I think a big part of why this Fashion Week has felt more sober is because it coincides with the tenth anniversary of September 11th. As a native New Yorker, the tragedy of the events that happened ten years ago today still resonate, and like everyone else who lives here, I feel compelled to spend this day remembering what happened, and those who passed.
Even though Sally LaPointe made no reference to September 11th when she showed on Friday, the entire show reflected a sense of poignancy that seemed relevant to general feel of the week. The collection was inspired by The Renwick Ruins, a distinct piece of New York architectural history that has fascinated me since I was a child. An abandoned smallpox hospital on Roosevelt Island, the ruins are still visible from Manhattan when driving along the FDR or walking alongside the East River, and look like the overgrown remnants of a Gothic castle. You cannot visit the ruins, as I have longed to--you can only look at them from afar, wondering about what secret past they once possessed.
The clothes in the collection have the strong architectural cuts that LaPointe is known for, but this season they were combined with murky digitally manipulated prints that were meant to evoke decomposition, and the paint peeling off of a wall. The looks speak to something that once was, and depict an eerie recollection of a haunted past rendered in a beautiful new light. On the back cover of Time Magazine this week, Howard Lutnick, who worked at the towers, is quoted as saying "We move forward, but it stays with us." While these clothes reference dark moments in the past, these references are lifted up with a deep sense of romanticism, beauty, and also hope. These are feelings I would like to take with me as we remember, make sense of, and move forward after September 11th.