Last night I went party-hopping, got a good dose of Original Moonshine at the Varvatos Party -- the brand turned ten and every musician showed up to the old CBGB space. Cherie Currie sang "Cherry Bomb" and Perry Farrell closed, with a Jane's Addiction classic. I scarfed down Dallas BBQ and got my whiskey on. Popping over to Charlotte Ronson's shindig at Avenue to grab an Effen and soda, only to discover a carousal, bumper cars and various carnival rides. Bells went off! Ding! It's the Alex Wang party. So I tried to crash it. Yes, I crashed on impulse.
At the door was KCD and naturally I couldn't get past the pearly grates and only looked on, as the glittering array of hipsters, cool people, Russell Simmons and others walked past. So close to fashion party glory, yet so far away. I tried to show them my credentials, politely petitioned. But the clipboard-waving maven barked and threatened to call security so I meekly went away. Head bowed.
I went to the last party of the evening to dance the night away. Derek Warburton was there, we talked about walking the Richie Rich catwalk. He's been getting catcalls ever since, and I made a silly hot mess of myself. Yay fashion.
Diane Von Furstenberg was 'goddess'-inspired. Under the direction of new creative director, Yvan Mispelaere, she brought back the fanny pack and took us on a yacht trip to the Greek isles. Altuzarra went tribal and Thakoon showed sheer, and sheer, and sheer. Then Tommy Hilfiger happened and a whole mess of parties. I watched True Blood and it was awesome.
Below is a a very long post reviewing a ton of shows.
Yohji Yamamoto created the Y-3 line for Adidas and opened the show with a live band under glass. The Duke Spirit rocked out as he delivered Mohawks, spiked hair, androgyny and wide waists which slimmed to the ankles. The usual suspects represented the blogging community: Tavi, Bryan Boy and Tommy Ton. Alison Brie, Pete Campbell's Mad Men wife, and Omarion, an R&B artist, were front and center.
The show began with sweet bloomers and bucket pants held up by suspenders. Punk rock hot, bedazzled jackets and some sexy sweats were mixed with smoky loungewear and tails -- this is a new way of thinking of black, with a slick pinstripe look. It finished off with faux diamond trim that keeps everything together. I just love watching Hanne Gaby walk the Armory. We can say that grunge is peeking it's head into fashion's lexicon again, but this time with a modern twist. But wasn't it modern back then too?
I've been spending a lot of time in the tents, where the mass market is king. So to see a designer who follows her own heart is a joy. She'll eventually need to balance the business needs of fashion, the compromises to the market and her customers -- all the things that will make her sustainable. But for now, she did her thing. Yes, she drew from some established houses and gave us references from tried and true innovators -- but she's young and it's excusable. It's so different from everything I've seen today that I really enjoyed myself. More then I should have.
Charlie's Angels might have found an otherworldly occupation. The show started with vaulted doors opened by long haired men straight out of a Nordic warrior film. Out walked maidens on platform shoes, shoes that had flowers made of black and white petals, elevating exaggerated vinyl tops the color of seaweed. The first few looks shimmered in opal. There was a saw tooth obsidian pendant and pants that even the adventurous fashionista might find tempting yet troubling to make wearable. So I'm giving her a good review and crossing my fingers, hoping she'll make it.
In the end it all worked, but stuck to the highly editorial.
Simon Spurr dresses men for the spring rain and the urban fog. Gone are the blatantly editorial looks, replaced by a grown-up casual wear collection with a youthful vibe. Simon's jeans have been flying off fancy shelves everywhere. Paired with one of his new linen jackets, they feel like the perfect attire for dining at the Lion or the Mad Men Lambs Club. The large seventies bowling bags seem just right for blogging or the overnight trip to Aspen. Last time around, they forgot to rip the plastic off the runway. This time they opted to forgo one altogether.
Xavier Samuel, a hot young Twilight star, Brad Goreski from Rachel Zoe, and Anna Wintour with a Starbucks-wielding assistant were present. What fascinated me the most was that each look was different yet worked together, melding into a cohesive whole. Although each jacket was different, ranging from a circle-rimed (on the shoulders) bomber jacket, to a 'black sheen' raincoat for the sporty young buck, to a butterscotch v-neck sweater, somehow it all came together.
