Beckham, Altuzarra lead NY fashion on 9/11 anniversary

New York Fashion Week cut through the solemnity of the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday with Victoria Beckham introducing velvet for spring/summer and Joseph Altuzarra pairing gingham with fruit and snakeskin.

Victoria Beckham - Spring-Summer2017 - Womenswear - New York - © PixelFormula

Politics and tragedy clung like a shadow to day four of the bi-annual style bonanza in Manhattan with moments of silence to honor the September 11, 2001 attacks at Beckham's show and a note of remembrance from Altuzarra and up-and-coming label Pyer Moss delving into the world of politics, corruption and the economy.

Here are the catwalk highlights closing out the weekend:

- Wear It Like Beckham -

The former Spice Girl unveiled her spring/summer 2017 collection with her football legend husband David and their eldest son Brooklyn sitting in the front row next to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

Moments of silence were observed at 9:59 am, the time when the World Trade Center's South Tower collapsed, and at 10:28 am, when the North Tower gave way in the Al-Qaeda attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

On the runway, it was a daring and experimental collection that showcased Beckham's evolving maturity as a designer.

"I really think I've come into my own this season. I really do. It's a lot about fabric development," she told reporters backstage.

There were bra tops layered under knitwear and liberal use of velvet in what she called a "fresh, interesting take" on warmer-weather dressing.

"Velvet is normally something that's quite heavy, quite wintery," she admitted. "But this is really really light, buttery, and feels beautiful on the skin and great to wear in the summer."

While many designers evoke a particular theme or source of inspiration for each collection, Beckham said what most inspired her was her devoted customer.

"What she wants is -- each season staying true to myself," Beckham explained.

Beckham, who has a boutique in London and who opened a second store in Hong Kong in March, said it was "just so great" to "get into the fitting room and get to know my customers. Ultimately, that's why I'm doing this."

- Romantic kitsch -

Altuzarra wowed the fashion pack with a fun, flirty and sexy spring/summer collection inspired by David Lynch's 1990 film "Wild at Heart" and by exploring what he called "a modern take on romance and kitsch."

"I wanted the collection to feel happy, vibrant and erotically charged," the French-American designer wrote in the notes, and he certainly achieved that.

Altuzarra sent down the runway flirty ruffle dresses in cherry and python print, tailored gingham blazers and dresses, and flounced bras worn with pencil skirts and flounced hems. He reimagined ribbed knits as off-the-shoulder dresses.

For evening, there were delighted oohs and aahs for whimsical, multitiered organza gowns decorated with sequin embroideries of cherries, pineapples, lemons and blueberries.

The result was a riot of color -- pink, yellow and orange -- and an unabashed collection for spring/summer albeit as other design houses tear up the schedule and offer collections for fall/winter that are instantly available to buy.

- Politics, racism and money -

Talented newcomer Kerby Jean-Raymond cemented his reputation for making political statements on the catwalk by calling his collection "Bernie vs Bernie" -- as in Sanders, the failed Democratic presidential candidate, and Madoff, the disgraced financier jailed for life for fraud.

The clothes were a cross between slouched Wall Street with pin stripe suiting, sports shorts and tops with the word GREED spelled out on the front.

 

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