Courrèges, Cardin, Quant. There were all influences that flooded Anna Sui's runway on Wednesday night. The technicolor patterns revived a Carnaby Street youthquake of miniskirts, knee socks. Pinks and oranges rioted in swirls and intricate patterns that Sui's careful eye made fresh. Despite starting with choreography lifted directly from Jean-Luc Godard's "Bande à part" and a soundtrack of Sylvie Vartan, France Gall, and other pop tarts from the 1960s ye-ye moevent, her work was not a rehash of the past, but a creative retelling of a social fashion movement.
It was the biggest show of the week, and I missed it. Marc Jacobs’s women’s show, the highlight of (at least my) New York Fashion Week experience, was bumped from its usual Monday night, to Thursday night, the last night of Fashion Week. To give you an idea of how this works, there are usually two shows the last day of Fashion Week: Ralph Lauren at 10 a.m., and Calvin Klein at 3 p.m. After Calvin, the style hoards amble home and collapse. If you’ve ever seen “The Walking Dead,” you have a very good idea of what this scene might look like as editors limp out of Lincoln Center. Thirty shows a day times seven days – plus constant writing, blogging, and tweeting in-between – can take its toll. In my case, that toll was leaving my brains the consistency of scrambled eggs. I wanted to stay for Jacobs’s show, but I also wanted to get home to Boston. It was Valentine’s Day, and I had a love bug waiting for me at home. But you’re a smart batch. You know how to Google and read. Check out the photo and enjoy the beauty of the show I missed.
“Urban athleticism” is how Michael Kors described his Wednesday morning show, and he filtered that concept through taxi cab yellow perforated felt skirts, neon orange placket coats, royal blue cashmere pullovers, and a whole lot of zippers. He freely and brazenly populated the runway with a mix of athletic wear-inspired colors and textures, alongside cashmere cardigans. It reflects the way we dress today, only much, much chicer. Kors would not send sweats down a runway alongside Dior-silhouette skirts, but he has tapped into our desire to be comfortable in gym-friendly colors. Since this is a Kors show, the designer prolifically showed 63 looks (that’s about double than what most designers produce for their shows), so he could step away from those day-glow shades and present eveningwear, such as a drop-dead sexy black mink slashed stole with a double face zip skirt. He effectively placed his zipper motif on a jacquard suit. The message, of course, is that his woman can go from the office to treadmill with a tug of the zipper.
At the beginning of her Wednesday afternoon show, it appeared as if celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe was again planning to turn her models into taller versions of herself. Dangerously wide pants swayed, topped by over-sized sweaters or short 1970s blazers and bolero jackets. But as the show progressed, so did Zoe’s ability to look past her own closet and create pieces such a black leather mini-dress, which was sweetened with a white Peter Pan collar. She had a hard time deciding if she preferred cigarette pants or wide legs (she should stick to cigarette for the immediate future). She was playing a game of runway tug-of-war with herself. First a slim fit jumpsuit, than a 1974 flowing Lauren Hutton jump suit. Either she was trying to please everyone, or her designer Jekyll and Hyde were emerging. But through those struggles, she took important steps toward honing a new and improved aesthetic.
Could Nanette Lepore believe in alien conspiracy theories, or at least occupants of interplanetary craft? Her runway soundtrack was preoccupied with alien life forms. The sci-fi soundtrack didn’t always match up with the simple and very wearable clothes, with the exception of the iridescent accessories. If anything, a little science fiction may have spiced up the deep olive and violet prints.
Yes, that was Matt Damon sitting in the audience at Naeem Khan on Tuesday night, and no, he was not there to choose a dress for when he will undoubtedly win a 2014 Golden Globe for his upcoming turn in the HBO biopic “Behind the Candelabra.” Damon, who has been spotted with his wife around New York this week, was in attendance to support his friend Khan. Truth be told, Khan needed little supporting for his show of cohesive and stunning red carpet-ready gowns. His combination of workmanship, eye for detail, and use of diaphanous chiffons and silks resulted in one of the most sophisticated collections of the week. The sparse deep color choices helped his crystal-encrusted details sparkle. Black and navy gave way to peacock blue as he drew from inspirations as varied as the Byzantine Empire to illustrations of the 1920s.
Karlie Kloss handing out cookies at Lincoln Center, because you know she's not going to eat any of them.
New York Times shutterbug Bill Cunningham at Nanette Lepore
Was it “Downton Abbey” inspired? Were those prints William Morris? No, as it turns out, Tory Burch’s lovely presentation was inspired by the work of Gustav Klimt. Dragonflies and scarabs darted across her art nouveau dresses and prints were piled upon textures. It was all insanely romantic. While it ran the risk of falling into granny territory, Burch skillfully updated her influences, paying tribute to the past through an entirely fresh perspective.
It didn’t even matter what the clothes looked like. Johnson could have showed toilet paper dresses and her runway would still be a party. Her Monday night show was decidedly the kookiest and most joyful of the week. The 70-year-old designer showed her new line of active wear, BJ Kicks A as she lead a cheeky exercise class of her models on the runway. Champagne bottles as dumbbells? Yes please. Perhaps it was all done for the sake of the reality show she’s now filming. But after filing for bankruptcy protection last year, it was comforting to still see her cartwheeling down the catwalk.
With little warning, Jacobs moved his Monday night women’s wear show to Thursday, and bumped his Marc by Marc collection to fill the Monday night gap. He cited shipping delays for the last minute slight-of-hand. There was grumbling, but the decidedly less theatrical Marc by Marc show still provided a satisfying air of excitement. There were subtle references to the 1970s sprinkled throughout his runway. Men’s pants were wide, slouchy, and falling well below the ankle (beware skinny jean!). Women’s looks were influenced by the paintings of Otto Dix, and prints were plentiful. And leave it to Jacobs to be brazen enough to slip gauchos into his collection.
If you're feeling brave, you can also follow me on Instagram @Chrisinbos
Being subtle at Tory Burch in red.
Posing at the J.Crew presentation,
Designers ranging from Donna Karan to Yigal Azrouel passed over bolts of strong color, instead opting for black in all permeations. When designers did use color, the shades of choice were muted, arriving in dark plum, loden green, brown, or deep blue. The models of Marc Jacobs’s Monday night Marc by Marc presentation looked as if they were on their way to a swanky Thanksgiving mixer in cabernet-shaded shirts, cozy merlot hued turtlenecks, and navy wool coats.
If the crystal ball used by fashion designers holds true, we can look forward to women decked out as urban warriors next winter. So far this week, catwalks have been filled with models encased in thick coats, layers of fur, and leather. It almost feels like a prerequisite for designers to include at least one black leather piece in their collections for Fall/Winter 2013.
“I think there is still this general anxiety,” said Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine. “We live in anxious times. Remember, designers were creating these collections before the election, and there was a general fear in the creative field that the Republicans might win. Sandy was also very much on people’s minds when these collections were born. All of that uncertainty was there, and now you can see it.”
Another way designers offered comfort this season was a return to winter-appropriate hemlines and traditional plaid presented in untraditional ways. Plaid was not a big surprise coming from Tommy Hilfiger, it was, however, coming from Victoria Beckham. While most designers opted for black and white plaids, Marissa Webb rendered her plaids in pink, green, and navy and Vivienne Tam took a subtle approach to plaid, adding red lines to just half of a black jacket.
Fur, which was once a rarity on the runway, is now being treated like any other material, and it was plentiful. It’s to be expected in posh fur jackets and stoles, but it also showed up in turtlenecks (Carolina Herrera), skirts (Christian Siriano), and even as a deep red shift dress (Derek Lam). While most of Lam’s fur shift looked cozy, its lack of sleeves may still leave some feeling a chill.
At tonight's Marc by Marc show, this drag queen proudly showed me that she was wearing all Marc Jacobs. I have to say, she was pulling it off better than some of the spectators in the crowd.
Both the men’s collection he showed Friday night and the women’s collection he showed Sunday were a dizzying hodge-podge of argyle, houndstooth, and windowpane plaid. The mixing and matching of patterns was nod to both Savile Row and the 1960s. This is as avant-garde as Hilfiger gets, and putting his toe just slightly outside of his comfort zone made for a far more interesting collection.
No one does luxury like Herrera, and she ensured the message was clear at her Monday Lincoln Center show by immediately sending out looks such as a shimmering gold satin trench with fur collar, striking red column gowns, and spider chrysanthemum print dresses. Some would complain that her clothes are for a narrow audience of Park Avenue elite, but she should be applauded for unapologetically refusing to desert her core base: Women of a certain age who still, and will always, love to lunch.
Local designer Jackie Fraser-Swan continued her rapid fashion growth spurt on Sunday night, splicing together Tommy Hilfiger's prep school aesthetic with Charlotte Ronson's 1990s bad girl perspective. Her jumper dresses and shifts were structured, more polished, and held wider appeal than previous collections. While she designs from an international point of view, her New England roots were inescapable in the plaids and houndstooth patterns of her double pleat back blouses and baby doll dresses. Fraser-Swan's target customer skews young, so the simplicity of her runway is logical, but what was lacking from her presentation was a show-stopping finale. Given how quickly and effectively she's jumped into the fashion fray, that show stopper will no doubt be arriving shortly.
Last night's show was held up while Emerson designer and Boston resident Jackie Fraser-Swan waitied for her children to arrive from Penn Station. PR honcho Kelly Cutrone promised "This is not a publicity stunt." This is what it looked like when the show finally started.
She showed some clothes and berets. Kim Gordon played some music. You get the idea. Now let's hear this Chloe talk about accessories, shall we?
"Life is a party" declared Diane von Furstenberg in the program notes for her Fall/Winter collection. Although when it comes to a von Furstenberg show, it always feels like a party. It’s not just the atmosphere at her Lincoln Center runway that resembles a star-studded celebration. Her cacophonously layered chic prints were exuberant with flowed in bursts of silk and chiffon. There was a jungle of leopard prints, snake skins, and pony hair A fun-loving, devil-may-care mix of colors such as pink and orange was a risk that bode well for her. To a soundtrack suited for Studio 54, she offered an appropriate wardrobe of maxi dresses, opulent aubergine, ruby reds, and excessive rabbit fur jackets. It embodied a dream of the 1970s. None of this is new to von Furstenberg’s cannon of fashion, but why mess with success?
I'm pretty sure these gents are wearing meggings (men + leggings = meggings), and I have absolutely no problem with it.
If there was ever a moment for Prabal Gurung to bare his teeth and flex his fashion muscle, this was it. His collaboration with Target arrived in stores yesterday, and unlike recent high-low retail pairings, his is showing signs of life. Gurung did not miss his moment. At his Feb. 9 show, an army of Amazons stormed the catwalk. At times it was hard to look away from the strappy leg gear. These hybrid boot-shoes, covered in buckles and showing slits of skin gave the loden green dresses a militaristic quality. But there was a hint of sex in Gurung’s militia, with high slits and silk folds. Even in softer moments, Gurung’s women never let down their guard. The one-shoulder silk dresses with gold trim were still belted with thick black leather.
If Alexander Wang was feeling pressure, he was not showing it. He looked triumphant as he took his final bow. Moving his runway out of its usual industrial surroundings and into a more refined setting was the first indication that the darling of downtown street fashion was setting his sights on bigger things. Wang was named design director of the storied French fashion house Balenciaga last year, and style watchers dusted off their opera glasses and monocles (not really, but it’s a fun visual) to see if any Balenciagian structure appeared in his ensembles. Fashion is so subjective that any onlooker could have pointed to the wool jackets and helmet-like hats to declare “Why yes, those molded shoulders are just like the fall 1968 Balenciaga collection.” Trust me, some of them did toss off these pretentious observations. But what Wang showed was entirely his own. Oversized coats eventually eased into shimmery eveningwear. Austere colors helped focus the eye on details. The pieces shined almost as brightly as Wang’s smile.
Rag & Bone's David Neville and Marcus Wainwright are the kind of designers who never miss the mark. In just a few years they have gone from making jeans to making a Fall/Winter 2014 collection that not only subtly references 1960s aviation, but more importantly references exactly what smart young women want to wear. The clothes feel expensive without looking boring. Their runway styling is perfect and models appear to be fun-loving rather than hungry. It would be easy to picture a well-put-together woman strolling down Newbury Street on a fall day in the plaid suit with tuxedo pants. Leave the zany proportions and extreme smokey eyes to the showboaters. Neville and Wainwright are much more interested in giving a woman what she wants.
As evidenced by these fashion plates who were modeling outside fashion shows on Sunday. This is why Instagram was invented.
According to New York magazine blog The Cut, Glamour magazine hosted a cat party for New York Fashion Week:
"Respect the cat!" Glamour editor Cindi Leive crooned. "Seriously. Cats are not a trend, they are a permanent aspect of society. Look at Egypt." She went on to bash dogs for being "sloppy and slobbery. I understand they're cute in a frat-boy endearing way, but cats have intelligence, poise, and grace. I'm team cat all the way."
