As the fashion industry’s style set, of-the-moment influencers, and marquee-name celebrities descended upon the city for New York Fashion Week, there was bound to be an unforgettable moment—or a few. Case in point: Who can forget Julia Fox’s post-breakup runway appearance at LaQuan Smith or Tommy Hilfiger’s rainy return to NYC in 2022? We're kicking off 2023 with the fall/winter shows this February and the buzz-worthy moments are in full swing.
Whether you were in attendance or watching from your social feeds, these were the most unexpected moments of New York Fashion Week. You’ll want to relive and remember these, so let us help you keep a list.
The fashion industry certainly has its mainstay celebrities like Katie Holmes and Julia Fox, who you’re guaranteed to see at least once throughout the week. This season, New York Fashion Week had an unexpected set of celebs join the crowd. At Christian Siriano, Lindsay Lohan was front row supporting her siblings who were walking in the show, and Christian Cowan invited viral musicians including Lil Nas X and Sam Smith who, of course, served major looks for the occasion. On the runway, The White Lotus star Jon Gries made his debut at Eckhaus Latta, and the undeniably chic actress Chloë Sevigny opened Proenza Schouler.
A Reality Reunion
Even backstage was buzzing with surprising celebrity appearances. The City and The Hills costars Whitney Port and Kelly Cutrone reunited for a quick photo opp before a People’s Revolution runway show on Monday. Port posted the photo of her and her former boss writing, "Can you even? So happy. @kellycutrone my forever fashion mom."
Taking back to the runway, the trends seen on repeat probably aren’t what you’re thinking: Hot pink and micro-mini skirts? Pass. The return of red was the hottest topic of post-show conversation. Plus, silhouettes strayed away from theatrical into more wearable territory and maxi lengths were the common denominator from Simkhai to Coach and Priscavera. The same sentiment went for accessories as practical, carry-all tote bags and statement baubles you'd actually wear were shown on the runway.
During the September shows, the guaranteed gorgeous weather allows for designers to express a bit more creativity with venues—this season, Spring Studios continued as the week’s hub with other shows taking place across the city. Arguably unexpected, Midtown was frequented by the usual downtown set for shows as well as star-studded afterparties. The newly opened Virgin Hotel was a hotspot for parties by High Snobiety and Loewe while the Hard Rock Hotel hosted the Daily Front Row bash in the neighborhood. Still, brands hosted events at buzzy downtown venues like Jean’s and Loosie’s while a more under-the-radar after-hours was spent by the fashion crowd at newly opened micro-club Outerheaven. Add these to your NYC bucket list.
While the clothes were impressive at Collina Strada's runway show, it was the animalistic makeup and prosthetics people were really talking about. Models, including Tommy Dorfman and Ella Emhoff, walked as whiskered cats, long-beaked birds, and mythical elves for an equally trippy and ethereal presentation.
What may be the most unexpected of all was the unseasonably warm weather in New York City throughout the week; rather than freezing temperatures and snowstorms, guests enjoyed mild weather that allowed for a wider range of dressing opportunities. Typically, coats take center stage of the February NYFW street-style scene, but this week allowed for the ready-to-wear itself to own the moment. Styling cues like boyfriend blazers overtop maxi dresses, exposed stomachs, and leg-revealing skirts were all on display thanks to the balmy weather.
While New York Fashion Week undoubtedly looks glamorous from the outside (and certainly is to an extent), there’s countless hours of hard work by design teams to event planners that make it all happen. Brandon Maxwell had his atelier walk the runway for the final bow, which may have been the best unexpected celebration of all. Plus, there were designers like Colin Locascio and Melke who were able to celebrate the feat of hosting their first runway shows while milestone anniversaries were commemorated by Hellessy for their 10th anniversary and Dennis Basso who rang in 40 years of his namesake label.