“If there were a disaster, this would be a hard place to get out of” a high-profile guest proclaimed to Tapestry Group CEO Joshua Shulman. No prizes for guessing his response. Luckily, there was to be no such issue. Pink cranes, pink cocktails and pink fans greeted show-goers as we ascended to the New York City high line, implying a whimsy in the affairs to come.

Jammed with A-listers from across the globe; everyone from Anna Wintour to Michael B Jordan to NY Socialites and Hi-So Thai’s was there. Waiting for a show that needs to seat 700 guests is often lethargic, but all were keen to see one of NYFW’s most anticipated parades; and given Vevers is “really obsessed with the urgency of New York City itself”, people sat down damn fast.

Immediately recognisable by their syncopated kick drum, English synth-pop Lords The Human League’s “Things That Dreams are Made of” made clear Coach’s new direction and intention. Vevers took the Coach colour palette and threw in some grit. The good kind. The kind you have all over you after rolling around with your date under the high school bleachers.

The collection built upon the iconic burgundies fundamental to Coach’s ready to wear momentum over the last few seasons, but spawned tonal variations of lavender, crimson and blood red. The leathers feel as supple as ever, but with less seriousness. It was all quiet on the western front of Stuart Vevers’ SS20 showcase. The iconic prairie dresses forming part of the brands’ identity over the last 4 years had been left on the other side of the hills in favour of less fussy blouses and utility dresses. Perhaps after having reached peak popularity in 2018 with one of the season’s most recognisable trends, Vevers assigned himself a new silhouette to fasten into fandom.

Whilst the Prairie was left behind, 80’s icons of Barbra Streisand, Michael J. Fox and Rob Lowe were reborn in a set of must-have separates for the summer. The imagery featured on tanks, crewneck sweatshirts and handbags is a collaboration with pop artist and illustrator Richard Bernstein, whose famous portraits graced the covers of Interview Magazine during the ’70s and ’80s. Paired with military ¾ cargos, leather pants or even a chequered suit pant – these pieces will be flying off the shelves.

Accessories this season seemed to blend, rather than stand out. This is less a critique of the bags and more testament to the strength of the clothing presented on the runway. Footwear, however was an entirely realised instant-classic. Cross ankle sandals coming in white, pink, crimson or emerald straps spry the catwalk. A good note to take in case you have a European summer holiday in the pipeline. High top sneakers follow suit and balance skater boy and break dancer feels in equal measures – perfect for an “urgent” escape, like Anna needing to get to Oscar de la Renta…

Mashup by Dané Stojanovic