NEW YORK - As if the fashion world's flux these days weren't great enough, the Thai-American designer Thakoon Panichgul was busy serving up spring on Thursday as New York was being walloped by its first major snowstorm of 2017.
Although the fashion season is officially dedicated to offering women a traditional 40-look runway for fall/winter at the end of the year, Thakoon offered his customers 10 looks for now in a Chelsea gallery.
For the second season running, he has followed the likes of Tommy Hilfiger in revolutionizing the calendar, doing away with the months of wait time to sell his clothes straight from catwalk to consumers immediately, cutting out buyers and fashion editors.
Thakoon says the rest of his collection will be "dropped" every two weeks or so to "keep things fresh and new," culminating in the summer wardrobe at the beginning of May.
"It felt a little boring to just do a straight-up runway," he told AFP backstage before the show - a three-minute presentation every 15 minutes to an audience sipping from iced cans of sparkling rose.
He presented the looks in a futuristic semi-circle against a backdrop of impressionistic digital camerawork and a New York skyline, the clothes reflected in a mirrored ceiling.
Orange, yellow and pink paper rose petals were strewn on the floor.
Thakoon said his inspiration was "the tumultuous quality" of spring and the quintessential pieces required for the season - the trench coat in particular, both as a classic outerwear piece, then reworked adding a pinstripe or florals and cut into skirts, vests and dresses.
The tumult reflected the weather as well as the political change currently sweeping the United States.
Outside, the mercury plummeted to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (minus four degrees Celsius) a day after record highs in New York for February.
Thakoon says he is getting better feedback from customers buying from him directly, but it remains unclear how the shifting timetable will pan out. Few other brands have made the same switch this season.
"It's a learning process," he admitted.
"I never claim to have an answer to everything, but I always felt that there was something that we needed to do to adapt."