Well…didn’t Fashion Week end in a bang? No sooner did the last tall-drink-of-water stomp down the runway than the city announced that Bryant Park would be unavailable to the CFDA for the next batch of shows in February. Unless some brilliant mind finds a way for The Tents and the skating rink to co-exist in the same space, HOMELESS might be THE Look for Winter 2007. And, as far as the name of the bi-yearly event, it could be that Seventh on 6th will go the way of Bleecker Bob’s (which eventually resided on W. 4th Street).
Nevertheless, if The Tramp becomes all the rage next season, that IS in keeping with fashion’s pattern of going for the opposite from what was dictated the season before. "I wonder what he’ll show?" Peter Davis asked Mickey Boardman and myself as he plopped into place just before the lights went down at Kai Kühne’s Myself show. "Everything’s been so LADYLIKE. That’s not what I like! Damn it! Bring on the freaks!" Oh, how we chuckled…
Mickey pointed out how thin Peter had gotten. He did look gaunt, but he was never a chubbette to begin with. Peter claimed he was eating everything, but had become a "Gymorexic". "I can’t stop working out." He said, flexing a very large hard bicep. I assured him that all was looking good as long as he didn’t go to the next stage & become one of those Chelsea Ape Men, who are a series of bulges in skin-tight clothing and walk funny. Talk about FREAKS! And, yet, strangely ladylike…
Mickey had just returned from Ohio. "I really like my family." He said. "That’s the reason I like to go back. Otherwise, it would be a question of ‘Have I done all the things I’ve done just to end up at a catering hall in a strip mall?’"
Speaking of catering…
I was introduced to Faran Krentcil, who seemed intent on feeding the whole place dried papaya. It WAS good. She’s very full of energy. She was also unduly neurotic about her dress, which was adorable. When I complimented her on it, instead of being pleased, she kind of grimaced and went into a litany: "Sometimes, what looks like a good idea in the morning, doesn’t look so good later…don’t you think?" I didn’t.
There must have been something in the air (or the Kool Aid) that day because Kenny Kenny, who was looking gorgeous as always, answered my query into how he was with, ""I’m just tired and jaded and over."
Fashion Week certainly brings out the insecurities if everyone, doesn’t it? Fashion has always (rightfully) been accused of that; obviously, even those in on the joke are not immune. Hell, I went on a diet starting a month before because I did not want to look really porky. In fact, I purposely bought skinny jeans a size smaller than what I was wearing at that time as bait. I’m happy to report they fit just fine by the start date.
It turned out that poor Peter was definitely at the wrong show! One WOULD have expected something deliciously off-center from this alleged train wreck of a designer, whose self-destructive antics allegedly resulted in the destruction of over-hyped design collective AsFour (known for round doughnut purses and…well…going out at night), which is now ThreeAsFour and Myself (fashion soap opera alert!). However, what appeared on the runway was a totally gorgeous collection of…sorry Peter… ladylike clothing. Not only was everything made out of the most luxurious fabrics, but they were also incredibly wearable. Stunning.
I LOVED looking at the audience, as well. It was SO German! Everyone was blonde and tall and had exquisite bone structure. There was even a little boy in friggin’ lederhosen! Luckily, I can "pass" or I might have been looking for an escape route.
It was one of the best shows I saw and it was during the first weekend of Fashion Week, which is not considered REALLY Fashion Week. Fashion Week’s OFFICIAL start (in the regulars’ minds) is actually Monday.
Nevertheless, some of the more interesting up & comers and fringe designers show that weekend. Usually, they are off-site because they can’t afford the steep prices of showing in THE TENTS.
However, the first show I went to that weekend WAS in the Tents. I will not say the name of the designer, because I’m afraid that it was as bad as I thought it would be. I just had to go because this designer’s clothing has always fascinated me because it is worn by some very boldfaced names and yet, up close, it is so spectacularly cheap & cheesy looking.
