This New York Fashion Week, it isn't just luxury coats that are making a statement.
Several designers used the runway as a means to speak out about the political climate, addressing issues from diversity to women's rights.
"Fashion is a sponge in terms of what's happening in culture," Thai-American fashion designer Thakoon Panichgul said before his presentation on Thursday. "We take it in and it comes out in certain ways, and I think that the climate will produce a lot of creativity."
Several models at Nicholas K had their looks topped off with black or gold berets. The caps channeled those worn by the Black Panthers, a militant group that defended minorities during the civil rights movement.
"The '90s was a decade promising communal diversity and unity," the brand's designers said, attributing the first step in that change to Nelson Mandela's release from prison. "Recent events seem to unravel this progress, and it's now relevant to revisit the promise of the '90s."
Desigual, a Spanish label known for its vibrant designs, made a more subtle statement. Its collection pulled together different influences, colors and materials to communicate diversity.
"We've been for 35 years talking about [at Desigual], be who you want to be," Daniel Perez, brand communications director, said backstage. "We don't dress bodies, we dress people."