By Yahaira Jacquez
(Reuters) – Fashion designer Brandon Maxwell used denim for the first time ever as he showcased a classic American style in bold colors with a hint of nostalgia for his Spring/Summer 2018 collection at an offsite venue of New York Fashion Week: The Shows.
Maxwell booked some of the biggest names in the industry for his show including Karlie Kloss, Joan Smalls, Taylor Hill and the modeling sister duo Gigi and Bella Hadid, whose mother, Yolanda Hadid, watched from the front row.
Jenna Lyons, the former creative director of J. Crew, was also in attendance.
For daywear, models strutted the catwalk to Britney Spears’ throwback song “Hit me baby one more time,” and Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women,” wearing flared, high-waisted jeans with high-neck chiffon tops and crepe blazers.
“Our classic pants that sell the best for us, like our cigarette and our boot-cut, we translated those into denim,” Maxwell said.
“I always had a hard time seeing how I could translate what I do into daywear and this time it was very easy for me.”
For Maxwell’s evening looks, the designer stayed true to his signature sleek style with piped hem dresses but also invigorated the collection with large and intricate pastel ball gowns made of leopard jacquard.
The proud Texan, who has dressed U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, Uma Thurman and Gwyneth Paltrow, broke out from his signature black and ivory composition, shifting to a diverse color palette of red and fuchsia, pale pink, mint, emerald green and orange.
The long-time Lady Gaga stylist dedicated the show to his ‘Nanu’, his grandmother who recently passed away. Reflecting, he said, “Her spirit was with me the entire time I was making the collection.”
Although he was busy with preparation for the show, Maxwell said he thought a lot about his home state this week as it dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which unleashed unprecedented flooding in parts of Texas.
“I think it’s really hard to sort of go into this week with what’s been going on in Texas and you know it’s such a happy joyous time for us here,” he said. “It’s really hard to think about so many from where I’m from that are not having a happy, joyous time right now.”
Maxwell said he planned to make a donation to the relief effort and also said he auctioned off tickets to his show to help benefit the victims of the powerful storm that killed as many as 60 people and caused damages to about 312,000 homes along the coast of Texas.
“Whether it’s a nice thing this week or in the next few months we’ll always be thinking about how we can help,” Maxwell said.
He is part of over 100 designers who are showcasing their latest work at New York Fashion Week, which ends on Wednesday. This year, the event is a day shorter than usual in order to accommodate buyers and editors who must fly out next to London Fashion Week.
(Reporting by Yahaira Jacquez and Elly Park)