Coach's New York Fashion Week Show Was All About The Floaty Prairie Dress

Plus vests, fringed moccasin boots, patchwork backpack and talisman jewellery.

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On the evening of 12 September 2018, the fashion world flocked to an arid, post-apocalyptic world complete with a dinosaur called Bronty. 

Nope, this wasn't the set of Mad Max (though it definitely could have been) but simply Coach 1941's Spring 2019 debut at New York fashion week. The collection was showcased on a sandy runway complete with abandoned dirt bikes, rusted-out cars and pre-historic iron animals. 

Stuart Vevers, Coach's creative director, referred to the huge dinosaur skeleton that loomed over his runway as 'the deity'. 


"Scavengers," he said the day before. "They’re not sure where they are. Have they landed on an alien planet? Are they hiding from something in the mountains? However they got here, they’re scavenging a bit of American culture, a bit of heir-looming."

It was all very cinematic, and brought what the label dubbed as a 'new, new romantic' spirit. Looking at the clothes, it definitely made sense: the collection gave off a rebellious, yet dreamy vibe.

The runway also felt a little darker than usual. No only due to the pitch-black venue, but the ethereal floor-length prairie dresses, floaty skirts and aged leather jackets. 


Inspiration came from a trip to Santa Fe, said Vevers, and by the Ghost Ranch retreat at which American artist Georgia O’Keeffe painted some of her most iconic work. Cheerily, he chose decaying America as his starting point.

While backstage Vevers referenced run-down prairies and ranch life (and they did go wild for the Wild West), there was no sign of the cosiness of Walnut Grove on the catwalk. 

In a world where Donald Trump bragged his building was now the tallest in Manhattan after 9/11, the scene at Coach felt equally dystopian. Models, including Kaia Gerber, stalked the catwalk like zombies in ruffled shirts and cardigans. You could almost sense the ghost of America's past lurking somewhere between all that scrap metal. 

Still, it's not all doom and gloom. What this meant in reality was lots of clothes you'll definitely be wearing come Spring time: Ruffled bohemian dresses, fringed jackets in super soft suede, vests, moccasin boots, patchwork backpacks and talisman jewellery. 

And lest not forget the collaboration with Disney. Oversized hoodies featuring Bambi and a homage to 101 Dalmatians added a lightness to the looks, which will most definitely be gone in seconds once on sale next year.

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Naturally Selena Gomez made an appearance. As a designer and face of Coach, she attended the show to celebrate her friend Anna Collins' runway debut for the brand. Anna is photographer Petra Collins's sister, who has become increasingly close with Selena in recent years.

The singer wore a chic gold dress from the brand's pre-fall collection and even made a brief appearance on the runway.

Did Vevers think the collection was apocalyptic? "There’s darker moments but there’s still an optimism there. I don’t want to get so theatrical about it."

You heard the man.

This story first appeared on ELLE.com/UK.

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