Models of different shapes and sizes flaunted the latest designs at New York Fashion Week. From Michael Kors to Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty, heavy hitters in the fashion world sought to create a more inclusive atmosphere. (Sept. 20)
NEW YORK – Brandon Maxwell kicked off his New York Fashion Week show with a big statement of diversity and a celebration of women.
Maxwell brought out powerful women on the runway and in the front row at his fall/winter 2019 collection Saturday night at Penn Plaza Pavilion in New York City.
In a move that highlighted blackness and strong women, Maxwell opened the show with seven black models, celebrating women of color in an industry constantly reckoning with issues surrounding race.
Supermodels Karlie Kloss and Ashley Graham brought the star power to the front row, with Kloss sporting a pale blue-gray high-neck sweater dress and Graham slaying a long-sleeved black midi dress, complemented by a pair of glittering heels.
Nicky Hilton rocked a black jumpsuit with a cropped cape, her tresses pulled back in a bun with some blonde pieces framing her face as she sat alongside Kloss and Graham in the front row.
Bella Hadid and Grace Elizabeth were some of the recognizable names featured in the show, with Hadid in an all-white look and Elizabeth in a white, high-neck top and black pants.
Before guests even watched the models strut down the catwalk, Maxwell highlighted the women in his life in the show notes on each seat at the venue.
“I approach each season as chapters in the overall volume of my life,” he wrote in the notes. “Each collection a response to the one that came before. If last season was able celebrating where I came from, this season is firmly rooted in the idea of resolving where I am.”
He continued: “Between tonight’s show and my last, a series of events left me temporarily unmoved by the whimsy of nostalgia. In that time I developed a deeper appreciation for women who transform the ugliness and brutality of reality into something beautiful and substantial. I found myself thinking about the potential physical and spiritual. The resulting silhouettes are a kind of fantasy; one that is designed to celebrate the incongruencies [sic] between what we want and what we must face.”
Like last season, Maxwell thanked his mother for her inspiration, even bringing her out at the end of the show and kissing her on the cheek.
“The collection is the physical manifestation of the strength my mom and so many women in my life have shown over the past few months,” he wrote. “I am here tonight because of their strength; women who so effortlessly turn the cold concrete of reality into a home. It’s always for you, Mom.”
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