Happily, I wasn’t disappointed because it looked like trousseaus for Hookers. The eveningwear all resembled variations on peignoir sets … that made me wonder, "Whatever happened to peignoir sets?" (Such deep and provocative thoughts are hopelessly common during Fashion Week) In case you have NO idea what peignoir sets are, they are nightgown and robe combos that are either relentlessly fluffy or slinky. They are also incredibly useless… which fully describes the rest of the collection, which was comprised of very flamboyant and sparkly swimsuits. These are swimsuits for swanning around…SOMEWHERE. They are definitely not for swimming. Talk about Shark Bait! If there’s one thing we are told NOT to wear if splashing about in waters shared with fish with teeth and a taste for humans, it’s sparkle. And don’t get me started on the endless procession of chiffon WINGS accessorizing this beachwear!
I did meet a lovely woman, who sat next to me. Her name is Celeste Harwell, who is one of the Associate Publishers at "Life & Style". We had a good time. She was really amazed at the footwear of the attendees. She said that everyone seemed to be wearing the same shoes, which were black or brown shoes with brown platforms and "peep toes". "You could tell they were all in agony." Celeste noted. I guess she now knows that the term Fashion Victim can be a literal term.
As anyone who attends these festivities on a regular basis can attest, Fashion Week should be "all about" (that’s VERY Fashion-speak) mindless comfort. And, naturally, I’m not talking about what one would wear to the dinners or parties. Unless you are being dressed by the designer and/or have a private car and don’t wait in lines, it is best to find a uniform that doesn’t soil easily or cleans easily and is so unmemorable, it can be worn day after day. This is particularly important as the week wears on and you wear out. The exhaustion can be so overwhelming, you won’t have the energy to combine enough brain cells to put something together.
This year’s uniform was skinny jeans stuffed into some form of boot (with a low or no heel) and layers of thin tops, often very floaty and very beautiful. The weather was too hot to give up on summer-weight clothing, yet everyone wanted to jazz it up a bit. Luckily, the rains held until the end of the week, so everyone’s hair looked fine in the ponytails everyone was wearing. Ponytails have replaced blowouts, which is great for the pocketbook, but bad for all the hairstylists.
I was all set up and prepared in the comfort department…until I lost my favorite pair of reading glasses. That was a friggin’ travesty! Luckily, I was able to replace them QUICKLY by ordering them from amysacks.com.This is an eyeglass and accessories company owned by my childhood friend (and Tile Queen), Ann Sacks… so, if you think this is a plug, you’re absolutely correct. I wouldn’t plug it if I didn’t LOVE her glasses. They are so light and fashionable (if you’re not into wearing the omnipresent Jackie O/Yoko O eye-windshields) and the buttery leather cases are gorgeous. I’ve had so many compliments on them. Besides, she is even involved in giving the proceeds from certain pieces to a charity that provides veterinary services to the poor. Check out her website for products and details.
I heard some funny remarks that first weekend. The first was when infamous photographer Dah Len, while standing in the crush for the tent show I’ve just mentioned, joked to his companion, "I’m gonna start coming an hour late." They both laughed. I did too (silently), remembering that when I put this action to the test a couple of seasons ago, it was the one show in the history of Fashion Week that started on time. Naturally.
Another memorable exchange occurred while standing in line for Alexandre Herchcovitch. Two women, who were behind me, were discussing dating. After much back and forth, one finally proclaimed, "Dating a married man is a mistake I am willing to make and will most probably make. However, I would NEVER date a married man with a child." The other friend expressed outrage over this distinction. "What difference does it make whether or not he has a child?" She asked tersely, adding, "If he’s married without a child, he’s STILL a cheater." "Yes," agreed the philosopher, "but if there’s a child, then I would feel like I was cheating on the CHILD!"
The Alexandre Herchcovitch show was fun: Wonderful colors; a cacophony of patterns; hula-hoop belts. "I LOVE those accessories!" One fashion freak whisper-screamed behind me. "Those SHOES! I must have THOSE SHOES!" They were elf shoes. I’ll pass on the elf shoes, thank you.
