September is the best — and busiest — time of year for the fashion world as the month brings New York Fashion Week. Stylists and editors, as well as vaguely famous influencers and bonafide celebrities alike, flocked to the concrete jungle for a week-long whirlwind of runways, after parties and collection presentations.
The first day of my NYFW experience started out strong with Dauphinette‘s SS23 “Fragile” collection. Located at St. Marks Church in the Bowery, independent designer Olivia Cheng presented a whimsical array of clothing covered in real eggshells, 19th century porcelain plates and vintage spoons, alongside French baguette and croissant handbags.Arranged in a museum-type display, viewing Cheng’s handmade garments with religious saints cast in stained glass set a reverential and contemplative tone for the coming days.
Thankfully, athletics brand Gymshark held an NYFW Backstage Studio to provide a moment of rest and relaxation in the midst of the week’s hustle and bustle. In partnership with FaceGym, Gymshark thoughtfully provided a host of wellness treatments, including facials, courtesy of the skincare brand, as well as IV drips. The highlight of my mini holistic beauty retreat had to be meeting TikTok and Instagram influencer Michaela Hedderman. If you’re unaware, the seriously fashionable 20-something-year-old has over a million followers on TikTok for essentially teaching many of us how to take our own pictures using a tripod and is known for her motto, “Wear whatever the f–ck you want.” While I initially was too nervous to say hi, fate would have other plans as my IV nurse sat me down next to her as she was leaving. Left with no other choice, I introduced myself and received the biggest hug.
I started my Monday bright and early, making my way to Spring Studios for Serena Williams‘ presentation of her fashion brand’s latest line S by Serena. The rooftop terrace was transformed into a tennis court where a diverse cast of models showcased the athlete’s designs. The highlight of fashion week was the five minutes myself and Hypebae’s video editor had with the GOAT herself. Post-retirement, she’s most excited to continue doing the things that she loves, such as fashion and diving deep into her many business ventures.
Following this surreal moment, I attended Kim Shui‘s SS23 show later in the day. Jessie Andrews and Bling Empire‘s Jaime Xie both walked the show, while Lauren Jauregui and TikToker Antoni Bumba were among the notable attendees.
I ended my Fashion Week experience with the inimitable brand Mirror Palais. The It girl-approved brand presented its romantic garments in a church near Soho. I was pleased to see a great deal of body diversity on the hallowed runway as models like Imani Randolph and Cindy Kimberly looked simply stunning in their ultra-feminine and ethereal ensembles.