In the first paragraph describing his BCBG spring 2010 collection in the run of show, Max Azria cited a “chic sensibility and a modern edge, finding balance where the unprecious becomes precious.” Quite an ambitious goal which Mr. Azria did not quite fulfill in the decidedly overworked, contrived and repetitive 31 piece, all dress collection he showed yesterday morning. Nope, there was nary an item of sportswear, or pant, in sight. The line was literally all about the dress. There were t shirt dresses, asymmetrical dresses, handkerchief hemmed dresses, one shouldered dresses, color blocked dresses, abstract printed dresses, draped dresses, ruched dresses, dresses with interesting and alluring backs, and beaded gowns. And several ‘bondage’ style wrapped torso dresses that seemed right off the runway of Herve Leger for Max Azria (but I guess that’s not exactly surprising, right?) In general, the solid pieces (especially those in white, black, and bright green) fared the best although a few of abstract prints had a painterly quality.
Interestingly, while there was only a smattering of gowns, several of those more graceful pieces happen to have been some of the more beautiful of the group. One, a ‘pool’ blue water abstract color printed jersey number which was somewhat loose and featured an elbow length wide sleeve.
And the other, a dramatic white jersey draped and beaded gown which ended the show. With its decadently plunging décolleté filled in with crystal beads, it had “Red Carpet” written all over it (on the ‘right’ body of course). And speaking of jersey, there was so much jersey used in this collection, I suppose you could call Max Azria the ‘Jersey’ Boy. Now is it ‘new’ Jersey or ‘old’ Jersey? I guess you can be the judge - or does it really matter?
‘Three’s a Crowd’
As for the early afternoon show at the Tents, which featured a collaboration of the work of 3 designers: Nicholas K, Whitney Eve, and Mara Hoffman, unsurprisingly, Mara Hoffman, who showed last, fared the best. Whitney Eve took the Disco Fever ‘thing’ a bit too far. And while Nicholas K, who showed both women’s and men’s collections (heavy on the utility and sporty theme), had some nice and practical packable sporty hooded parkas, military inspired outerwear (especially for the guys), and plaid sundresses for the gals, some of it smacked a bit too much of Comme des Garcons, fall 2009. And speaking about guys and dolls, on some, or one model in particular, it was hard to tell if he/she was masculine or feminine.
Undeniably, Mara Hoffman has made a name for herself, and accumulated a number of fans (some, high profile) along the way, with her colorful, bold, signature prints and her languid, graceful, gowns with their alluring backs and fabulously feminine cuts. This time, they were rendered almost entirely in chiffon, except for a touch of lame, georgette, and jersey, and it was hard not to notice that sparing several cloud like patterns, the most notable seemed more than a tad Pucci esque, like the ‘light rays’ chiffon single wing dress and draped gown in multi colored pastels. Other standouts were a silver lame braid front gown, the turquoise collar silk jersey poncho and matching georgette leggings, and of course, what would a Mara Hoffman collection be without her trademark beaded and braided necklines, beautiful bare backs, and elegant, graceful, and totally ‘hip’ kimonos?
And speaking of ‘in your face’ colorful, graphic, geometric prints and patterns. After a noticeable absence last season, our favorite mug-for-the-camera, publicity hungry fashion show attendee, Shalil Upadaya, is back. Known for his outrageous and often eye popping sense of fashion (I’m talking about head to toe coordinating prints: a different theme each Fashion Week), he has irked many, because he apparently has NO press credentials and is not a fashion designer, yet manages to not only get into the tents, but scores front row seats on top of that. It was hard NOT to notice the Nepalese fashion plate upon entering the Tents on Thursday afternoon. Who else, after all, could have been wearing the mis matched and colorful knitted stripes and argyles, (perfectly mismatched and put together) except for Shalil? And of course, the cameras were all out, soaking in all the local ‘color’.
‘Don’t rain on my Parade’
Anna Wintour may well be the most powerful woman in fashion, on the planet. Last night, she solidified her ‘god’ like status. Well…almost. When she conceptualized Fashion’s Night Out, I’m certain what she had in mind was an evening of perfect early fall weather. We all know that for about one week, the forecast was for rain for most of the day, especially heavy at night. But the rain actually held out for a good part of the evening, several hours into the festivities (some of the events were held in stores and others, were planned for outdoors). In any case, it wasn’t a total washout.
Oh…and if you’re wondering which shops I ‘hit’…actually, I decided to stay home and watch Rafael Nadal play his semi quarter’s match at the U.S. Open. As an avid spender and admitted shopaholic, I’ve already done my bit to help the economy, thank you very much, and I hardly need any other incentives to entice me.
"The Daily Bet" by Rhonda Erb
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