NYFW AW18 All Comes From Nothing


All Comes From Nothing

     All Comes From Nothing is a line from Ewa Yiwei Xu which she says is for the “woman who creates for life.” She defines her woman as “artistic, elegant, intuitive and adventurous.” In truth, her line is eminently wearable, with the dresses of varying length that touch the body, all having a softness and comfort, while the outer layers of leather, quilted or overthrown coats are protective and insulating both in looks, and feel.

   Like other designers, the inspiration of this season’s line comes from her viewing of Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” The collection is entitled Love Is the Only Gold.

   As the line name suggests, the designer, and her current collection, is philosophical as well as vision-driven. Visually, the statement is not overt, but her pieces have the feel of becoming a favorite of any woman who wears it. The fabrications, combinations and layers, all exude a subtle beauty with small details that suggest elegance without demanding it.

   When Xu defines her line as an “accomplice,” to the woman, rather than her “calling card.” Xu’s philosophy is committed to creating lines that allow the wearer to live without worry. To “yield to the essence of the individual,” I can see women being allowed to pursue their own interests with pieces from this collection put on, or grabbed, as they run out the door.

– Phillip Wong –

NYFW AW18 Trend Report

Verve Fashion Magazine

Trend Report


   New York Fashion Week started with an eruption of themes providing the industry with an insight on what is to come in the following season. From the insane runway presentations to Cardi B sitting next to Anna Wintour during the Alexander Wang show, lasting impressions were made this season despite the obvious reoccurrence of trends.

Anna Wintour and Cardi B at Alexander Wang – David X Prutting/BFA.com

Milly – TW

Bottega Veneta – TW

Tom Ford – TW

Adam Selman – TW

R13 – WGSN

    Throughout the week, one of the trends included the pop of colors. It bolted in unexpectedly and not limited to its complement. They were paired with neutrals, with an unexpected match, or they stood alone as a monochromatic power suit creating a bold retro/80’s revival on the runways such as Milly or Bottega Veneta.

   Following this crazy Skittle explosion, many took it into a different approach utilizing it in rubbery textures or in faux fur. It spread out in a wide map of directions. It had no limits. Adam Selman brought the colors in fur, silky jumpsuits, and also in a parachute color block dress that children loved to play with in elementary school, while Christian Siriano followed the glamorous disposition we’re familiar with, using the colors in elegant faux fur outerwear.

If you’re reading this and you’re still not convinced of this valiant theme covering all aspects of the runway, well I’m sorry to say that it also touched on streetwear. R13 put out a show with the popular utility wear, crewnecks, hoodies, and beanies. All spiced with a dash of a contrasting element.

VFILES, known for their eccentric and culturally diverse community, held a live photoshoot during their “fashion and music experience” showcasing the collaboration with Adidas. The Individuality and expression of color is no big news to the VFILES audience and in this season, they’ve struck again as a strong purveyor of streetwear.

It’s safe to say that it’s time throw away your color wheels. The pizzazz is in and colors are now seen to be open to interpretation. Rules can be neglected and can still be deemed as attractive and pleasing. Subtlety is no longer in the playing field.

– Leanna Franco –

Marc Jacobs – WGSN

Christian Siriano – WGSN

VFiles – WGSN

NYFW AW18 Calvin Luo


Calvin Luo

The Calvin Luo AW18 line holds together with motifs that run throughout the collection: belting, layers, repeating shapes and fabrications, but whether it was because of the conflicting inspirations (he mentions Brice Marden, an inspiration which seems more minimal that Marden’s minimalist reputation), or the 50s look, or the amount of layers in some pieces, the line isn’t as clear, succinct and dynamic as his SS18 presentation.


Collections don’t have to be clear, but they when compared to Marcel Ostertag’s eclectic presentation, I couldn’t imagine seeing this parade on a street in SoHo or Times Square, and looking twice.

The question of talent, and promise is great, and there are individual pieces that use beautiful textures or accents, but the whole is not strong, and compared to his earlier presentation, neither fires the imagination, nor does it awe with the simplicity of lines that became Marden’s signature.

It may not be my place to make suggestions, but I would suggest that IF there are references to others, we make a powerful attempt to measure up, or exceed those references.

-Phillip Wong –

NYFW AW18 Just In XX


Just In XX

    Just In XX is a streetwear collection without apology. When I initially saw the collection, I thought to myself that he was trying too hard to go over the top. But looking over my photos of the collection, and recollecting the stream of unrelenting, surprising combinations and items – it reminded me of recently seeing Blade Runner 2049, and the original Blade Runner. A coherent vision of a new and different world.

   This is a street world that is comprised of statements, slogans and beauty. The calligraphy and painted canvases are refined and purposeful. An element of street fashion is the individualized meaning of each statement on clothing, in piercings, tattoos and hair. Designers gravitating toward street fashion run the risk of searching for statements without meaning, and trying to be cool without offending.   It isn’t easy simply because mass manufacturing can not create individual statements – only the broad canvases that allow individuals to individualize.

   Just In XX finds definition in the sheer quantity and diversity of mixed layers, pieces that hang, tie, and combine. I was enthralled by a green knit dress bunched into an obnoxious elaborate floral pattern ending in a gauzy skirting – but it worked.

A faded denim jacket worn by a model over a red baggy pants and qipao neckline had enough fascinating detail to hold attention – but a subtle detail was the arm length of a gauzy over-jacket (was it a second jacket or part of the denim base?) extended past the model’s arms to her knees.

