Cultural commentary meets couture at first day of Global Fashion Collective

A fusion of worldwide attire and casual streetwear reigns supreme at Global Fashion Collective’s NYFW shows.
A group of models walks down a runway in a line. At the front of the runway, a model opens a black and white checkered cape to reveal a blue ruched mini dress with red stars.
(Alisha Goel for WSN)
Alisha Goel

The Global Fashion Collective platforms designers from international fashion capitals to increase the represented brands’ reach across the world. Shows I and II on Feb. 9 of New York Fashion Week displayed innovative multicultural designs from various brands, creating a dynamic viewing experience.

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SHOW I
By Juliana Gurracino, Culture Editor
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A model wears a blue hoodie and a black zip-up. The model also wears a long ruffled black skirt and has a blue tote bag that says “I’M SORRY THEY TOLD YOU THAT LOVING IS HARD.”
(Nic Chang for WSN)
A model wears black shoes, black pants, a denim jacket and a black button down with a white lace trim that says “I’M SORRY THEY TOLD YOU THAT LOVING IS HARD.”
A model wears a black turtleneck with white daisies that has white text on it and baggy blue jeans.

Kicking off Global Fashion Collective’s NYFW Feb. 9 show with baggy basics, slouchy bags and bold graphics was the U.S. brand Get Some Sleep. As models in long ruffled skirts, loose pants, colorful sweatshirts and crochet balaclavas graced the runway, indie-rock style music accompanied a video of burning flowers, displaying the collection’s name “Is it normal? To think this much?” Designer Daniel Pulido wove the feeling of uneasiness into the collection with pieces featuring phrases like “Please treat me kind, it’s my first time being alive” and “I’m sorry they told you that loving you is hard.” Though the looks showcased simple and comfortable pieces, the androgynous silhouettes and intimate sayings made the introspective collection both cohesive and striking. 

“The question ‘Is it normal to think this much?’ — it’s not even about that,” said Pulido in an interview with WSN. “Throw that whole question out of the equation. There’s no such thing as normal.”

A model walking down a runway wearing a fuzzy blue hat and a gray jacket with a second collar at the bottom of the shirt. The model carries a multi-colored string bag over his shoulder.
(Nic Chang for WSN)
A model walking down a runway and wearing an image of a cartoon face that has red hair.
A model walking down a runway wearing a white ruffled jacket and long black pants.

This collection was a surrealist feast for the eyes. Classical music reminiscent of a song from “Alice in Wonderland” set the scene for a whimsical journey — and that it was. Models wearing asymmetrical silhouettes, over-the-top layering and loud pops of color graced the runway, exuding childlike extravagance. These designs prioritized sparking a dialogue and uplifting expression — a staple for the Japanese brand — rather than only focusing on consistency and wearability.

Accessories, like oversized earmuffs and orange oven mitt-like gloves — as well as playful fabrics, such as puffer polyester — accentuated the fanciful nature of the outfits. When mixed with more classic materials, like leather, and casual garments, like sweatshirts, the collection embraced eccentricity, putting a quirky and cartoonish twist on traditional streetwear.

A model is wearing green socks, black pants, a green shirt and a green face mask that covers their whole face. The model is also holding a checkered bag.
(Nic Chang for WSN)
A model walking down a runway wearing a black t-shirt and floral sweatpants.
A model walking down a runway wearing a navy hoodie, tan pants and a black-and-white handbag.

For designer Neel Garnault-Kumar, the central theme of this season’s collection is cultural exchange — a concept he wanted to specifically explore through the lens of war. From mixing texts of different languages, like Arabic and French, and incorporating military elements, like patches and brooches, everything was in the details. 

With a complementary blend of R&B and classical music playing in the background, models sported vests, sweaters and jackets that struck a harmony among bright colors, patterns and neutrals. Black and tan pants balanced bright green tops and orange camouflage. The U.S. and Emirati brand also used classic outfits, be it a kurta or double-breasted suit, as a canvas for commentary, displaying words like militia and pacifism. By adding ski masks and duffle bags, Garnault-Kumar gave the fusion of Eastern and Western garments that is typical of the brand a fittingly rugged edge.

