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Nolcha Provides Essential Platform for Emerging Brands

All Comes From Nothing is the name of one of the young labels presenting but it could almost describe the business plan behind Nolcha. A packed day of fashion shows held in Industria event space, the event provides a stage for small labels not ready to devote all their resources to presenting under the sanctioned purview of official New York Fashion Week already in full throttle all around the city. But judging by the quantity of photographers, bloggers, and bright young things in attendance, the event doesn’t seem to be suffering from any sense of inadequacy.

All Comes From Nothing is designed by Eva Yiwei Xu who is inspired by the Chinese philosophy of simplicity and minimalist art. The strength of her Spring collection lay in the purity of the bolder statements she chose to make like the large white window on the back of sweeping coats, some in decking stripe, imprinted with the phrase ‘That’s not what I meant' or the naif style drawings crawling across the backs of blazers and on knitwear. Other elements like a ruby lace pencil skirt or rudimentary military anorak seemed like commercial concessions which only distracted from the potential of her more artistic runway vision.

Nolcha Provides Essential Platform for Emerging Brands

W Reflex presented preppy mens and womenswear in a base palette of neutrals enlivened with bubble gum pink, teal and orange. The tone was on-the-go sportiness as sneaker-wearing girls in baseball caps and blazers marched by with purpose while men followed in clear vinyl parkas trailing orange ribbons as if they had raced through a cordoned-off construction site of which there is currently no shortage in the city. The plastic-encased motifs on pockets and shirtfronts were playful, but towards the end these motifs were rather strangely slid into binder protector sheets and pinned onto shirt fronts. The ideas might be there but the execution lacked commitment.

Nolcha Provides Essential Platform for Emerging Brands

With scarves tied around heads, the models at Lu Yang by Yang Lu were one part Rosie the Riveter, one part Minnie Mouse, but this designer’s runway was a welcome no-holds-barred exhibition of cutsiness in the otherwise professional attire-obsessed NYC. Striped sports sock worn with stilettos, tape printed with phrases like ‘fall in love’ fluttering from hardware accessories, cotton dresses with frills spilling off them in primary yellow and red topped with green lamé zip-up hoodies exuded a spangled cheerleader charm, and the flamingo print in small scale repeat on blouses or as large scale placement at hems evoked the exuberance of a Matisse cut out.

Nolcha Provides Essential Platform for Emerging Brands

By contributing guest editor Jackie Mallon, who is on the teaching faculty of several NYC fashion programmes and is the author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.

All photos author’s own.