   Street fashion is not generally thought of seriously. Partially because of lack of design and décor quality, but partially because certain marketing arrogance doesn’t go over well on the street. If designers don’t take their market seriously, why should their market take the “designer” seriously? I’m not sure if this is street fashion that will sell, but the amount of thought and detail taken with each item, and each styled outfit is not accidental.

   Reviewing my own photos of the line reminds me that every decade of popular music has never been taken seriously because the belief was the form was too simplistic or didn’t contain real content. Blues, jazz, rock n’ roll, hip-hop, grunge . . . if street fashion has designers like this, it will gain traction.

– Phillip Wong –

NYFW AW18 Misha Kaura


Misha Kaura

   Misha Kaura’s AW18 line is a study in the complex and intricate textiles of the Indian cotton and silk industries. Embroidered and printed patterns adorn dresses of both Eastern and Western silhouettes.

   Unlike many designers in the NYFW AW18 season, Kaura does not mix fabrications, but in order to focus on the printed or embroidered patterns, she chooses to keep single sourced fabrics, long lines and relatively simple cuts. Unlike Chinese use of silks and cottons, which are cut in geometric shapes and boxy, softer Indian cottons are wrapped, while heavier fabrics are cut to fall.

                                                                                                        – Phillip Wong –

NYFW AW18 Marcel Ostertag


Marcel Ostertag

Marcel Ostertag brings the brashness and vibrancy of his training at London’s Central St. Martin and the art world of Berlin to his designs. Exploration of draping, gathering, mixing fabrics and colors, he pulls on an early love of dance, a belief in sustainable resources, and quality materials to the Marcel Ostertag line.

   The celebration of body is apparent in the ease and fluidity of wear in layers, and selected fabric choices.

   The AW18 line reflects an authenticity in the layers and comfort of Berlin streets, with unusual color combinations matched with coveralls and shirts, varying lengths of skirts and pants with flowing dresses. From gauzy transparent dresses and tops matched with boots and layered skirts, the collection feels like an observer people watching on Potsdamer Platz on a sunny autumn day.

                                                                                                      – Phillip Wong –

NYFW AW18 Xuly Bet


Xuly Bet

     Malian born, Paris-based, Lamine Badian Kouyaté has designed Xuly Bet (“Keep in Open Mind” in Wolof) since 1989. Like all of the designers in Kelly Cutrone’s Vodoun Ceremony show, Xuly Bet is iconic in the fashion world. Cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary designers, each brings a different perspective to their work and Kouyaté is no different. His background of architecture, and West African awareness gives his choice of prints and colors, a range of bold, tribal, distinctive and celebratory emotions. The design structure of silhouettes and shape combinations reflect his architectural understanding of form.

   When we see a Xuly Bet print, we wonder at how vibrant it is, even in the cacophony of a city street, and then he shows us how it can be worn. Beautiful in a modern setting. far removed from an African farm.

   Often, designers find something that they latch onto, a color, a fabric, a technique, trying to shoehorn that something, into a trend or a style . . . but the discipline of architecture encourages not only form, perspective and beauty, but how it interacts with the human inhabitant. Xuly Bet reminds me of Franco Moschino perception of  how a bold statement can be integrated and  celebrated as part of our lives. 

– Phillip Wong –

NYFW AW18 Mimi Prober


Mimi Prober

Mimi Prober’s approach to design lies more in a philosophy of the holistic world we live in, than a trend. Prober’s philosophy combines antique remnants of fabrics and fabric production with more modern, sustainable pieces that are woven into garments that are unique, suggestive and classic.

Having the opportunity to see fashion items presented together, comprehensively, allows us to understand how both the beauty and philosophy bind together a “form follows function” continuity.

Pieces sewn together using antique fabrics into bold quilted jackets or flowing dresses that are both beautiful in distance and fascinating in detail, Prober’s collection transcend seasons and remind us of the why fashion is more than a temporary retail transaction but has promises of integrity, purpose and awe.

To see a model wearing pieces from the Prober collection (but also from McLaughlin or Bet), is to instantly understand that you are in the presence of something different. These are pieces that make us want to know more: Where is it from? How was it made? What is behind it?

                                             – Phillip Wong

NYFW AW18 Hogan McLaughlin


Hogan McLaughlin

   Kelly Cutrone’s People’s Revolution produced a single group show with three designers, of which, Hogan McLaughlin, was one. McLauglin’s AW18 presentation is cool, classic, unusual, stirring and sexy.

   As with many designers in this season, the fabrics are rich, textual and classically rich in simplicity and color, but McLaughlin has beautiful draping, cutting and tailoring. The shapes on a woman’s body are simple and demur in approach while stunning in bold sexiness in retreat.

   While other designers reveal with lace and tulle transparencies, McLaughlin reveals with surprising cuts and daring shapes.

   Hogan McLaughlin began as a dancer at the Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago and his understanding of how the body moves, is apparent. His interest in architectural structure, and historical costuming is a repeated motif throughout the collection.

– Phillip Wong –

NYFW AW18 Sally LaPointe


Sally LaPointe

   Sally LaPointe’s Fall 2018 collection feels luxe, smooth and calmly elegant. Seamless movement from ivory, to heather greys, to darker greys, rich browns, deep celebratory reds to burgundies, the line follows a deep rich mix of mixed fabrications and drifting colors.

   Cashmere sweaters, jersey cardigans, mohair and shearling, walking through hallways of light, the collection feels richly textual.

   Sally LaPointe is an active supporter of the fashion and apparel industry in New York City, producing all garments with local businesses and artisans in her line started in 2010.

                                                                                                  – Phillip Wong –