As the elevator doors open, a sculptural bouquet welcomes you into the world of Ulla Johnson’s Autumn/Winter 2023 runway show. On the 65th floor of The Spiral, a newly designed building in Hudson Yards, your gaze is entranced by a vision seen through great walls of glass: a breathtaking panorama of New York City, it’s variegated architecture, bridges and waters, and to the west, the iconic Empire State Building soaring into the air. Floating up above the city, everyone holds their breath, gazing out upon the scene, an iconic cityscape stretching out alongside the immense Hudson River that mirrors the white winter sky. A vibrantly designed custom-made carpet, crafted in Morocco, unfurls along the runway and makes for a graphic centerpiece, weaving together the textural patterns and rich hues from the new collection, hinting at the beauty soon to be revealed. The show is about to begin.
The vast windowed space is soon brought to life by an explosion of earthen colors and entrancing prints. The pulsing electric spirit of New York City is evoked by the Autumn/Winter ’23 collection, presenting a resplendent mélange of wildly expressive patterns, luminous surfaces, handmade fabrications, and silhouettes that exquisitely balance the sportif and the refined. Models stride across the prismatically adorned runway, their movements set to the transportive rhythms of Black Belt Eagle Scout’s first chords. Her layered melodies, imbued with a delicate yet grunge sensibility, transform the room, complementing the silhouettes that float down the runway. A delicate, earthy scent lingers in the space, crafted by Perfumer H., the beginning of a long-term collaboration.
Crafted in collaboration between long-time set designer Andrew Ondrejcak and Trish Andersen, the vividly-hued, sumptuous carpet reaches over 1700 square feet, and was hand-dyed and finished in Casablanca. In keeping with the brand’s commitment to sustainability, each of the 14 panels that fashion the carpet will have a second life, reused in forthcoming events and special projects.