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At New York Fashion Week, new collections were a mix of wearable and whimsical

A-List celebrities plunged into the city of New York for a packed schedule of slick high-production shows all around Manhattan and Brooklyn. This week, the trend toward iconic backdrops and grand architecture continued, with shows taking place at the historic main branch of the New York Public Library, classic hotspot the Rainbow Room, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

While many collections emphasized everyday wearability at New York Fashion Week, with designers including Gabriela Hearst, LaQuan Smith, and Sandy Liang showing clothes that could go from runway to closet, others such as Rodarte and Thom Browne instead put forward more whimsical ideas.

All about Friday’s Mood in New York

On Friday, the mood was high fantasy as Rodarte kicked off the official schedule inside the neoclassical Williamsburgh Savings Bank, transforming the landmarked Brooklyn institution into a glittering banquet populated by gothic fairies. Rodarte’s romantic collections have a loyal celebrity following, and guests included actors Brie Larson, Jemima Kirke, and Natasha Lyonne.

“I’m getting older and I have to challenge myself to create something that’s more and more interesting each season,” Browne said after the show. “I always start with a simple story and then work into it as much as I want to or as little as I want to.”

Many designers played with themes of transformation this season, from Collina Strada’s playful presentation of models-turned-animals to Dion Lee’s edgy club-kid looks that played on the idea of clothes as shedding snake skin. The area’s high-octane runway turned bananas, watermelons, and grapes into vibrant sculptural ensembles, with bright purples and pinks shifting to black to signal decay. Models walked to the uneasy sound of buzzing flies and thumping techno.

Also read: How the Costumes of ‘American-Born Chinese’ Straddle Fantasy and Reality

“I wanted people to forget for 10 minutes that they are in New York – to feel like they are on a spiritual journey with me to Nepal,” he told CNN ahead of the show.

Celebrity runway moments began with Lindsay Lohan’s siblings Ali and Cody, who walked Christian Siriano’s early Thursday show, as well as a surprise appearance from The White Lotus actor Jon Gries on the Eckhaus Latta runway on Saturday night.

Emily Ratajkowski closed Simkhai’s presentation of power-dressing ensembles as well as Tory Burch’s slouchy take on prep, and original supermodel Beverly Johnson returned to the runway to close out Dennis Basso’s show in a gold-caped gown. The Blonds closed out the week on Wednesday night with a catwalk cameo from Pose star Dominique Jackson.

Beatrice Grannò Simona Tabasco- perhaps better known as Mia and Lucia from The White Lotus – attended Michael Kors where Kate Hudson was also spotted.

Browne’s highly anticipated first NYFW show as the new CFDA chairman brought out the most stars during an otherwise fairly low-key season. Famous front-row guests included Lil Nas X, Whoopi Goldberg, Erykah Badu, Penn Badgley, Queen Latifah, David Harbour, and Teyana Taylor. Lil Nas X, Fox, and Taylor made the rounds to a handful of shows. 

“I’m so flattered that people get it,” Liang said of cultivating a loyal following, which includes Bella Hadid and Phoebe Bridgers. Liang’s latest collection imagined the dress as a “modern, everyday uniform,” mixing feminine silhouettes – with signature bows, rosettes, and ballet pointe flats – with practical additions.

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