A model walking down a runway with a sky-blue dress and a shiny, oversized silver jacket.
(Nic Chang for WSN)
A model walking down a runway with a pink trench coat over a black dress.
A model walking down a runway with a white blazer jacket with short white sleeves and straps on top of longer peach sleeves, on top of a silky, peach button-up shirt.

Ethan Wingate brought office wear to the runway with elevated and versatile, yet timeless pieces showcasing feminine flair. The Toronto-based brand is effortlessly chic and ethically produced, which was highlighted in its sophisticated designs and botanical motifs. Models strutted in stilettos or heeled boots, accentuating the flowy fabrics of the dresses, long jackets and tailored trousers.

While the collection leaned on neutrals, Wingate still incorporated pinks, blues and elegant patterns for a touch of color in classic outfits. He also delicately balanced fabrics like leather with silks and satins. The highlight of the collection though was the accessories. From a black leather garrison cap to cat-eye sunglasses, these small details turned already fashionable office attire into proper runway looks.

“It’s a collection — it’s a community of structures that I build,” said Wingate in an interview with WSN. “I want them all to talk to each other. You can easily wear each with each other. They are not individuals — you are wearing a community.”

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SHOW II
By Alexa Donovan, Deputy Arts Editor
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A model walking down a runway with a matching yellow and black set decorated with red lightning bolts and a large gold and black lightning chain necklace.
(Alisha Goel for WSN)
A model walking down a runway wearing a black leather dress with red, yellow and blue patterns and a pair of pink and black stockings places her hands on the back of her head.
A model walking down a runway in a black-and-white checkered jumpsuit with blue and red lightning bolts, a pair of red sneakers and a pair of white fingerless gloves.

Lenifro is a Spanish brand designed by Helen López, and its clothing is made with recycled polyester from plastic water bottles. “Retro Dreamer” was a fun and funky collection inspired by the bright colors and oversized silhouettes of the ‘80s. Highlights included yellow and pink lightning bolt patterns, a purple cheetah print fabric with the word “Panther” written across in yellow, and bright latex boots in various shades of pinks and purples. 

Lenifro’s show stuck out for creating a different atmosphere than the typical fashion show. The models wore large afro wigs and walked with rhythm to the voice of Silky Slim, a musician, who rapped live about López and her brand.

“It felt like you just wanted to jump out of your seat and dance,” Jaeda Cohen, an influencer, told WSN. “The energy was amazing.” 

A model walking down a runway in a green patterned tube top and black and green pants.
(Alisha Goel for WSN)
A model walking down a runway in a matching black-and-red patterned fabric set. The top has red leather sleeves and the bottom is a maxi skirt made of patterned fabric.
A model walking down a runway in a black dress with sleeves that flow to the ground, thigh-high black boots and a corset.

Designer Rhea Singh took inspiration for this latest collection, “Eternal Threads,” from her Indian heritage. Singh uses her background in print design to recreate traditional Indian prints, and incorporates these patterns into her design to uplift her heritage and its beauty. 

“Eternal Threads” was an innovative and dynamic display of silky fabrics, rich embroideries and  contrasting color palettes. From collared shirts to floor-length gowns and two-piece matching sets, various silhouettes were married together with eye-catching prints and striking solid colors. 

A line of models walking down the runway.
(Alisha Goel for WSN)

Studio L 7 x R-Infection brought viewers an innovative look into the future of menswear with its avant-garde black-and-white suits and earth-toned everyday wear. The clothing plays with form, deconstructing traditional silhouettes, like the classic suit, and reimagining them with kilts or large float collars.

“I started from upcycling suits, and started with the drape, and then deconstructed everything and put it back together, just like children playing legos,” designer Wirth Li told WSN. This was done so successfully, with traditional suits being draped into flowy collars, kilts and asymmetrical button-down shirts with a nice contrast of colors. 

A model walking down a runway in a black-and-white ruffle shirt and black pants.
A model walking down a runway in a tiered black button-down and black pants.

Contact Juliana Gurracino and Alexa Donovan at [email protected].

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