Thursday, February 12, 2004

'Spotted':

Okay- enough about the clothes on the runway for the time being... although I will quickly say that I was a bit disappointed with Michael Kors see photos who seemed to be on a mission to infuse his always luxurious all American sportswear aesthetic with a heavy dose of cool 'attitude' down to the uncharacteristic and blaring rock and roll soundtrack normally associated with Anna Sui and Marc Jacobs; Gilles Mendel's well edited 33 piece collection see photos
of furs and fur trimmed jackets, skirts, and dresses was just lovely; and although Wednesday afternoon's Proenza Schouler show see photos was not my favorite of the three collections they have presented since being in business, you have to give the duo credit for their innovative and experimental cuts and construction and isn't that what fashion is all about?

We all know that the fashion story off the runways is often the most interesting part of any fashion week. And observing what the 'key players' are wearing is a spectator sport in and of itself.

The most frequent item I have 'spotted' (literally) is the leopard coat versions have been worn by front row fixtures like Anna Wintour, Amy Astley, and Elizabeth Saltzman, just to name a few. And though this group may be wearing the 'real deal'- the fabulous fakes are obviously more prevalent, more 'politically correct' and have quite the same impact.

And speaking of Anna Wintour, I couldn't help but notice that the High Priestess of Fashion has already nabbed Prada's new 'coat of the season' and Spring's answer to leopard - the narrow snakeskin trench - which by the way, also showed up on the back of Anne McNally (hmmmm- I wonder how they scored this new arrival so early?!?)

Of course, the other big trend both on and off the runway continues to be the tweed coat- still an editors' 'fave'. Carine Roitfeld looked positively stuffed into her shrunken salt and pepper coat which she wore with bare legs and nude toned lace up high heeled oxford pumps - very French. In fact, her coat was so small, it seemed to be half the size of the gigantic fur collar on Anna's Benjamin Cho white wool coat which she paired with a Proenza Schouler skirt - both designers who coincidentally were showing collections on that day. It must be pointed out that Anna, who is known to champion the young up and comers, is known to wear the designs of those showing on each particular day.

But hands down, one of the most obvious trends off the runway is the wholehearted embrace of winter white. which has been seen in fabrics ranging from white wool and white down, to white furs (particularly white mink). In fact, many show goers are taking this obsession one step further and wearing the impractical shade from head to toe. I'm one of them.

My vote for one of the silliest trends is the idea of ignoring seasons (bare legs again). Many fashion pros are simply intent on thumbing their noses at the calendar, and jumping ahead to spring or summer. I have noticed that Elizabeth Saltzman has been favoring somewhat summery (and considerably bare tops and dresses) beneath her winter coats which show off her well toned but thin arms and cleavage (she doesn't really have much cleavage but she is showing off her neck, throat, and chest rather than covering up in wool turtlenecks like the rest of us mortals). Yesterday, she added to that combination a pair of open toed sandals worn with bare, well pedicured feet (natch!). Me? I was literally shivering in my boots. Personally, I find it rather chilly inside the tents as well as outside, but as they say, "C'est la vie."

-Marilyn Kirschner

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