NYFW Spring 2020: Escapist Fantasy

This season, designers took New York by storm with collections that breathed new life into the world of fashion. Unexpected textiles and timely updates to trends of seasons past made it hard to look away. A wave of designers chose to use their collections to celebrate the joy of dressing. This experimental approach gave the audience a much-needed opportunity to escape the anxieties of our current cultural climate. Citing inspiration from the past, present, and future, designers are embracing new ideas and possibilities that may signify fashion’s return to maximalism.

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Marc Jacobs | Rodarte | Anna Sui

In his show notes, Marc Jacobs described his show as a celebration of life, joy, and optimism. This same lighthearted escapism was exhibited at Anna Sui’s effortlessy romantic show. Rodarte’s collection was shot against a rococo set meant to resemble the designer’s imaginary fantasy garden.

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Billy Porter, The Blonds

The Blonds took escapism a step further as they asked the audience to step out of their daily lives and into the world of Broadway’s Moulin Rouge. The musical’s cast performed their show tunes wearing the new collection, while Billy Porter and other celebrities made surprise appearances.

Euphoria Eyes

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Marc Jacobs | Anna Sui | Cynthia Rowley

After seasons of minimal makeup looks featuring barely-there coverage, designers drew inspiration from the youthful expression displayed in HBO’s Euphoria. Breathing new life (and color) into the cosmetics industry, we saw designers like Marc Jacobs, Area, Anna Sui, and Cynthia Rowley embrace the show’s eccentric aesthetic with rhinestones, glitter, and bold color. Rhinestones are up 10% in searches compared to last year.

Both Anna Sui and Cynthia Rowley brought cloud-like liner to the runway. Pat McGrath lined models’ lids with a shape that resembled the sunglasses featured in Anna Sui’s collection. Makeup artist Cassandra Garcia took the cloud shape more literally for Cynthia Rowley’s Dr. Seuss-inspired collection. The Marc Jacobs show was especially noteworthy as Pat McGrath conjured up 60 unique makeup looks for each model. “It’s an idealized interpretation of real life,” McGrath explained backstage.

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