After Jason Wu created the 2009 inaugural gown for First Lady Michelle Obama, there was considerable buzz that she would turn up in the audience for Wu’s show that year (she didn’t). But even without those rumors swirling this year – there was only sleet – there was a palpable sense of excitement at the Feb. 8 show. The two-time inaugural gown designer showed a collection dripping with sophistication. It was fitting for a now historically important designer who has captured the eyes of American women of all ages. Thick winter coats and blouses were luxuriously trimmed with fur and leather. Lighter silk dresses swayed seductively. Sparing use of color made the occasional cardinal red silk pleated dress command even more attention. Wu was not trying to make a statement with a theme such as channeling fairy tales (that was 2009). The only theme that emerged from this collection was his confidence in crafting beautifully mature clothing that speaks to women of all ages.
The Marblehead designer has grown from indie-Goth downtown designer to a favorite of Lady Gaga and Carrie Underwood. She continued her winning streak with a collection that delicately balanced her edgy sensibility with mature evening pieces. LaPointe loosen her previously snug silhouettes. Instead of tightly enveloping the body in stretch jersey, LaPointe’s vaporous pieces, in black, red, camel, and sophisticated burgundy, teased with glimpses -- and promises -- of skin. Backs were cut and hemlines rose. But LaPointe was not entirely ready to abandon her love of the dark side. Leather leggings, or "gators" in LaPointe speak, were prominent. Beneath it all was a hint of her future as a designer who has the ability to design eveningwear without abandoning her beloved dark shadows.
In case you missed this, here's a clip from Style.com with Chanel's amazing wind farm fashion show. Although methinks that this is less about sustainable energy, and more about making a runway look very chic.
Luke Aaron: It appears that the young designer held a Grace Kelly film festival (with costumes by Edith Head) before designing his Spring/Summer 2013 line. Many of his feminine offerings, in celadon chiffons and a lovely muted floral print, looked ready for retail. Fabric on skirts and gowns was gathered up in intricately draped origami-inspired folds. His final look, a gown built of deep blue tulle under a peacock-print sheer was elegant without feeling old-fashioned. Where Aaron was less successful was with heavier satin dresses and pleating and folds that lacked the flow of his chiffons.
A look at the runway and behind the scenes at the Firas Yousif show at the tent at Boston Fashion Week. These are photos from Susan Choi.
A quick look backstage and on the runway at Sam Mendoza's Sept. 28 fashion show at the Tent. These photos are from Susan Choi.
Designer Mark Cordell’s Sept. 30 show, part of Boston Fashion Week’s The Tent series, played largely with textured fabrics and pops of bold blue and orange hues over neutrals. Ditsy prints were largely popular in the collection, notably an abstract black and white pattern sprinkled with skulls. Cordell, a recent Bay State College graduate, said he was inspired by “fashion rebels” like Thom Browne and Givenchy, and strives to channel boldness with distinct cuts for a noticeably androgynous collection. Also notable was the show’s makeup, which drew parallels to Cordell's asymmetry designs: a swoosh of black lipstick and smudged black shadow across one half of each model’s face, an unbalanced homage to what Cordell calls his “mad house.” -- Jessica Teich
Marc Jacobs’s Sept. 10 show for the signature line that bears his name was about rigidity – both in the pattern of his thick stripes and the silhouette of the dresses. On Sept. 12, he took his Marc by Marc collection about as far from those sharp lines as he could go. Patterns were heaped up patterns. Female models were wrapped in chic hausfrau headscarves, while male models sported newsboy caps. Was it a modern riff on post World War II-era British dress, or a nod to Dexy’s Midnight Runners and the 1980s pop scene? Perhaps an homage to grunge? With so much happening it was difficult to determine. But strip away those layers, and you’ll find an exceptionably fun summer wardrobe.
Her Sept. 12 Lincoln Center show at times felt like an advertisement for the wheat farmers of America. Sheaths of the crop adorned her dresses in bold prints, but rendered in understated hues. The overall effect surprisingly wholesome. Burch, who will open a boutique in Copley Place in November, saved her flash for the end of the show with a flowing sunshine yellow (perhaps sunshine to sustain all of that wheat) maxi dress and more form-fitting full-length cocktail dresses. A pair of gingham day dresses in updated plaids reinforced her all-American girl point-of-view.
The bottom line is that Michael Kors is successful because he makes clothes that people want to wear. His Sept. 13 show at Lincoln Center was no exception. There was barely a sartorial hiccup in his Spring/Summer 2013 collection, which stayed in line with the emerging trends of both stripes, and the color yellow. His horizontal men's and women's stripes were bold and upbeat in red and crabapple green, These shirts also felt vaguely French – but still within Kors’s classic American sportswear lexicon. Hints of the 1960s emerged in shift dresses, and one particularly stunning abstract pattern crabapple and vivid blue long-sleeve mini dress.
Check out Rachel Zoe on our live stream of fashion shows today at 1 p.m. Just click above (and sorry about all those crazy ads).
Yes, you could say I'm a little behind with my blogging (and by a little, I mean a lot). But these fashion week parties tend to take over during the week, and all that prosecco isn't going to drink itself. And, oh yes, there's the small matter of pulling myself out of bed in the morning to attend fashion shows. So how about some trend reports? I thought you'd never ask.
Stripes – Marc Jacobs (collection seen above) received the most attention this week for his Sept. 10 show of Warholian stripes. In contrast to the feminization of Spring/Summer 2012, his new collection featured a string of deck chair stripes and 1960s makeup and styling that left comparisons to Edie Sedgwick. Y-3 by Yamamoto also showed a penchant for black and white stripes. Jacobs’s stripes were the most severe of the week, but designers such as Alexander Wang, DKNY, and Diane von Furstenberg softened their edges, while Tommy Hilfiger took inspiration from the 1960s dandies.
Lemon chiffon – Absolutely delicious, light, and creamy yellows were one of the more realistic trends that could wind up in your closet next summer. Most designers served up some shade of yellow in their collection. For DKNY it was taxi cab yellow, for Ralph Rucci it was canary yellow highlights to contrast serene white. But designers like Jenny Packham (design above) Zac Posen and Carolina Herrera took it to delicate heights. This may not have been as widespread as other trends, but it was a personal favorite.
There are times when a designer's inspiration can derail a collection. After reading Jackie Fraser-Swan's inspiration for her Spring/Summer 2013 line, called Emerson, there were hints that things may go horribly wrong. In her description, the local designer wrote that the show was inspired by 1970s horror movies such as "Carrie" and "The Amityville Horror," as well as more modern offerings such as "American Horror Story." Cue the models wearing "Walking Dead" makeup.
But Fraser-Swan's show only made sublte nods to these references. A patterned dress with a red print alluded to tiny sprays of splattered blood, but not obviously so. Abstract prints on dresses with pleated silk skirts could have been tissue samples sandwiched between glass plates and examined under a microscope, or not. Regardless of inspiration, Fraser Swan is quickly growing her line, introducing a line of handbags and joining with a shoe designer to create large wedges to match the dresses. Her varsity jacket paired with a two-tier camisole dress will go far to win over younger customers, even those uninterested in horror movies.
The moments leading up to Zac Posen's Spring/Summer 2013 runway show were anything but calm. A near fashion stampede took place as guests bottle-necked at check-in. The show started late -- even by New York Fashion Week standards. But once the it did start, Posen again demonstrated his talent for making dresses that are both beautiful and technically daring. Set to a languid soundtrack of 1940s and 1950s ballads, his models sauntered serenely down the terrace of Avery Fisher Hall overlooking the plaza at Lincoln Center in 1940's-inspired day dresses that were effortlessly executed in chiffon. The models wearing the dresses equally classic -- Naomi Campbell, Angela Lindvall, Karolina Kurkova.
The combination of the pacing of the models, the music, and the cocktail dresses felt like a Douglas Sirk movie come to life. But it was Posen's gowns that enraptured. Ball gowns fit for red carpet royalty of triple layered chiffon, organza, and taffeta gently floated by spectators such as Gina Gershon and Loudres Leon. As the sun set over this glamourous scene, those pre-show complaints disappeared as well.
The celebrities filling her front row threatened to outshine the dresses (Sergey Brin, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Sarah Jessica Parker, Andy Cohen, Giovanna Battaglia, Wendi Murdoch, and we could keep going), but instead, Diane von Furstenberg showed a collection that was equally vibrant. She created her line off the story of a girl with "the polish of a princess and the heart of a gypsy" who "fantasizes about a life less structured." True to her word, that's exactly what von Furstenberg sent down the runway. She dressed her princess in jump suits and skirts, but it didn't take long for her move toward looser, unstructured kiwi chiffon gowns and sateen tops layered with crepe pants and turquoise coats. The looks were flowing, and non-stop. There was a clear absence of wrap dresses, but woman cannot live on wrap dress alone.
While the artist formerly known as Posh showed her collection in the morning on Sept. 9, her husband showed up at the 10th anniversary of Y-3 in the afternoon. What we want to know is: Who was watching the children? Pictures? I thought you'd never ask!
She turned to New York for inspiration, and here, Donna Karan explains her 2013 Spring/Summer collection. It includes our favorite new trend of the season: Fanny packs! Ok, she calls then belt bags. But trust us, we know a fanny pack when we see one. You can see them in action in the video below.
Most of the wildlife at Lincoln Center lives outside the tents in the vast plaza. Mugging for the camera is the sport of these creatures. Monique Lhuillier’s wildlife actually came from nature. Oversized digital prints of crane feathers and fish scales in vibrant teals and dark squid ink purple-gray gave the runway the look of a cocktail party for mermaids. As the mermaids swam off the cat walk, Lhuillier returned to land with a string of her signature shimmering gowns.
It was fashion biology class for Alexander Wang and his carefully cut-and-sutured couture. Models appeared to be wearing rings of magical fabric whose strips hovered and orbited around them into like rings circling a planet. Using this same technique, his panel dresses looked like a pattern not yet sewn together. This slight-of-hand (the clothes were kept together with barely visible threads) felt more avant garde than cheap magic trick, a glamorous crystal ball into a potential fashion future. The show –stopping “Tron”-like, glow-in-the-dark garments almost feel like required club wear.
Contestant: "I'll take Fashion Shows for $400 Alex"
Alex Trebek: "Here's the answer. Ukuleles, Hawaiian-inspired prints, palm fronds in every model's hair, and a shirt that says 'Aloha.'"
Contestant: "What was Mara Hoffman's none-too-subtle Spring/Summer 2013 fashion show?"
Alex Trebek: "That is correct for $400."
Of the sportswear that Lacoste designer Filipe Oliveira Baptista showed at Lincoln Center on Sept. 8, it wasn’t the minimal silhouettes, the pops of colorful prints splashed across ponchos, or that pitch-perfect tennis dress with the yellow stripe that excited the crowd. It was (please brace yourselves) fanny packs. In an homage to the much-maligned accessory of the 1980s, Baptista affixed subtle fanny packs into his collection of classic preppy sportswear. Spring 2013 will mark the 80th anniversary of the brand, but aside his occasional nod to the 1980s, he spent more time looking at the future of the brand rather than looking back.
There were actresses (Hailee Steinfeld and Kate Bosworth), there was a first daughter (Barbara Bush), and the kind of opulence that didn’t fit the West Side Highway industrial surroundings. Prabal Gurung, the rapidly ascending fashion darling, layered, tiered and feathered his Spring/Summer 2013 collection, and somehow avoided turning it all into “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Trains of sheer fabric trailed silk trouser-wearing models, rich brocades glistened, and that was just the start of the decadence. By the end of it, his models were floating in – what he describes as – “Vermillion exploded ostrich plume silk fil coupe organza drop waist dress.” I’m not sure exactly what that is, but it looks absolutely stunning.
It seems that Charlotte Ronson is looking forward to a wet Spring/Summer 2013. The highlight of her collection was a series of ocean wave prints and a steady parade of color-tinted clear vinyl varsity jackets. She tried a bit of everything – fishnet, tweed, and color blocking – but her best was a mini-collection of effortless and effervescent lemon chiffon dresses rendered in everything from sheer panel to Neoprene. Although her front row featured enough past-their-prime celebrities to sink “The Love Boat,” Ronson's clothes remain young and fun.
For her Lincoln Center fashion show, Nicole Miller cited her inspiration as a “juxtaposition of improbable things, 808 surrealist art movement, digital nature, and sci-fi,” plus “all my bad girl/good girl.” If that sounds brave to you, you’re correct. Braver still is my prediction that that Miller will be the only one showing acid wash jorts this week at Lincoln Center. Miller wants the 1990s to happen again, which was evident by floral prints (and Miller loves a good print) along with a nice cigarette pant. Still it was heartening to see Miller experiment with pixilated, modern prints and her new take on the patchwork top felt like the 1890s meets the 1990s – but in a very good way.
