Welcome to New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center!…or maybe not. After looking through the schedule for this year’s highly acclaimed Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, only 69 shows are actually in Lincoln Center. Just in the past year, Alexander Wang moved across the river to the Duggal Greenhouse and Michael Kors’ recent move to Spring Studios earlier this year caused drama. However, as many older designers continue to stay out of Lincoln Center, new faces such as Stella Nolosco and Taoray Wang grace the coveted Lincoln Center stages. Speaking with designer Lindsay Degen who presented her collection at Pier 59 Studios earlier this week said, “I’m surprised [Pier 59 Studios] is still called off-site. I would consider Meatpacking [district] the center of fashion week.”
It appears as though more and more designers are agreeing with her. Since Pier 59 has doubled its numbers of designers in just two years to 22 designers for this week, they only expect their list to increase in the future. Photography studios like Pier 59 and Milk Studios have become major draws to designers because of its status as a studio and its versatility. Adam Leon, the Fashion Week Production Manager at Pier 59 Studios remarked as to why he believes they have become a major center for fashion week hosting designers such as Vivienne Hu and Robert Geller, “When you walk in here you know you’re in a fashion studio.” With walls made of cyclorama, LED lighting rigs easily available and full catering, they offer the full package. Unlike Lincoln Center, which hosts opera, dance and theatre throughout the year, these specific studios were made for fashion. Pier 59, the larger studio space, can hold two runways and offers nine other spaces for presentations at one time. This gives each designer more time to load in any set pieces they have and gives them time to relax and personalize their own space before the show. Degen commented, “I really like to transform the space and Pier 59 offers me all of the equipment I could ever want.”
While it is a beautiful space with history and prestige, it may not have the ability to keep providing for the fashion world in the way that newer studios can. Fashion week is not just about the new styles each season, it is about the changing world of art that is pushing boundaries in every way. From new age fabrics to obscure locations to designers from every corner of the globe, this is just one small way that fashion is making an impact on culture, and perhaps a blank canvas at Lincoln Center is no longer enough.
Madison Bumford is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.