Star-studded New York Fashion Week Hit All The Right Notes!
Written by: LaKisa Renee
The world of fashion reunited for the 1st in-person shows after Covid-19 restrictions forced previous seasons to be virtual only. Audiences returned with much anticipation to view the Spring-Summer 2022 Collections from iconic brands and rising designers, some still virtually due to continuing covid concerns. Luxury Designers such as Tom Ford, Christian Siriano, The Blonds, Michael Kors, Nicole Miller, Laquan Smith, Sergio Hudson & Pyer Moss showcased extravagant, bold, glamourous & creative designs. From the Lincoln Center & Rockefeller Center, to the Brooklyn Museum and the blocks of Harlem; the designers came to make a statement and left everyone talking. It was amazing to see the diversity in fashion week this year and see many black designers be celebrated and highlighted, even during the Met Gala (the Oscars of fashion) which is fashion’s biggest event of the year.
Along with the return NYFW was also the return of Broadway, the US Open and the MetGala.
All were shut down and cancelled due to the pandemic as well. It was also the 9/11 20 Year Anniversary and the MTV Video Music Awards weekend. From Presidents, Athletes & Entertainers, NYC was the place to be! It was so great to see the city alive and buzzing again, horns honking, tourists filling up Times Square and Broadway marquee signs lit up again.
NYC was back, it hadn’t seen this many people since before the pandemic started.
With the re-emergence of New York City also came the vaccination mandate by the Governor, requiring all individuals to be vaccinated to attend events, entertainment venues, gyms and restaurants. This caused some uneasiness and tension among people and businesses. Unfortunately many were denied entry due to only having a negative COVID and no vaccination proof. Some of the attendees wore masks, but a lot opted not to wear masks forgetting that we are still in a pandemic.
Celebrities, designers, models and guests rushed from show to show through the city by limousine, car or train. Strutting through the streets as if it were a runway; in the most creative, edgy, glamorous, original streetwear that fashion week attendees are known for.
Captivating onlookers and photographers, who emerged like paparazzi vying to get that perfect shot. All you saw were flashing lights everywhere, you heard voices shouting “Look over here,” “Turn this way, “Yes, that’s the pose.” That gives you a rush like no other, an experience you can’t get from virtual shows.
Many famous supermodels made their return to the runway including Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. The front-rows were filled with celebs such as Ciara, Jennifer Hudson, Kate Hudson, Megan Fox and Saweetie who had announced her new partnership with MAC Cosmetics and hosted the official launch party at Le Bain Rooftop during NYFW. There were so many phenomenal shows to attend, some included the hip-hop inspired Pretty Little Thing Collection by Teyana Taylor with a performance by Young Dirk and DJ Cassidy spinning the hits. The show also featured an appearance from Taylor’s superstar daughter “Junie” who walked the runway. The Bvlgari event featured a magical performance by the sister duo Chloe x Halle, their first performance together in months. The jaw-dropping Dior Fashion Show at the Brooklyn Museum showcased their designs on mannequins. Dennis Basso turned his models into mannequins that stood on podiums in stunning, classic gowns. The star-studded Laquan Smith’s fashion show took place on top of the Empire State Building overlooking NYC, proving that there is no limit to what you can do. Edwing D’Angelo shut down a whole block in Harlem to showcase his avant-garde, cultural collection. Celebrity Eyewear Designers Stevie Boi and Corey Woods showcased original, artistic and futuristic themes in Soho. Sienna Li showcased flowing, elegant spring dresses and Victor Glemaud dazzled the audience with modern, beautiful, colorful designs. The Sir Joe Exclusive Collection showed how “Rich Aunty” brings the Hollywood fabulous life to the runway. Designer Caterine Sanchez brought salsa meringue to the runway while Designer Kevin Hall brought the gospel. The Essence Fashion house gave the opportunity for Rising Black Designers Andre Moses (Arc of Andre) and Megan Carter “Lavntg) the opportunity to show the world what they are made of. Along with attending and covering NYFW, I also walked in 2 fashion shows. One was dedicated to the lives lost on September 11th. The “Heroes for Heroes” Cosplay the Runway Fashion Show by COSMODA and the VIP NYFW Show featuing Vogue/HarperBazaar Indian Designer Re’Mahli, who I also assisted with coordination. Broadcast live on BBC, The Cosplayers came out in numbers and showcased phenomenal costume looks and the audience enjoyed an epic “Black Panther” inspired performance by Special Guest Singer Alex Boye. I felt like a celebrity myself in my “Chun-Li from Street Fighter” Cosplay costume, taking pictures with numerous fans. Designer Re’Mahli’s collection left the audience in awe of her international gowns. The dress that I wore was so captivating that the show producer bought it immediately.
And of course there’s no fashion week without the afterparties. Countless celebrities and designers held parties throughout fashion notably The Aaliyah Experience and the Rihanna & Alicia Keys Met Gala after parties. The Aaliyah Experience, with music by the Legendary DJ Clue, celebrated her life, career and anniversary of her album “One In A Million.” If you are a huge Aaliyah fan like me, then this was a must attend event. It was like being transported back to a time where “Baby Girl” was here with us and dominating the industry. From interviews, pictures, videos, timelines, memorabilia, even a motorcycle from her video, it was magical and Aaliyah was all around it. People danced, sang her songs and celebrated her life. You couldn’t help but feel a little sadness and think about how her life was cut short. It would have been amazing to see what she would have accomplished if she was still alive.
The Met Gala afterparties were star-studded and attended by the most popular A-List Celebrities. Rihanna looking like she just walked off the runway herself, made her arrival fashionably late to her afterparty. Fans waiting outside were able to get a glimpse of the arrival and departure of stars such as Megan Thee Stallion, Normani, Lil Nas X and more. The Alicia Keys Met Gala Afterparty was phenomenal. It was also Swizz Beatz birthday party. The star power in that room in attendance was mind blowing. Attendees that night included Michael Jordan. Serena & Venus Williams, Elon Musk, Leonardo Dicaprio, Pharrell, Queen Latifah, Regina King, D-Nice, DJ Cassidy, Simone Biles, Vanessa & Natalia Bryant, Channing Tatum, Zoe Kravitz, Lupita Nyong’o, Jasmine Sanders, Busta Rhymes fresh off of his MTV VMAs performance and so many more. We were all treated to a special, intimate performance by Alicia Keys on the piano to make the night even more memorable. Everyone danced and enjoyed themselves, faces full of joy and excitement. People forgot about their problems, put the phones away and just celebrated life and the end to NYFW. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. NYFW came back with a bang! I’m looking forward to seeing what next season has in store.
For more on New York Fashion Week, visit: https://nyfw.com/home/
For more on the Met Gala, visiit: https://www.metmuseum.org
Follow LaKisa Renee at: @lakisareneeentertainment
Videography & Photography by LaKisa Renee
Additional Photography by Joe Zedd, Images by Seb, GQ Superstar
Additional Videography by Teyana Taylor, Re’Mahli, King Aaron Photography, Y. Desir
Additional Photography Sarah Jaye Weiss