Welcome to New York Look. In one sense, this is a fashion magazine. In another, it’s a chronicle of an event—or rather, a sequence of events—known as the collections, a biannual happening fascinating enough to merit obsessive coverage of its own. For nearly 35 days, from the beginning of September to the middle of October, across three major cities (four, if you count London), designers promenade their spring collections in a total of 397 meticulously planned theatrical shows, as a marker (sometimes not much more) for the clothes they’ll ship to stores months later. And going to see them are a few hundred editors and retailers who spend those days doing almost nothing but going to show after show after show (and calling their offices while waiting for shows). These are big, hectic productions, months in the planning, expensive to produce … and over in fifteen minutes. In other artistic fields, one such spectacle a month would be an experience. In fashion, there are six a day.
We wanted to chronicle those feverish, compressed weeks, so we sent Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin—who’s usually found documenting social conflict in Lebanon, Kosovo, and Rwanda, among other places—deep inside. His portfolio starts on the next page, and his photos appear throughout this package (above, for example, Anna Sui’s preshow runway, covered with protective paper). At the end of the long, grueling fashion marathon, what’s left? A blur, and thousands of runway pictures. We sifted, distilled, and sorted through them to find the news of the season. We defined spring’s 32 essential trends, from the huge and inevitable (flower prints!) to the perhaps not so significant, but still interesting (microshorts). In the process, it became clear that fashion isn’t ephemeral at all. It’s constantly renewing, creating, recycling. Which means in five months, we’ll get to do it again.