Robert Geller S/S 17

An American menswear mainstay, Robert Geller never let the ocean separate him from his native Germany. So this season, Geller brought Germany to New York. It was the eighties in Berlin and the Geniale Dilletanten, a nationalistic experimental art scene of squatters, musicians, magazines and nightclubs were stewing to become one of the most influential periods in youth culture, and the muse to a stellar collection.

As loud as the techno pulse of the soundtrack were the clothes. Polaroid appliques on everything from jackets to tops were mindful of the beauty in artistic upheaval. Leopard print,velvet,lime green and orange all had their place on the runway too. Large pants with narrow jackets; cropped pants with oversize coats—core elements tying the past to the present, and the present to a very stylish future.

Thorsun S/S 17

George Sotelo’s Thorsun definitely turned up the heat with his latest spring presentation, which included an array of swim trunks for men and the introduction of a full women’s collection.

 The trunks, which were all cut above the knee, included a variety of geometric prints, cactus patterns and a cube camo design that mimicked broken pieces of pottery. The prints were all derived from the Meso-American era in Mexico but were given a modern twist by Sotelo.

 The women’s offering, which featured both one- and two-piece styles, offered similar prints.

Some key styles were part of a see-now-buy-now program that will launch Monday exclusively on Mr Porter.

Xuly Bet

Lamine Badian Kouyaté has been disrupting the fashion system since 1992, when he presented his first Xuly.Bët collection in the rain outside of Jean Paul Gaultier’s tent. The following season, he moved to the Tuileries, where he showed his clothes on dancing models carrying radios, who came and left in a tourist bus. More revolutionary than the guerrilla-style presentation were the clothes, salvaged from thrift stores and bricolaged together. One-off pieces of street couture, if you will.

Cy Bianco, Forest Whitaker’s character in Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter, was modeled on Kouyaté. “I love his careless, instinctual hand,” Karl Lagerfeld told Vogue in 1993.

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Born in Mali, Kouyaté moved to France to study architecture and became immersed in the 1980s club scene. An autodidact, his first pieces were made for night-owl friends. “I just took a machine and started sewing,” the designer told André Leon Talley. He named his line, established in 1989, Xuly.Bët, after a Wolof/Senegalese expression meaning “keep your eyes open.” And the fashion world did. He picked up France’s ANDAM Prize, and The New York Timesnamed him designer of the year in 1994. In 1997, Kouyaté moved his show to New York City and opened a boutique on Orchard Street, then completely ungentrified, where he hosted graffiti contests, according to fashion historian Richard Martin.

In September 2015 Kouyaté came back to the Big Apple (and plans to move here soon, he told Vogue.com), where he staged an out-of-doors pop-up show; today he returned to the runway with a colorful collection shown on models of African descent. He dedicated it to the late fashion critic Amy Spindler, one of the first people to support him.

The clothes he showed were slicker than his early work (no hanging threads or exposed seams), but Kouyaté’s signatures—stretch, color, shine, and print—were on full display. Second-skin bodysuits provided the base, over which toppers, many lined with faux fur, were layered. Platform “kinky boots,” seen elsewhere this season, were in the mix and emphasized the clubby feeling of these pieces, some of which harked back to times and venues long gone by.

It could have been a walk down memory lane, but the active sports pieces gave the collection a fresh vibe. Colorful and clever, they fulfill a criteria that counts as much as ever in the new world of fashion—they are unique. What renowned retailer Joseph Ettedgui said in Vogue in a 1993 profile on Kouyaté stands today: “What people want is something original, unlike anything else.” And that’s what Kouyaté, at his best, delivers.

Franchesca Liberatore

Designer Francesca Liberatore graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2007 and immediately went to work for some of the world’s most celebrated design houses including Viktor & Rolf, Jean Paul Gaultier and Brioni. 

In 2009 Liberatore stepped out on her own and launched her namesake label. She also won Italy’s prestigious Next Generation competition, which earned her a runway show during Milan Fashion Week. Both Francesca and the collection were an immediate hit. Liberatore was quickly embraced by the fashion world and referred to as an “enfant prodige”.

She has shown in some of the world’s most celebrated cities including Paris, London, Tokyo, Canton, New York, Seoul, Berlin, Warsaw, Shanghai, Seoul and many more. Her work has been installed in the Museo della Permanente in Milan and the Edieuropa Gallery in Rome.

In 2014 DHL and IMG selected Liberatore as the winner of “DHL Exported Award”, in partnership with IMG. Francesca was invited to show her collections for two seasons in New York.