Off-site shows offer different perspective on Fashion WeekPosted on September 12, 2013 | by Ayden Rosenberg
Fashion is everywhere. It is just as noticeable in the supermarket and the elevator as it is on mannequins and magazine covers. Its ubiquity is part of its timeless allure and consequently, its lasting relevance in modern society. It is curious then, that the week devoted to fashion’s very existence is thought by many to be bound to a single location. Lincoln Center is a force to be reckoned with, but it would still be a sartorial sin to ignore the goings-on throughout the rest of the city.
Off-site shows are arguably the most intriguing thing about Fashion Week. With the loss of Fashion’s Night Out, which is on hiatus in New York this year, fashion lovers need off-site shows now more than ever to thoroughly experience the ever-growing breadth of the New York fashion scene. Scattered across Manhattan at venues such as Eyebeam Studios, The DiMenna Center, Milk Studios and Center 548, these shows and presentations are a testament to the fact that you don’t need to have a big name to leave a big impact.
The first noteworthy feature of off-site shows is, not surprisingly, the fashion. With new designers come new perspectives, new risks and new ideas. There is much to draw inspiration from in an original collection. Moreover, following new fashion gives you options. It is easy to eyeball the work of famous designers and feel pressured to fall in love with it right then and there. Smaller scale shows, however, give you the liberty to decide for yourself, thus influencing your style in a more candid way.
Off-site shows also provide their attendees and followers with a better understanding of the fashion they are presenting. The versatile array of venue options allow fashion labels a bit more freedom when it comes to creating an environment for their show or presentation. Their selection provides yet another opportunity to gain insight into the theme, tone and purpose of their collection. Take General Idea at the Classic Car Club for an example — the venue’s tall white columns, black epoxy floors and gleaming silver cars seamlessly complement the dramatic, sports-inspired pieces of the palette. Similarly, threeASFOUR at The Jewish Museum gave the geometry-inspired collection the perfect setting to present its artistic fusion of ancient motifs and modern design.
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of following off-site shows is the chance to learn more about up-and-coming designers. Fashion is about so much more than whose name is on the tag. Drooling over the legendary labels is all well and good, but there’s something exciting about following a new designer from anonymity to eminence. The unknowns of today are the hot tickets of tomorrow, so why not pay attention now and be part of the journey?
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 12 print edition. Ayden Rosenberg is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.