The Breathtaking NYFW Moment That's Taking Over Instagram

“I still get nervous every time,” said Karen Elson, just after she stepped off a makeshift runway staged in Marc Jacobs’s Madison Avenue store on Friday evening, wearing a mountainous dress of white ruffles that might have looked to the uninitiated as a giant pile of wadded tissues.

Gwendoline Christie, who plays fan-favorite Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, followed shortly after, practically hyperventilating from the experience of walking a runway show. Her dress, a magnificent cape with trailing tails, was also made of tightly concentrated ruffles, although in rainbow colors. Rowan Blanchard was in the show, too, in a slightly deflated egg-shaped dress. Emily Ratajkowski wore a slender white one. Pat McGrath was doing the makeup and Guido Palau the hair, while Katie Grand, the top-tier stylist, beamed with smiles from the stairs above.

This was, at least to industry insiders, a real fashion moment, the kind of which New York Fashion Week is in desperate need. For several years, major names have been peeling off the schedule, giving up on the hype-saturated carnival of the shows, or moving their runways to other cities like Paris or Los Angeles. What’s left are a lot of runway shows put on by commercial brands or smaller designers that tend to blur together. But here was a spontaneous moment from a designer — Tomo Koizumi from Japan, discovered by Grand and Jacobs on Instagram and invited to show in New York with their famous friends’ help — who has little to gain from the experience other than exposure and a having a really good time. The show was a hoot, and widely well-received, but it was also indicative of fashion’s current infatuation with social media hype. Everyone who was there, having heard about the very brief event through the usual telegraphing of the cognoscenti, posted about it all night, let’s admit it, to ensure everyone else knew they had missed out.

So, as much as we recognize the mechanisms of hype, and sometimes fashion rises above them with a delightful gesture such as this, we’re all still slaves to the machine (especially the ones in our hands).

Speaking of clickbait, celebrities are back in a big way at Fashion Week. At Kate Spade, where Nicola Glass transformed the historic lobby of the Cunard Building in lower Manhattan with a vast pink carpet and rings of clear plastic draped from the ceiling like shower curtains, a big group of stars were escorted to their seats in a big reveal just before the show began. KiKi Layne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Garner, and Sadie Sink were among them. This all created a dramatic atmosphere that worked well with Glass’s second show for the brand, a groovier and more textured story that included some fab corduroy suits and slinky dresses in clash-contrast colors that photographed very graphically against the pink carpet. Designers have to think about these things more and more.

Ending the night, Laure Hériard Dubreuil was celebrating the 10th anniversary of her store, The Webster, along with the Fendi family, who were toasting the 10th anniversary of the Peekaboo bag. For the occasion, Delfina Delettrez Fendi had designed unique editions of the bag that are being sold exclusively at The Webster, and they were lined up along the windows of a penthouse of a not-quite-finished high rise on East 22nd Street. So it was hard to look at them for long before being distracted by the skyscrapers glittering from every direction.

“The view is the dinner,” Dubreuil joked, before guests made their way to a vast space with a horseshoe shaped dining table, lined with hundreds of tall candles, for a meal of burrata and seabass created by Olivier Cheng. It was fabulous. Don’t believe me? Look on Instagram.