i wasn't invited.

How you gon’ hate from outside the club, when you cain’t even get in? Leggo. 

                                                             - Chris Brown, Look At Me Now, 2012

 

I wasn’t invited to any fashion week shows because I am a loser and a square. I go to work I go home I see my friends – I dream before I go to bed and then I immediately forget my dreams, but I know that they definitely have something to do with being fabulous and getting invited to all the shows and the parties and drinking with all my friends who actually are invited to the shows, because they’re winners and circles, if you will. 

I love fashion – I have since I was around 5 or 6 when I would watch The Cheetah Girls and The Matrix and wish I lived somewhere cold enough to need to wear a coat. I love fashion week – I have since I watched Diddy debut Sean Jean on the runway, since I pasted images of Liya Kebede and Devon Aoki and Lindsey Wixton all over my bedroom from the first Vogue Paris my mom bought me from Barnes and Noble, since I saw my very first Galliano collection online. You know, I used to keep an old Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy fragrance sample I tore from a magazine at my mom’s hair salon in my pocket for good luck. I would squeeze it real tight before a test and run the sticky envelope over my wrists and behind my ears until there was no fragrance left, and even then I still kept the ad until it withered away into nothing, not even a smell. 

 

These are the stories that make up fashion week now. This is what they want to hear now! They want a gazillion dollar heartfelt fabricated on runways designed 100% not for the people, with shit quality, because we’ve decided its more important to feel included by fashion. Fashion should be alienating. You should look at it and feel something powerful, something grotesque just generally something awesome. A collection shouldn’t have to be personal or nostalgic for it to matter. It seems like we want a story from everyone except the designer. This feels like the new normal – we’re supposed to narrativize our way in the door, to look at some psycho’s idea of “democracy” on the runway. Where’s the drama. Where’s the fun. 

 

Because of this, a lot of fashion writing is bitchmade. I saw an Instagram story from this girl named Johanna (@griopoixcore) that I forgot to screenshot that was about how fashion writers have a formula to talk about runways as craftsmanship, when the reality is that the focal point of most of the runways we saw during NYFW was some bizarre post-modern capitalism echo of styling, not fashion. After making a comparison to fashion designers as artisans “honing their craft” or representing some vague renaissance, we’ll use words like “fantasy,” and talk about the set, the draping of the clothes, the weather on the day of the show, a vague NYU comp-lit ass reference to a very commonly read novel, the shoes (most of the time Pleasers or from Zara with the exception of Peter Do, shouts out Peter Do). All of this is simply: not correct – Johanna agreed in her story. Craft means that you care, and not only does it feel like nobody cares, it feels like not caring about the vigor that should define this industry has become the premiere artistic concept behind every collection. I am bored. 

 

With all of that as a caveat, I give you the NYFW review no one asked for, because it feels like we’re stuck in “redefining beauty.” How gauche, that phrase! I’m sick of hearing arguments about beauty, either from confused ideologues trying to make beauty for everyone, or equally confused religious fetishists reminding us about how objective beauty exists for a reason, how there will always be something objectively beautiful to look at, and how we should preserve that. Both of these ideas are drole. We can do more! Beauty should exist, but there is no standard, other than something that is beautiful to look at. It’s up to the artist or designer to make that happen. We shouldn’t be in the age of trying to redefine, or preserve – we should be in the age of the artisan. 

 

With that – here’s what I have to say. In true Massie Block fashion, I’m going to be rating each collection as ‘hawt’ or ‘nawt,’ along with a hyperspecific number between 1 and 10. It’s 4:17 am, I’m in my matching pajamas I stole from a hotel in Japan once looking at Vogue Runway on my couch about to watch the season finale of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 9. 

~

Eckhaus Latta, Collina Strada, PRISCAVera, MNZ – Nawt to all, 3.4

Eckhaus Latta SS23

Collina Strada SS23

PRISCAVera SS23

Maryam Nassir Zadeh SS23

Every single season, all might as well be the same thing. I think I do a pretty good job of divorcing my personal boredom with subversive basics from my opinion about these designers, but come on. The only thing that really differentiates these brands from each other is the fact that Collina decided to bedazzle some Whole Foods broccoli and have give it to a model with a purse (my friend Bella who walked for them looked great as she always does). Eckhaus and MNZ might as well be the same, but Eckhaus is more knitwear based and MNZ is more long-legged tall girl wearing linen and interestingly colored spandex. I just wish there was a less direct-to-consumer feeling of these shows. More one-of-one INSANE takes for both of those, like a knitwear jellyfish from Eckhaus, or a knit power suit with those hot shorts (loved those this season) from MNZ. PRISCAVera…bad quality, boring, shoes were weird. I don’t really want anything from them they can keep making their money. 

 

LUAR – Hawt, 9 even

Absolutely went. A lot of the construction of the garments broke my brain in the right way. This shouldn’t be rare by any means, but everything fit beautifully. Symone and Fish Fiorucci were among the fiercest of this cast – there was drama, there were amazing proportions all throughout the 45 looks from the purposefully-wrinkly suits in the beginning to the fierce black formal looks and leather coat-hotpants combos. Points off for the random jeans - ew. But overall giving!!