The young designer took his inspiration from the erotic photography of Helmut Newton and the dream-like photos of Lillian Bassman. That combination resulted in pieces such as a leather harness to add a shock of sex to an otherwise dainty lace and chiffon dress. The less couth would call it upscale dominatrix. A black leather bustier harness dress was softened with sheer, flesh-tone jersey fabric. Hints of menswear also toughened his models. He ended with sparkly tulle gowns, but even at his most feminine, Wu kept the harness theme going.
The Marblehead native’s Sept. 7 show was her most mature to date, and some pieces that she showed – a beautifully intricate moss green lace dress and a deceptively simple pale rust Georgette dress – will appeal to a wide range of women. Calling it mainstream would be too crass. LaPointe has maintained her creativity but softened her edge over the past four seasons. The designer, who made a name for herself thanks in part to Lady Gaga’s support, stayed with some of her trademarks, such as black, form-fitting, full length tight skirts. Yes, Gaga will still want these clothes, but LaPointe’s spring 2013 collection, which was inspired by “a secret submarine base in Russia,” allowed the designer to play with materials such as lambskin and sueded charmeuse in luxuriously feminine new ways. Linda Fargo, senior vice president at Bergdorf Goodman, was headed backstage immediately after the show. It looks like Gaga isn’t the only one buying these clothes anymore.
Yes, I'm a little behind on my blogging (re: very, very behind.) But you try battling with thousands of others at Lincoln Center for a poor internet connection, and you'll see that you shouldn't Judge Judy me.
Let's get on with it.. shall we?
It’s generally easy to pick out the three finalists at these shows, and sometimes there’s even a clear winner. But this year, the eight designers who showed (there were five decoys and three finalists), offered a surprising mix. The winner will be announced on the show Oct. 18. Boston native and Lasell graduate Sonjia Williams showed a collection that she said is “based off of me, a bold, strong collection for confident women.” Her interpretation of confidence appeared to blend 1940s prints and yards of bordello-inspired lace. As celebrity judge Jennifer Hudson and celebrities such as Debra Messing looked on, contestant Gunnar Deatherage offered a parade of tribal earth-tone prints inspired by the aborigines. Also strong was Elena Slivnyak’s vaguely Pierre Cardin-inspired two-tone retro futuristic body-hugging dresses. Our pick to go home quickly: Fabio Costa. His glorified fancy silk nightgowns were a drab interlude in an otherwise tight competition.
Francois Mori/AP photo
Paris Couture Week is in full swing and with many anticipated shows this season (Raf Simons' first couture show for Christian Dior, Donatella's return to the Ritz with the house of Versace, etc.), we'll be updating a regular gallery feature with a mix of runway shots, celebrity arrivals, and behind-the-scenes pictures from the City of Light.
We couldn't imagine a better opportunity to break out the Lily Pulitzer duds of our former Eastern seaboard school girl days (except maybe a party for Lily Pulitzer, we suppose) than these two local upcoming events.
J. McLaughlin's newly-expanded Charles Street location (34 Charles St., Boston) will play host to a book party for Beacon Hill resident and Boston aficionado John D. Spooner's "No One Every Told Us That: Money and Life Letters to My Grandchildren" on June 28 from 6-8 p.m. The founding McLaughlin brothers, Jay and Kevin, and brand president/CEO, Steven Siegler, will also be on deck to shake hands and chit chat over cocktails.
Meanwhile, boutique bauble queen Angela Moore will host a fashion show and champagne breakfast on July 12 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame (194 Bellevue Ave., 401-324-4057) at 9 a.m. in Newport. ATP World Tour tennis players (so far, Bud Collins -- who is quite a dapper dude, if you ask us) and other local celebs will strut in style to raise funds to "enhance and maintain" the Hall of Fame. This year's theme is a "Salute to Newport Nautical Style" and will include looks by Jack Rogers, Julie Brown, Fila, and Moore herself.
A complimentary after-party is to follow at the Angela Moore brick and mortar location (190 Bellevue Ave.) from noon-6 p.m., where we're told there will be bubbly and "informal modeling." (The latter of which is inevitable after a full day of champagne.)
Tickets to the Hall of Fame fashion show are $80 and can be purchased online.
We love you Karl Lagerfeld. We really do. But we couldn't help but giggle at some of the looks from the Chanel Cruise show Monday at Marie Antoinette's famed former home, Chateau de Versailles. In addition to the typical conservative and to be honest, tiring, Chanel fanfare (plenty of boucle, cool hues, and Brad Kroenig), Lagerfeld never fails to shake things up and get the fashion world talking about his latest collection with some unusual quirks. (Have you forgotten the infamous Chanel faux fur yeti suits? Neither have we!)
Check out seven of our favorite brow-raising moments:
1. The denim on denim combo that we bet your boyfriend can't wait to try. 2. Don't worry, there's a version for you, too. 3. Man capris. Need we say more? 4. The accessory he's been waiting for: a quilted Chanel watering can/"murse."
5. The out-of-control sporty "flatforms" that we're really hoping won't catch on.
6. The return of the gaucho pant. 7. Karl goes plaid.
[Images via REUTERS/Benoit Tessier]
No, that was not Spider Man in drag walking down the side of the new Revere Hotel Boston Common last night. The Revere (which, incidentally, is not located in Revere) staged a vertical fashion show with models walking down the hotel's 24-story facade with the help of rock climbing gear.
"How many of them do you think will end up falling?" was the oft-heard question of the evening.
The show highlighted uniforms created by budding fashion students at the Massachusetts College of Art, along with looks from the Ted Baker London Spring/Summer 2012 collection. There were no fashion fatalities. And here's the video to prove it.
I had a story in yesterday's Globe about the "Beauty as Duty" exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts which highlights World War II British fashion. But I think this 1940s news reel about the country's make do and mend campaign (and fashion show!) sums it all up quite nicely. Very pre-"Project Runway."
Jiminy Cricket! I seem to be asking a lot of questions with these blog posts. In this case, "Who Will Buy?" from the musical "Oliver!" (thank goodness I was sitting next to a Broadway musical-loving queen who could name that tune in two notes) played throughout Marc Jacobs' stunning show last night. Whenever I depart for New York Fashion Week, the question I hear is "What show are you looking forward to most?" The answer is inevitably Marc Jacobs. The staging and clothes are the closest that the US gets to a couture show. For a runway presentation that literally lasts 10 minutes, this elaborate, Whoville-meets-Tim Burton-esque set was created in the New York Armory.
The clothes are an entirely different matter. As the fashion writer, I should have an immediate explanation for the giant fur hats and larger-than-life frocks. My immediate reaction of the concept was 'little girl raids mom's closet.' I'm still mulling this one over. Hey, no one ever said I was the sharpest hat pin in the jewelry box. What to make of Pilgrim shoes with crystal buckles and dresses with padded hips? Still digesting this.
And just in case you're not a fan of musical theater (join the club), here's the Nancy Sinatra version of "Who Will Buy?" (from her 1967 TV special "Movin' with Nancy," which, by the way, you should own.) Jacobs played this version, among many others.
This will be my most disjointed blog post ever (not possible, you're no doubt thinking). But I have so many random thoughts about tonight's Betsey Johnson show. The first is that I actually liked the show. I use 'actually' because although I love Betsey as a person, her style is a tad frilly for my tastes. However, this evening she went all Carnaby Street circa 1967. And it worked. First there were the clothes.
If there's anything I like, it's a good fashion disaster. I see them all day. Models falling, people at Lincoln Center walking into walls because they're so busy texting that they just sat next to Tinsley Mortimer that they can't be bothered to look up, and so on. Who doesn't love a good laugh at someone else's expense? But today at 3.1 Phillip Lim, it was technical difficulties. The fog machine went haywire, and it looked like a foggy day in Maine. Poor Suzy Menkes from the International Herald Tribune was fanning herself like the countess dowager. Frustrated photographers who couldn't get a clear shot yelled for the fog to stop. On top of it all, the poor DJ was experience horrible feedback. On the bright side, I loved the clothes. At least the ones I could see.
(I have no idea why I used this photo, I just liked it).
It's subtle, it hits F/W 2012's recurring strong women theme, and it's very prevalent this Fashion Week. Hints of military details are showing up everywhere, and in unlikely places. Even the normally lady-like designs of Victoria Beckham and Jason Wu are showing signs of strength.
So far the most ingenious staging for a fashion show this week: A skating rink in Central Park. This was the Moncler Grenoble collection shown last night. And if you were brave enough to stand in the cold, you got models... on skates!
Naturally I loved it because it was inspired by (these are not my words): "The plastic revolution in visionary forms reference Joe Colombo; the graphic ductility of this new material in the furnishings envisioned by Vico Magistretti; experiments with the use of vinyl and plastic fabrics borrowed from French couture, which in the 1960s was inspired by the technical sporting world of skiing. All combined with a space-age style that pays homage to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Design, fashion and cinema - the creative verve of the ’60s where everything was intertwined and any innovation seemed possible."
Meaning you wish you were running around in the cold and getting dirty looks because it appears that you slept two hours last night (true) and that you don't have a driver like everybody else and that you must take the subway (also true). Here's an easier way. A guide to shows this week that you can watch on your computer.
Last night Zac Posen's elegant show traveled less-subtlely to Japan (above).
Now wondering which Asian country we'll be visiting today.
Because my New York wi-fi is moving about as quickly as an obese turtle after a few Xanax, how about a quick look at two very different interpretations of green?
Here's a look at Diane von Furstenberg's romantic and flowing interpretation of electric green. Her show was a lovely shock of color for Fall/Winter 2012
And this unfortunate model at yesterday's Custo Barcelona show appears to have crawled out of the bottom of a yarn-filled swamp. The first thing I wrote in my notebook when I saw this look was "Cheese and crackers! She looks like the creature from the green lagoon."
Well, she's supermodel delux Gisele Bundchen, and she came out of New York Fashion Week semi-retirement to walk Alexander Wang's show on Saturday in this leather trench coat. All of my hetero friends keep telling me she's married to some sports dude. Whatev. I'm not going to pretend I know. All I know is that Wang's show was both fun and polished.
I'm back at New York Fashion Week and ready to complain! As much as I j'adore new technology, the latest problem at Fashion Week is the iPad. It's bad enough when the hoi polloi crammed into the rafters at Lincoln Center have to strain their necks to get a glimpse of the runway. Making matters worse are folks who hoist their iPads into the air to take pictures and video of the catwalk. If you have the misfortune of sitting behind these people, all you can see is a grainy image of the proceedings on the tablet, because it's directly in your line of vision. Not that I'm bitter about this, but I'm bitter. I propose they be banned during showtime. Ok, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
As you scurry about trying to finish work before the turkey genocide and shopping riots begin (Occupy Copley Place, anybody?), take a moment, relax, and have a look at this season's Alexander McQueen show. This is the Spring/Summer 2012 collection that was shown in Paris. And before you dare ask "What were they thinking?", here's the explanation from McQueen designer Sarah Burton. As you can see, the woman can do more than royal wedding dresses.
"I was thinking about a woman as an object of desire. We go to such lengths to adorn ourselves that we almost become our clothes or are taken over by them. This is a collection about excess - an exploration of ideals of beauty at their most extreme."
Generally when I attend any kind of fashion event I try to pass over the nibbles because I'm already much more Rubenesque than everyone else in attendance. However, it may be hard to ignore the tasty grub at Tico, which has been hosting a series of fashion shows on Monday nights. You can check it out this Monday, and attempt the very unfashionable act of eating at a fashion show. I'm kidding, of course. Save those angry emails and eat up!
Charlotte Ronson (pictured right), designer of her namesake New York-bred contemporary fashion line, and Sells & Co. owner Liz Sells (pictured left) hosted a shindig and fashion show featuring Ronson's Spring/Summer 2012 collection at Stanhope Street lounge/restaurant Red Lantern last night. Before Charlotte's DJ sister Samantha got behind the turntables and the models stepped out onto the runway, we snagged the duo for a quick Q&A:
So Boston and fashion, I have to know -- what do you think of our style, Charlotte?
Ronson: I just got here this afternoon and have been inside the hotel but I've seen a few bellhop uniforms that are pretty stylish.
Since the collection already showed at New York Fashion Week, most people have already seen the Spring 2012 collection. What do you hope the Boston audience will take away now that they'll be able to see it in person?
Ronson: I work hard to make the collection wearable, but also you want it to stand out and be different and recognizable as a brand. This season I took a more feminine, ladylike approach with a lot of crochet and lace, but kept a little bit of a grunge taste to it.
Sells: I think people who see this show tonight should know that practically everything that walks will be available for purchase right away. It's not like when you go to New York Fashion Week and a lot of pieces don't end up being produced.
Ronson: Also, price-wise those [runway] pieces aren't always affordable.
Charlotte, I heard a little rumor that you were thinking about branching into home goods, any truth to the matter?