He's very much moving into the luxury sportswear market and away from bespoke tailoring and high-end suits -- practical, wearable, dare I utter the word commercial. Ultimately, though, very timely.
That said, I'm missing the Spurr afterparty. Sadness.
Catherine Malandrino wins the prize for creative use of space. With chilly models on pedestals, some had goosebumps down their perfect thighs, yet maintained their stoic look and statuesque poise.
The shoes stood out: leather knotwork power pumps. Malandrino stuck true to her hard, almost tribal aesthetic. In the store there will be pared down detail. The chiffon drapes and subdued watercolor prints really seem almost perfect.
Leigh Lezark was the celebrity of the moment at DKNY. Sporty and downtown consistently came to mind as red red shoes carried looks of bloomy jumpers and bow tie belts. Scarves wrapped around elongated necks, rompers and frill dresses with just a touch of ruffling (not to much) floated down the catwalk. DKNY is New York again.
Punk rock girls grow up with a smattering of grunge. With uniform nose rings and rolled up camping socks, the models walked to the best soundtrack of the day -- which is to be expected when you have a DJ in the family. With poppy dresses made of silk and chiffon, she pulls from the closet of the hippie generation but brings in the subdued neutral tones of the moment, creating a line that not only comes together, but exceeds my expectations. No, she's not pushing fashion forward. But she's on point for her customer, which is what many people in this biz forget.
Not many fancy people from famous families make it in fashion. There are exceptions, but they often flounder. She still drew a strong, fun crowd, but they didn't take over. The PR team was able to make check-in manageable (unlike seasons past) and justify Ronson's ability to grow into the business of fashion. With strong sales in JCPenney, she's creating a powerful image. Fashion is not just models walking the catwalk. It's also management and sending a strong message through the fashionable lens of the week.
She might just hang around if she keeps this up.
Kelly Osbourne was looking perfectly amazing at Erin's show. We were all given flowers and greeted by tropical song birds. Tribal hats, silk peach blouses and elevated platform pumps paraded past. She's lost her editorial edge, and even though it's upscale and feels like luxury, there's something missing here. The economy and compromise strike here too. But going to Milk was pretty awesome.
Walking into the Araks show space was reminiscent of strolling through a farmer's market after it shut down -- dried flowers hung from the rafters while little piles of apples, grapes, and moss lined an otherwise undefined runway. I stood next to an empty wooden fruit crate.
One odd trend I've spotted this week is the sheer skirt -- from DVF to Adam to Vivienne Tam, seeing a model's underthings (or lack thereof) seems to be all the rage. And Araks, hands down, takes the win for pushing this phenomenon as far as it can decently go -- right down to having one model walk in just bloomers and a blouse. Matronly house dresses, some of which reminded me of nurse's uniforms or nun's vacation wear, shuffled down the aisle followed by some rather adorable 1920s-inspired schoolboy ensembles. Amish couture. These weren't your mama's (or grandmama's) outfits, though, but merely the echo of them, for they were all as see-through as see-through gets. The decorative high-waisted panty or unpadded neon bra became the focal point. Clothes are now the curtains, merely decorating the main show below.
If Lisa Frank tarred and feathered models, you would end up with Custo Barcelona. Now add some disco beats and and bell bottoms, and you get the show I just saw. Honestly, this runway was like watching a camp crafts project explode in a microwave -- thick cotton fringe, glitter, and tie-dye swam before me. The hottest of messes (and oh, was that rip in one of the skirts intentional? I think not). I am dually disappointed because one of Custo's signatures -- the cartoonish caricature prints -- was almost completely neglected. I mean, you go to a Custo show expecting the ridiculous, the tacky, the outlandish; but, that also means you go expecting total fun. You expect to see how you would have dressed your Barbie when you were four. And I have to say, this season seemed almost toned down, with at least two looks being -- dare I say -- wearable.