Shane Cullen reviews the drama and dresses at this year’s New York Fashion Week.

Heels were flying earlier this month as the stars and stylists gathered together for New York Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2019 showcase. Aside from the heated exchange between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B at The Plaza Hotel, big name designers fired up their shows with an array of collections from the bold and brash, to the colourful and political. As ever, New York Fashion Week lived up to its hype with catwalk appearances and surprises across the week.

“One thing that you can’t deny about Kors is that he knows how to draw an A-list crowd to his shows”

Creating a beach club vibe at New York’s South Street Seaport for his spring/summer collection, Michael Kors brought sunshine to the runway with 60s inspired floral print crop tops, skirts and dresses. One thing that you can’t deny about Kors, is that he knows how to draw an A-list crowd to his shows. Lining the front row of his show included Hollywood royalty such as Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta Jones and Tiffany Haddish. Ashley Graham and Gigi Hadid were on hand to model, with Graham wearing a tropical fish printed dress and matching headscarf.

It wouldn’t be a Fashion Week without Jeremy Scott. The Moschino designer brought 90s revolt to his show with captioned clothing such as “riot”, “peace” and “shock”. Scott said that the collection was a reflection of “aggressive times”, adding that he is using his platform for activism in areas such as LGBT issues and women’s rights. While there were political statements made, Scott also brought the expected fun side to Moschino’s show. One of the standouts was printed clothing and accessories made from polaroids of Scott at the start of his career. Other attention-grabbing moments of the show were black PVC dungarees and platform basketball trainers.

Every year there are new changes introduced to the New York Fashion Week calendar and this year many designers chose not to follow it. Earlier this year, American fashion designer Alexander Wang debuted his Spring 2019 collection back in June and will launch his Autumn/Winter 2019 range in December, a first for New York Fashion Week. Victoria Beckham also decided against hosting a show as she plans for the 10th anniversary of her self-titled label at London Fashion Week this month.

“One year on from the release of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna has reached a new level of success”

One of the talking points of the week was Marc Jacobs, this time some of it being for the wrong reasons. The French designer’s show was delayed by over 90 minutes, causing Anna Wintour to leave before the show started. When the show eventually commenced, Jacobs visually wowed the audience with an 80s theme, with many pieces in shades of candy pastels. Elaborate frilly dresses and wide shoulder blazers followed suit, proving that Jacobs’ collection was worth the almost two hours wait. The Guardian reports that the Marc Jacobs brand has recently found itself under strain, following European store closures this year. If it is “make or break” for Jacobs, this collection is onto a winner.

Making an appearance to close New York Fashion Week at the Brooklyn Naval Yard in true style was Rihanna. This year it wasn’t a Fenty X Puma show with motorbikes mid-air, instead it was a show dedicated to her lingerie collection, Savage X Fenty. The Savage X Fenty show featured a diverse range of body shapes, colours and sizes, including plus size models. Five months on from the launch of Savage X Fenty and one year on from the release of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna has reached a new level of success. After the models had walked the runway, wearing a fitted dress and sunglasses to compliment the look, Rihanna appeared to a cheering crowd, effortlessly showing everyone how to be an icon.