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Fashion Week on the Lower East Side

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This story was reported by Kari Jensen.

The Lower East Side was a once again a place to see and be seen during New York Fashion Week.

Social media influencers, celebrities, editors, and off-duty models attended events. There was a feeling of post-Covid recovery with most restrictions gone and designers hosting in-person shows.

“I had a blast,” Dev Walker, a digital content creator, posted as a caption on her Instagram account, along with fashion week videos, following the event, which ran from Sept. 9 to 14. Walker’s post included footage of her taking part in a street photography shoot.

During fashion week, celebrity and street style photographers were like bird-watchers hunting for rare species. The photographers stood outside of venues capturing images of people arriving at and leaving the shows.

Journalist Noleet Rice, left, grabs a selfie with Jeffrey C. Williams, a designer and winner of Bravo’s reality series, The Fashion Show, Season 2. Photo by Kari Jensen

Fashion was flaunted on and off the runway. Many dressed specially for each event.

“I wore my Artistry of Hair wig and [Off-White c/o] Virgil Abloh boots,” said Noleet Rice, one of many journalists covering the shows.

Some event attendees – like Rice who is from Michigan – traveled from out of town. “I came from Florida. This is my first time,” said makeup artist and social media influencer Sophi St. Louis.

Designers presented their collections for Spring and Summer 2023 (SS23). Some even brought their catwalks onto the sidewalks and streets, so passersby could watch, in addition to the photographers, media, and guests.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s show on Sept. 12 took place outdoors at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park’s handball court, near the designer’s store on Norfolk Street. Models wore minimalist natural fiber garments in neutrals, some punctuated with blues, yellows, or greens, and details, such as crochet.

A model holds a dog on the runway during the Snow Xue Gao show at the designer’s store on Bowery. Screenshot via @SnowXueGao.

The next morning, Snow Xue Gao hosted a show at her new flagship store on Bowery. Guests were seated on either side of the runway, which stretched from inside the store outside to the sidewalk in front, allowing neighborhood spectators to observe.

Models were garbed in two-piece skirts and tops or flowy and fitted dresses, in bright colored prints and florals, with one model holding a fluffy, brown dog.

Dev Walker, at left, and Quadir Moore wait for The Blonds fashion show to begin at Spring Studios. Photo by Kari Jensen

NYFW shows were presented throughout the city with Spring Studios in Tribeca continuing to serve as a hub.

photo by Kari Jensen

The final show at that venue was The Blonds on Sept. 14. Guests “ooh”-ed and “aah”-ed as models outfitted in form-fitting luxurious prints and metallics strutted the runway.

Nearby, in Cortlandt Alley, Making the Cut, Season 3 winner Yannik Zamboni presented his brand, Maison Blanche, a collection of edgy, unisex garments in predominately white. The Swiss designer described his show as being both “conceptual” and “political.”

Photo by Kari Jensen

“As a designer, you have a platform to talk about issues,” Zamboni said. “For me, it’s very important to fight for the rights of minorities and the repressed. That’s what I tried to show tonight.”

So what’s next?

The Blonds already are selling some SS23 collection garments (the Chain Series) on their website.

Plus, more runway shows are coming up: New York Luxury Bridal Fashion Week is Oct. 11 – 14.

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