Article By Jessica Laiter
Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images for Vivienne Hu
As the show came to a close and the lights phased back to their original glow, I was returned to my seat at Artbeam Studios, and reminded that, the collection I just witnessed, was in fact, art. It came to me that Vivienne Hu is a designer to admire; not only did her collection capture the audience’s attention, but it was the reflection of a woman who chased her dreams, rather than choosing to walk the beaten path.
Having started her career in finance, Vivienne Hu originally worked as a financier on Wall Street. Soon after realizing her creative streak and an urge to connect with like-minded women through fashion design, she decided to pursue her passion, going on to graduate from Parsons, The New School for Design, and launching her eponymous VIVIAN HU label in 2012. Influenced by her Chinese heritage and Western lifestyle, the VIVIAN HU label became a mirror for fashions of Eastern and Western descent. So there I sat, not only excited by the collection before me but also inspired by a muse to many.
Fall/Winter 2016 at New York Fashion Week for Vivienne Hu is versatile and intriguing. The motif remains consistent with previous seasons, highlighting the multi-faceted angles of the everyday woman. Integration of her corporate experience and time spent at fashion houses, like Oscar de la Renta and Yigal Azrouel, qualifies Hu’s ability to dress and prepare women for all occasions—especially here in New York City, where everyday takes a thousand turns. Ranging from styles with the extreme conservative character of a pant suit, to the feminine touch of a wide-legged laced pant, to the glamorous elegance of a fur cuff, and to the risqué element of a cagey-bejeweled bralette, a day-to-night look can be accomplished with ease.
If I’m confident about one thing, it’s VIVIENNE HU’s marriage of varying textiles and colors. Once again she did not disappoint. Unafraid to push the boundaries, in Fall/Winter 2016, the designer pairs stiff neoprene fabrics with breezy chiffon silk, and tweed materials with fur detailing. Regardless of its execution, the element of surprise helps the collection stand apart from all the rest.
Although I must admit at times the collection felt a bit scattered and the shoe choice did not fit the design story, I was nonetheless, captivated. Besides, for Hu, it’s never just about creating another label. In perfect stride with her Chinese heritage, the designer places emphasis on the patience necessary for creating timeless designs, reflective of her background and empowering component for women.
The show was entrancing and dynamic. Plus, who doesn’t love a show that ends with a cute pup? All around, a great start to NYFW.