When you think of fashion inspired by the Wild West, you’d be forgiven for your mind turning to chunky cowboy boots, dodgy hats and a whole lot of plaid. However, New York Fashion Week has shown that designers are actually using the Wild West as a jumping off point for their AW17 collections.
And don’t worry, it’s a whole lot more chic than Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Two of fashion’s heaviest hitters channelled pure Americana in their collections kicking off the season at NYFW, but not in the way you’d think.
First up: Calvin Klein. This was one of NYFW’s most hotly anticipated shows because it was designer Raf Simons’ first time at the helm since he left Dior.
Okay, so it wasn’t all about gun-slinging ranch hands for Calvin Klein – instead it was wholesome Americana, and a nod to cowboys with some super-stylish double denim looks.
The show opened with David Bowie’s song This Is Not America, which really set the tone for the Belgian designer’s first show for the all-American brand.
It was an intensely relevant show as well. In a statement Simons said: “It reflects the environment. All of these different people within different styles and dress codes. It’s the future, the past, Art Deco, the city, the American West…all of these things and none of these things.”
Sure, this seems a little bit like fashion-speak, but there’s no doubt that Simons was referencing the hot topic of immigration in America, as well as harking back to a time gone by.
And because this is the world of fashion, some of the outfits were seriously extra: just have a look at this power suit coupled with cowboy boots.
Then there was Alexander Wang, who brought a whole lot more edge and sex appeal in his interpretation of the Wild West. Gone is CK’s pastel palette, in favour of a whole lotta black.
Wang’s show was more of a party than a traditional runway show, with leather trousers and cowboy boots showing his darker, sportier take on the Wild West.
There was also a dark, heavy denim jacket that we seriously have our eye on (here’s hoping the high street stores take note and make their own, because we’re not sure if we’d be able to manage an Alexander Wang price tag).
Sure, traditional Wild West this was not. But hey, this is NYFW, and when is anything traditional?