"Ok. That's enough," designers seem to be saying; the backlash against fashion's dizzying velocity has become palpable this week with labels reining back control over their commercial models and concepts and flying in the face of sartorial codes.
First up was Michael Kors Collection. While he honoured the house's tried and true formula of sporty + sleek + urban tailoring, there was a definite air of rebellion in the lack of seasonality to the collection. "It's about no rules, no seasons, no time of day," he told reporters backstage. "Certainly my customers, because they travel and they're busy, they wear sandals in the winter, they wear boots in the summer - so they don't even actually think of things in a seasonal way anymore."
And the offering certainly challenged conventions, if not only for it's See-Now-Buy-Now shopability (a selection of looks were made available in store and online immediately following the show). 41 out of 53 looks for this winter collection sat above a generous stretch of bare leg, casual denim skirts and baggy jeans were embroidered with plumes of ostrich feathers, cashmere was spun into hoodies only to be thrown on top of silver sequinned numbers and exquisite mink came in citron green, powder blue and lavender. As Kors said himself, "That's really what personal style is, knowing yourself and breaking the rules."
Then onto DKNY. Fronted by the designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, this was the new generation Donna Karan New York, deconstructing brand classics and flouting expectations; "Celebrate the obvious but turn things on their heads and flip things inside out," was the motto of the collection, the duo explained to vogue.co.uk. That meant, ripping the collars away from shirts to float above raw seams and slashing up suiting into the briefest of proportions - one pinstripe blazer in particular only just covered the bust - leaving the remains to hang and drape, at times disappearing into a furry finish below the knees and elbows. There was a definite 1989 vibe, the year that DKNY launched, with trackpants, baseball tees, overalls and interpretations of silk slip dresses - but all finished with Chow and Osborne's boundary-pushing style.
Rounding out the New York evening was one of the hottest tickets of the week - Proenza Schouler and man, they know how to do cool. A subdued palette of neutrals popped with varying opacities of citron green and burnt orange in sculpted - yet, wearable - looks that hinted to the intriguing layers beneath. Potentially gauche finishes like eyelet lace-ties, centre-front slits, straps and ribbons, in their hands, looked sophisticated and effortless. This was a functional, all-terrain wardrobe for women and how we wear now.
And, just as Kors earlier in the day (and Coach the day before, and as per Burberry and Tom Ford have announced to do), Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez presented a capsule of runway looks available just after the show entitled Early Edition, having intended to only reveal the designs to the public when they were available to purchase.
This writer can attest to having a few full digital carts already - shopping will never be the same.