By: Michelle Darris
Tossing a pair of blue flip-flops onto the sidewalk, a fan of Denibi granted her feet relief from the four-inch heels she had worn to the show. She was one of the many who had attended the Denibi Spring/Summer 2017 Runway Show, but one of the few who had paused outside to switch to practical footwear for running between shows. She was a New York Fashion Week veteran. “What an amazing first show,” she sighed. “When a designer has their first runway show, it’s usually somewhat haphazard – unfinished hems, hanging threads – but this was different. This show was so well done.” It was true. The garments were tailored perfectly to the models that wore them, showing that for what Denibi designs lack in age, they do not lack in quality.
Not long before, the packed audience hushed, the music began, and the first model stepped onto the runway. Cloaked in a navy blue peacoat paired with a dark turtleneck, she glided toward the group of photographers at the end of the catwalk. The clicking cameras crescendoed into an uproar as the unflinching model paused, turned, and waltzed away, disappearing backstage. The excited cameras quieted. The next model entered gracefully wearing a white turtleneck and a navy blue coat with silky lapels. Her outfit was indicative of the show’s motif: a delicate intersection of solid colors and strong silhouettes. For the remainder of the show’s first segment, tall, beautiful women clothed in whites and navy blues strutted through the west side gallery, which was quiet, save for the feverish clicking of cameras.
The show transitioned from navy blue to shades of mossy green, reminiscent of spring. One model with wild copper hair wore a light green peacoat similar to the one that had opened the show. But in this alluring version, her bare collarbone peeked out from behind the pressed lapels. Another wore ombré hair with a berry lip and moved elegantly in a matching fitted jacket and skirt. Interspersed throughout were models in thick, camel-colored peacoats. The contrast of earthy shades of brown with the boldly contoured pieces gave a unique character to Denibi’s collection.
The last segment began with a blunt-banged model with chest-length blonde hair. Shifting from the deep hues of navy, green, and brown, the outfits now focused on the color that was the foundation of it all: white. While there were glimpses of white throughout the show – from shirts veiled behind structured coats to dainty socks cresting the top of black heels – now white, both figuratively and literally, entered the spotlight. The lithe model wore a thin turtleneck and a perfectly tailored pant – both white. Illuminated by the large lights placed on either end of the runway, she walked calmly toward the mass of snapping cameras. Standing erect, she glowed as the light reflected off her high cheekbones. She was ethereal. The cast of models then paraded the catwalk in one last display of the collection, and as quickly as the show had begun, it was over. The room was buzzing again.
Slipping past the murmuring masses, I went outside. I stealthily switched my high heels out for a more comfortable alternative, and met the woman doing the same. As she slipped into her blue flip-flops, we talked for a few minutes about Denibi and before we parted ways, she asked if this was my first show. I nodded, and she smiled, “Welcome to Fashion Week!”