New York Fashion Week is an important time in the fashion industry for designers to reveal their collections worn by some of the top models in the world. NYFW, for short, happens twice a year and I was lucky enough to be invited to a show and photograph the collection.
I attended Dennis Basso’s Spring/Summer 2022 show, which took place in the iconic Rockefeller Plaza. He is best known for his intricate womenswear and gowns. It was the last day of NYFW and a sublime week in fashion with the Met Gala that same weekend. I’d been studying other fashion photographers and their work to arrive prepared. I would have never thought in a million years that I could go to New York City for a photography opportunity like this. It was a dream come true.
The morning of the show, I went for a walk in Central Park. It helped to clear my mind by enjoying the beautiful trees and people-watching. I even walked far enough to the Met Museum to see the Met Gala teams building the iconic carpeted stairs and white tent. On the way back to my hotel, I stopped by a cafe for an iced macchiato and apple fritter pastry before getting ready. As they say in the fashion world, my “call time” was 1:45 pm and you already know I arrived 30 minutes early! I got to sit in my favorite location in NYC, the Rockefeller Center, while waiting for media credentials to be allowed entry. My anxiety was so high that I swore other attendees would be able to tell my fit was top-to-bottom TJ Maxx and H&M, but thankfully no one cared.
The show was held in a Mediterranean restaurant called Limani to correspond with Dennis Basso’s collection inspired by famous Mediterranean cities. There were 15 to 20 models standing on individual podiums spread out throughout the venue, all clad in beautiful gowns or fur coats. It felt like reverse window-shopping displays, except the mannequins can move and pose when they see you holding a camera! At first, it was intimidating to be thrown into a party with well-connected fashion world people and have to take pictures of them. Luckily, I adjusted easily and went around to every model to photograph intentional poses and candids — my favorite part of photography. My favorite look was worn by a gorgeous model, named Francine Jacqué, she wore a white checker organza draped wedding gown. The cut of the dress reminded me of something a princess would wear. Many of the dresses included hand-stitched beaded flowers made from a rainbow of colors. The models chosen to wear Dennis Basso’s collection were surprisingly diverse for an industry that has historically favored a Barbie-like appearance over the average female. It made the clothing just that much better to know that it wasn’t designed for only one type of woman.
I didn’t recognize anyone that attended this show, other than Dennis Basso himself, but I could tell that it invited a specific crowd. Everyone was well-versed in the fashion industry as they were all dressed in the latest trends and top luxury names. I photographed some of the attendees as well as the models since that’s what fashion week is all about. People who love the art of fashion coming together with like-minded people in appreciation for these new collections. Other photographers were asking me where I’d gotten some of my gear from and those small comments made me feel a lot more comfortable in this new environment. It wasn’t until editing photos from the fashion show that I realized I’d spoken with an actress from Glee (the later seasons) and photographed Donald Trump’s first wife?! Quite the melting pot of characters.
I’m very grateful for the opportunity given to me by Dennis Basso’s team to photograph a handmade collection that had so much time and effort put into every stitch. Experiencing New York Fashion Week was a dream and I look back on it fondly. Now, we wait for NYFW Fall 2023!
If you would like to take a look at the Dennis Basso NYFW show, follow my Instagram @GiannaAcetoPhoto.