Ronson: You never know what's possible! Nothing's signed or going on at this moment but I'm definitely looking into different areas.
And Liz, you're celebrating your Newbury Street pop-up, what were you thinking when you were bringing labels into this location?
Sells: I wanted to bring in labels to Boston from New York that you can't get in the surrounding areas. I wanted to bring that "take a risk and see what happens outside the box" style into the store.
What do you both have on your holiday wishlist?
Ronson: Maybe just to go on holiday... somewhere sunny and warm.
Sells: I just want to keep my kids and my family blessed... just to sleep one or two nights a week all the way through the night! Keep my kids sleeping through the night, that's what Santa can bring me.
You can shop the Sells & Co. pop-up location at 116 Newbury St. It will remain open through the end of December.
[images via Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff]
Questions, comments, concerns? Tweet me @RachelRaczka.
Charlotte Ronson, of the too-creative-for-their-own-damn-good Ronsons, is presenting a fashion show tonight at the Red Latern for the boutique Sells & Co. Ronson's super accessible and super cute (Ugh, I can't believe I just used the words "super cute") clothes are shown each season at New York Fashion Week. This is your chance to pretend that you're Andre Leon Talley in Lincoln Center (sans cape) and look bored while you're secretly thrilled inside.
Details! Yes! There is a VIP reception from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., which includes a meet and greet with Charlotte herself, passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Tickets range from $50 for individual seats to $500 for tables of eight. Or, if you're pinching pennies the way your pumps pinch your toes, you can buy general admission tickets for $20. Doors for general admission cheapskates open at 8 p.m.
For more information, call 617-338-4343. To purchase VIP tickets, call 860-204-6366.
No need to be a member of the city’s fashion elite to join in on the Boston Fashion Week fun. Here are some of our key suggestions for a smashing good time:
Hotel Chocolat (141A Newbury St.) will host a pop-up shop series featuring a different local accessory designer each day from 2-6 p.m. Standout designers at the seven-day event, titled “Accessorize Yourself at the Chocolatier’s Table,’’ include hand-painted footwear by Connecticut-bred designer Mallory Musante on Tuesday and baubles from Woburn’s Catalina De La Torre Jewelry on Wednesday.
Boston Fashion Week and Fashion Group International of Boston will present the Launch invitation-only runway show featuring five new local faces in fashion. This season’s set includes School of Fashion Design grads Candice Wu and Karina Bresnahan and will hold court in the Tent on Sunday at 6 p.m.
Topping our must-see list is one of Boston’s best-known designers, Daniela Corte, who will have her runway show at the Tent on Sept. 30. To make a seating request for this event and the one above, consult bostonfashionweek.com for contact information.
Local style agency Stilista and Newbury Street boutique Dress team up for a shopping event on Sept. 29, from 5-8 p.m. featuring special discounts and refreshments. The Stilista team will work with shoppers to demonstrate how to translate a key piece into a work, evening, and weekend looks. Dress is at 221 Newbury St.
Clean out your closets with the Swapaholics Sip & Swap event at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge on Sept. 29, from 6-10 p.m. The evening will feature door prizes, shopping, and a live “blogger/editor’’ runway show featuring looks created from clothing on site. Admission is $10 per person.
For a complete schedule of events, visit www.bostonfashionweek.com.
Image via Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff
While most fashion editors are en route to the next round European shows post-New York Fashion Week, we're home bound for something a more near and dear to our heart -- Boston Fashion Week. Kicking off on Sept. 23, founder and executive director Jay Calderin will be ushering this operation into its new home between the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the Prudential Center with "The Tent" -- a 250-seated-capacity... well, tent. The original and ubiquitous symbol of fashion weeks worldwide.
In the past, Fashion Week for Boston has meant a variety of events held in various venues throughout the city, ending with what has resulted in "a hodgepodge of shows and parties scattered across town" -- a far cry from the highly produced, industry-regarded shows in New York, or even, L.A.
But this season, Calderin with a team of partners, including Boston Magazine, hope to spearhead this event into a more formal chapter.
"The Tent happens to be the crown jewel," said Calderin in a phone interview earlier last week. "It's new, shiny, and exciting. But for me, it will provide a consistent level of production value so the shows will be more about the designs, not the venue."
Lisa Baker Associates will be providing production services for shows under the Tent and we spied photos on Twitter, featuring the venue's construction as early as the 15th. And, yes, it's quite big. Will they be able to seat 250 folks in there? Yes, most likely. But will they have 250 people to fill those 250 seats... well... that's another question to ask.
While Boston Fashion Week may lack the glitterati that attends our global counterparts and the red tape that goes with it, the public's relationship with the event is still under certain restraints.
Calderin made note that while Boston Fashion Week will host a series of public events, pop-up shops, and parties throughout the Hub, the shows within The Tent will still be on an invitation-only basis. "Each designer is doing their own show and they're open to be contacted via the Boston Fashion Week website," said Calderin. So if you're not in the industry, but want to attend a runway presentation? It's up to the designer -- "if they have the room to accommodate a request," added Calderin.
"I just added about a dozen more today!" he said during the phone interview.
Where will we be? Check back for our list of must-see events later this week.
Will you attend any Boston Fashion Week shows or events? Which designers are you excited to see? Discuss in the comments.
So you don't have time to scurry from tent to tent, nestle in next to editors and celebrities, and take in all of the glamorous, pricey clothing whipped up by a-list designers for New York Fashion Week. But you can still (kinda) participate in the catwalk mania and wiggle your booty in the comfort of your own Boston apartment as if you were at Fashion Week with the help of our NYFW playlist. We've hand-picked a few notable selections from this week's Spring 2012 presentations to make you feel like you're in the center of the action.FULL ENTRY
As curt as it sounds, there was a period when fashion writers dismissed Tommy Hilfiger's American prep. The designer created an empire on outfitting coeds, but while commercially successful, much of the artistic message was hard to find. So it's been a pleasure to see a newly-inspired Hillfiger look back and recast his women's collections. His Spring/Summer 2012 runway was "inspired by the infusion of preppy and pop art," he wrote. Like many designers this season, he's paying tribute to the 1960s in very subtle ways. His looked back, but his plaids showed shapes and lengths in new ways, although some not always successful. During the show, another writer leaned over and whispered to me "I guess maternity jackets will be big next spring." But the end of the show, he had progressed to the 1970s with color blocked poncho/caftans that looked ready for Malibu royalty.
Who's New York Fashion Week's biggest star? Oh yes, it's FASHION CAT!
Tomorrow night will be a stylish moment of truth for the Hub when Boston's FNO kicks off at 6 p.m. in various locations throughout the city. While the list of events and parties keeps growing, we've narrowed down 10 Tweeters -- from local fashion bloggers to party DJs.
[illustration courtesy of Katie Rodgers]
Now, for the others ...
Illustrator (pictured) and PAPERFASHION blogger Katie Rodgers will be drawing custom totes at the Rockport Newbury Street location that will be gifted with purchases of the night. We'll be tuning in to see some of her creations as well as updates from her end of Newbury.
Design New England's associate editor Danielle Ossher will be checking in at Neiman Marcus for interior designer Frank Roop's book signing before hitting up the additional decor-infused events in the Hub.
Helming one of the biggest events of the night is The Ames Hotel and locally-based flash sale group Rue la la, which will be hosting a dual-stage party at Quixote Studios in Allston. Rue la la's Boston-based social team plans to tweet every surprise of the night.
Improper Bostonian style and beauty editor Amanda Knorr's (@ASKnorr) independent Boston boutique and shopping blog, Spreedia.com, will be popping in and out of local shops to report on the evening's sales and splurges.
Leah Freeman, who writes the blog PlsKnck.com (rather, "Please knock"), is better known for her knack of zoning in on what makes Boston ladies just so stylish and will be tweeting about her fashionable finds and new friends.
Duo DJ Cousin John and batwings, behind Blend Boston, will be splitting up for the night to spin at Saks Fifth Avenue (from 6-9 p.m.) and Goorin Bros. Hat Shop (@GoorinBros) on Newbury Street (from 6-10 p.m.), respectively. While they'll be posting photos and updates from their events, they'll be accepting song requests via Twitter all night long.
And, of course:
Boston's Fashion's Night Out's official Twitter handle, a must-follow for updates throughout the night.
Euro-based fashion videographer Justin Wu created another one of his Fashion Week lip-dubs, this time for Models.com, featuring the best of brawn and jawlines at the Spring/Summer 2012 shows in Milan and Paris. Like his previous dubs (which feature models frolicking the fashion capitals of Europe while lip-synching), Wu's "A Little Less Conversation" flick captures some of the hottest male cast members of the season's runway shows.
Do you suddenly feel that heat wave kicking in? Or is it just us?
I won't blab too much about "L'Amour Fou," which opens in Boston next week. But I saw the film earlier this week, and not only is it gorgeous, it's also quite sweet and beautifully paced. It is one of those must-see movies for fashion nerds. Which means if you're reading this blog, you're probably going to see it.
Crowds filed into the Power Station Saturday night for Voltage 2011, the MassArt Senior Fashion Show. More than 35 budding designers showed off their collections at the open-air South End building.
Globe photographer Erik Jacobs shot the backstage action and fashion show festivities:
[Arielle Kase did Sherlyn Louissaint's makeup backstage / Erik Jacobs]
The students of MassArt are preparing for their May 7 fashion show -- with the electrifying name Voltage 2011 -- and to tantalize your fashionable taste buds, they're offering this tease of a video. Color me impressed. When I was in college, the only videos my friends and I made were spoofs of "The Golden Girls," and no, I did not play the part of Dorothy Zbornak.
Sorry, I easily get distracted by "The Golden Girls" and fond memories of Bea Arthur's caftan collection. As I was saying, the MassArt fashion show takes place at the Power Station, 540 Harrison Ave. in the South End. Doors are at 6:30 p.m., the show starts at 7:30. You'll see men’s and women’s sportswear, bridal, swimwear, and "avant-garde groupings." For more information, call 617-879-7676.
All eyes may be on Kate Middleton's wardrobe, and anticipation is soaring over which designer will have the honor of creating the future princess's matrimonial frock. But Middleton has a rather large fashion legacy to follow. Diana, Princess of Wales, was known for her extraordinary taste and relationships with fashion designers such as Gianni Versace cq and fashion photographer Mario Testino cq. Beginning April 25, 14 of Diana's gowns, spanning the years 1985 to 1997, will be on display in Portsmouth, NH. These couture party dresses show the range of the late princess's stylish acumen, from a dramatic sequined mermaid gown with a racy, high slit up the leg, to more demure selections, such as a minimalist, one-shoulder cream gown worn for her famous 1997 Vanity Fair photo spread, which was shot by Testino. This exhibit is the last time the dresses will be shown to the public before they are sold at auction. The dresses will be on display through May 8 at the Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center. Tickets are $19.95 for adults, $14.95 for seniors and $14.95 for children under 14. For more information, go to www.flyingmonkeynh.com or call 603-536-255
"The Fashion Show" mean girl Calvin Tran, shown here plotting world domination. Photo from Bravo.
Despite my love of both trashy reality shows and fashion, I'm torn over news that NBC is developing another fashion competition show. Don't get my wrong, I'll watch pretty much any fashion reality show that is broadcast on basic cable. I'm fairly convinced that I'm the only one who sat through the entire season of the fascinating muck known as "The Fashion Show: Ultimate Collection" (aka "The Calvin Tran and Iman Show") and I've stuck by "Project Runway," despite the fact that watching it now feels similar to watching a geriatric cat trying to unsuccessfully jump on a sofa (it's sad and tired, but you can't stop looking and rooting for it).
So news that NBC is now scouting for fresh faces for "The Fashion Project" ("Project Runway" + "The Fashion Show" = "The Fashion Project"!) is perplexing. But perhaps they have developed a fresh formula to inject new life into this sagging genre. Overweight designers who need to lose 100 pounds to fit into a line of clothes that they design themselves? Fashionistas competing to see if they're smarter than both fifth graders and models in a battle of wits and design savvy? C'mon NBC, dazzle the trousers off of me.
A dress from Nirva's Fall/Winter 2010 collection
Beginning tomorrow, Brasserie JO's Fashion Show Fridays return to the Colonnade Hotel. This is your chance to eat the steak frites and see cutting edge local fashion. It sounds like a dream I once had. The shows take place from noon to 2 p.m. on select Fridays. Here's the rundown:
March 4, David Chum: In 2009 David launched his line, Selah D'or. Chum is a professionally trained artist and self-taught designer from Boston.
April 1, Michael De Paulo with Toyna Mezrich: Signatures of De Paulo include beading, sculptural elements, pleats and geometric details. His designs have graced the red carpet on several occasions including at the Emmy Awards and the Oscars.
April 8, Fashion School of Design: The School of Fashion Design was established in 1934 and is the only educational institution in Massachusetts dedicated exclusively to the study of fashion design.
