Once again, Bill Cunningham proves that he has not only the best ‘eye’ in the business, but that is adept at predicting the future. His ‘On The Street’ column in The New York Times this past Sunday, “The Future Arrives From Paris”, was not filled with dozens of images from the recent New York Fashion Week, and contained only two paragraphs of copy. But its brevity was highly effective.
Using only three blown up pictures of just one woman, French Vogue editor-in-chief, Carine Roitfeld, clad in her enviably amazing Azzedine Alaia shearling lined shimmering black patent leather coat, it said it all. In a sea of woman (and men) trying to fight the cold fashionably, clad in a mix of bulky down jackets, ‘grandma’ worthy vintage furs, pedestrian cloth coats, and oft times comical headwear (the furs hats were often so tall and so big, they made it impossible to see over them while seated in a show – and many of these hat wearing attendees refused to remove their hats even while seated inside), Ms. Roitfeld truly stood out.
I know that when I first saw her, she immediately caught my eye, and I had the same impression of how modern she looked. The impeccible cut of the coat, sculptural collar, the way it seemed to be like protective armor, the length, the fact that the fur was hidden, and the way she accessorized it seemed to mirror many of the fur trimmed or fur lined black shiny patent coats being shown on the runway. Only hers was so much better. And looking at images from collections in London and Milan (such as the just shown Burberry line), many designers are using black high gloss patent for outerwear, and making the coat feel like protective armor.
Of course, having said all that…one of the reasons Carine was able to go hatless, wear a fitted coat, perfectly accessorized with black opaque tights, and do without an oversized, unwieldly bag, was that she is lucky enough to have a car and driver at her disposal (which was pictured in the background.) No metrocards and toting your life around in a bag from morning ’til night for this woman.
I really love the Burberry coats this year. Total departure from their usual ultra-conservative note, but sleek and sophisticated nonetheless.