NYFW SS16 :: Isa Arfen, Yuna Yang & More Fashion Indies

Hello, my friends! This is my last installment of NYFW SS16 and I want to talk about indie labels. My guess it is more appropriate to call them emerging designers but in fact, some have been around for a few years, not exactly “emerging” any more. I want to call them “fashion indies” because they are like indie films: anti-box office, small (sometimes big) budget and could have an all-star cast / clientele. In fact, some of the very independent-thinking fashionistas and many fashion insiders prefer these labels versus the big names because they are unique and they set you apart. The perfect balance strikes when one mix designs from these labels with mass produced, trendy items.

Isa Arfen SS16

Luck had it, I was able to view the presentations by Isa Arfen this time around. Isa Arfen is a London-based womenswear label founded in 2011. The collections always offer a refreshing point of view, be it exaggerated silhouette, daring use of bright colors, or architectural details. When I first came across the label in 2013, I was drawn to it immediately for the designs are clean, playful but mostly elegant. I have not been disappointed since.PetiteFlowerPresents-Isa-Arfen-SS16 (4 of 11)

The SS16 presentation was held at the Skylight Stage inside of the Standard Hotel, an airy ballroom overlooking the river on one side, and the Skyline Park on the other. With all the natural light filtered in, and the cheerful music of the tropicals, the whole presentation was pleasant to all senses. Of course, the focus should be on the clothes, so here are my favorite pieces of the new collection:
PetiteFlowerPresents-Isa-Arfen-SS16 (3 of 11) PetiteFlowerPresents-Isa-Arfen-SS16 (1 of 11)PetiteFlowerPresents-Isa-Arfen-SS16 (10 of 11) PetiteFlowerPresents-Isa-Arfen-SS16 (8 of 11) PetiteFlowerPresents-Isa-Arfen-SS16 (11 of 11)PetiteFlowerPresents-Isa-Arfen-SS16 (5 of 11)PetiteFlowerPresents-Isa-Arfen-SS16 (6 of 11)

Though not a full-blown runway show, Isa Arfen had a star-studded “front row” audience regardless. During the short 20 minutes I was there, I saw Susie Bubble and Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea, aka, Chufy; If I stayed a bit longer, I might be running into Leandra, too.PetiteFlowerPresents-Isa-Arfen-SS16 (2 of 11) PFP-yuna yang (6 of 8)

Yuna Yang SS16

Based in New York, Yuna Yang is a hidden gem. Her designs are becoming more refined as the seasons progress, I’d say SS16 is one of her best collections thus far. Lace is Yang’s strongest suit, which is in its full-blown glory in the SS16 collection.   Titled “The Perfect Woman”, this collection had me at every piece: delicate fabrics, feminine tailoring, and lots and lots of elegance.PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (1 of 17) PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (14 of 17) PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (4 of 17) PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (8 of 17)PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (5 of 17)

As usual, Yang had a live band at her presentation, but this time, there were something more — rose petals, they covered the entire “runway”. With the fancy decor of the 3 West Club, I felt as if I ware at an upscale wedding where female guests were required to wear an Ascot hat. But Yang chose braided wigs adorned with large crystal hair pins, just like the embellished sneakers last season, this made the whole collection a lot more relaxed and approachable. Here are a few of the highlights I captured:PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (2 of 17) PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (3 of 17) PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (11 of 17) PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (12 of 17) PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (15 of 17) PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (7 of 17)PetiteFlowerPresents-yuna-yang-SS16 (16 of 17)

Day 3 Outfit

Back to the beginning of the summer, when Yuna Yang’s team reached out to me about dressing me for fashion week, I was absolutely thrilled. The actual garments turned out even more elegant and better-made than they appeared in images. You probably noticed the coat I wore in my last post was by Yuna Yang, and the organa trench in today’s outfit is also by Yuna Yang. The original set came with a black linen dress for warmer weather, I decided to top a heavier trench dress with this coat, and the color and shape worked really well with my Georgia bag and round sunnies. ^^PFP-YunaYang (23 of 26) PFP-YunaYang (25 of 26)PFP-YunaYang (26 of 26)

More NYFW Fashion Indies To Know

Fashion week is when designers show us what the future (six months down the road) could be like, NYFW, in that sense, has a bit disadvantage because the vision it renders gets repainted by London, then by Milan and eventually by Paris. At the end of fashion month, not much of the American designs would remain the talk of the town. Among those who do, often they are smaller labels with genius designs that separate them from the rest. I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure to wear designs from all of them, but here are a few I’d recommend to you to explore: Rosie Assouline, Delpozo, Rachel Comey, Tome, Whit, Creatures of Comfort, Public School, Adam Lippes, Misha Nonoo, Suno…and the best news is, you can pre-order some of your favorites right now on Moda Operandi.

Thank you so much for reading! See you in my next post!

<All personal outfit photos are taken by Justin James Photo>

Outfit Details:

Dries Van Noten trench dress;
Yuna Yang organza coat;
Stella McCartney shoes;
Chloe bag;
Linda Farrow x Dries Van Noten sunglasses;

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