Why Fashion Week Is So Much More Than Clothes

The experience is taking over.

Why Fashion Week Is So Much More Than Clothes
Designed by Briana Gagnier.

While the chaos of New York Fashion Week always takes place in the Big Apple, social media (namely Instagram) has allowed us to feel its bombardment from anywhere. And, due to the ubiquitous images, videos, and reviews of each show, designers are now turning their focus towards creating an experience — a sensational show, a personal connection, a fleeting feeling — that is unable to be reproduced or translated by posts and stories. One of these trending sensory experiences of fashion week? Tablescapes. 

It makes sense that designers want their viewers to take in new collections in good spirits (aka not hangry). By nature, fashion week is a hectic time that requires schlepping, moving, and sometimes, plenty of stressing in between shows. So, when we saw how many thoughtful tablescapes were taking over this year's whirlwind, we — even from California — felt a sense of relief. The idea of being able to sit down, have a bite to eat, and breathe before jetting off to the next appointment is nothing short of brilliant.

Taking in the stunning floral arrangements and place settings was an indulgent experience from the other side of the Instagram screen. So we can only imagine how overwhelmingly perfect each set was in person. From Mansur Gavriel's Laduree table to Roxanne Assoulin's simple breakfast spread, here are a few of our favorite tablescapes from this season. 

1. Rebecca Taylor

The designer and florals-extraordinaire hosted her spring collection debut with some of the prettiest cakes and cookies we've ever seen (think Marie Antoinette meets Danish-inspired minimalism) . Of course, it wouldn't be right for Rebecca Taylor to host a presentation without bringing together an exquisite display of flowers, which were featured both in vases and on an abundance of pastries. In addition to these bouquets, the marble table-setting was scattered with simple glasses and plates, floral-imprinted sugar cookies, and even mini cakes that were hand-painted by Rebecca Taylor's very own art director.

2. Mansur Gavriel

In collaboration with Ladurée, Mansur Gavriel's 2018 presentation was a Parisian experience for the senses — namely, the tastebuds. Its placement of olive leaves on top of a pale pink setting is as effortless and simultaneously stunning as it gets. We'll definitely be trying this duo out at our next meal gathering. Oh, and the pastry towers, filled with macaroons and creme puffs galore, were certainly a delicious experience that couldn't be replicated on social. 

3. Roxanne Assoulin

This designer's presentation showed off an array of rainbow-beaded bracelets, assorted by color and stretched all the way down a large picnic table. Her team also took their tabletop skills to the next level with a serious breakfast spread. Assoulin hosted two bracelet-making gatherings during this year's fashion week, unveiling her new addition of letters to her beaded collections. What was also unveiled were perfectly ripe papayas, plump plums, fresh watermelon, and an entire array of juicy nourishment. Job well done. 

4. Shopbop

This style mecca kicked off fashion week this year with a gathering at Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop garden featuring florals, fruits, and vegetables alongside an unmatched view of the city. They teamed up with one of our favorite designers, Susan Alexandra, to piece together an exciting tabescape featuring her beaded creations and an illustration of each and every guest at the table. Note taken — personalization is always a plus. 

For more on fashion, check out Can We Blame Our Parents For Our Design Taste?

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