I also checked out the Form collection. Form was very asymmetrical, with legs stuck in oddly placed straps. It looked like a gang of pelvic exam runaways. There were also Gandhi diaper pants…that I guess are as good a remedy as any for the dreaded cameltoe, though it camouflaged the always-appealing lower butt cheeks cleft with a curious pleating effect. I believe that MC Hammer already perfected that look. That’s not to say it wasn’t an interesting show. I applaud the artistry and attempt to do something DIFFERENT. And it was all quite beautiful.
Oh…and the goodybag was sensational! It was a gorgeous giant chiffon scarf bound up around a long stick… very Avant Hobo. Ahhh… that Homeless theme again! They must have known something!
Besides the regular runway shows, I also went to some presentations. Presentations are scheduled for a couple of hours, during which time you can just drop in and view the clothing on stationary live models or mannequins, have a glass of white wine or champagne, and, then, split. It’s like going to an art gallery show. For the most part, they are supremely dull.
The exception was the Adam + Eve exhibit, which I crashed with Sam Bolton, who was invited. It was so near the McMullan studio that I accepted his sweet invitation to join him. It was so much fun! The crowd was jolly and beautiful and the clothes and models were adorable. It was a very wearable and desirable collection. Adam Lippes certainly deserved the benediction he got from Queen Oprah and absolutely honored her faith in him. Great time!
The big three shows I always look forward to are Betsey, Anna Sui and Marc Jacobs. Unfortunately, I got as far as sitting in my seat at Betsey’s before I had to run out before the show started. A temporary cap on my tooth had fallen off and I was in PAIN every time air hit it. Considering what a motor mouth I am during Fashion Week, I was ready to DIE. So, off I tore to my nearby dentist’s office. Thank the Lord I travel by Schwinn these days, so the trip from 40th and Sixth to 40th and Park was accomplished in a few minutes. Happily, I was able to see all of Betsey’s delicious confections by the time I got back to the office. And what a cute baby Lulu and Arthur produced for the coolest Granny on earth to show off when she took her bow. Mazel Tov to the entire Margulies/Johnson crew!
Anna’s show was so great. It’s always such fun to see everyone I’ve known since coming to New York, because Anna never seems to throw anyone off her lists. Such a good girl! Such an excellent spirit. Loved everything; want everything. The only mystery: Where was Naomi? I have never known Ms. Campbell to NOT open an Anna show! Hm-m-m…
And then there was Marc’s. Happily, I live moments from The Armory, so I can skid over there at the last minute. Little good it did me, since the line was literally around the block. Usually, they, at the very least, let you come inside before you have to wait in the vicinity of two months for the show to start. Still, the line can provide some fun. I heard one girl remark that she had just seen Kanye West and he was so much smaller in person than she thought he’d be. Most of them are, aren’t they? Then again, when Sam and I were returning to the studio from Adam + Eve, we saw Kevin Costner walking along 9th Ave. He was very tan, very blonde and VERY tall.
As we finally entered The Armory, Costner’s co-star in "The Guardian", Ashton Kutcher, was sliding in with Demi. They both had their heads tucked down. Both looked superb. She improves with age and Ashton still has the looks of the top model he was in a previous life.
The show was stunning. Loved the elevated runway and I always love how Marc only features one song for each show. I would kill to do only one song for an entire show when doing music for a collection! What an easy gig!
The clothes were to die for. So romantic, so…LADYLIKE.
As I was leaving, I heard someone remark that the clothing was "very Andre Walker". That was a compliment, by the way. I once owned an Andre Walker, which I purchased from Pat Field’s 8th Street shop in the 80’s. I loved it, but could only wear it whenever I could figure out how to get into it. It was like a puzzle, all stretchy, with rounded pieces coming out of curious places, but it was AMAZING once I could figure it out and get it on!
There was more, but I’m just tired of writing about it all. If, for some reason, you care to read more, check out what I wrote for New York Social Diary (newyorksocialdiary.com).
Other than that, just a big hearty "Congratulations!" to Victoria Bartlett on her recent marriage.