On the Runway 2015: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Click. Flash. Click. Flash.

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicked off with a bang on February 12 with the menswear shows starting the day before. The first stop on this international fashion extravaganza: New York City. Home to some of America’s most iconic sights—the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Empire State Building—New York City has become a center for innovation in business, fashion, art and writing. And with the famous Fifth Avenue stretching from West 142nd Street in Harlem to Washington Square North in Greenwich Village, it was the perfect place to host one of the most renowned fashion events in the world.

This year’s designers created looks for Fall 2015. They freed their artistic expression to make a collection worthy of awe and inspiration. Among them were Kenneth Cole, Ryu Hayama, Prabal Gurung, Nina Skarra and Zac Posen, to name a few.

Ryu Hayama showcased his menswear collection on February 11, 2015 at Industria Studios. Far from the traditional men’s fashion, Hayama offered out-of-the-box styles that jolted the audience’s attention. With them, he attempted to bring together the concept of the young man and the sea. One particular design featured a blue, raincoat-type jacket with a matching fisherman-style hat. The hat slopes down to cover the model’s eyes. Another design featured a model with bottle-pink hair, a gray turtleneck underneath a glaringly yellow jacket and very loose, almost sweatpant-like, bottoms. While I believe this collection looked disordered and ill-fitting, I admire Hayama’s creative endeavor. (http://www.gettyimages.com/asset-detail/gallery/event/536374779; http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/inside-fashion-week/fall-2015/moncler)

Prabal Gurung, who first launched his collection in the 2009 New York Fashion Week, returned to the runway on February 15, 2015. Here, he showcased a variety of embroidered tank dresses and long-sleeved gowns; some of which were paired with a fur jacket. His opening piece featured a gray, wool coat with a white fur border. Underneath, the model wore an ivory slip that had a fold-over slit. Overall, I found Gurung’s palette of gray, white, black, navy and red soothing. But matched with sharp angles and bulky, fur-lined coats, his collection exuded strength. I would say Gurung successfully channeled the beauty and power of the Adirondacks, which was his inspiration. (http://mbfashionweek.com/gallery/ny-prabal-gurung-runway-mercedes-benz-fashion-week-fall-2015)

Of all the pieces presented during this week, one of the most show-stopping was designed by Zac Posen. Known for combining couture with striking invention, Posen created a collection worthy of Hollywood glamour. He’s designed for recognized figures such as Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow and First Lady Michelle Obama and is a judge on Lifetime’s Project Runway. For this year’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Posen finished his collection with a heart-stopping red dress. He accompanied model, Naomi Campbell, as she glided down the runway in a shimmering, ruby-red, strapless ball gown fit for any princess. (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/photo-galleries/2015/02/17/mercedes-benz-new-york-fashion-week-2015/)

However, it was FTL MODA that stole the show for me. On February 15, the company unveiled futuristic designs that sparked my anticipation for the unknown future. Some models became canvases splattered chaotically, yet strategically, with white paint; they carried large handbags that demanded equal attention. Other designs featured layered, flowing dresses accented with embroidered flowers, which reminded me of nature and its simplistic beauty. But it’s designer, Antonio Urzi, who gained my utmost notice and respect. In association with Models for Diversity and FTL MODA, Urzi proved that high fashion isn’t only for the thin, perfectly featured and perfectly formed. Several models with disabilities strutted down the runway, comfortable and confident in their own skin. Jack Eyers, a 25-year-old leg-amputee and past nominee for Men’s Health magazine’s Man of the Year, remarked in a press release with Caters News that “it all feels so surreal…[and] I just want to show that having a disability doesn’t need to hold you back. I want people to see me and to realize that there needs to be more disabled models walking the runway.” (http://mbfashionweek.com/gallery/ny-ftl-moda-runway-mercedes-benz-fashion-week-fall-2015)

From February 12 to February 19, 2015, New York City was bursting with cameras, lights and layers upon layers of fabric. Celebrities from across America, from Rihanna to Katie Holmes, came to gaze and remark on the upcoming fashion phenomenon. Each day, designers wowed the audience with couture designs and each day the audience left with the sense of amazement that is fashion.

Due to copyright usage laws, the photos can be viewed through links.

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