April 15, Nirva: Nirva's work is haute couture quality high-end women's wear. influenced by the diversity of her Armenian heritage.
April 22, A Vni: Avni Trivedi blends her Eastern heritage with her Western urban aesthetic to create a contemporary cultural connection for women.
Innovative designer Gary Graham will be at Stel's on March 3 from 1 to 8 p.m. selling runway sample dresses, previewing his Fall 2011 collection, and chatting and generally being a nice guy. Graham's work is inspired by his furtile imagination, Hollywood stars of yore, and his love of history. To schedule an apppointment to see his collections, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even if the audience at Lincoln Center had no idea that budding Mexican designer Christian Cota has a background as a painter, it was something they could quickly pick up on, that is if they occasionally looked up from their Blackberries. His use of graphic prints and dabs of color had a painterly feel, as if he had carefully considered each hue, each texture, and every line of pattern. Cota expertly captured the melancholy mood of a gray January afternoon with his pieces, which enveloped and enrobed models like a snowy cocoon. His inspiration for the line, hiking in the Himalayans, was evident with his glammed-up, Sherpa-styled models swathed with lambskins and fox pelts. By mixing these influences with feminine and flowing maxi skirts, chic wide-legged trousers, and shimmering gowns, Cota kept his show from becoming a tribute to "Seven Years in Tibet," instead giving it the aura of a stylsih apres hike cocktail soiree.
New York Fashion Week has been all about mixing the functional and the frivolous for next winter, and while in some cases this combination comes off as appealing as serving lemon meringue pie with a side of foie gras, the challenge of mixing the fashion and function has also made for some stunning moments. Wednesday's 3.1 Phillip Lim show saw the designer brazenly pairing an oversized anorak dress with tuxedo pants, and blouson jackets over culottes. There was rarely anything precious coming down the runway, and very few missteps. These were the clothes of a truly urban and modern woman. Lim's completely original take on clothes may not always be the most practical -- such as his oddly shaped conical gowns -- but his vision of how to outfit the modern woman was completely on the mark.
It has been fascinating to watch New York designers play with both delicate and heavy fabrics this week in their collections. It is a mix that showed up on the runway at Vera Wang, and again Wednesday night at Elie Tahari. In his show notes, the designer compares the dark romanticism of his collection to "the cinematic movement of an antique music box." I would compare it to the film "Black Swan" set to the music of Stevie Nicks. Models came down the runway in black leather and lace, with chiffon capes billowing behind them. Before Tahari moved into more sturdy tweeds and cable knits, his dark, witchy ensembles were romantic and dangerous. In the second half of the show, he lightened the mood, but continued mixing leather jackets with voluminous, full-length chiffon skirts. It would have been fascinating to see more of Tahari's dark side, but overall he presented some important essentials of fall 2011 trends: Length in dresses, leather, and lots of lace.
When designer-of-the-moment Prabal Gurung explained that the inspiration for his collection earlier this week was the dusty Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations," it felt like a sweet, quirky, and rather random literary fashion reference. But when Marchesa's Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig used the same Miss Havisham for the Fall/Winter 2011 collection they debuted on Wednesday afternoon, it appeared that a trend was born. For those who failed sophomore English, or never rented the movie from Blockbuster to bluff their way through class, Miss Havisham was the heartbroken bride who refused to remove her wedding dress after being swindled by her supposed true love. She's lives out her days seeking revenge. Chapman and Craig's inspirations were at times quite literal. The distressed silk tulle dresses recalled Havisham's decaying wedding dress. But because this is Marchesa, home of red carpet favorites, the pair also made gowns that lived up to celebrity great expectations. Although still glamourous, it was also a thrill to see Marchesa move beyond their sartorial comfort zone.
There was a reason why Michael Kors was beaming slightly more than normal at his Lincoln Center show on Wednesday morning, and it wasn't simply because Bette Midler gave him a peck on the cheek before the models started walking the runway. This marks Kors' 30th year in fashion, and his New York Fashion Week show may have been a birthday party without balloons or confetti (and definitely no cake), but there was plenty of sparkle. Kors makes fashion look easy. His pieces are basic and unfussy, but anything but boring. There is an art to making clothes that look this effortless, and Kors has an eye for slicing away the extraneous. Charcoal suits were flawless and sexy leather shifts, cashmere sweaters, and slinky jersey dresses all spoke to Kors love of luxury. Tailoring and draping were immaculate, and there was even a bit more flesh than normal with daring slits and exposed shoulders. There is a reason why his front row was lined with celebs, and it's more than his "Project Runway" fame. Kors makes beautiful, simple clothes.
So far this week, we've seen that very 1990s trend of color blocking revived by rag & bone, Derek Lam, Cynthia Rowley and DKNY, but no one has managed it quite as artfully as Narciso Rodriguez. His Lincoln Center show was a study in bold black and white, focusing on fabrics rather than silhouette. But his tribute to 1990s minimalism didn't feel nearly as costume-like as the current 1970s revival. Instead, these very sophisticated pieces simply became canvases for Rodriguez's exploration. Painted fabric patterns softened the blocking, as Rodriguez added lavenders, plums, and reds to his dresses. And just when you thought the collection was getting a tad too masculine with leather and grays, Rodriguez would surprise with a hint of chiffon. This was the week's most stylish gallery opening.
Going into a Dennis Basso show, you realize that there will be fur coats, and lots of them. Basso got his start selling pelts out of his car in the 1980s. And his show at Lincoln Center was absolutely filled with furs from all animals, there was Russian sable in smoke, khaki and graphite; lynx, kidassia, fox, broadtail and chinchilla. There was even crocodile and coyote. Johnny Weir was practically salivating over all that fur. But aside from the furs, what Basso sent down the runway was dull. As much as it pains me to say, because Basso is such a genial gentleman and a joy to watch on QVC. But I ran out of adjectives for tan and brown in my notebook. After jotting down "chestnut bisque" to describe the color of a chunky cableknit sweater dress, I pretty much gave up and wrote "yawn" instead. The collection was based on gentleman's haberdashery (androgyny trend alert!), and his sweaters were lovely, particularly the embroidered turtleneck dress with textured petaled skirt, but it never felt like his clothes went beyond things to wear under fur coats.
Since the revival of Halston three years ago, the house has not shied away from its Studio 54 salad days. Even Liza Minnelli was there as the label relaunched. But Tuesday evening's presentation felt like a full bear hug of the disco years. With the lights dim to highlight a trio of glow-in-the-dark dresses and the familiar sound of disco over the speakers, the intricately draped jersey dresses designed by Marios Schwab looked like they belonged to the muses of "Xanadu," or a least a young Donna Pescow. Even the show notes read like an old Grace Jones song: "An evanescent aura of chiffon settles over weighty jewels." Regardless of the music, Schwab's designs were effortess, and aside from the gimmicky glowing dresses and jeweled bra, his peak-a-boo slits and plunging necklines would be considered sexy in any era.
The Mulleavy sisters never fail to surprise. After making their mark with museum worthy clothes (which have actually been displayed in museums) and creating appropriately dark costumes for "Black Swan," the sisters of Rodarte have spent the past few seasons making clothes that are beautiful and wearable. Their Tuesday show, in front of celebs such as Chloe Sevigny, Kirsten Dunst, and Kanye West, featured slices of Americana. References to quilting, Native America patterns, and the most American of all handicrafts -- macrame (ok, maybe it was just embroidered lace) -- were interspersed with elegant gowns, slouchy sweaters, and gold embroidery. This ode to the prairie felt as sun bleached as a parched wheat field, and was like nothing else seen so far at New York Fashion Week.
What you would expect at a Vera Wang show: Light, diaphanous chiffon dresses thatfloat like ghosts. What you wouldn't expect at a Vera Wang show: Parkas. This morning at Lincoln Center, Vera Wang gave us both, and for some reason, the combination worked. Starting her show on the dark side, Wang offered up fur-trimmed anoraks along with what has been one of the big mysteries of the week -- sleeveless coats. Do women's arms no longer get cold? But the practicalities of winter were not weighing heavily on Wang's mind during the second half of her show when she paraded our her delicately pleated gowns in seasonally appropriate shades. She showed a stunning range, from youthful and tough to light and feminine, and even mixed the two wonderfully.
While we would have preferred to see a collection based on the boozy glamour of Vera Charles, or the geek chic of Agnes Gooch, it's fitting that Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet would chose to update the look of intellectual party girl Mame Dennis for her fall 2011 collection. Not only did Auntie Mame survive the market crash of the 1920s with verve and panache (not to mention a singing Lucille Ball), she also came roaring back into money in the end, and all fashion week designers have their eyes set on a similar prize. It was a joy to see Bendet give the youthful Alice + Olivia girl a sophisticated edge. Again, there was a playful feeling of the 1970s throughout the collection, but the 1970s that was looking back to the 1940s. Time travel should always be this much fun.
At first it seemed like a complete impossibility. Had fashion's wild child Betsey Johnson managed to reign in her wacky personality enough to show a subdued collection (by Betsey standards) of muted animal prints Monday night at Lincoln Center? Her first few models to sashay along the catwalk were wearing prints in greys and blacks with Cleopatra wigs on their heads. It did not take long, however, for the cascade of color to begin. Johnson's shows are far more party than runway, and her show quickly became something of an East Village drag spectacular when she strutted out pieces from her new diffusion line called the Pink Patch. Using employees from her stores (mostly dudes in drag), the show may have broken records for most models in a single show. It was hard not to be swept up in good time Betsey's party, and even "Sex in the City" costumer Patricia Field was up and dancing with Johnson by the time the spectacle came crashing to an end.
It was strange to see actress Susan Sarandon in the midst of the fashion crowd Monday at Chris Benz's presentation. It was more strange to picture her wearing Benz's very young, borderline frumpy -- meant as a compliment -- ensembles. Perhaps Johnny Weir, also in attendance at Benz and virtually every other show this week, would have an easier time carrying off these looks. Benz, inspired by spending time as a mentor for a Georgia design school, made clothes for the co-ed, circa 1972. Bigger than life hats, layers upon layers of sweaters, blouses, skirts, and fur trimmed coats gave his models the appearance of having rummaged through thrift stores to piece together their ensembles. But unlike other designers who have tried this approach and failed (we're looking at you, Charlotte Ronson), Benz's approach to this style worked thanks to a color scheme that never felt like Rhoda Morganstern's apartment, and some absolutely fabulous tailoring.
Carolina Herrera knows that her wealthy, well-heeled customers are not looking for radically shifting trends, yo-yoing hemlines, and Franken-shoes that lead to nasty cases of hammertoe. Her Fall/Winter 2011 collection was a graceful collection of flannel coats and opulent ball gowns. But Herrera did add drama to her collection with a series of flared sleeves. You could almost hear her thinking "Let the juniors flare the pant legs, my ladies wear skirts." While she generally steers clear of the trend-of-the-moment, Hererra did partake in one -- reds. Her collection was filled with deep hues of cranberry and rose. But these colors suit Herrera's ladies who lunch to a high tea, and they worked beautifully in her evening wear.
Given that it was Valentine's Day, it was only natural that there would be romance in the air at the Marc Jacobs show Monday night. But Jacobs skipped the romance, and went directly to sex. As couples rushed to make dinner reservations, the fashionable crowd attending Jacobs' show -- including Martha Stewart, Josh Duhamel and his wife, Fergie, Leighton Meester, and Sofia Coppola -- rushed against traffic and a clogged sidewalk full of stargazing gawkers, to make it to Jacobs's show, which starts notoriously on time. But once inside, what a show it was. Jacobs presented a retro futuristic trip back to the 1940s, recasting the silhouette of the Andrews Sisters in freshly sexed up tight pencil skirts, rubber and cellophane blouses, and stretched felt. While many designers are still following the lead that Jacobs started a few seasons ago by reinventing the 1970s, Jacobs was having fun deconstructing yet another decade. Nearly every model sported a petite beret held in place with a near-invisble cashmere chin strap. The innocence if these tiny berets made the clothes feel even more risque as models strutted by enormous white vinyl pillars. The result was Jacobs tampering with the memory of an innocent era, and turning it something far less chaste, but far more fun.
Not only could designer Diane von Furstenberg bring together such disparate celebrities as Fergie and Barbara Walters in her massive audience during her Sunday afternoon show at New York Fashion Week, she could also mix her classic prints with an understated western influence. Naturally, von Furstenberg's version of the old west was as about exuberance rather than cowboys, but she did tip a Stetson to her "American Legends" collection by adding fringe to a leather jacket and breaking out gaucho pants. Von Furstenberg isn't one to lasso herself into a theme, so after moving off the prairie, she quickly paraded out a series of lovely crepe dresses and finished with something no American legend should be without -- a sparkling sequin chiffon wrap gown.
