New York Fashion Week: the highlights from day one of spring/summer 2022 shows

The in-person event has kicked off in style, with '80s silhouettes and vibrant hues among the emerging trends

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The first physical New York Fashion Week since the start of the pandemic kicked off on Wednesday, pulling out all the stops for its grand opening.

The colours of the season seem to be neons and brights, with lime green, saffron orange and bright pink seen numerous times on the runways. The flouncy silhouettes of the 1980s are big, too, with peplums, shoulders and drop-waisted puffballs in abundance.

If day one, with its array of shows that felt upbeat, life-affirming and bursting with energy, is a taste of what to expect over fashion month, then we are in for a very fun time indeed.

Here are the highlights so far.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh

In her first show since 2019, Iranian-American designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh unveiled a co-ed collection in her Lower East Side store that celebrated a return to "normal" life.

In typical fashion, this was about quiet mismatching and a laid-back sense of individualism; think raspberry tanks mixed with rose skirts, and a polka-dot sequinned skirt worn with mustard knee-high boots. Men, too, were equally off kilter, with baggy, almost wet-look track pants and loose, dip-dyed cotton overshirts.

Perfectly restrained, Zadeh’s collection offered tiny cropped T-shirts worn under crocheted bra tops and Bardot tops worn over polo shirts with crisp A-line skirts.

Peter Do

One of the most anticipated shows of the week, Peter Do made his runway debut in a park with the Manhattan skyline as backdrop.

Born in Vietnam, Do has upended the city's fashion scene with his beautiful minimalism, which though stripped of all frippery, is elegant and wearable.

To open, Do sent out a crisp, white side-buttoned trench coat over trousers. Pair with a structured handbag and wedge-soled boots, it was an immaculate start.

A softer edge came via rolled jeans mixed with a men’s blazer and a flowered cape worn over one arm. Offering a masterclass in zero-fuss dressing, Do mixed floor-length shirt dresses with rock chick leather trousers, or zipped denim shorts and long, bias-cut silk skirts with masculine sportswear tops. Even a blazer decked out in geegaws felt unfussy, worn with a white, bias-cut linen dress, or over grey denim.

For evening, Do ramped things up with an asymmetric pleated skirt under a fluid satin trench and tuxedo-cut jumpsuits.

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano does not do drab, and that was the message he hammered home with a gloriously OTT show.

Model Precious Lee opened the show sporting a punchy saffron suit in an affirmation that life – in New York, at least – was back. A riotously striped crop top and kick-flare trousers, a tangerine mini dress crested with elaborate arm frills, and a lime green drop-waisted dress were just three of the looks Siriano conjured to evoke a return to summer.

Puffball dresses in gleaming satin, leather suits with hand-sketched patterns and unlined lace dresses all felt free, celebratory and just straight-out joyful. A champion of living life to the full since day one of his career, now Siriano’s optimism and ebullience has been woven into every piece of clothing.

Prabal Gurung

For all the political statements ahead of his show, Prabal Gurung delved into springtime optimism for his latest collection, with both men and women clad in pretty florals and zesty lime, aqua and coral pink.

In a show that was uplifting and fresh, Gurung sent out looks that swayed between oversized volume and second-skin clinging. A pink baby-doll gingham dress opened the show, worn under a billowing floral housecoat, as a floor-length lime skirt arrived with a halterneck top and exaggerated volume through the hips.

Other American codes arrived as checks and stripes, while balloon shapes came as peplum tops (worn over trousers), tiered bandeau dresses and flowery inserts in an otherwise sleek black top. A side-gathered column dress was matched with a huge ruffled grey jacket, the first of many such fluffy looks that moved towards evening dresses tufted with ostrich feathers.

The men, too, were just as lovely, with single-button suits in soft lemony yellow, and oversized shirts in pink-on-white florals, worn loose over matching, wide-legged trousers.

Proenza Schouler

The design duo also opted for an upbeat feel, looking to Hawaii for reference. The all-women's collection riffed on dazzling reds and yellows – seen best as shimmering long dresses covered in fringing – and blasts of deep orange and brilliant patterns.

Long flowing goddess dresses swept past in marigold, honey and fuchsia, as masculine suits arrived in luminous orange and burnt ochre. Two dresses featured dense patterning that echoed the bird of paradise and hibiscus flowers.

Amid the colour were more sombre looks in black that showed off the label's cuts to perfection.

Updated: September 09, 2021, 12:55 PM