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Rico Nasty VFiles SS20
via Instagram (@vfiles)

Normani, Rico Nasty, and Janelle Monáe perform at NYFW

What clothes?

Fashion week is about more than clothes. It is an all sensory experience – at least, for those who actually get to watch the shows first hand – with the performances at a fashion show sometimes generating more press than the clothes themselves (s/o Grace Jones).

For his SS20 show, Ralph Lauren ditched the traditional catwalk creating his very own ‘Ralph’s Club’. In lower Manhattan, at a former bank on Wall Street, the American designer created a one-night-only jazz club.

However, it was not this or the evening wear he designed which caught everyone's attention, but singer Janelle Monáe. Taking to the stage in a backless tuxedo-inspired halter top, the “PYNK” singer covered Frank Sinatra's “Fly Me To The Moon” and performed her own song “Come Alive (War of the Roses)”, before kicking off her shoes and entering the audience as the likes of Anna Wintour, Cate Blanchett, and A$AP Ferg looked on. 

It wasn’t the only performance happening in NY this weekend though. After his infamous gas station party back in 2009, Alexander Wang has become renowned for throwing some of the wildest events on the schedule – with this weekend’s no different. In celebration of his new collab with Bulgari, Wang took over the now-empty former Henri Bendel department store in New York. 

Inspired by the cult 80s movie Mannequin, the designer called on Normani to perform. The “Motivation” singer was joined by Rick Ross and Wale, while Hailey Beiber and Sofia Richie were in attendance. Obviously, there was also a series of mannequins basically everywhere. 

Rounding off the musical appearances was Rico Nasty. At (just about) every fashion week a star is born, with this season’s crown handed straight to the New York-born rapper. Having already walked last season's Gypsy Sport while smoking a joint, she made her return to the runway with performances at Chromat and VFiles in some serious lewks (and that’s before we even get started on her day-to-day looks which this week have come courtesy of the likes of Marine Serre and Mowalola).

Aptly, she also released her latest single "Fashion Week" a few days ago, in which she namedrops a series of her favourite designers, including Maison Margiela, Dior, Fendi, and Prada. Will any of them enlist her for more performances at future shows? Watch this space. 

Scroll down for clips and photos from each show.