RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
The Spring 2020 shows of New York Fashion Week end today.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUPERMODEL (YOU BETTER WORK)")
RUPAUL: You better work.
MARTIN: Work it. The show's influence goes right on, though. As the Spring 2020 label would suggest, the event offers a preview of the clothes many people will buy over the next few months.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
But the consumer versions of these styles can be a little hard to imagine when you see what's on the runway - you know, like, reptile skins and keyboard prints and head dresses made of roses? Your style, right, Rachel?
MARTIN: Totally. Totally.
INSKEEP: Maybe not. I don't know. Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan says the outfits are over the top for a reason.
ROBIN GIVHAN: It's also a bit like an auto show in the sense that sometimes you go and, you know, you see concept cars and you're fascinated by the new technology, the new ideas, the new shapes. And some element of that, of that car, will eventually trickle down to what you do buy.
MARTIN: This year, a big theme of Fashion Week - clothes that help reframe the stories of African Americans and immigrants. Robin Givhan says a new generation of designers are rewriting fashion cliches through their clothing.
GIVHAN: I think it's an evolution of an industry that, you know, has always been about aspiration and has always, to some degree, been about exclusivity.
INSKEEP: Designer Christian Siriano says his collection on display this week is about inclusivity.
CHRISTIAN SIRIANO: I just wanted this idea of celebrating all these different types of cultures and beauty, and I think that's kind of where fashion is right now.
MARTIN: To Robin Givhan, this describes a wider social change. American designers are stepping up to express themselves and represent their histories.
GIVHAN: There's a lot of clothing that is intended to send a message of optimism.
INSKEEP: Designers are also hoping the clothes send a different message - buy me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.