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Ribbons and Bows have taken over NYFW; An explanation of recent trends on the runway

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Fueled by the “balletcore”, “pilates princess” and general focus on pastels and neutrals as of recently, the influx of ribbons and bows on the runway this New York Fashion Week (NYFW) make quite a statement. September 7 through September 13 has been a week filled with celebrities flown in from around the globe and running rampant around the city, keeping up with the required schedule packed with multifaceted shows and all the nightlife New York City has to offer. Ribbons were everywhere at New York Fashion Week used to accessorize every other look. Bows represent the influence of mainstream trends such as style reminiscent of ballet and classically feminine arts, which is evident on the runway.

Standout instances where the satin and girl-ish appendages made their runway debut include Sandy Liang’s draped bow bags, which offered both a gorgeous and functional use of the trend. The bags are produced in a number of colorways, all of which adhere with the placid palette focused on pastel pinks, classic neutrals, and a shocking chartreuse shade that elevates the spring essence of the collection, perfectly themed. More instances of the ribbons are evident in Tanner Fletcher’s bow suits, Helmut Lang’s hair ribbons and giant inflatable bows which made an appearance at the Marshall Columbia for Cash -- the Cash App launch party.

Fashion Week street style also favored the bows. Ashley Rous, a fashion influencer and former stylist behind the YouTube channel, bestdressed, adorned a pink off-the-shoulder bow over a white lace dress, a bow bag and bow tights to the Sandy Liang show. Actress Nicole Kidman continued the trend, stunning onlookers at Fashion Week in a pastel blue gown layered with a number of chiffon bows.

In tandem with the use of bows and generally feminine embellishments, the subtlety of the pastels and soft fabrics go hand in hand with everyday wearability. Gabriela Hearst, LaQuan Smith and Sandy Liang showcased looks that could go directly from runway to closet, something rare for such a high-fashion affair.

Along with the tendencies towards satin ties intricately placed all over the garments and accessories, the trend toward iconic backdrops and majestic architecture that was favored last year was revived. Notable settings this week included the historic main branch of the New York Public Library, the Rainbow Room, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum among others.

Designer Prabal Gurung utilized the city’s public library to set the scene of his starlit escape, focused in the center of the building, inspired by meditation and his Nepalese heritage. Models donned asymmetrical draped looks and dulled greens and pinks lined the runway. Notably following the trend, a pale pink satin suit was a memorable look from the homage to Gurung’s heritage. In retrospect upon his work, the designer told CNN “I wanted people to forget for 10 minutes that they are in New York — to feel like they are on a spiritual journey with me to Nepal.” Overwhelmingly, ribbons and bows act as a root for extensions of different trends concerning setting, atmosphere, and color profiles. It is truly evident how influential they lean towards ballet-inspired. Highly feminine couture has infiltrated the runway this year at New York Fashion Week.




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