Fashion designers time traveled back to the 1970s in their 2011 spring collections, and it seems that many of them are happy to stay there for the fall. The Tommy Hilfiger fall/winter 2011 women's show was intended to "capture the nonchalant style of the 1970s rocker star's girlfriend," but it seemed to more accurately capture Diane Keaton circa "Annie Hall." With celebs such as Petra Nemcova, Rosario Dawson, Rose Byrne and Bella Heathcote looking on, Hilfiger suited up his models in a parade of burgundy and blue. With men's tailoring, wide brim hats, leather galore, and ponchos, he may have missed the mark on the 1970s rock star girlfriend (next time he should ring Pamela Des Barres for tips), but he did create a collection that managed to step beyond his country club comfort zone into a sophisticated new realm.
Could fashion designers be showing influence from our brutally cold arctic weather this winter. Is frostbite even a muse in fashion? I'm seen a shocking number of -- gasp -- practical winter clothes this season on the Fall/Winter 2011 runways, including this morning's Derek Lam show at Lincoln Center. Derek Lam's show was all about experiments with making wool chic, which meant beautiful wool pea coats and wool shetland coats, plus another emerging trend this week, the blanket jacket and the cape jacket. Lam finally brought his models in from the cold by dressing them in pieces that hinted at 1990s minimalism and grunge, both of which have been appearing with alarming regularity already.
The models, bogged down in sweaters, jackets, and wide-legged trousers, had the feeling of little girls playing dress up in dark attic spaces -- that is if their mothers had been super models during the 1970s or 1990s. Last season, Charlotte Ronson took a well-edited 1990s-influnced approach to her line. But her fall/winter 2011 show on Saturday looked as though the designer was so afraid she'd forget to send an important piece down the catwalk, she sent them all just to be safe. A description of a single look in her notes read: "Military faux shearling sweater vest, empress print silk tie neck blouse, empress print silk velvet trim skirt, herringbone wide pant, military suede elastic wedge bootie." As Tim Gunn has been known to say, "That's a lot of look." When she stripped away layers, Ronson's dresses were perfect for the flirty twenty something with impeccable taste. But when she stacked on the layers, or put her models in tights with (intentional) holes, or, even worse, fair isle sweater pants, the look was pure bag lady chic.
When you have fashion doyenne Iris Apfel raving that a designer's runway show looks like a visit to the depths of her closet, you know you've hit a stylistic jackpot, and that's exactly what Apfel said this weekend about designer Jason Wu's show. The young designer, who rose meteorically in 2009 when Michelle Obama donned one of his gowns, has continued to be an innovator. His New York Fashion Week show was a study in deconstructed lace, but was anything but frilly or florid. "The juxtaposition between the rough under-surface revealed during renovation and the opulence of the decor inspired a mixture of luxuriously embellished fabrics," Wu wrote in his notes left on the seats of editors. Along with sweet cocktail dresses and evening wear, he used lace on tailored, structured pieces. As a result, his lace felt almost dangerous. When you sew lace onto sweatshirt material, it knocks any trace of the priss from a blouse. Inspired by a Robert Polidori book on the 25-year restoration of Versailles, there was still plenty of gilding to gasp over, but by fusing sportswear with the delicacy of lace, Wu struck a perfect balance of power lunch and lady who lunches.
Harper's Bazaar editor Mary Alice Stephenson gushed "It was the most important show of the season, by far." The woman sitting next to me in the audience remarked "It feels bigger than Marc Jacobs." Alexander Wang, who has already quickly been building in cult status with his edgy downtown vibe created the ideal confluence of artsy and elegant at his Saturday afternoon show at New York Fashion Week. With Kanye West and Alicia Keys (who was seated next to Anna Wintour), Wang created a sensation with satin streamer dresses (think party streamers in couture form) with bands of fabric flowing freely down on the bias. Every detail, from fuzzy sunglasses to leather ponchos paired with quilted leather spats felt new. As fellow designers looked back for inspiration, Wang's eye seems trained on the future.
The easy way to tell the level of sartorial respect surrounding a designer is to look in the audience of his runway show. If it is full of starlets wearing the designer's dresses, then the designer has full coffers and can afford to pay celebs to look pretty in the front row. If, however, the audience includes Anna Wintour and Hamish Bowles from Vogue, Stefano Tonchi from W, Robbie Meyers from Elle, and Nina Garcia from Marie Claire, then it's safe to assume that the designer is doing exciting things, which was decidedly the case on Saturday afternoon as Parabal Gurung mixed "Great Expectations" with "The way Brooklyn girls dress," he explained of his influences. The result of his diverse mood was a mix of ghostly Victorian romanticism and downtown edge. His interpretations of Dickens' Miss Havisham were displayed alongside more realistic cable knit sweater dresses. The hard edges and soft details of the show may have felt schizophrenic, but the end result was inspiring.
It's full on Fall/Winter 2011 New York Fashion Week, and I'm deep in the trenches of, well, trenches, and skirts, cable knits, and taffeta. Stick around all week for the updates. But first, here's video of former "Project Runway" pixie Christian Sirano's show, and my, it looks like Sirano has gotten a bit less extravagant with his designs. Perhaps he realizes some of these pieces actually need to sell? Regardless, here's the proof, with the pretty, pretty dresses at the end of the show, natch.
I'm in the process of packing my most fashionable long underwear and stylish ear muffs in anticipation of New York Fashion Week, which starts a week from today (yikes!). But for those of you who don't have to run around New York for a week in the snow, you can snuggle up at home and watch a bit of fashion on the Sundance channel. Get your DVRs ready, because the fashionable cable net is offering up several premieres, inclucing the US debut of the amazing fashion doc "Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy" (that's Givenchy above) See the full schedule in the extended entry.FULL ENTRY
Many, many months after his uber secret -- meaning my invitation was lost in the mail --September fashion show to debut his long-awaited return to women's wear, Tom Ford has finally unveiled video evidence of the show, and, by default, his fabulousness. Before you watch the show, I'd like to point out how this intimate runway spectacular is like no other I've seen. First, I've never seen so many people smiling at a fashion show. Everybody here seems to be ridiculously happy. This show took place on a dreary rainy day. I looked like an angry wet ferret when this show was happening, but this crowd here is powder-puff fresh. Second, I've never seen such flattering lighting at a show. Instead of harsh light, there's a delicious glow on everybody. Third, this video could use more Tom Ford. All of that said, I'm kind of crazy about these evening clothes. What do you kids think?
Photos by Jessica Weiser
They're the fresh faces of Boston Fashion Week. On Sunday afternoon, I watched five recent graduates of Boston-area fashion programs show their collections as part of a runway presentation at the Boston Center for Adult Education. I was particularly impressed by the designs of Samira Vargas, a recent graduate of MassArt who showed an inventive collection of tough-yet-femine dresses and separates rendered in materials from leather to silk that were part warrior, part high couture. You can see her full collection here, along with the collections of the other designers who were hand picked by local fashion experts to participate in Sunday's show.
Day two of Boston Fashion Week, and the city's stylish denizens were already complaining of fatigue. But among the shows and parties, there have been standout moments, such as Sunday's The Launch, a showcase of up-and-coming designers.
Also having a moment on Sunday was Boston designer Sam Mendoza. During his Sunday night show at Mohr and McPherson, the young designer showed a new fondness for polished gowns, and his goth Greek goddesses lounged about during the presentation as if they were having a prohibition-era party at the Acropolis. Gone were Mendoza's exposed zippers and frayed hems. In their place: Finished dresses that were more appropriate for the red carpet than the clubs. Amid the polish, Mendoza's edge was still evident.FULL ENTRY
In the event you're looking for another way to celebrate Boston Fashion Week, Saks is having a little party on Sunday, and you're invited, chickens.
OK ladies, if you've been looking for an excuse to splurge on a pair on Manolo Blahnik's, you've got a good one. The legendary shoe designer will be at Neiman Marcus tomorrow meeting his fans. And, if you happen to buy a pair of his shoes, he'll sign them. Here are the details: Sept. 25 from 2 to 4 p.m. Blahnik will be at Neiman Marcus, located at 5 Copley Place. Happy shopping.
It's day one of a very full week of parties -- and even a few fashion shows. We'll be out making the rounds at Boston Fashion Week and reporting back on what we see -- aside from a lot of tipsy fashionistas -- right here on Stylephile. But let's start on a cultural note, shall we? Everyday during BFW, the Boston Ballet will be feature one of its dancers in a favorite outfit. Today, the honor belongs to principal dancer Lia Cirio.
This is what she has to say about her ensemble: "Today I'm wearing . . . Skirt: Marc by Marc Jacobs fall ready to wear. Shirt: Free People. Shoes: Kimchi Blue from Urban Outfitters. Sterling silver cuff: Uno de 50 bought in Madrid during Spain Tour. Purse: From a vintage shop in LA bought while on tour with Trey McIntyre Project. Pearls: Given to me by my parents when I was little :). Typewriter Key Necklace: Gift from my boyfriend (with my favorite number on it.) Old school telephone earrings: From a flea market in Madrid. Permanent accessory: Elephant tattoo."
When you stumble out of bed and drag yourself to your first fashion show of the day at New York Fashion Week, this is not a sight you want to encounter. But Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley decided to show off his gams this morning at the Carolina Herrera show. There were cries of "Guuuurrrl! Cover that situation" and "Oh no he didn't!" in the crowd (mostly from me). The temperature at the time of the show? 66 degrees. Oh, Andre, leave the Daisy Dukes at home please!
Boston's Hello Stiletto shoe club teams up with Equinox Fitness on Thursday night for an evening of obsessive shoe conversation and cocktails. The local shoe club/shoe addicts support group will host a preview of local shoe designer Zack Lo's new collection, hold a shoe fashion competition, trainers from Equinox demonstrate cankle-shrinking fitness tips, and, naturally, everybody gets plastered on cocktails. The party takes place at the Lobby Bar and Kitchen at 131 Broad St. in Boston from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. The event is free, but you must RSVP to email@example.com.
You don't need to be the National Weather Service to know that it's hot enough to melt Lady Gaga's makeup today. The question is: Would you wear this humble ensemble on a warm day such as today, gents? This barely-there Jean Paul Gaultier get-up is one of the many crazy looks to have surfaced during the men's fashion shows in Paris and Milan this season. Is it just us, or are these outfits extra kooky (and skimpy) this year? And, more importantly, how many people could really carry this kind of thing off. Not many have the nerve, or the personal training budget, to bravely stroll in this.
UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER!
The correct answer is Payless.. thanks to all who sent in their responses.
This is a big one, kids.
I'm giving away a pair of tickets for tomorrow night's ClimACTS party under the big top in Government Center. It's the annual benefit party for the Theater Offensive. Tickets cost $175 a piece, but the first person to e-mail me with the correct answer to the question (keep reading) will win a chance to mingle with Christian Siriano and other luminaries in the VIP lounge.
Here is the program for the evening:
Sponsor Lounge @ 6.00pm
Red Carpet Party @ 6.30pm
Exotic martini bars, bodacious bartenders, circus sideshows and eye candy.
Big Top Performance @ 7.30pm
Ringmaster Joyce Kulhawik
From Britney Spears' Circus tour: aerialist Michael Lanphear and contortionist Viktoria Grimmy
The first person to e-mail me the answer to this question wins: Siriano designs shoes for which discount shoe store? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No previous winners, please.FULL ENTRY
Looks by Seth Aaron, Mila, and Emilio
As season seven of "Project Runway" limped to the finish line last night, we were left underwhelmed by all three collections. Emilio, so talented, yet so smug, made clothes that were ready for Ann Taylor. Mila stayed with her mod, 1960s ye-ye girl looks, and Seth Aaron went... German/Rusian military 1940's?
With no clear front runners, the judges were pretty confused. They were even confused if they should be judging the final collection, or the designers' work over the course of the season. Only guest judge Faith Hill (insert eye roll here) seemed clear on her purpose. "I'd wear that." she said repeatedly. Faith, this wasn't intended as a shopping trip for you. Focus!
Seth Aaron's win was a surprise. I was a fan of Mila's collection, but then again, I've always had a soft spot for the 1960s. What do you think?
Normally, I can call the winner from a mile away. This season, I'm not so certain. Emilio is certain a skilled fellow, but has the personality of an angry snapping turtle. I'm not crazy about Seth Aaron's work, and although I like Mila, her clothes is a bit one-dimensional. It leaves me scratching my head.
What do you think kids? Who will win. Who should win? And whose clothes would you most like to wear?
"You're the first person to know this," said fashion sage and "Project Runway" mentor Tim Gunn. "It hasn't been officially announced, but we're not going back to
This will come as a relief to fans who still speak disparagingly of show's sixth season that filmed in
"In retrospect, it was the wrong thing to have done," Gunn said at the
Gunn, who greeted and posed for pictures at Kate Spade with his rabid fans, was also bluntly honest about contestant Maya Luz, the Massachusetts College of Art graduate who dropped out of the competition last month out of frustration when she lost a challenge that involved creating her own fabric.
