Intellectual Inspo at New York Fashion Week

Think brains and beauty are incompatible? Think again. Uncovering nerdy references in fashion is like a super-chic game of hide-and-seek we’re always up to play. Every season, fashion designers fill their collections with esoteric allusions from literary heroines to art history to current events. Even when a brand is so avant-garde it couldn’t possibly look to the past, a second or third glance may reveal a historical reference. Here, the inspiration behind some of our favorite collections from NYFW.


Sisters-slash-designers Nicky and Simone Zimmermann reference the Aussie book Seven Little Australians (published in 1894!), which tells the story of a young family growing up during the Edwardian-era in the outback. This explains all the high-neck collars, lace details and romantic ruffles.

Photo: @zimmermann_

Kanye West

Yeezy Season 2 by Kanye West inspired lots of Walking Dead memes, but his inspiration actually came from the Armed Forces, not zombie forces.

Photo: @WeWoreWhat


According to creative director Josep Font, Delpozo's Spring 2016 collection was inspired by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (think: erotic, gold-flecked portraits) and Spanish folklorist Federico Garcia Lorca, know for fantastical stories. The collection was truly magical, with myriads of dresses we can't stop dreaming about!

Photo: @ManRepeller


Riccardo Tisci called his first Givenchy show at NYFW an homage to the city and a meditation on the losses from 9/11.

Photo: @joansmalls

Jeremy Scott

Jeremy Scott cited '60s B-movies and sci-fi fantasy as his inspiration for the collection filled with Sally Quant-esque mini-shifts, Stepford Wives hair and zany, electro-shock prints.

Photo: @itsjeremyscott