Fashion

NYFW: Mimi Prober redefines tragic beauty

The collection featured dresses that were delicate, but slightly askance.

By 8pm on Valentine's Day—one spent inside Skylight Clarkson Square, working and periodically scrolling through everyone's flowers and candy pictures on Instagram—the pink heart motif was getting a little tiresome. Even Alice + Olivia's presentation was loaded with cutesy pink-and-red hearts (which I also got to see on Instagram, not in person, unfortunately; more FOMO yet). So when Mimi Prober's Fall/Winter 2017 collection debuted, its tone—one of heartbreak and wreckage—was jarring, but strangely perfect.

Courtesy of People's Revolution

Courtesy of People's Revolution

Models walked out to Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah," which took command of the room in a way standard house music cannot. A heart-wrenching ballad might be an unlikely choice for a fashion show, but it informed the clothes. They started off black and lacy, opening with harem pants and a thin, breezy lace cardigan, progressing into grey, patchwork dresses that seemed to cling to the models by their very threads. A number of very loose dresses made of mismatched fabrics that almost seemed to come together by happenstance were interspersed with lace dresses fitted tightly to the body. Some sections of lace were so delicate they resembled a veil; others chosen were thicker, almost knits. Or spider webs.

Many were practically "naked" dresses, leaving much underneath visible; one in particular had an opaque bodice, beaded and sparkly, but the skirt left little to the imagination. Some pieces, a bit puzzlingly, were made of extremely thick, stiff material that resembled insulation. It was cut into swing coats and dresses.

Courtesy of People's Revolution

Courtesy of People's Revolution

But there was something about the intentional brokenness of the garments that made sense: a dress with a very crooked zipper, running from the right shoulder to the left of the hips; dresses with meticulous construction in the bodice but skirts and trains that look almost undone. There was something beautiful and delicate about garments that display their fragility so visibly, as if we're to suspect that the girl wearing them has done or might do something lonely and destructive. But Prober's collection isn't ugly-pretty, because it's not ugly: it's just artistic, toeing the line between lovely and broken.

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Fashion

NYFW: Anniesa Hasibuan commits to glamour - with a message

The Indonesian brand is all about luxury, but the show was anything but apolitical.

By Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows

Last season, Anniesa Hasibuan became the first designer ever to put hijabs on the runway at New York Fashion Week. And this season she made waves again by casting all immigrant models for the presentation of her Fall/Winter 2017 collection, which debuted February 14 at Skylight Clarkson Square.

Hasibuan has an elegant and powerful way of delivering a message. By putting hijabs and immigrant models on the runway with little fanfare (except from the press after the fact), she is very simply saying: Muslims belong here. Immigrants belong here, just like everyone and everything else that shows at NYFW. The statement is made via presence, and the clothes are left to make their own statement. Which they absolutely do.

Every single outfit was, simply put, the most. Sequins, velvet, pearls, embroidery. No matte surfaces. The collection aspired to royalty.

By Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows

By Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows

The color palette consisted of white, cream, peach, silver, gold, and black, mostly manifested in monochromatic outfits of several juxtaposing textures. The simplest outfits were a loose, sparkly tunic over dark velvet pants; most were a dress or tunic and pants with a long sheer cardigan or jacket over it. And when I say no matte surfaces, I'm not exaggerating: sheer pieces featured silver mesh overlay or dainty pearl detailing. Sequins were everywhere. Lots of skirts were big, full, and floor-length with flower-like gathering. It's fitting that the collection's theme was "drama."

By Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows

By Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows

And while Hasibuan uses volume expertly, making even the most fabric-heavy, layered outfits still look floaty and delicate, the slimmer silhouettes exuded modern royalty. Gold-threaded sweater and metallic pleated skirt pairings were cinched with obi belts. One long black dress with silver threading featured chiffon ruffles from the knee down, and one of the most interesting pieces was a menswear-inspired vest with a floor-length train. The simpler the outfit, the bolder the accessories—thick strings of pearls and beaded gloves, for example. Not a single outfit played it safe, and thank goodness for that. Hasibuan's woman is into luxury, into dressing up, and isn't afraid of being the most extra.