As guests navigate the streets while dressed for possible snow flurries, credit must be given to the sheer determination of all involved.
With shows from the likes of Helmut Lang, Tommy Hilfiger and Prabal Gurung having already taken place, The National rounds up the best so far.
Her first outing since quitting Chloe, the label she headed for three years, Gabriela Hearst was back at her namesake brand digging deep into her commitment to sustainability. The clothes themselves were rather underplayed – a cable-knit jumper here, a slinky bias-cut dress there.
However, with the use of new materials such as hemp now made to look like washed denim, and fluffy cashmere instead of fur, this was more about reinforcing the core elements of what she stands for rather than any show-stopping moments. That all said and done, the collection was handled with a steady, concise touch. Welcome back, Gabriela.
Showing us exactly why he has enjoyed such longevity, Michael Kors delivered a collection that oozed urban chic. Delicate, lace-trimmed negligee dresses appeared under cosy coats, and blazers were cinched with long, skinny belts.
Sharp-cut office coats hung on shoulders, and grey wool skirts had interesting handkerchief hems with extra volume. There were enough twists to keep this fresh, too – who knew a glossy aviator jacket could look so good with a suit? – and Kors even made a puffer gilet look fabulous.
But then pulled-together New York style is what Kors does best.
To celebrate her 20 years in fashion, Burch doubled down on her sleek, city-centric vision, with a parade of clothes that were functional yet dressy.
Utility shirts were borrowed from menswear, but pulled in sharply to define the waist, while outer coats were either drop-shouldered in shades of dove grey, or smothered in a shimmery tinsel, that felt surprisingly chic. Elsewhere heavy jacquard and mock-croc were cut into tops and skirts that stood away from the body, creating a silhouette that was not unlike a lampshade – an interesting, rather than bulky, result.
Amid this came woollen wrap skirts in vivid orange or police-strobe blue, over fitted hooded bodysuits that were sharp, yet cosy.
Naeem Khan is all about occasion dressing and with awards seasons well under way, we can expect a few of the looks presented on the runway to translate to red carpets.
As well as the grand gowns, Khan offered options for the events surrounding the awards, including a series of flapper-style, straight-cut dresses, edged with beaded fringing. A slinky black velvet dress, meanwhile, was teamed with sparkly, sequinned leggings, with the dress cut to the hip to show them off. The show stopper, however, was perhaps the most understated, as a snug fitted midi-dress, with a deep-cut neckline.
As head of this quintessential American house since 2018, Wes Gordon has a deep understanding of what the Carolina Herrera client wants. As a reflection, perhaps, of world news, Gordon has reworked flounce and florals into something stronger and more powerful, while retaining all the Herrera elements.
Take the opening look for example: a sheer red polo neck with cigarette pants, over which sat a full skirt, shorn to a mini with an asymmetric train. Even the signature look of a white shirt and full skirt had the skirt stop mid-calf for a more practical slant. The materials were also rethought, such as a full-sleeve peasant top over a floor-length skirt, not in glitzy taffeta but instead in black and dark wash denim to bring the Herrera woman smack bang into 2024.
This season Prabal Gurung embraced his Nepalese heritage by draping tops, dresses and coats to echo guniyo cholo, women’s national dress in Nepal. Now given a chic update – the collection featured oodles of shearling – fabric was caught in subtle ways around the waist or gathered into unexpected volume on one sleeve.
Both a glossy satin trench coat in powder blue and a shearling dress in dark oxblood had a scarf slung over the opposite shoulder to trail almost to the floor. The same draped effect appeared as a pale blue coat misbuttoned over a lilac trouser suit. New and elegant, this was Gurung at his best.
Returning to New York after an absence of two years, Tommy Hilfiger doubled down on the essential preppy wardrobe he practically invented, revitalising it with some Manhattan chic.
The rugby shirt – a staple of every Hilfiger customer – arrived oversized with an elongated collar, shifting it towards something far dressier, particularly when worn under a slouchy blazer and below-the-knee skirt. It also appeared under a crew neck minidress and again paired with loose chinos, a caramel jumper and floor-grazing blue duster coat.
The varsity jacket was also oversized, sliding off the shoulder. In returning to his roots both physically and metaphorically, Hilfiger has made prep wear New York-cool.
Celebrating his brand's 15-year anniversary, Joseph Altuzarra delivered a show that was beautifully unfussy. Anchored on well-cut separates – and one bombshell bugle-beaded slip dress – the show was aimed at women who crave substance and simplicity.
A white jumper with black harlequin diamonds was worn tucked into a pleated leather midi skirt, and a knitted Arran jumper with tone-on-tone sequins scattered across it was worn with a straight-cut black sequin skirt.
Soft folds of Pierrot collars were a uniting element, seen in knitted periwinkle over a woollen dress, with black chiffon peeking from the neck and cuffs of a pea coat and a soft cream ruffle over a mustard duffel coat. Many looks included knitted jodhpurs snatched in around the calves, while more roomy coats had long storm flaps at the back – both a nod to the designer’s love of horseriding.
Cult favourite Khaite delivered a mood, literally. On an under-lit runway, models appeared out of the gloom like apparitions. What we could see of the clothes, however, was an interesting play on volume, as glossy leather blouson jackets stretched down to the knees and fluid tops and skirts hung around the body in loose folds.
One dress, in smoky cadet blue wool, had its own hood, while another look mixed a tuxedo-style collared blouse – in crumpled, draped silk – over a sleek leather pencil skirt that was slashed almost to the hip. Worn with over-the-knee boots, it was fabulous.
As a brand that embraces all shapes on its runway, Christian Cowan paid ode to his Upper East Side clients this season. Fittingly, the casting reflected this, from standard skinny teenagers to the 50-somethings who actually buy the clothes, all sporting Jackie-O style bouffant wigs.
Cowan is about fun, and that came through loud and clear, from the opening look of a mini tank top with a skirt made of streams of sequins, to a strapless minidress with its own floor-length cape also fully covered in sequins.
Amid the sparkly, there was also some serious tailoring, such as corseted, strapless gowns in bias-cut ticking and a series of bias-cut high-shine satin sheath dresses, backless and trimmed with marabou feathers.
Peter Do unveiled his second collection for Helmut Lang, leaning further into the sharp tailoring that both he and the house he now leads are famous for. The opening look was a shirt-and-trouser set that seemed to be made out of bubble wrap, and this intriguing material appeared throughout the show.
The show was a mix of both men’s and womenswear. The men got the better coats – nearly every look was made up of multiple warm layers – but the women got the better tailoring. A trapeze woollen dress arrived with a double hem – with a lighter, silk lining just peeking out – and was worn over straight-legged trousers, while another straight-cut tabard in grey wool was mixed with skin-tight glossy PVC trousers.