Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fashion Week Notes: Day 2


Lacoste Collection (Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images)

According to the program notes, Christophe Lemaire, head of design for Lacoste, based his fall 2009 collection on “pure colour and releaxed elegance” and he wanted to emphasize “warmth and comfy in an abstract way”. Inspired by James Turrell’s trick of the eye canvases, the collection (for both men and women, as always) was aimed specifically at two distinct groups of women: one that evoked Annie Hall and the another that referenced “Princess Leila with a touch of 1960’s Courreges”. The color palette was based around winter white with touches of heather gray, oatmeal, baby blue, and mustard, and the overall look was easy, sporty, unforced, and happily ‘un trendy’. The models certainly looked comfortable, warm, and cozy as they jaunted down the runway in their slouchy, slightly oversized hooded and bathrobe coats (the best was the first monochromatic outfit out- a winter white coat shown over a jumpsuit and accessorized with the new ‘cap-cum-scarf’ hat), natty tailleur, sporty anoraks, and layered knitwear.

Sometimes, the best thing about fashion week is not necessarily the runway shows (no kidding), but the camaraderie and the enthusiastic (and talented) people you meet. I was just getting off the subway at 41st and Broadway (I had just come from seeing United Bamboo, designed by Miho Aoki and Thuy Pham, known for their innovative reinterpretation of classic American ‘preppy’) and was approached by an affable gentleman who identified himself as Jonathan Bodrick. He said he knew who I was and had noticed me at the shows over the past 10 or 12 years…(yikes). He said I would LOVE his vintage clothing store, “b.o.r.n” (borrowed, old, refurbished, new), located in Harlem (52 West 125th street, 917 865 9194, bornfashion@yahoo.com, and handed me his business card.

Since I was as usual, all decked out in vintage (coat, belt, bag), and I suppose I am known as a ‘collector’, I sort of laughed when I said sarcastically, “How do you know I like vintage?” He laughed as well. But hey, even though I have a lot of clothes, there is always ‘room for one more” as they say. I will definitely check out his shop when fashion week is over. (As of now, there is no website, but one is planned for the future).

Similarly, when I arrived at the Andy & Debb show at the Tents, I noticed an attractive young woman, helping with the seating, whose all black outfit was punctuated by a wonderful, statement making crystal ‘chandelier’ bib necklace and interesting silver belt. I asked whose pieces they were and she said, “Mine” and handed me her business card (the belt was actually made yesterday morning right before the show). Talk about talented and entrepreneurial: I’m sure I am not the only show goer who wanted more information on her accessories and I thought I’d share this with you. Her name is Chelsea Paskvan, she is a design student, and her email is cpaskvan@kent.edu. (FYI, the necklace is priced at about $300).

By the way, while I must admit I was not really familiar with the label, Andy & Debb (Andy Kim, Debbie Yoom), I was pleasantly surprised by the sculptural and interesting 43 piece collection, a study in black and white with accents of camel, pewter, muted orange, purple. Pleats, butterfly wing front details, high collars, circular hems, high waisted stovepipe pants, asymmetry, and ruffle detail, were recurring themes as were shift dresses, coatdresses, jumpsuits, black and white herringbone used for day and night, bustier tops, sweetheart necklines, layered knitwear, and short sleeved coats and cardigans.

I should have seen the writing on the wall. At about 2 pm, a mother, clad in a sharp red coat, holding the hands of her two young adorable daughters…both wearing identical hot pink military coats with gold buttons (what a photo op)…arrived at the Bryant Park Tents for the Barbie turns 50 runway show which was scheduled for 3. I was going to clue them in, that they were a tad early (all of us fashion insiders know that shows always start at least 30 minutes later than called for). Silly me! It turns out, they must have known something I didn’t know, because for the throngs of show attendees, literally rubbing up against one another trying to get inside (many clad in ‘Barbie’ pink, and that includes the guys), it was an impossible feat. Talk about poorly organized and planned. It looked as though the entire city of New York was invited to this event. (For the record, the show did not end until after 4 p.m.!)

The scene reminded me of Paris in the 80’s, when frantic show goers were clamoring to get into must see shows like Mugler, Montana, and Gaultier; as someone humorously observed, “Gee…this better be worth it”. Well of course, nothing is worth it and she was among those, like me, who was relegated to watching it on the screens outside the venue.

-Marilyn Kirschner

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