Keep reading...FULL ENTRY
During that dull-as-doorknobs department meeting tomorrow morning, we suggest you quietly take out your iPhone and watch a live stream of the Dolce & Gabbana women's runway show from Milan. It starts at 10 a.m. and you can find it here.
Photos by Susan S. Choi for Boston.com
OK kids, you'll need to pardon the glut of post-Fashion Week photos, but seriously, while the shows were happening in New York earlier this week, I had barely had a chance to get from one venue to the next, let alone write stories, create video, tweet, and blog. And then there was the small matter of controlling my bad case of hat head in the Bryant Park tents.
Lucky for you, local photographer Susan S. Choi was also in the tents, and is happy to share some of her fantastic pics. These are pics from the Red Dress Heart Truth show last Thursday in the tents. Of all the models. Joan Collins and her incredible wig stole the show.
Most days, I'm on team Mena. She usually has great taste and a funky sense of style. That said, check out her coif at the alice + olivia show at Fashion Week:
Brush, stat. The Flock of Seagulls hair will never, ever come back en vogue. (Was it ever vogue? Survey says: no.)
Project Runway filmed its finale at the tents today — with the top three, plus seven decoys!
NEW YORK -- It was the last time the designers of “Project Runway” will show their
clothes on the catwalks of the Bryant Park tents – the tents move uptown to
Lincoln Center next season – but there was hardly time to reflect on that, or
reflect on anything. Yesterday, a staggering 10 designers from the program
showed their clothes in a marathon session featuring looks that ranged from
Peter Pan on acid to Mary Quant-influenced 1960s graphic dresses.
Keep reading for more!FULL ENTRY
I am beyond flattered. The Peabody Essex Museum turned my story on geriatric glamazon Iris Apfel into a tote bag, a purse, and a wristlet! You can pick up these well-written accessories at the museum's gift shop.
And just in case you can't get enough Iris (or missed her amazing talk with Isaac Mizrahi earlier this month), the Peabody Essex has another full weekend of Iris activities coming up in early December (find the full schedule in the extended entry), including a fashion session with Iris, a screening of Mizrahi's "Unzipped," and a talk with Iris, Pulitzer-Prize winning fashion writer Robin Givhan, and designer Michael Vollbracht.
If you haven't been to see this incredible exhibition of Apfel's wardrobe, I highly suggest a trip to Salem.
Unless you've been living under a very unstylish rock for the past few weeks, you already know that flashy, fabulous pieces from Iris Apfel's closet are currently on view at the Peabody Essex Museum. The New York glamazon and shopaholic also stopped by the Northshore Mall to style Nordstrom's windows.
Here's the finished product:
Check out a video of the window styling process on Nordstrom's website and learn more about the pieces Apfel chose for the display. Now, if only we could find a pair of her trademark saucer eyeglasses...
While we're mostly snoozing through this season of "Project Runway," here's a little something to think about: Does the reality show downplay its gay romances while playing up the hetero love? That's what Alison Kilkenny is thinking on her blog. What do you think 'Philers? And what do think of the current season?
Just in case you missed local designer Daniela Corte's fun Boston Fashion Week show at the beginning of the month, here's a little Thursday afternoon fashion eye candy.
If you missed Sam Mendoza's goth-influenced show at the Liberty Hotel on Tuesday night, I have a treat for you. Here's some quick video of the fashion. As you can see he was favoring silks in lime/chartruese, purple, and grey. These fabrics flowed beautifully, but I have to confess that I wouldn't mind seeing some finer finishes on his pieces, such as hems. But I'm still a fan of his vision and his work.
You wouldn't know it from this blog, but Boston Fashion Week is in full swing, and I've seen some fabulous -- and not so fabulous -- shows since it kicked off on Friday night. One of my favorites was the Launch, a show spotlighting five of Boston's strongest up-and-coming designers. In case you missed my story on the designers, (for shame!), you can read it here.
You can see their designs in the window of Macy's in Downtown Crossing. You can also watch this video of the show that took place on Sunday.
You can trick us into thinking it's the same old "Project Runway" with the same set, the same music, and the same Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum. But where in world are you hiding Nina Garcia and Michael Kors?
This week's judging panel was far too subdued without Kors's endless quips and Garcia's disapproving nods (Don't bore Nina!). If moving the show to L.A. means less of Kors and Garcia, I'm ready to stage a revolt. I won't stop watching, but I'll grumble loudly every time I see these two missing from the panel. Yes, it's fun to see how many male designers the show's producers can dig up to fill Kors's seat, but none have effectively matched his catty wit.
From a less selfish point of view, I'm wondering if the endless parade of judges might be throwing off the results of the show. Shouldn't the same people be judging every week for continuity?
Taking her inspiration from Madame Butterfly, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman turned tulle and beads into pure art. A laser cut satin strapless gown -- a fashionable tribute to the work of Tord Boontje -- combined classic elegance and technology. A lilac ombre tulle dress with organza flower detail turned one model into a delicate, living flower. These were museum-quality cocktail-hour offerings which will no doubt wind up on full red carpet display.
Seriously, I think the woman was stalking me.
First, in line for the Marchesa presentation (pics in the next post, I promise), Wintour stopped, stood beside me, and pretended to talk with a friend. Clearly she just wanted to stand near a Boston Globe writer. Then, I'm taking pictures at Peter Som's presentation, and Anna and her body guard come barreling into me with a "Pardon me." Anna, there's no need to be afraid. I don't bite Vogue editors.
Here's the back of her bob as she scurried away
Ok, now on to Peter Som's spring/summer collection. It was a completely delightful homage to 1940s and 1950s British beach culture. Lots of wonderful colors and patterns, cute tea dresses and day dresses, and some very cool sunglasses. However, Som pulled it off in a very smart, modern manner.
I just got out from the Michael Kors (wonderful) and Nanette Lepore shows at the Bryant Park Tents here at New York Fashion Week. The protests outside are almost as much fun as the action inside. I took this pic a few minutes ago outside the tents. Feed the models? What about us poor journalists who have been going non-stop? We're the ones who are starved.
The Michelle Obama-approved designer played with geometric cut-outs in his kimono dresses and offered a series of crepe print dresses that women in the audience liberally ogled. Although his armor dresses felt oddly out of step with both the spring season and the rest of the collection, he redeemed himself with intricately created chain dresses and jackets, including a show-stopping dress with tidal patterns created from chains.
Marc Jacobs's show is one of the most anticipated each season, and for good reason. While some designers prefer consistency and continuity, Jacobs radically reinvents his runway offerings each season. His show Monday night was an ultra-feminine kabuki theater spectacular, much softer and more mature than his last 1980s-inspired collection. There were ruffles lurking nearly everywhere -- from the suit jackets to the metallic dresses. Handkerchief dresses were dripping with pearls. Despite the eccentricities, the designer also showed clothes that most any woman could easily wear, including a metallic trench coat that somehow looked perfectly at home in Jacobs's fantasy Japanese cabaret.
I'm actually suprised more models haven't gotten into the fashion designer game (Heidi Klum, I smell a monopoly). Here are former model Erin Wasson's designs from her show over the weekend. Very promising stuff.
We weren't wild about Ronson's current collection -- it lacked the cute, easy feel of her fall line. But here are a couple of snaps so you can make up your own, stylish mind, my pets.
Or, as it's sometimes called, a shameless opportunity for starlets to get some free face time in the front row as the paparazzi strolls by. (Now you're going to have that Lady GaGa song stuck in your head the rest of the day, aren't you? Sorry.)
Well, in an effort to beautify your Monday, how about some semi-professional pics, aka candid snapshots, from a few shows. First up is Jason Wu, Michelle Obama's gown maker of choice, whose collection for Spring/Summer 2010 earned him high praise.
When I saw that Michael Kors was AWOL yet again on last night's "Project Runway," I threw down my Diet Pepsitini and looked carefully at the TV screen to see if he was hiding somewhere. But there was no sign of him. Really, what good is "Runway" without Kors? It's like the Captain without Tenille or David Beckham without Armani underwear.
I'm happy that "Runway" is back, but methinks that "Lifetime" is trying to get rid of the show's male judges (aside from last night's appearence from a very Bruno-esque Marc Bouwer). If I see Meredith Baxter or Valerie Bertinelli on the judging panel next week, I'll know this move to Lifetime was a mistake.
The Fashionably Late series of runway shows at the Liberty Hotel gets extra fancy on Sept. 17 with a mash-up of high art, fashion, and pop music. Best of all, you can enjoy it all for free. Dancers from the Boston Ballet will model clothes from Karma Loop while dancing on the catwalk, DJ Clinton Sparks will spin, and our favorite Harvard graduates/pop stars Chester French will play the after party.
Doors are at 8, and the fashion show takes place from 10 - 11 p.m. It's free, and you can RSVP to email@example.com. For more information on the night, click here.
The monsoon will soon stop, and the ray of sunshine known as Betsey Johnson will be showing her collection on Sunday in Quincy at the Marina Bay Beach Club.
In its effort to milk every hard fought penny it has spent on "Project Runway," Lifetime is hosting a Project Runway "All-Star Competition" before the new season finally debuts on Aug. 20. The returning contestants include:
Daniel Vosovic, Season 2
Santino Rice, Season 2
Jeffrey Sebelia, Season 3
Uli Herzner, Season 3
Mychael Knight, Season 3
Chris March, Season 4
Sweet P, Season 4
Korto Momolu, Season 5
Where is Kenley Collins? I want to see what she can make out of venom and cat pelts. The show airs on Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. Season six of "Project Runway" airs at 10. The dull PR spinoff, "Models of the Runway" shows immediately after.
Local designer Sam Mendoza is hosting a fashion show/fundraiser tonight at Underbar, and despite the name, it's open to everyone. There's even a super drag show with queens in Mendoza gowns.
Details are as follows:
Hosted by Sam Mendoza benefiting Fenway Health
Featuring DJ D'hana
$10 at the door, Doors open at 9, fashion show starts at 11 p.m., 21+
Dior is making it easy to recreate a couture look at home. Just get half-dressed. John Galliano's designs, which walked this week at Paris's couture shows, are a mix of classic Dior style and Lady Gaga-influenced panty-as-pant fashion. I guess mom was right after all -- make sure you're always wearing clean underwear, kids.
Boston has gone fashion show crazy. Seriously, I can't keep up any more and instead have retreated to my den to watch DVDs of "The Partridge Family." Now that's fashion.
But there's one show in particular that I'm getting excited about: La Primavera: Fiesta & Fashion Show at District on June 19. It's a benefit for the non-profit Room to Grow. There will be fashion from Stil, Stel's, Crossing Main, Portobello Road and Matsu, with accessories from Patch NYC, hair by G20, and music by Rich LaDue. The inspiration behind the show is the flower-tastic work of Frida Kahlo. Hopefully the models will be a tad less hirsute than Frida.
Here are the details: General Admission $60
VIP Seating $100
VIP Tables for Six $500
rsvp to Laura@roomtogrow.org. To read more about the inspiration for this event, please visit www.misstropolis.com
Aside from our once yearly fashion week, Boston isn't exactly a hub of fashion shows. Get it? Boston? Hub? Ah, forget it.
But we get a fashion boost in the spring when local colleges put on their shows. This Saturday night, Lasell College hosts its annual student fashion show at 6:30. It takes place in the school's gymnasium on its Newton campus.
Everybody loves falling models. A not-so-fashionable friend once showed me a clip on You Tube of a model taking a spill on the runway that left him howling. I'm actually surprised that a 24-hour basic cable channel of all falling models has yet to spring up. And don't even think of stealing that idea from me.
This falling model comes courtesy of the Prada show in Milan. Yes, the shoes are cool, but this model needs a bit of training to walk in them properly.
One of my favorite Fashion Week buddies, the lovely Harper's Bazaar fashion editor Mary Alice Stephenson (above), is in Boston tomorrow to chat about fall trends at Saks Fifth Avenue. In addition to her sage advice, Saks is putting on a fashion show to demonstrate how to put it all together. It's free and open to you, the fashionable public.
The show runs from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Saks in the Prudential Center.
I know, I'm a bad blogger. I left you all hanging with a tease of Christian Siriano's show last week, and then never gave you the report.
Well, kittens, here it is.
His designs were very similar to what he showed for his winning "Project Runway" collection. Why mess with a good thing? His primary colors were gray, orange, and yellow. It was all very urban, and very feminine.
I spoke with both Tim Gunn and Nina Garcia after the show, and both were over-the-top with praise for the collection. Tim was using the phrase "next great American designer." What do you think, 'Philers?
The buzz at Bryant Park has started to turn from Marc Jacobs to "Project Runway." Tonight, PR winner Christian Siriano is showing his first post-"Runway" Collection. I predict 1980's influences and ruffles, just a hunch. Tomorrow morning, "Runway" tapes its finale at Bryant Park. I'm attending both, and I'll post updates as soon as I have them.
