LaQuan Smith used the spectacular setting of a historic aircraft carrier for his fashion show exploring the female form.
At a Monday evening soiree on the USS Intrepid, the famed tourist attraction docked on the Hudson River, Smith launched his spring ready-to-wear collection. Milling among wartime relics like the Avenger bomber, fashion insiders, music industry celebrities and social media influencers sipped cocktails and posed for photos while they waited for the show to get under way. Frequent New York Fashion Week muse Julia Fox caught up with friends like Lourdes “Lola” Leon — Madonna's daughter — while posing for photos in a fur-trimmed mini skirt from Smith's fall show last year.
“It’s the IT factor,” Fox said in an interview. “You can’t describe it, but LaQuan has it, and he understands women and what makes women feel good.”
Swedish model Elsa Hosk opened the show in a refreshing neon pink bodysuit and sporty skirt combo. With long ponytails swinging behind them to the beat, models followed one after the other in barely-there bright fluorescent jewel toned outfits with translucent jewelry and wrap-around heels.
After the show, Smith said his influence for the collection came from his travels including a recent trip to Morocco, which he said left him feeling overwhelmed with ideas. He then came back to New York and applied his city sensibilities to his sketches.
His ideas played out in the romantic elegance of silk chiffon scarves wrapped around the model’s necks to utility pants fit for a fashionable day out.
“This collection was all about sensuality, female formality and really having a sense of freedom and fluidity,” Smith said. “This season was a great creative challenge for me because I kind of had to think much lighter, much softer."
As with several other designers showing this season, semi-nudity was on display. When models were not baring it on the runway, Smith had crafted structured bodices to adorn their chests.
Norwegian model Frida Aasen sported a bralette made of silver wings and a matching silver waist sash over a sheer black figure-hugging skirt.
Since Smith’s debut in 2013, he has taken his brand to new heights. Most recently, Beyoncé wore one of Smith’s snug dresses for her campaign with jewelry brand Tiffany.
“I’m living my dream, and it didn’t play out the way that I thought that it would, but sometimes I have to pinch myself and realize, ‘Oh my god Beyoncé wore LaQuan Smith on the billboard of Tiffany and Co,’” he said.