Kyle + Shahida Spring 2020

New York City, New York City girl

Runnin’ pretty, New York City girl (twenty-five, thirty-five)
Hello, baby, New York City girl
 

You grew up ridin’ the subways, running with people
Up in Harlem, down on Broadway
You’re no tramp, but you’re no lady, talkin’ that street talk
You’re the heart and soul of New York City

                                                              —Odyssey

This 70s disco tune by the group Odyssey describes the heart and soul of a New York City woman. And though this hit song was created over 40 years ago, the description of the atypical New York City woman still applies.

With that in mind, it a mystery why Kyle Richards of the reality show “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” with designer Shahida Clayton would debut her fashion collection at New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS), a collection that is the antithesis of a New York City woman.

The easy, breezy West Coast casual vibe of Kyle + Shahida’s spring 2020 collection was absolutely appropriate for an Los Angeles consumer, maybe even an Atlanta or Dallas woman, but for the New York City consumer, for the most part, this collection just doesn’t fly, as many fashion editors after the show agreed. But, maybe appealing to a NYC consumer was not the point of this collection.

Gone are the days when NYFWS fashion shows attracted that fashion savvy New York City consumer and fashion industry professionals. Motivation behind the current kaleidoscope of shows could be just be showing the collection New York City, for an Instagram audience or for other reasons that have nothing to do with retail or even fashion industry professionals.

Perhaps, the NYFWS debut of Kyle + Shahida spring 2020 collection had other intentions in mind. (Bravo could use clips from the runway show in an episode of “Housewives of Beverly Hill,” particularly with so many “Housewives” from different franchises walking in the show. Even using the New York debut to acquire more investors.) Whatever the reason for presenting in New York City, this spring 2020 collection had nothing to do with a New York City consumer.

Images courtesy of Andrew Werner

That said; there were some positives about this spring 2020 collection. The collection was styled very well and there were some good looks, particularly separates, in the collection. Still, the casual West Coast aesthetic of flowing, unfettered garments seen in this collection can already be found in JC Penny’s—well, maybe a level higher—and in mega stores of that ilk.

Standouts in this collection include the brand’s burgundy long-sleeve dress with ruched torso, scoop-back blazer with bondage bandeau top and red vegan leather paper bag pant, yellow tropical  bird print tow-tier long button-down dress with ruffle sleeve, and Aztec gold chiffon one-shoulder ruffle mini dress.

—William S. Gooch

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