As a New York Fashion Week newbie, its kickoff shows did not disappoint. Friday night, eponymous designer Kim Shui brought her audience into her fanciful world at Irving Plaza to display a seamless collection utilizing the Chinese zodiac as its north star. With 2024 labeled the year of the dragon, Shui beautifully correlated her assemblage to the only mythical animal of the bunch.
Although winter’s NYFW lineup seems to be a dead zone for celebrities, a few notable attendees included model Imani Randolph, accessory designer Martine Ali, celebrity photographer Myles Loftin, and shoe designer Kendall Reynolds, who provided her Kendall Miles line to the Kim Shui show. GU caught up with her after the show, elated about the collaboration.
“That was so much fun watching the show,” Reynolds tells GU. “Her designs were so creative and I felt like using a lot of the fur shoes, which was also really fun. It really complimented her collection and the bold colors as well. It was so fun collaborating with another woman of color. That means a lot and I’m so glad we made it happen.”
The 34-piece collection showed intense emotion as the models strutted through the plaza. The show had fiery moments like a dragon, even through the most subtle looks. “I wanted the Kim Shui women to embody that mother dragon energy,” Shui tells Vogue.
The first model painted the scene as the runway lights spotlighted the first look–a glossy snakeskin coat with the front zipper on its own runway, accented by oversized sunglasses and a rain bonnet. As the show continues, the first wave of pastel pinks and soft greens walk by, turning into intense reds, warm whites, and ocean blues. The boundless pieces gave an array of experimentation, including lace, cutouts, dimensional shapes, corsets, fur, and sheer. Shui taps into her cultural and traditional silk garments and marries everyday trends, from cheeky shorts to red tights.
Standout moments include look nine: sequined green mini dress accentuated with a silk corset build, floral sleeves, and white lace tights; look 15: a deep red strappy corset paired with its matching zippered skirt, red stockings and overlaid with a sultry red fur, look 25: a gray fur sleeveless hoodie worn with a crochet maxi shirt and look 30: a sheer based one piece complimented with intricate detailed blue and black florals, wrapped around silk on the waist and styled with black gloves.
As the show finished, viewers returned to reality as Kim Shui quickly appeared on the stage. Combining seasonal and trendy elements makes this show a stellar collection for both fashion enthusiasts and non.