I enjoyed its rather collegiate pairing with a teal blue in several outfits, usually as stripes on dresses or shorts. However a very elegant polka dotted blouse with a flowing orange skirt, while not fitting with the preceding looks, was an eye soother.
Borrowing from menswear silhouettes were a string of looks in military green, thus continuing the trend of gender neutral inspired clothing. A mixed silk trench-coat and trench-dress were offset by a belted dress complete with men’s style breast pockets. Naturally, the color gave itself well to feminine styles in sheer, too.
A more abstract set of prints in tile hues reminded me of Middle Eastern tile prints, and showed up in belted sweaters, trench-coat-dresses, dungaree-styles dresses and waistcoat style outerwear. The inspiration from menswear cuts was evident, but when paired with short dresses or shorts, made the looks very feminine. A favorite here was a blue and print contrast matching cropped sweater with loose capris, where the contrast on the oversized breast pockets and rear pockets made for a whimsical, playful departure from dainty elegance.
A series of unrelated looks in sky blue and white ended the show, with a blazer and shorts looks sans shirt gathering many obvious eyeballs. Vivienne Hu brought back the trend of utilizing belts in contrasting hues (white on blue, brown on green) to add a slimming element on well toned waistlines. Plus, this enabled the models to indirectly heighten or lower what they perceived to be their waistline for the look, which offered versatility.
While erratic in its theme, the collection offered looks for a plethora of women from different walks of life, and reflected on Vivienne Hu’s own diverse background. Akin to a professional, and cultural, melting pot.