 

Peter Do – Hawt, 8.7

 

This is an example of a brand that has basics and craftsmanship at the heart of their practice – because of how well the garments are made, the entire runway of black/neutrals and suiting can never be boring, or one dimensional. Peter Do has been experimenting with shoes for the past few seasons, and I love it – this season’s shoes are not exception. I don’t like to purchase basics apart from boxers and beaters from Target, but I need one pair of every trouser on the runway (custom tailored, of course) each season. 

 

Prabal Gurung – Hawt, 9.1

Maximalist, extra, amazing. Construction was giving, casting was great – this was a perfect example of a brand that has different body types fit into the concept, rather than tailoring the concept around a bizarre “all bodies matter” concept that ultimately, leaves the designers looking horrible and untalented because they can’t fit clothing unless it’s straight sized. Everything fit well, and everything had a great element that I could tell was thought-out alongside the party, 80’s neon maximalist tailoring feeling that I got from the collection. Exquisite.

 

Marni – Hawt, 8.1

Little weird, little greasy, all mad-awesome, apart from one fact: can we have knits again. No holes. No extra strings or weird details, one whole sweater thant’s one whole piece. My e-friend Oliver Mizraje looked great. 

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Proenza Schouler - Hawt, 7.4

Love the giant bubble skirts, love the tailoring, the crochets and knit were a little bit unnecessary for me, but I see and respect the vision though. This one look was really bad to me, but generally: the mint lace was very in the 2007-comeback that’s….coming back. Overall very classic NY fashion show, from a very classic NY heritage brand!

 

Michael Kors – Nawt, really cannot rate this, only including for perspective of my metric

☹︎

 

Kim Shui – Nawt, 5.2

Yes generally – top two examples are the good parts. All of the filler looks (bottom two) straight up did not fit though. Hate that. 

 

Khaite – Nawt, 4.9

 

 

While I’m not mad at it, I hate that people have effectively ripped off Meg Superstar Princess’ entire gig and kind of blunted it into this gay ass nuevo 2009 polished thing. Like this – I feel like I would see Meg running around on IG in a better version of this jacket, some lamé metallic hot shorts in an obnoxious color and her signature racoon eye. This feels like Meg appeared on someone’s moodboard (as I’m sure she does) and some tame ass creative decided to editorialize it into this pencil skirt. Maybe I’m projecting, idk. Tailoring was great though.

 

Barragán – Hawt, 7.3

Awesome concept apart from the fact that they directly ripped off this ‘Meth’ idea from Big Dawg Seth Fountain. Allegra Samsen looked phenomenal (girl u rock). This is one of those things where the fantasy aspect was very art school, but not art school without the effort – the clothing was more ready-made and less based on craftsmanship, but the craftsmanship of the show and concept as a whole were really playful and cool to me. 

 

Dion Lee – Hawt, 8.1

 

 

 

 

From the opening look, I knew this was about to GO. Craftsmanship, I wish the weird holes concept would have lasted more throughout the whole show rather than dipping into those weird Rick Owens-y giant seatbelt harness things. Everything felt really well made and well styled.

 

No Sesso – Nawt, 2.3

 

 

Really sad, didn’t fit. I remember one of their earlier shows with Fashion East in like 2017 I wanna say (could be wrong) and it was provocative. I simply don’t care enough to find it right now but this collection just made me sad. I felt like I was going to Mehanata circa 2018. 

 

Puppets and Puppets – Nawt, 1.4

 

Meh and weird, in a bad way. Really did not understand the styling, felt 3 years late (not in a chic way). 

 

SC103 – Nawt at ALL

They make more than bags?! Should stay with the bags those are cool. Not including images cus I don’t wanna inspire some of you fools. 

 

~

 

Like most NYFW’s post-2013, I’m tired! And I’m not even invited to go to any of the shows. I don’t know how y’all do it, truly the only people who have anything non-formulaic and fun to say re: fashion week. If you covered the shows independently; I love you, go you.

 

My overall diagnosis of this NYFW is that we’re in need of a little mean-girl-with-heart-of-gold, we’re in need of a little Massie Block. I feel like fashion has moved on a scale of Massie to Kuh-laire, towards Kuh-laire - we think we need to have that earnest, kind quality to matter. Kuh-laires are more likeable in the real world, and fashion is nawt the real world. Fashion is the real world, artistically – crafted, heightened, with an angular haircut and a stash of opiates and Marlboro Lites in a vintage YSL cigarette case. You will only understand this if you've read The Clique, sozz. 

Anyways, I was harrowed at the amount of jeans (not denim generally, jeans) I saw on the runway, I was shocked by the styling, I was really shocked by the glam (tbh shouldn't be surprising the glam teams are always the unsung heroes of each fashion week). Oh I also hated the weird tech aspect added into this fashion week, that unfortunately, I believe is going to be the future of fashion. Anyways.

 

I hope we see some of that for LFW! May or not have a review for that…this is an America-first website. 

Little weird, little greasy, all mad-awesome, apart from one fact: can we have knits again. No holes. No extra strings or weird details, one whole sweater thant’s one whole piece. My e-friend Oliver Mizraje looked great. 

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