Open Thread: Fashion Week Is Coming

Hello and happy end of summer.

I know, I know. It hurts just to write it. Also, it’s so hot in New York it doesn’t feel possible. Yet here I am, back at my desk after two weeks of vacation, pining for the ratty old shorts I’ve worn for the last many days, and preparing for both school and fashion month to begin. ON THE SAME DAY. Help.

Normally this period is the calm before the designer deluge, so I can do things like schedule dental appointments. And yet, in the last few days:

1. Zegna bought Thom Browne, saying it was worth $500 million, making that brand potentially the most global of the generation of American names that emerged after the Marc-Michael-Narciso gang.

2. Lanvin has announced a new chief executive, which means that a new designer cannot be far behind. That in turn raises the question of whether the memory of what once was (Alber Elbaz) is now so eroded by past corporate misjudgment that there is opportunity to rebuild, or there’s just no going back.

3. And Nina Ricci named two upstart creative directors to replace the former designer Guillaume Henry: Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh. They won the top prize at the Hyères fashion festival and were finalists in the LVMH young designer awards, which suggests that Ms. Ricci may now be angling for the cool youth vote as opposed to jolie madame nostalgia.

All of that at the end of August! What gives?

It’s interfering with my pre-fashion week prep (which mostly involves meditative breathing in the face of what’s to come, and dry cleaning all the clothes I haven’t worn while I’ve been in the woods).

It all starts next week — officially Thursday but actually (because this is fashion, and fashion follows its own inconsistent calendar) Wednesday evening, when Tom Ford kicks things off with his show at the Park Avenue Armory. Then it’s all shows all the time through the following Wednesday, when Rihanna brings the New York schedule to a close with her Savage x Fenty show (that’s her lingerie line), which is taking place somewhere in Brooklyn. There will be a bittersweet cast over the event, as the fashion world mourns the loss of Ruth Finley, one of its unsung heroes and the founder of the calendar. She was effectively the godmother of what became modern Fashion Week.

We (that is, Matthew Schneier, Guy Trebay, Ruth La Ferla and I) will be your guides through it all, so follow us on Twitter and Instagram, check in for daily reviews and features, and email this newsletter with any questions you may have about this strange ritual known as the Shows.

But before that, watch some U.S. Open tennis to take your mind off what’s coming and decide if you agree with this piece I wrote about the tennis dress; remember the woman who created Chanel’s Vamp nail polish (I loved Vamp. Did you?); and check out the looks at Afropunk. Have a good long weekend.

Q: I’m confused. I know that it seems to be increasingly acceptable to wear sneakers to work, for going out, etc. I went to Footlocker and other sporty stores; the new sneakers there are insane. There are so many layers of sneakerhead-dom that I am lost in a sea of sneakers. All I DO know is that I HATE the way those Balenciaga triple-sole sneakers look (and would never … could never … pay $875 for a pair of tennies). I already have two pairs of Stan Smiths, but they are so flat that my poor feet rebel. I am looking for some kind of pseudo running shoe. Help? — Maria, Cold Spring, N.Y.

A: As someone approaching the marathon of fashion month, I have converted to spending much of my work life in Nikes and am all for the emergence of sneakers from sports to subculture to mainstream staple. But with such an explosion comes the related ill: option anxiety.

Every brand is jumping on the bandwagon, and pretty much every trend is represented. I have some friends who adore this kind of choice, but personally I tend to find it overwhelming. (In my early 20s, when I was buying my first sofa, I went to Macy’s and was surrounded by so many couches that I actually sat down on one and cried.)

So here’s what I’d do: Start with a basic color — I like black because white gets so dirty — and silhouette. My favorite is the Nike LunarSolo (in black), which has a pretty minimal profile and a very comfortable sole. Malina Joseph Gilchrist, T’s style director, said: “Personally, I wear the Nike Air Max in all white with black swoosh. They are classic, cool and comfortable.” She also recommends these Adidas Originals, in both colors and neutrals.

If you are willing to go further afield, though, I’d look a Chuck Taylor II low-tops, which are both less expensive and also explicitly made for more arch support. (Also, I really love their collaboration with JW Anderson, if you are feeling adventurous.)

And if you prefer a sneaker that is not immediately branded or recognizable, which is no bad thing, check out the Greats: Brooklyn-based, Italian-made and conceived for the sports of office and social politics. Or, if you are willing to spend a bit more, Malina suggests the Swedish brand Eytys, which has a Scandinavian aesthetic and built-in arch support. Very Alfred Nobel.