NYFW: Collina Strada Presentation

September is the unofficial first month of the year and a time when we all regroup, reflect and declare that it’s a fresh start. In the midst of back-to-school season and the first signs of fall, it is officially fashion month! 

New York Fashion Week kicks off the month-long fashion festivities that feature countless runway shows and presentations. This season, I was able to attend and volunteer for a couple of these events. Most extensively, I worked closely with the team of Collina Strada for their presentation at Pier 59 Studios on Saturday, Sept. 10.


The preparations for the show started a week prior, in a studio room at FIT, with the head and assistant designers. They worked closely to curate the order of the looks for the show and to cast the models. They also guided the volunteers on how to create the accessories (we hand painted the shoes for the presentation), and how to assemble all of the photographed looks in order. After various mood boards were created and several garments steamed, it was time to pack up and get ready to go to the location.  

When we arrived at Pier 59 Studios, there were hundreds of editors, models, influencers, and staff members all packed in the venue, trying to meander around to find their destination. Imade it to Collina Strada’s backstage studio. The walls were covered with white backdrops and garment racks lined the adjacent walls. 

All of the looks were lined up with model cards attached. Very shortly after my arrival, the models started coming into the space. All of the volunteers dressed and accessorized them for the pre-presentational photoshoot.

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When it was showtime, all of the volunteers rushed to the stage with the models and their coordinating shoes in hand. We were scrambling, along with the designers, to get everyone into place before the attendees arrived. 

We did it! The ambience of the pastel silks and denim ensembles against the projected, beach images was beautiful. Throughout the two hour presentation the volunteers spoke to all of the models, interacted with several of the photographers and bloggers, and sold some of the “See Now, Buy Now” merchandise from the presented collection.

A small pop-up shop was included into the presentation which I thought was quite creative and a concept that I believe should be incorporated into more fashion week events.

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The collection itself was full of whites, mauves, dark greens, and denim blues. The clothes were all very loose, yet structured, and a lot of the pieces incorporated ruffle detailing. “Call Mom” was embroidered on a tee shirt, which I felt was quite unique. 

All of the looks were styled with handpainted and embellished crocs with hues of either green or pink. The theme of the show was to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which made me admire this designer even more.

The designer, Hillary Taymour, decided to choose all models of color for the show. Considering there is very little racial diversity, in general, in fashion week shows, this was a much needed wake up call for the fashion industry. 

Throughout the preparation process, I got to speak with Hillary for a little while about the collection. Her designs, as well as her message, were truly inspirational. 

Collina Strada's Hillary Taymour, with her progressive presentations, shows what the fashion norms of the future should be. Last season, she centered her presentation around the theme of gender and incorporated gender non-specific models. 

I’m so glad I got to have this experience. I think as a millennial, especially one who wants to be a part of the fashion industry, it is important to learn more about how up-and-coming designers are using sartorial activism to change and improve the industry, one season at a time.     

Written by: Elisa Lewittes