Fashion is finding new ways to connect, both to the consumer as well as to technology.

At the Alice & Olivia presentation today, the conversation focused on connections, using travel as a way to bridge the cultural gap. The vignettes at Pier 59 Studios drew inspiration from Positano, Italy; Paris; Morocco, and the English countryside.

“We’re in this moment of global chaos, and I always feel that when you travel, there are always questions about why we feel disconnected and are asking, ‘Why are people fighting?’ and ‘Why are we not seeing each other in the same way?’” said Stacey Bendet, creative director of Alice & Olivia.

To help with connection, travel website Booking.com helped sponsor the presentation and offered two members of the public the chance to attend the event and spend a one-night stay on a 74-foot fashion yacht docked at Chelsea Piers. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom yacht featured Alice + Olivia designs to accentuate the globetrotting theme. Booking.com approached the brand with a desire for a partnership and Bendet had wanted to do something that referenced a global presence, so the partnership felt like a “natural” fit, she said.

“When you travel, you see that people are amazing, no matter where they live, so for this season, I was thinking about global connectivity and really using fashion as a way to bring women together.”

In addition to interacting with the public, NYFW is also finding ways to be more digitally connected. Throughout the week, Visa has been trying to introduce people to mobile payments and contactless cards as a new way to pay as part of its sponsorship. Vending machines — a popular interactive concept in Asia — filled with tote bags from designers such as Rebecca Minkoff, Venessa Arizaga and Neely & Chloe offered people the chance to purchase a memento by simply holding their phone’s mobile wallet to a digital screen. It is the first contactless-enabled retail experience NYFW: The Shows has had.

Overheard
“I’m still trying to figure out this Instagram Stories. I have to swipe across and down, now?” – an attendee at Pier 59 Studios

Starred
Tata Harper was spotted backstage at Tome prepping models. Alysia Reiner, who plays Natalie Figueroa in “Orange is the New Black” was spotted ordering coffee at the Papyrus Café at Spring Studios. Later today, Cynthia Rowley will show at its showroom in Greenwich Village.

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