Seu Jorge, the Brazilian singer best know for his melancholy bossa nova crooning and his work in the Wes Anderson film "The Life Aquatic" serenaded models on the runway yesterday at the Carlos Miele show at Bryant Park. The music was beautiful and sexy, and the clothes were lovely. But Miele's been down this path many times before. These dresses are fantastic if you live in Brazil, or Miami, but there are about two evenings each year that these looks would be appropriate in Boston. If you were a fan of season three "Project Runway" contestant Uli, Miele is your man. But I'm ready to see some versatility.
Mercedes Benz Fashion week is such a crazy blur of clothes and parties that Saturday already seems like it happened last year, which is why I had totally forgotten about one of my favorite Fashion Week looks. On Saturday, Lacoste designer Christophe Lemaire showed sportswear, and I was immediately smitten with these 1960's-influenced looks. Who knew golf duds could look so good on the runway?
I've been a little disturbed to look up from my notebook a few times this week at Bryant Park only to see a model sauntering down the runway in a pair of hareem pants -- those trousers that are baggy through the leg, then gathered below the knee or at the ankle. Max Azria, you should know better. This look flatters no one, with the exception of MC Hammer.
There are moments during New York Fashion Week when I want to gouge my eyes out of their sockets with a spork because they hurt from having spent 10 hours looking at hundreds of organza dresses, embroidered skirts, and hand painted jackets. And then there are the moments when my heart starts racing because I've spied something absolutely stunning. That's how I felt at Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs earlier this week, and that's exactly the feeling I had yesterday when I saw Marchesa's collection of dream-like frocks.
The show was exquisitely simple, because when you have dresses like this, you don't need a big light show and an A-list DJ.
By now, you've all read my story in today's Style & Arts section (if you haven't, shame on you) about how designers are creating spring '09 looks that are filled with flirty, romantic escapism. Last night, after I filed my story, two more designers joined this group: Anna Sui and Phillip Lim. Both designers made their escape to Spain, taking inspiration from bull fighters and native folk art styles. Ole, indeed.
Yesterday's Halston show at the Museum of Modern Art featured models lounging about on gray sofas in a look that was borrowed from directly from Halston's fab apartment. The dresses were also a return to Halston glamour. Bold solids, and a particularly lovely shade of orange recalled the goddesses 1970s glam. Cher could have easily opened her TV show in one of these numbers while singing "Dark Lady." Goodness, that lovely vision just brought a tear to my eye. Excuse me while I find the mp3 for "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves."
Jessica Alba breezed directly in front of me last night at Narciso Rodriguez's show. Then she and Claire Danes sat a few rows in front of me, and I was quickly blinded by the pop of flashes from the photographer feeding frenzy.
Even with those distractions -- and what lovely distractions they were -- Rodriguez's Asian- inspired collection still left me seeing stars. Ninja stars, mostly, which were incorporated into the pattern on a few of his dresses. A few other designers might want to take note of how to incorporate subtle Asian influence into their designs without making dresses that look like they were worn by a waitress at Ruby Foos in 1962.
The celebrity power was warrented. The collection of black and white with bursts of color was stunning.
Sure, Andy Roddick may have been front row at Lacoste on Saturday morning, but Thom Browne went one step further and incorporated the sport into his show last night. On a runway of fresh grass -- production values are very important at his shows -- models wore the closest thing to sportswear that Browne has produced. It was not as crazy as last season's freak show-inspired runway, meaning it is quite wearable. Well, kind of.
There was a new-found buzz around designer Thakoon Panichgul's spring line when he showed yesterday, not because editors are clamoring to pair bra tops with their skirts this season, but because Michelle Obama donned one of Panichugl's frocks to wear at the Democratic Convention last month.
His spring/summer line featured a few cocktail dresses that would look lovely on Mrs. Obama, and a few midriff bearing numbers that would cause the biggest White House scandal since Nancy Reagan got cozy with a psychic. But for women looking to play both naughty and nice, his collection was inspiring.
I went to the Charlotte Ronson show on Saturday, which was mobbed not just because of her cute designs. Her twin sister is Samantha, gal-pal of Lindsay Lohan, and both were in the audience. Ronson's brother is DJ and Amy Winehouse producer Mark Ronson, and he DJ'd the show. Insert swooning here, please.
But let's get past the celebs for a minute (I know, kids, it's what you're here for) and talk about the clothes. I'm generally all over the arty, over-the-top pieces. But Ronson's designs were perfect for young Hollywood. Fun, wearable, flirty and just the right amount of sexy. Lindsay may have been in attendance for SamRo, but these are the kinds of designs that suit her — and lots of other young women — perfectly.
Fashion Week hit the midway point this morning — much to the delight of stressed assistants who are tottering around on impossible spikes. I celebrated with Matthew Williamson's show in the tents. Lots of pink and black, quelle surprise! And, for the record, Kelly Osborne, who was sitting front and center, looked adorable.
More on Kelly and Matthew later. I need to back up to yesterday's amazing Proenza Schouler show. It was "Dynasty" remixed. Lots of big, shoulders and stark silhouettes. It also featuring something else I'm seeing a lot of for s/s '09: White.
Proenza Schouler's artist statements aren't generally the kind of cute little dresses you see on Newbury Street. These are bold and bigger-than-life ensembles that were paired with the duo's new accessories line. The shoes were just as fantastic as the dresses. Kanye West, who was sitting in the audience, was no doubt thinking of how to incorporate these looks into his next video.
Sunday's Y-3 show was mostly unremarkable, with the exception of one small sartorial detail — a few of the male models went smirking down the runway in skirts, and even a dress. For those who are not familiar with the brand, Y-3 is a fashionably athletic partnership between Adidas and Yohji Yamamoto. The show left me with burning questions: Will we be seeing men shooting hoops in cute, above-the-knee skirts? Will dads be golfing in spring 2009 while wearing full-length dresses? I've got my fingers crossed.
Last night's Marc Jacobs spring 2009 show was the usual parade of big celebs (Hello there, Martha Stewart), fashion wannabes, and drag queens. Not so usual were the clothes that Jacobs sent down the runway. After a few seasons of 1980s inspired, modern shapes, Jacobs went back to the turn of the last century for this collection:
As the models came down the mirrored runway to George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," some of the impressions of the clothes that I jotted down were: "Mary Poppins goes grunge," "Anne of Green Gables goes ghetto," and "Eliza Doolittle in Paris." Jacobs joyfully played with tweeds, leathers, and beading. There were huge gauchos, tarted-up aprons, and cute little jackets. To borrow a line from Ms. Poppins, it was Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
... and what better way to start than to say hello to Justin Timberlake and his clothing line William Rast:
Can we really call it his clothing line, though? Timberlake is more a partner in the William Rast line than fashion designer — that task is left to the creative team of Johan and Marcella Lindeberg — but like his New York restaurant Southern Hospitality, it's his affiliation that brings in celebrity buddies. At the Roseland Ballroom party on Saturday night, Jeremy Piven, Andy Samberg, and, an unlikely Anthony Edwards all appeared to witness Timberlake's vision, which was best characterized as somewhere between Southern culture on the skids and NASCAR chic.
Models emerged from the façade of a rustic cabin that looked as if it might have been cast off from Timberlake's film "Black Snake Moan." Thankfully, no models appeared to be chained to radiators. The idea of Southern, trailer park culture, was everywhere — from the scattered dead leaves on the floor of the ballroom to the waitresses circling the room with bologna and pineapple skewers.
The clothes closely followed suit. Models, styled like they were ready to brawl, walked the runway in denim cutoffs and studded denim vests. The only thing missing was a well-placed mullet. The Lindbergs leaned heavily on stereotypes of the American South, attempting to mix a "Joe Dirt" aesthetic with high fashion. Unfortunately it was the stereotyping that appeared to win the fight. Between the fringe and the distressed denim, an occasional well-tailored jacket emerged, but for a man who once pledged to bring sexy back, there was not much appeal to this debut.
Boston Globe photo intern Jessica Sharp snapped some fabulous photos backstage at the Betsey Johnson Spring '08 show last night at Estate. The New York designer is know for her quirky, poofy, candy-colored dresses which work equally well on rockers, Rainbow Brite, or privileged prom goers — and last night's packed show didn't disappoint.
Did you go? What did you think of the line? Sound off in our comments section. Please and thank you.
Rebel 8 from LAB.
Great Scott is hosting a fashion show (!) on Thursday, March 20 with stores such as Stingray, Lab, and Horror showing off spring fashions. Bad Ash, Pulp45, Monolith, and Superpower! provide the music. The $10 tickets benefit the Allston Village Main Streets Program.
Harpers Ferry, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston, 18+, $10, Doors open at 8pm.
If you're looking for something to do next week:
I'm finally back from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, and the question that everyone is asking is: "What was your favorite show?" for the spring/summer '08 season.
I have a few answers to that. In some cases I really admired the artistry. Marc Jacobs approached his collection as a concept rather than pulling together a bunch of pretty frocks. Yes, he started two hours late and people were getting restless, but every part of his show had meaning and symbolism, and I'm happy to wait a little longer for quality. It gave a (twisted) look into his imagination, and I'm always eagaer to see a designer express himself rather than think about everyday clothing.
In the category of pretty things, I was impressed by Calvin Klein. The soothing neutrals were so simple and flawlessly executed that I was thinking about a cool spring evening in London as the clothes came down the runway.
Badgley Mischka's collection showed continued promise. These two designers impress me more each season, and their gowns moved and flowed so perfectly that it was hard not to get caught up in their vision of elegance.
Based on the beautiful designs I saw last night at the Michael DePaulo Couture show, I can only applaud Jay Calderin. He's the founder of Boston Fashion Week.
In 1995, he set out to showcase local talent. But a lot of the talent, frankly, wasn't ready for primetime. Two years ago, Jay stopped producing the event. Now it's back and better than ever.
Michael's show last night at the Taj Boston was impressive. The designs were truly ready for the black-tie circuit.
I apologize I have no images to show. But check out michaeldepaulo.com to see his capabilities.
I've seen a lot of celebrities this week in NYC. Some not so big (hello there, Star Jones) and some really huge (Samuel L. Jackson sat across from me at the Y-3 show on Saturday). But today, I practically peed my pants with excitement, and it's not because I was seated in the same row as Tori Spelling. I saw Posh at Oscar de la Renta. She is the most perfectly overdone creature I've ever laid eyes on.
But where is David?
It was bound to happen sooner or later. I experienced my first Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week diva meltdown yesterday. I walked about 1000 blocks to the Zegna fashion show (it was on the other side of town from the Bryant Park tents) in the soupy, muggy air. It felt like dressing up, and then going for a five-mile walk in a sauna.
I finally made it to the show and gave my name at the door.
"It looks like you didn't RSVP," the woman in black told me.
I explained to her that I did RSVP.
"I'm sorry, we don't have a seat for you," she said in a tone that really didn't sound like she was sorry.
"I'm sorry that your show is a disorganized mess," I snapped back. I stormed out, grabbing a glass of complimentary champagne on the way, and then cooled my heels down the street at Pinkberry.
So, um, no report on the Zegna show.
I wrote a story for Saturday's Living/Arts section about the return of the maxi-dress on the New York runways this week. Yesterday at the Lacoste show in Bryant Park, I noticed the return of another 1970s staple: The head scarf. Finally, if you're having a bad hair day, you can make like Rhoda Morgenstern or Little Eydie of Gray Gardens fame and tie a fashionable scarf over your troubled locks.
All dated pop culture references aside, the Lacoste show was a nice, crisp way to start a long, hot Saturday of running around Manhattan looking at fashion. Christophe Lemaire celebrated Lacoste's 75th anniversary with a selection of classic and comfortable tennis and beach wear.
I haven't been reporting on fashion long enough to have attended too many shows that I absolutely hate. But tonight I did. I'm still in NYC at Fashion Week, and I just attended the Sabyaschi show for spring/summer '08. One word, 'Philers: Yuck.
The theme of it all was revolution. The colors were dreadful: lots of military olive, maroon, and burlap (is that a color?). The fits were even worse. Here's what I wrote as I was watching the models walk buy: "Is that Edith Bunker's bathrobe?" "A thousand villages of bad fashion" "It's a burlap sack over a hefty bag."
Bottom line: If I'm seated in the front row, as I was tonight, the show can't be all that good. I'm usually third row material, tops.
Last night I nearly got trampled at Bryant Park, and I blame Gwen Stefani. I'm at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week all this week reporting on the spring/summer 2008 shows, and Stefani's L.A.M.B. show last night was a mob scene.
Part of the reason why it was so insane was star power. Not only was Stefani there (she came out after the entire collection showed) but also her husband and son were sitting in the front row. Also in the front row was Eve, Boris Becker (!), Carrie Underwood (!!), and Shirley Manson from Garbage (no exclamation points needed). Sean Combs was there too.
So after all the hype, how were the clothes? For fans of ska music (present company included), they were captivating. Black and white prints, herringbone patterns, and symbols of the 1960's Mod movement were everywhere.