Well, that was fun. After the fall 2015 runway presentations in February, New York Fashion Week will no longer be able to show in Lincoln Center. According to court documents unearthed today by local blog A Walk in the Park, Fashion Week host IMG has been evicted from the premises. Turns out, its lease violated a city charter prohibiting using the space for a non-park purpose. Oops!
This means IMG will have to scramble to find a new location for its September shows, since its permanent home in Hudson Yards' Culture Shed is years away from completion. While Lincoln Center — home of the opera, ballet, and symphony — lent a kind of high-art legitimacy to the fashion spectacle, the gleaming cultural center had begun to lose some of its luster among designers and editors. This September, more and more brands decamped to cooler, more industrial, and independent spaces in Chelsea, and (save for Opening Ceremony's theatrical presentation at the majestic Metropolitan Opera) most presentations in the Lincoln Center complex felt boxed-in, rigid, and uninspired.
Lincoln Center may not need designers and sidewalk peacocks to burnish its image, but surely the city's got several other venues that would love to have some of fashion's glamour rub off on them. Think about Moynihan Station or the James A. Farley Post Office by Penn Station (both of which have hosted fashion shows in recent seasons) or even the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where Alexander Wang and Christian Dior have managed to lure grumpy editors and buyers, and which is the site of a massive redevelopment. The scramble to secure a new space may just unite New York's disparate designers, and could give Fashion Week the makeover it needs.